Category Archives: Interest Rates

Q 3 2021 Review – Let the Taper Begin, Interest Rates, Bumpy Season

Let the Taper Begin

In late 2018 the FOMC learned a valuable lesson that they are intent on not repeating.  At their most recent FOMC meeting Jerome Powell, chair, made it very clear that the large monthly asset purchases, $120 billion to be exact, will begin to be tapered.  Powell also made it very clear that the eventual raising of interest rates would not occur until the taper was complete unlike the events of 2018 in which the FOMC tapered and increased short-term interest rates at the same time, much to market participants dismay.

Bottom line if all goes well scheduled monthly asset purchases will be trimmed and eventually reach zero sometime next year.

Interest Rates

The most widely followed interest rate, the 10-year US treasury, after having a startling move earlier this year from under 1% to over 1.7% dropped back down to the low 1.2% during the most recent slowdown due to the variant.

Whether Powell’s comments, or the turning of the variant, interest rates have taken note and moved up smartly to over 1.5% beginning the normalization of higher interest rates which is very good long-term for the financial system

Kyle Bass Predictions

In our Q4 Newsletter we noted some very positive predictions from local financial mogul Kyle Bass, namely oil reaching $100 a barrel before the year end and continued Federal Reserve protection along with a push through to the end of the variant.

Hopefully all of these predictions come true.

The Worst of Times the Best of Times

September and October tend to be the most challenging months for Capital Markets mostly due to large institutions, think Fidelity as an example, closing their books on the year which make for more volatile times. So far, this theme seems to have played true.

The good news is notwithstanding our 2018 example from above, November and December tend to be some of the better months of the calendar.

As we head to the end of the year, we will be watching all of these and many other things very closely and will be communicating live on our blog at street-cents.

Sincerely,

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder J.K. Financial, Inc.

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

Hello and Welcome to our September 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!

September 2021 Video

YouTube

Financial Planning Tip(s)

Email Providers

In this post, we spoke to the safety of signing your name to the biggest email providers if possible for your own safety….

Of course not all names will be available, but if yours is, it is a great idea to take it, even if you never use the email platform… think scammers acting as you!

Capital Market Comments

Jerome Powell Gets Angry, Taper Coming

In this market related post, we noted that Powell, head of the FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) was very stern in taper talk as well as the following quote from us:

“On another totally different and non-market related and non-economic related topic several federal reserve members had transactions over the past year that were not optically good for the federal reserve. One of the members is our very own favorite Robert Kaplan who had multiple large transactions in securities that the federal reserve was involved.

While we will voice no opinion on this … Jerome Powell was very stern surprisingly, and in our mind so stern that it could be an occupational loss for some of these members. It will be interesting to see what comes out of this, but this is not the end of it and once again Powell was very angry and forceful on this point.”

Unfortunately, Kaplan our favorite announced his retirement as well as the other board member, before the end of the day after our post!

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

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

Federal Reserve Detailed Analysis from Last Weeks Announcement … A Very Stern Jerome Powell

As mentioned in our Preview Post last week, we have been watching the FOMC as their posture is due to change with regards to the stimulus put in motion early last year….

Jerome Powell Gets Tough

Recall as the economy was shut down last year the FOMC chaired by Jerome Powell and its members moved interest rates on the short end of the curve to zero and commenced a $120 billion per month purchase of treasuries and mortgage back securities. Both of these moves were to help stimulate the economy and to stabilize the capital markets.

Meeting their goal of stabilization and a much-improved economy the FOMC are ready to shift policies and unless any major economic or other disruption occurs Powell made it very clear that he expects policymakers to begin decreasing the $120 billion per month purchases, and if all goes well to have completely stopped monthly purchases by mid-2022.

As mentioned in some of our prior posts this message has been floated by multiple fed presidents and Capital Markets seem to be taking this news in stride, much to participants and reserve members’ pleasure.

