Category Archives: Interest Rates

From the Road … FOMC Takes Action Last Night in Response to Shutdowns and Economic Slowdowns

Not wanting to bring a knife to a possible gun fight, the FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) led by Jerome Powell announced multiple actions in response to Corona and the related shutdowns last night.

FOMC Lowers Rates, Lowers Bank Reserves and Adds Money

On Friday a coalition of private and public groups agreed to begin more testing for the Corona Virus… not surprisingly if you are able to test more, there have been more findings.

Last night the FOMC led by Jerome Powell announced multiple measures to help economic activity:

  • Lowering of Short Term Rates
  • Lowering of Bank Requirements AND encouraging Banks to lend to businesses, especially small businesses with the extra freed up reserves
  • Purchasing of Treasury and Mortgage Securities for Liquidity and lowering of rates

Friday, I mentioned multiple ways to think of the current events… given the above events, here is another example…

  1. The FOMC did all of this, it must really be bad…
  2. Not wanting to get behind, the FOMC is taking advanced actions to help stay in front of disruption and possible slowness…

Choice one is easy and likely will show up somewhere in your sights, if it has not already …. again, choice two is the positive, high road choice, and will only likely be seen here today!

Yes, events are making the Spring Break Trip hard to focus on family and friends, but in a strange way, maybe it is good to be out of the office!

Careful what you intake… drama rises to the top!

Rest assured, as you can tell, we have complete remote access…and again, we are a conservative firm by nature!

Have a Great “FOMC No Knife to Gunfight” 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

 

 

 

 

 

Mortgage Rates Reach ALL TIME LOW According to Freddie Mac … Get Ready, but Wait (days, not weeks) to Pull the Trigger …

As the experience notches in the belt gain in quantity, we have learned the follies of attempting to PREDICT or FORECAST events …. luckily we gave a soft “heads up” that rates MAY be in our corner due to the Corona Virus, and help with longer term Mortgage and other longer term fixed interest rate loans ….

Freddie Mac Reports Lowest Mortgage Rates EVER

According to Freddie Mac….

“The average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage hit a record 3.29 percent this week, the lowest level in its nearly 50-year history. ” 3-5-20

img_1354

Here is the deal…. rates fell AGAIN in the most recent week due to fears of Economic slowdown from the Corona Virus…. but maybe TOO FAST for Mortgage and other longer termed Fixed Rate loans to adjust … On Friday, after the above rates were calculated, the 10 year Treasury, our guidepost for rates, dropped another 22 Basis Points or almost another 1/4 point ….. 

Far right, the 10 year treasury yield fell like a rock as fear stoked investment from across the globe…. yesterday for the first time it took a breather as bonds fell and rates rose…no matter, these are Low Low Low rates!

3-10-20 Ten year treasury

Reach out to your bank, Mortgage Broker, or other refinancing officer, and get your documents in order … begin the qualification process but WAIT (days, not weeks) just a bit and check with your loan professional before locking that rate as it is likely the recent drop in rates has not yet dripped through the loan system…. hopefully better loan rates may be in our very near future…

Here is your friendly reminder on Refinancing or not:

“Think 18 months cost break even – We like to have the saving from the refinance cover the cost of the refinance within 18 months – i.e. Person with $30k mortgage at 5% probably would not need to refinance to 4%, but a $3 million mortgage may be smart to refinance from 4.25% to 4% or the like, if the numbers work out.”

Here is the complete Post which contains 11 items to remember when refinancing!

Take advantage of what cards we are dealt!

Have a Great “All Time Low 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

Interest Rates Presenting an Opportunity, Eventually … Current Freddie Mac Mortgage Rates as of Last Week

Really like to work on articles a few days, to even a few weeks (ever so often months) in advance … repeat visits to the draft make for a better post as different moods make for different views.

Well…given the speed of Capital Markets lately… a second or third look may garner a loss of possibility.

Break In: As mentioned above, things are moving quickly, yesterday early in the AM, FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) chaired by Jerome Powell lowered interest rates by .50 or 50 basis points as an insurance policy against slowing economic conditions. This does not directly affect loan rates, but speaks to a slower economic situation, which does effect rates across the board!

More on this at a later time…. but the following is an all time inter-day low yesterday for the 10 year treasury yield…at least for the moment!

img_6213

.91% – this from the cell, such the unusual format.

