Category Archives: Interest Rates

June 2021 Financial Planning and Capital Market Review – By John Kvale

Hello and Welcome to our June 2021 Financial Planning and Capital Market Update!

If you are too busy to read, feel free to listen as we describe our post and thoughts in friendly podcast audio format as well as Video!

Newbies –

We like to articulate our thoughts and review on a Monthly basis our Financial Planning Tips, Capital Markets and current events!

BREAK IN – HOLIDAY PARTY NOVEMBER 20 FROM 3-5 AT DALLAS ATHLETIC CLUB

Hope you enjoy!

June 2021 Video

YouTube

Financial Planning Tip(s)

Why Not to Overfund a Retirement Plan

In this updated post from a few years ago, we remind how easily it is to overfund a 401k plan and why, while it is not the end of the world, it is not a good tax situation….

Should you accidentally over fund your retirement plan … what occurs is a double taxation!

  1. You do not get the deduction for the contribution
  2. You will likely pay taxes on the eventual distribution

Job change is the most likely reason for overfunding!

Pesky Late Arriving Tax Form Reminder – Form 5498

In this mid month post we remind those of an extra late arriving tax form….

Murphy’s law being applied, the form just arrived last week….about two weeks after our post…..

Reason for receipt:

  • Rollover of a 401k or the like to an IRA – Most frequent
  • Contribution to an IRA
  • Contribution to a SEP

One of the most confusing parts of this form is that even though you may have made a qualified contribution for a prior year i.e. 2020, if you made that contribution in 2021, depending on the type of contribution the Form 5498 MAY show your contribution in year 2021.

Capital Market Comments

Inflation or No Inflation

In this part two post, “The Smartest Guys in the Room” post we discussed via interest rate futures graphs the movement after FOMC dot plot adjustments and the interest rate markets….

This is an updated Graph of the 2 year US Treasury, which is holding lower, (higher yield) possibly due to faster expected rate increases!

This is the ultra long 30 Year Treasury, which continues to trend higher (lower Yield) possible pricing less inflation from the above mentioned expected shorter term rate increases!

Ok…that’s a wrap for the June review…. Hello July!

Have a Great Day, Talk to You at the End of July!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.

A Dallas Texas based fee only

Financial Planning Total Wealth

Management firm.

jkfinancialinc

street-cents

The Smartest Guys in the Room, The Bond Markets and Participants – Part 2 of FOMC Dot Plot Update

Part 2 of our overzealous post started Monday that was a bit too long- Enjoy!

There’s an old saying that the smartest guys in the room are the Bond Market or Bond Market Participants.

Bond market participants have way less to think about than their brotherin equity market participants, Basically bond participants only think of the economy, the credit worthiness and length of their investment.

Using the USA as your proxy and with the United States being the most credit worthy bond in the world, there is one less thing bond market participants have to worry about. Taking a peek at the 10-year US treasury yield which would reflect mostly economic expectation or possibly the future growth, of course there could be outside investors rushing to the US treasury market in search of higher yields boring the matter a bit, but all other things set aside under the surface post speech bond market investors are expecting greater controlled economic growth, sooner (2 year Movement.)

Dramatic Movement in the 2 Year Treasury

In order to get a most up to date chart, we needed to use futures contracts, so bear with us, as the chart goes down the yield is rising… bond guys are pricing higher rates now!

Here is a close up of the latest few days, again on the 2 Year

Not surprisingly a bit of a come back (higher prices lower yield) in the chart after such a large move.

30 Year Movement

Same use of futures contract here…

Higher chart price is lower yield? The initial drop is in the February March 2021 time frame as the Economy began to open, but take note of the move UP – lower yields in the last few weeks!

This may seem counter intuitive, but the eventual increase in rates would thwart inflation and is being expressed by lower long term rates…

We’ve talked at length on inflation versus deflation, so will leave it alone at this time but it might be noted that’s the smartest guys in the room thank future economic growth is at least higher and longer term inflation is not their concern, at least for now!