Much of the mainstream media seemed to report that there was no major change in policy or tone to which we disagree.  In listening to Powell especially in his interviews after the pre-plan reading of notes, he seemed much firmer and resolved to stop the monthly purchases and the tone in his voice in our minds, let us know if this would occur in the very near future.

As has been mentioned before many of our fellow professional investors have long desired this happened many months ago, but no matter, it appears that it is about to occur slowly and diligently, and capital markets are accepting.

On another totally different and non-market related and non-economic related topic several federal reserve members had transactions over the past year that were not optically good for the federal reserve. One of the members is our very own favorite Robert Kaplan who had multiple large transactions in securities that the federal reserve was involved.

While we will voice no opinion on this … Jerome Powell was very stern surprisingly, and in our mind so stern that it could be an occupational loss for some of these members. It will be interesting to see what comes out of this, but this is not the end of it and once again Powell was very angry and forceful on this point.

Bottom line we would expect a taper, slow lane of monthly purchases to commence shortly and will be watching interest rates which have already made some moves as well as capital market participation.

Have a Great “About to Taper” 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 Dallas FOMC President Town Hall Analysis and Update, New York President Williams Chimes in, Wall Street Journal’s Favorite Fed Reporter Too – Taper Transition to Begin

While not sure why all Federal Reserve Chairs do not do this type of event … there are an even dozen Fed Banks scattered across the country for roots in various geographic areas, we are very happy our local favorite, Dallas’s own Federal Reserve Bank President, Robert Kaplan has started his own town hall event.

Think this is our third or fourth attendance, with the first as mentioned here, becoming an accidental question…

Incidentally at this event, the first three questions were from acquaintances… Great Minds I guess!

Another Robert Kaplan Town Hall Update New York Fed Williams Chimes in

The most important item mentioned in this town hall was that Kaplan supports a taper of the 120 billion monthly purchases of Mortgage and Treasury bonds as soon as October, with an announcement in two weeks at the September 22, 2021 Fed meeting.

Luckily with the delay of the weekend to produce this full post, New York Federal Reserve (debatably the most powerful bank) Chair John C. Williams in a speech via video conference to St. Lawrence University said the following:

“There has also been very good progress toward maximum employment, but I will want to see more improvement before I am ready to declare the test of substantial further progress being met. Assuming the economy continues to improve as I anticipate, it could be appropriate to start reducing the pace of asset purchases this year. I will be carefully assessing the incoming data on the labor market and what it means for the economic outlook, as well as assessing risks such as the effects of the Delta variant.”

Wall Street Journal’s Go To Reporter Pens Friday Article

Then the following story hit the Wall Street Journal Friday, September 10, 2021 by the Fed’s favorite go to reporter, NIck Timiraos..

NIck runs with a November 2021 Taper Transition and a 15 Billion per meeting drop off from the current 120 Billion monthly purchase…

What to Watch – Longer Term Interest Rates, Markets Themselves

If this is true, and the FOMC does begin taper, we will need to keep a sharp eye on interest rates, especially the longer end i.e. 10 year treasury.

Near then end of 2018, the FOMC began lowering asset purchases AND raising rates at the same time… Markets protested with a sharp 20% drop, causing Fed members to reverse course.

Kaplan and other officials are reiterating that just because the Taper may begin, interest rate increases are not on the horizon yet.

Recall in our very recent Kyle Bass review, where Fed officials are known to carefully watch the Capital Market reaction to their comments. If as true as Bass thinks, Fed officials will be watching close!

Other Kaplan Notes from the Town Hall:

  • Delta hurting travel, and leisure, Dallas Fed US GDP estimate 6.5 down to 6 because of delta
  • Slow workers with Jobs, Aug jobs number not surprised Sept slower than expected, JOLTS showing work avail, fear of delta keeping away,
  • 3 mill folks left workforce since 2-20, 1.5 milion left for care of kids – matching problem work
  • Supply demand on materials,  PCE will be 4% PCE headline will be 2.6% 2022-
  • Economy recovering slow Q3 but still growing, 3% inflation 2021
  • Economic Fits and starts bc delta- vaccine, booster, masks help but
  • High frequency mobility data not falling, folks adapting and managing through
  • Business expect supply demand last longer than thought
  • Worker demand higher pay, higher absence, reluctant to come back to labor force
  • Mid to small business tougher time with employee—Larger Businesses more flexibility
  • Broadly all businesses raising prices and they will stick

Apologies for the length of this post … this was a combination Reporter, notes and collection of various data points…

A smooth transition is very important, and long desired by many in the investment community, buckle up and let’s see how it goes!