Break In Again: Interestingly, after a big rally on Monday and another set for today, the treasury yield is unexpectedly staying low and not rising dramatically in yield, which is what one would expect. This actually gives loan rates time to catch up in their possible slower decline – making this exercise all the better!

Now… let’s carry on …

Fixed Rate Loans, Especially Long Dated, such as 30 Year Mortgages Need Review

Not withstanding the comments in the opener, interest rates have dropped so fast on Virus fears and possible slowing economic conditions as a result that some loans may have not completely caught up as of yet…

3-2-20 Chart of 10 year Treasury

That is an all time low- WOW!

Freddie Mac Rates

Here are the latest average mortgage rates from Freddie Mac as of last week… they are posted only weekly….

2-27-20 Freddie Mac Avg Rates

Now is a good time to review any fixed rate loans, ESPECIALLY longer dated ones… in refinancing a mortgage, here is a detailed post, the following is the most important nugget from that post…

Think 18 months cost break even – We like to have the saving from the refinance cover the cost of the refinance within 18 months – i.e. Person with $30k mortgage at 5% probably would not need to refinance to 4%, but a $3 million mortgage may be smart to refinance from 4.25% to 4% or the like, if the numbers work out.

Have a Great “Fast Moving Markets” 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

February 2020 Podcast Video, Financial Planning and Capital Market Update – By John Kvale

Hello and Welcome to our February 2020 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!

Break In – Cool New Feature – In the past we have done our videos on YouTube and this video will also be on our Channel there, however, we have added new features to our site here, that allows us to embed the video here, AND you will not get hit with tons of advertising after the video…. hope you enjoy!

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!

February – 2020 Video

Financial Planning Tip (s) –

All About the ETF (Exchange Traded Fund)

In an abbreviated three part series, a preview to our extended Q2 Newsletter Article, we discuss the origination of the very first Index ETF called SPY nick named the Spider and then the proliferation, and finally in part 3 of our series the dangers of non liquid ETF’s during stress,… never knowing stressful times were just around the corner.

Here are links to each post:

Capital Market Comments

This is a year to date graph of the S&P 500, Dow Jones and the Russell 2000 (Small Companies) indexes.

A silly but true Wall Street Saying comes to mind…

“Markets Go Up on an Escalator and Down on the Elevator!”

We left a different chart off because it looks more dramatic and there is enough drama around the Virus and Market Reactions.

Couple of Interesting Statistics for you to keep the perspective

  • So far this season, 60 Million people in the US have contracted the flu (CDC)
  • So far this season, 14 thousand people in the US have died from the flu (CDC)
  • There are 22 – yes TWENTY TWO confirmed cases of Corona Virus infections at this time
  • One death from the Corona Virus
  • Capital Markets are where they were just 4 months ago – We got back there fast… see saying above

3-1-20 YTD Index Returns

Possible Chance – All time 10 Year Treasury Low

The chart below is of the 10 year treasury yield, which loosely correlates to Mortgage rates…

This is an all time low! 

We would wait a little before actually taking action, as the swift movement down in rates is likely not reflected yet- but get ready….

Touch base with your Mortgage Professional or us –

Consider Lowering and Locking any fixed rate mortgages or loans!

Here is a Detailed Article on our Thoughts

3-1-20 Treasury 10 year all time low

Have a Great Day – Talk to you at the end of March!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.
A Dallas Texas based fee only
Financial Planning Total Wealth
Management firm.
www.jkfinancialinc.com
street-cents

Thoughts On the Corona Virus and Market Reactions – Speed is Our Friend

This day is usually reserved for our end of the month video, or an easy Friday slide into the weekend post, however, we wanted to give you our thoughts and explanations regarding the Virus and Market Reactions.

Speed is Your Friend

Generally, recessions and deep Ugly Bear Markets, take time to occur…. the Wall Street name is “Rolling Tops” and long deep declines.  Fast forward to current conditions …. Think of 1987, 2011, 2016, 2018 and now today… these are quick drops … almost protests, by market participants, with much faster than normal recoveries…. We are certainly not guaranteeing this will occur again, but of the three most recent, the faster they fall, the faster they recover… The recent moves are over 4, yes FOUR days… (More to come in this repeated quick drops in the future!)