Have a Great “FOMC – Smartest Guys In the Room Review” Day!

John A Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.

A Dallas Texas based fee only

Financial Planning Total Wealth

Management firm.

jkfinancialinc

street-cents

FOMC Updated Thoughts From Press Release, Dot Plots and Post Release Interview of Jerome Powell (Part 1 of 2)

As mentioned Friday in our preview post, Jerome Powell chair of the FOMC and the rest of the voting members released their updated public press Economic Review and analysis mid-week last week. This  release also included 30 minutes post Q and A along with a prepared discussion by Powell that lasted about 15 minutes.

Just by chance finding myself on the road for a slightly unusual 90 minute journey that occurred exactly during the time Jerome Powell was speaking, I was able to listen to the entire speech live, while I’m not sure if it was the subject matter, or a minor dental procedure the day before, no matter … I found it extremely difficult to stay awake while driving – digressing here, but if you weren’t on the edge of your seat listening to the speech and reading the press release … you’re likely in good company as we usually find this material extremely interesting – still digressing.

Jerome Powell is most open to reveal something either by accident or on purpose during the Q&A as the prepared press release and the prepared remarks have so many eyes and advisers reviewing he’s certainly to say only what we are supposed to hear.

Wall Street and much of the media outlets took much of his comments to be more Hawkish (less friendly and more likely to raise rates sooner.)  For the record, this is why we enjoy listening to these types of events ourselves, as we did not find anything more than doing what he and the rest of the FOMC had promised to do, all along.

The dot plot which as a quick reminder, is an estimate of all board members including non-voting members timing and amount of where interest rates and where they expect economy to be was also released.

The following… Shows that multiple board members are more eager to raise rates sooner than they had been in recent quarters. In our minds this is good news as we would rather the FOMC not stay too low to long encouraging reckless behavior in the form of leverage and over leverage. Also encouraging for more conservative and cash investment such as our checking accounts an increase in rate will give us collectively some income on those reserves.

The Dot Plot Thickens

6-16-21 Dot Plot

Two Members Now Expecting two increases in 2022 with five members also expecting one move for a total of seven members expecting moves in 2022!

3-17-2021

Expectation by three Members of One interest rate increase and one member expecting two moves in 2022

Again, we think higher rates sooner is a return to normal and sets us back on course for continued economic recovery… just keeping to their word!

With continued compliments for keeping my material short and to the point, a late viewing of the US Open Golf Tournament, thanks to a West Coast Venue and a desire to see what the so called Smartest Guys in the Room – Bond Guys do this week, this post is officially Part 1 … Will only be one more Part, Promise!

Have a Great “Dot Plot Analysis” Day!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.

A Dallas Texas based fee only

Financial Planning Total Wealth

Management firm.

jkfinancialinc

street-cents

May 2021 Financial Planning and Capital Market Review – By John Kvale

Hello and Welcome to our May 2021 Financial Planning and Capital Market Update!

If you are too busy to read, feel free to listen as we describe our post and thoughts in friendly podcast audio format as well as Video!

Newbies –

We like to articulate our thoughts and review on a Monthly basis our Financial Planning Tips, Capital Markets and current events!

Hope you enjoy!

May 2021 Video

YouTube

Financial Planning Tips

Preparing to Hit the Sky Again

In this Break In Moment Post, an executive of the company Fligence reached out with regards to our fun TSA Posts through the closure of the country.

Their neatly designed website can be a very handy item for determining your possible time needs and delays as well as neatly follow our country to reopening at full speed.

Capital Market Comments

Inflation or No Inflation

In doing writings, I try to approach each article with a clear mind and head, especially if the post is heavy ….

Many times I try to completely forget the article or post from maybe just a week before….

Good News…. the Month of May was a success in clearing my mind as I accidentally pounded everyone over the head with Inflation stuff…..

My apologies, but it coming at us from so many directions made it top of mind….