Have a Great “Smooth Taper Transition” 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

Thoughts and Forecasts From Kyle Bass … Oil $100/Barrel By Year End 2021 ?

The summer garnered a new found passion towards Podcasts…. While we do our Monthly reviews and Newsletters in an Audio, Video, Podcast like format…. Most podcasts are an hour or longer, making for interesting deep dives into the discussion, especially if the person(s) talking are very intelligent in the specific material….

Hat tip JP for the shove in sharing your favorites…. I have taken the ball and run with it!

In another crossing with this interesting investor, Kyle Bass, on a paid podcast platform, specifically for professional investors…. we highlight Mr. Bass’ current thoughts…

Six years ago, we highlighted his thoughts here in our post and in reviewing his comments, his bets were very correct!

Forecasts and Future Expectations from Kyle Bass

Once again, like we did six years ago, in our public Diary of sorts, we outline Kyle’s thoughts for future reference …. so here we go:

  • The Federal Reserve will continue to support the markets with continued purchases.
  • Federal Reserve feels responsible for Capital Markets … i.e. Every Federal Reserve member has a Bloomberg Investment terminal on their desk and post public talks, Fed members go back to their office to check the markets reactions to their comments.
  • Much more inflation than actually as printed by CPI – (Consumer Price Index) Example of car price increases up 300% over last thirty years, but CPI auto costs increased 5% over that period.
  • Cost of Food increases may cause social inequity problems.
  • Oil hits $100 per barrel this year … due to mal investment over the last 7 years.
  • Short term interest rates not to go higher than 1.5% and long term (10 year) rates will not go higher than 2.5%. i.e. Bernanke Helicopter speech outlines the difficulty in raising rates a lot once they are at a lowered level for some time.
  • We push through the Delta Variant and there is a REAL re-opening effect that works its way through the economy (Hope this is correct!)

These were actually done in order of the Podcast (basically taking notes while listening) but the most interesting in our opinion are the last three points…

Marked as Forecast, which we have had a lot of lately…will review for accuracy in the future!

Have a Great “Kyle Bass” Forecasting 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

Continued Improvement in the US Economy … Monthly BLS Employment Report .. Unemployment Rate, Interest Rate Reaction

On Friday, August 6, 2021 the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) released the prior monthly (July 2021) employment related report. It is worth noting these are preliminary and will be adjusted in future months, but usually major adjustments are not in the picture….

Bottom Line:

943k hires in the month of July … NICE

5.4% Unemployment Rate as of July …Getting there (lower is better of course)

10 Year Treasuries Took note

BLS Unemployment Report for July 2021

The following Chart from the BLS may look unenthusiastic at first glance….. but hold on!

With the DRAMATIC volatility from the past year, the longer term chart does not give a true recent view…. Let’s look a little closer …. Much Better!

In much the same vein as above, the year view of the Unemployment rate does not look like a big deal as can be seen by the next chart!

On second thought, again with a closer view….. NICE! (We want a downward trending chart when measuring Unemployment)

10 Year Treasuries Wake Up

A measure of future expected growth, after some wrong sided players (shorting the 10 year in expectation of much higher rates faster) blew up pushing yields possibly incorrectly lower….

From Business Insider here

A hedge fund reportedly lost $1.5 billion in a bond market short-squeeze as bets on rising rates turned sour

These Good Economic Numbers put yields on the move higher (far right of chart)!

Continued improvement would likely force the FOMC to slow asset purchases…. as discussed here much desired by many !

Have a Great “Good Economic News” and analysis Monday!


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

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