2-27-20 S&P 500

The Weatherman Affect

The CDC Center for Disease Control has been releasing information, especially serious information mid-week, that have directly and correctly affected the capital markets. The CDC needs to warn us for the worst possible scenario just like the weatherman needs to warn us for the tornado or hurricane, if not warned of the worst possible scenario, we may be in worse shape … and correctly complain of lack of information. This being said, some of the frightening statistics or actions that you may have crossed paths with, are likely not going to happen.

Capital Markets Finally Take Notice

Oddly from our perch, until this week, Capital Market (participants) basically ignored the Virus and the possible affects. This in part, may be why we are seeing such a big reaction (likely an over reaction) at this time!

Logically a virus that causes cities to shut down … no matter where they are, will lead to some type of economic slowdown.  Much to our surprise, capital markets, until recently had basically ignored this possibility. While we hate when capital markets go down, especially with such speed, there is a logical reason.

2-27-20 Index 5 days trailing

Due to the recent volatility, in groundhog like fashion we’re back where we started from and even a bit lower than the start of the year. Investors have acted rationally racing to the safety of bonds, pushing yields down, bond prices up as can be seen in the next graph. (Notice how the Yield spreads all collapse together recently, see next comments)

2-26-20 YTD Bond spreads

With spreads so close, and yields once again down (bond prices up- safety haven) it is not surprising, the inverted yield curve has once again raised its head.

2-26-20 Yield Curve 90 day 10 year 20 year chart

With market participants hating uncertainty,  until clarity is found concerning the spreading of this virus, we would expect capital markets to be very susceptible to headline stories, both positive and negative over reactions would not be surprising … Once again, another reason we like to have a conservative posture and will sit tight and be opportunistic as needed!

Hang tight, and pick your reading/viewing material carefully, it is very likely by the time it gets warm, much of this will be behind us, and a distant memory!

Enjoy your Friday and weekend…. sorry to be so heavy, but we wanted to share our candid thoughts!

Have a Great “Virus Updated” Friday!

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

 

Q 4 Quarterly Review Cover Letter – Private Policy

There is a very old, well known, Wall Street saying that goes something like this.

“The stock market will always climb a Wall of Worry!”

Oddly there are two themes that are conveyed in this saying.

  1. The obvious, a wall of worry creates enough doubt for capital markets to operate efficiently and rise
  2. The less obvious, when everything is clear and the sun is shining, sometimes it’s near the end of the expansionary times and happy capital markets.

As fast as this year went, our memories are still very clear on what capital markets look like just twelve months ago.

In chicken little like fashion the sky was falling, Capital Markets, and participants were throwing a giant hissy fit, and the federal reserve was cranking up interest rates to participants dismay.

With 2020 hindsight, a nice wall of worry was created.

With earnings being the ultimate driver of capital markets, a drop in earnings, a recession, or global slow down, would lead to the decline in capital markets but for now we certainly don’t have to worry about item two above in that old wall street saying.

Speaking of recessions, be sure to review the capital market article in our Q1 2020 Newsletter, concerning the lowering of rates while the inverted yield curve – a much talked about by us event, and somewhat disdained. As mentioned in the newsletter we ran across this information mid quarter, and certainly must acknowledge the history brought up by the speaker and his chart, which may avert a recession, at least for now

Also in the newsletter two, two -part personal financial planning articles, one dealing with inheritance and another dealing with automobiles that you may find interesting as these topics were repeated in our office throughout the final quarter of the year and made for a great subject.

Thank you for your time, thanks for reading our blog posts, newsletter and YouTube videos, we enjoyed bringing you all original, somewhat rough at times information as we see it through our eyes!

In Closing

Your Fourth Quarter summary is enclosed on the front page of this report we have included our most recent investment allocation from your Investment Policy Statement. This is also the time we attach our Private Policy Statement for the year along with our opportunity to offer our latest ADV filings; Requests for review will be accepted via phone, mail or email, and mailed immediately upon request.

Sincerely,

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Enclosure (2019 Report, Private Policy)

 

J.K. Financial, Inc.

PRIVACY POLICY NOTICE

Our Promise to You

As a client of J.K. Financial, Inc., you share both personal and financial information with us.  Your privacy is important to us, and we are dedicated to safeguarding your personal and financial information.

Information Provided by Clients 

In the normal course of doing business, we typically obtain the following non-public personal information about our clients:

  • Personal information regarding our clients’ identity such as name, address and social security number;
  • Information regarding securities transactions effected by us; and
  • Client financial information such as net-worth, assets, income, bank account information and account balances.