At the Berkshire Hathaway meeting post, starring Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger, Inflation was all the chatter and a huge concern for them.

Then Here in our Jolts – job opening Post we looked at how there are tons of jobs to be had –

Here in our Favorite Dallas Federal Reserve Chair post, Robert Kaplan – Sooner rather than later, worries inflation may be coming if we stay too low on interest rates…

Lastly in this verbal tug of war post between Jim Bianco and Lacy Hunt, they could not more disagree very emphatically.

Time will tell who is correct in their thinking!

Have a Great Day, Talk to You at the End of June!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.

A Dallas Texas based fee only

Financial Planning Total Wealth

Management firm.

jkfinancialinc

street-cents

Inflation is Coming, No it Isn’t Deflation Is On the Way??? From John Mauldin‘s SIC – Strategic Investor Conference – Jim Bianco and Lacy Hunt

Break In : Interesting Google Trends

With this post already set to go, I ran across this interesting chart late in the weekend and thought it worth adding- looks like others are interested in at least the Inflation answer: 2004 to current Google Trends Searches –

  • Blue = Inflation Searches
  • Red = Deflation
  • Yellow = Recession

Ok, back to our regularly schedule Post!

n spring of 2020 during the beginning of the countrywide lockdown‘s we had the opportunity to attend a conference that we had never chosen to do before due to logistics, cost, and length of the conference (7-10 days). John Mauldin SIC Strategic Investor Conference, after 18 years of consecutive conferences Mauldin shifted last year’s and this year’s conference to virtual and we were happy attendees.

The conference this year lasted a total of two weeks and had 45 speakers of which about 35 were Capital Market related with the other 10 being macro-economic or specific industry such as doctors.

Views: Number One From the Conference – Go Away FOMC – You Have Stayed Too Long

View number one and shared by every market related expert, the federal reserve is overstaying their welcome and should immediately stop asset purchases and begin talking about increasing rates. The main reason for these shared views are because asset levels have become inflated across almost all assets according to the experts and be continued purchases are no longer necessary given that capital markets are orderly.

Number Two – Inflation Is Coming – Via Jim Bianco

View number two shared by approximately 75% to 80% of the Capital Market Professionals were there will be some type of inflation. About half of the professionals felt like inflation would indeed be transition, which is what Jerome Powell (FOMC President) and the federal reserve are saying the other half felt like by the FED continuing to purchase assets a change from the long deflationary era of the last four decades to a longer-term inflationary era over the next several decades is ahead.

None of the pro inflation experts predicted runaway inflation that we had in the 70s but the most aggressive inflationary person that we heard was Jim Bianco of Bianco research. In one of many slides, Bianco pointed to the rise of the 10 Year Treasury, below and a belief it would continue to rise.

10 Year US Treasury Yield

Number Three – No Inflation, Back to Slow Grow – Via Lacy Hunt

View number three, shared by the remaining market experts emphatically, there will be no inflation and we will return to a slow growth environment similar to what we had coming out of the financial setback of 2007 -2009.

The most emphatic believer of this deflationary trend was Lacey Hunt who oddly enough shared the stage with the aforementioned Jim Bianco, and has been an expert in the capital markets for 40 years.

Mr. Hunt‘s main beliefs on why deflation will continue are the debt occurring by the afore mentioned FED asset purchase and ageing demographics.

So what are we do with all of this information and where does that leave us?

With such dissenting opinions it’s clear that someone will be wrong and things never work out exactly like people think, so some may be correct in a portion of their view an incorrect and another.

If Bianco is correct and inflation occurs and remains this would lead to substantial pressure on long duration assets such as the value of real estate, low earning but fast growing equities, long bonds such as the 30 year treasury and higher borrowing costs across the board.  This would be a dramatic change from the last four decades and more rhyming of the late 70’s, but again not to the extreme.

If Hunt is correct, this will be a continuation of what we have seen over the prior four decades. Lower long term rates, lower borrowing costs, continued slower economic growth, lower expected earnings and continued upward pressure(tailwind) on the above mentioned longer duration assets.