How We Manage and Protect Your Personal Information

We do not sell information about current or former clients to third parties, nor is it our practice to disclose such information to third parties unless requested to do so by a client or client representative or, if necessary, in order to process a transaction, service an account or as permitted by law

In order to protect your personal information, we maintain physical, electronic and procedural safeguards to protect your personal information.  Our Privacy Policy restricts the use of client information and requires that it be held in strict confidence.

Client Notifications

We are required by law to annually provide a notice describing our privacy policy.  In addition, we will inform you promptly if there are changes to our policy.

Please do not hesitate to contact us with questions about this notice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A True Yogi Berra saying may be fitting now – It’s like déjà vu all over again!”

Tariffs and Trade War Talks Continue

While the tariff banter seems relentless and every day changing, leading to Capital Market bipolar movements, one day irrational exuberance, and the next day irrationally depressed, as mentioned in our Q4 Newsletter, tariff talk has been going on for decades. With today’s constant bombardment of immediate news stories and short clips it seems, present party included, to be constant and all encompassing. The reality is this likely will work itself out, just as seen in the graph in the newsletter. Our bet is once the tariff talk turns into tariff agreements, we will see market relief and higher overall interest rates. For now, there’s no doubt that the tariff talk is slowing the global economy and there is no envy for public company managers trying to navigate the possible changes that occur on a day by day basis, making it very tough to stock inventory and make purchases.

Treasury Rates- Interest rate cycle

Given the afore mentioned Tariff Talk, FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) led by chief Jerome Powell and a company have embarked on a lowering of rates, twice to be exact, but only two .25 basis points each, in an attempt to help ease interest rate burdens and spur the economy. While not huge fans of the lowering of rates at this time due to gun powder needs at a future, when the inevitable recession occurs, at this time it appears we are on an interest rate decrease path, a complete 180° turn from just one year ago, when reserve officials were raising. If there is an agreement in Tariff talk, lowering of rates would likely stop, and we might even hear talks of raising, making for an interesting rate cycle. Time will tell.

Taxes or the savings of taxes paid

As we head into the final quarter of the year it’s time to make sure we’ve done all we can do for this years’ , especially items that have no look back features. As also mentioned in our Q4 newsletter, be sure to max those 401(k)s, contribute or distribute from 529‘s, complete Required Minimum Distributions (RMD’s) and make sure those charitable giving are complete this year, as all of these items have a hard stop year-end deadline.

Have a great day and start to fall!

Sincerely,

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Enclosure 2019 Report

Q 1 2020 Extended (12 Page) Newsletter Video Audio Podcast Review By John Kvale

Welcome to our Video and Audio Podcast Review of our Q 1 2020 Newsletter. For those on the road or just unable to grab the time to read, our podcast type review gives you the behind the scenes insight to our thoughts, observations and deep views of the entire Newsletter.

Click Here for direct link to an electronic version (an early peek-good ole fashion paper versions are on their way to you shortly) and here for our Newsletter page

Let’s get going!

All New Pictures, Intro and Exit Music !

Q 1 2020 Newsletter

Click for PDF/Printable Version

 

Is Inheritance Taxable ?

This, our lead financial planning article for the newsletter-  With the subject of inheritance and the taxability of it occurring multiple times in the most recent quarter, the idea for this article spawned.

After completing the initial article, a continuation article idea also occurred which made the second part of the inheritance subject matter about being separate property.

We hope you enjoyed both articles and this was our lead financial planning articles.

All about the Car

In another fun personal financial planning two – part article, long desired, but fearful of writing …this article discusses the car, should you buy or lease and how to do so. Again, a second article occurred at a chance meeting in an airplane with a former law officer watching me finish the first article on the airplane!

In doing the research for these articles we ran across a really cool car research site, and mentioned some great buying resources as well.

Recession Thwarted – Capital Market Thoughts

To ignore new evidence in our minds is silly even if it goes against the grain of what you may have been saying!

In this article we review a CFA speaker’s slide about lowering rates during a recession and his conclusion. Bottom line, we’ve not been a big fan of lowering rates during economic growth, but an inverted yield curve which is highly predictive of a coming recession, along with lowering of rates, according to the speaker and the enclosed chart leads to a thwarting of the recession.