The good news in monitoring each of the various forecasts we have easy to read and follow economic numbers such as the CPI and the level of interest rates, as well as federal reserve speakers talk in public venues.

In closing all of professionals believe most asset prices were elevated.  High asset prices are not a direct reason for them to come down, and elevated asset prices can be grown into, like the 13-year-old growing quickly into the 15-year-old clothes. But high asset prices demand discipline and care as increased volatility is likely.

Have a Great “Inflation Deflation Tug Of War” Day!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.

A Dallas Texas based fee only

Financial Planning Total Wealth

Management firm.

jkfinancialinc

street-cents

Robert Kaplan Update – Round Table State of Economy – “Sooner Rather than Later!”

One of our favorite Federal Reserve Presidents Dallas’s own Robert Kaplan had another Round Table discussion the most recent Monday night….

Those with great memories may recall my fiasco when listening to his Round Table discussions and accidentally raising my hand for a live question…. good news, avoided that this time! haha

Elephant in the Room – Inflation or Not?

While leading with stats and updates, the review order has been changed due to the very end of the discussion and importance…

Recalling from the Mauldin SIC conference of the last two weeks and and once again here we are…. Elephant topic for Kaplan – Inflation or Not?

(Have you ever been on a call or virtual visit like this and wondered who else is on? – Am I wasting my time here? Or is this a good use of the late evening? – See callers below for answer!)

Live Callers

After about four or five live callers, the moderator announce, “Our next caller is Byron Wien!” – WHAT!

Wien is an 88 year old veteran of the Capital Markets and currently Vice Chair of Blackstone the largest money manager in the US!

What is he doing listening to a Dallas Reserve President at this time of the night – he is one hour later!

In a no nonsense, direct question, Wien asks or more insists “There is inflation and it is coming faster than officials think! What are you guys going to do?”

Kaplan answers directly that he thinks tapering monthly purchases along with increasing of rates should come “Sooner Than Later!”

This statement was repeated more than any other statement and even at one juncture, Kaplan stated “I said this in March and have seen nothing to change my view!” Sooner Rather than Later!

Kaplan goes on to say ” It is better to let off the accelerator and coast and possibly tap the brakes rather than staying on the accelerator and having to jam the brakes quickly!” We Agree!

Last up from the live call ins :

Robert Sakowitz – Concerns about shipping and port trouble- his personal example of $2600 pod now costing him $8000- (Has to be passed on somewhere? right?)

Based on our research and his question, most likely a multi generational retail magnate!

Both calls were concerning inflation, with several others concerned the FED has stayed to long and their mandate has been met!

Interesting Stats from Kaplan

2 million worker age 55 and over retired since Covid, dropping a valuable portion of the workforce

1.5 million women left workforce to care for children- Wow !

Texas and the surrounding Dallas Fed Area High School Superintendents on average graduate 85% of seniors and now only 60% – creating a shortage of skilled workers –

Taper and Policy – How can FED withdraw without market disruption? SLOOOOWLY

Learned from 07-09 – Telegraph in advance and give market time to absorb

What signals will use for taper – FOMC in Dec of 2020 agree that substantial further progress (Kaplan believes this statement is key and is very open to be used and interpreted many ways)

Input supply demand imbalances – metals, food, wages, PCE of April – June – elevated levels – uncertain of how long will persist

Believe inflation run at 2% and anchored there-

11 million barrels of Oil last year, thinks can only to to 11.25 million per day- fossil fuel here for decades longer, maybe not at the same level as prior but will not go away

Great Final Question from the Moderator

What Keeps Me Up at Night? (Recall same exact question of Buffet at annual meeting and the EXACT same answer)

“No textbook for this recovery, this is unlike any other recovery we have ever had- no prior example – We must manage the risk be nimble if possible !”

There you have it… Local Dallas Fed President echoing a lot of things we have been hearing, spoken of and discussed here!

Good News – Time will Tell and it will not be a long time (quarters, not decades)

Have a Great “Kaplan Update” Day!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.

A Dallas Texas based fee only

Financial Planning Total Wealth

Management firm.

jkfinancialinc

street-cents

Oracle of Omaha …. Warren Buffett Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting … Finally Made it Through … Thoughts

Each year for the last five (which is about when they began streaming the meetings), I am always enthusiastic about listening to the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting, which prior to social distancing was more like a sporting event than a shareholder meeting.

Oh, for those that may be wondering, Berkshire Hathaway is headed by Warren Buffett age 90 (not Jimmy – being silly here) and Charlie Munger age 98. The name stems from a bankrupt textile company turned massive conglomerate filled with Insurance Companies (Geico) Railroads, and home builders (largest manufactured home builder in US) just to name a few.

Back to the meeting… Buffett honestly says (and it is true) the actual meeting is BOORING and Buffett even discourages folks to listen to the formal section, BUT there is an opening ceremony of such where Buffett has a 5-15 minute planned discussion followed by 3-3.5 hours of Q and A, most of which is known, but a few are sent in live and carefully reviewed and presented by Becky Quick of CNBC.

Finally A Way To Get Through The Meeting

So the last five years were a terrible failure as the attention span drifted before the entire meeting could be consumed…. Hey these guys are 90 and 98 and move at their own pace, but a wealth of VERY interesting opinions as well as knowledge.

This year a freak accidental trial was successful and made for a very enjoyable meeting review.

After finding a replay of the meeting on YouTube then cranking the speed up from 1x to 1.25 to 1.5 and finally landing on 1.75x normal speed, ta dah … the meeting was happily consumed with full 100% attention AND SOME NOTES!

These are in no sort of order, but basically organized as well as possible given the jumping of topics due to open questions – So here we go, hope you enjoy!

(These a not my opinions or thoughts, only a replay of Charlie and Warren’s high points)

Intro Discussion

Very Pro USA and Complimentary to Capital Creation in the USA

Brings a list of top largest 20 companies in the world, with total domination of USA

Currently have $145 Billion and only need $70 Billion – Current Asset Prices are Not Inviting to Warren and Charlie – Market is too fully priced (Sound Familiar?)

Sold Airlines to allow them to get Federal Funding

Munger Comment – His extra age seems to have loosened his muffler!

Higher State Taxes Chase some smart people away – Silly

SPACS are being created for Wall Street Not Investors and useless use of other peoples money – According to Charlie

Been and actor so long I do not know what I believe – Dogging on politicians and bad CEO’s

Buffett – More Politically PC

Low Interest Rates are causing very high asset prices

Inflationary prices are coming through the home building and other sectors, economy is red hot! Steel and scarcity of product

Furniture store red hot

More inflation going on than meets the eye- Yep

Both Admire Larry Summers convictions to Inflation concerns!

Great Closing Q & A Question:

What was greatest thing learned last year?

Munger: If you are not somewhat confused by what has happened you are not paying attention-

Buffett: Very interested in how this all works out!

Ok, so there you have it. 3.5 Hours condensed into one blog post with some high points that just by chance coincide with some of our thoughts….

Have a Great “Finally Made it Through a Berkshire Meeting” Day!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.

A Dallas Texas based fee only

Financial Planning Total Wealth

Management firm.

jkfinancialinc

street-cents

Interesting Research From a Podcast – Food Price Correlation to Inflation, Assets and Other Linkage

Over the weekend while on an extended walk with the 16 year old’s dog, a new Podcast Series from Grant Williams had an interesting guest with an even more interesting theory…

The theory from the guest was that food prices and the increase and decrease there of acts as and inflationary or deflationary force on economies.

His logic was that we must all eat and if you watch food prices around the world you can see a big correlation to not only the afore mentioned economic forces but also government interaction to help offset bad side effects of these movements….