We hope we are wrong on this one and the speaker is correct!



Reach back to last year’s taxes in savings you can do now

In this article we discuss the remaining tax savings ideas that we can do this year, that will help last year’s taxes-

  • The SEP – Simplified Employee Pension
  • HSA – for the Health Savings Account
  • IRA – An oldie but a Goodie if it’s available to you
  • Roth – While not a tax saver you can do it now for last year’s taxes
  • Itemized itemize itemize – With today’s high standard deductions you may not be able to itemize but we remind that it’s a good idea to stay in shape as it’s likely these itemize deductions may come back in the future

We hope you enjoy … talk to you in the Spring !!!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.
A Dallas Texas based fee only
Financial Planning Total Wealth
Management firm.
www.jkfinancialinc.com
www.street-cents.com

December 2019 Podcast Video, Financial Planning and Capital Market Update – By John Kvale

Hello and Welcome to our December 2019 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!

December – 2019 Video

Financial Planning Tip (s) –

12-31-19 Secure Act House Ways and Means

SECURE Act is Signed at the Finish Line of the Year

As mentioned here in our preview post, with a stroke of a pen on the Saturday before the Christmas week, the SECURE ACT (Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement) – Wow that is a mouthful!

The Biggies:

  1. Age 72 RMD, up from the confusing 70.5
  2. Non-Spouse 10 Year Mandatory distributions of Inherited IRA – Mandating taxes by beneficiary

Tons of planning techniques and lots more to the law, but these again are the biggies!

Capital Market Comments –

FED Pauses and Markets Yawn… Finally

The FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) led by Jerome Powell and company, FINALLY were able to not lower rates and market participants accepted it… Shhh, lets keep it our secret..haha

12-16-19 Fed Funds Rate

 

Happy 2020!

Have a Great Day – Talk to you at the end of January!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.
A Dallas Texas based fee only
Financial Planning Total Wealth
Management firm.
www.jkfinancialinc.com
street-cents

Shhh … FED Quietly Pauses … Finally

The FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) led by Jerome Powell, quietly paused this week.

FOMC No Change

Mid-Week, the FOMC announced no change in their controlled short term interest rate.

12-16-19 Fed Funds Rate

We have been vocal about not lowering rates moving forward, to keep some gunpowder for the next recession.

After a market desired multiple small lowering of rates earlier this year, this week, the FOMC effectively did nothing, and did not disturb Capital Market Participants… finally.

They also made no future promises, again, with market blessings…

We like it!

Have a Great Friday!

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

November 2019 Podcast Video, Financial Planning and Capital Market Update – By John Kvale

Hello and Welcome to our November 2019 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!

November – 2019 Video

Financial Planning Tip (s) –

Email is the New Physical Address – Harder to Change

With email replacing our home address in importance, its not a surprise and only a mild inconvenience (due to the safety) to have to get a signed form in order to change our address.icons-157872__480 email address

In our descriptive post on the subject, we also predict eventually we will all likely be forced to transact most of our business in a paperless way….  Uncomfortable for many, but much better for our environment in the long term!

Why an Inheritance is Usually NOT Taxable

After running into this question numerous times we did a post here, and will also have an expanded article coming in our Q1 2020 Newsletter.inheritance

For the most part, inheritances are not taxable and in our post we go over the reasons why, and discuss techniques for being most tax efficient.

Just after this post a good follow on subject directly related to this post occurred that will go well in our “Why” Series Collection – Watch for another Inheritance Related Post and likely Newsletter Article !

 

Capital Market Comments –

When FED lowers, Recession Averted? Hmmmm

Near the end of the Quarter, as mentioned in our Fire Hydrant CEO post here, we ran into a most interesting chart (below)….

A first ever to see, the speaker points out that recessions are averted when the FED (Federal Open Market Committee – Jerome Powell the leader currently) lowers rates during an inverted yield curve… hmmmm

Not to worry, doing more research on this … oddly the speaker did not think much of Powell’s economic prowess, but spoke firmly that due to his LACK of horsepower on the Economy he may have a better chance of soft landing this slowdown…

 

img_5485

Always learning!!

Have a Great Day – Talk to you at the end of December!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.
A Dallas Texas based fee only
Financial Planning Total Wealth
Management firm.
www.jkfinancialinc.com
street-cents