Hmmmmm….

Meet the USDA Economic Research Department

Being HUGE fans of government research sites, (no copyright problems) the USDA Economic Research Department of Agriculture is a new one on our radar…not only that, but this huge page of Interactive Graphs will be watched more closely with important ones likely finding a place here for all of our collective review….

Our favorite starting point graphs to follow … note food is third on the expenditure list … lending credence to Grants podcast guest view:

How about food price movement as it relates to Economic Cycles?

There were certainly spikes prior to these three recessions….

Here is a more detailed chart of expenditures of food at the personal level:

On the margin, food has cost less out of pocket over time.

Ya, ya we are nerds, but this is very interesting stuff to us, especially such a new and interesting Theory worth watching!

Have a Great “Watching Food Price” Day!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.

A Dallas Texas based fee only

Financial Planning Total Wealth

Management firm.

jkfinancialinc

street-cents

All Eyes on Interest Rates … Rate Run

We have been watching interest rates closely as well as a local born inflation gauge called the Trimmed Mean put out by our Own Dallas Federal Reserve….

Interest rate movement can be a predictor of better times ahead… Think reopening and also of future inflationary waves…

Here is a shorter termed graph of the 10 Year Treasury Yield….

Purposely a shorter term graph to exaggerate the recent movement…

Next up, we fly much higher to the ten thousand foot level to show you while rates are moving, they are far from sky high….

Higher rates can be a headwind to markets… fast moving higher rates would have a high probability of disruption…

Watching Rates and Inflation

Slower, gradual, less jittery rates may be just what the Dr. ordered… not too hot, not too cold…

We will be watching!

Have a Great “Watching Rates” Day!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.

A Dallas Texas based fee only

Financial Planning Total Wealth

Management firm.

jkfinancialinc

street-cents

Another Robert Kaplan Townhall Update – Some Breaking Comments … Slowing Purchases this Year

Back in the fall last year, here we commented on a terrific Robert Kaplan Townhall. Good news, this time we were able to listen to this Townhall which occurred Monday January 11, 2021 without accidentally becoming a participant!

Robert Kaplan is the Dallas Federal Reserve President and is a voting member of the FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) in 2020 – has a lot of eyes on him, especially during FOMC statements … but – see next

We like to listen to these “Quaint” discussions as more open comments and nuggets of information can be discovered and we are big fans of Kaplan as well…

Kaplan Latest Townhall Comments

Kaplan reiterated an expectation of US Economic growth – if all goes well – of 5% Wow. US Economic growth certainly has easy comparables due to a bad 2020, but a 5% growth rate is really strong and if occurs would help with our Capital Markets growing into their clothes thesis.

Biggest breaking comment, Kaplan believes the FED will at minimum speak of easing on asset purchases and again if all goes well is interested in higher rates later this year – Wow, another big news comment. Recall our concerns if rates get ahead of the Fed and they are forced to chase them down, could be strong headwinds… From our perch this is good news.

Oddly, most major Financial Firms are saying the likely stimulus coming soon will help, but when that runs out a slowing may occur …. someone is wrong !

We will be watching!

Kaplan firmly stated that continued stimulus through asset purchase AND low rates will do more harm than good if continued too long …. We agree, inflated asset prices and excessive risk taking does not work out well.

Best Question – What is Biggest Risk to Economy in 2021?

This question was by far the best and Kaplan’s comment that too slow of Vaccine rollout were both elegantly stated.

Kaplan expressed some concerns with the speed of the current rollout but expected/hoped for acceleration in short order, as we all do.

Kaplan, as a firm believer in higher education, our resident state of Texas is not at the top of the rung on this one, he mentioned several times improving the education system especially as it relates to technology will likely increase productivity in the decades to come.

There you have it, some Breaking News and some Good News!

Have a Great “Kaplan Townhall Update” Day!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.

A Dallas Texas based fee only

Financial Planning Total Wealth

Management firm.

jkfinancialinc

street-cents