Category Archives: Monthly Review

January 2018 Podcast Video, Financial Planning and Capital Market Update- By John Kvale

Hello and Welcome to our January 2018 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 format.

January 2018 Video

Financial Planning Tip (s) –

Fraud Reminderthief

Two and 1/2 issues in one week… No one was harmed, but it was a great reminder, they are out there!

As we mentioned in our post just prior to this one, the Grand Enchilada of Tax Forms enters the mail and electronic systems this week. These most popular forms are due by the end of January and fraudsters are taking notice.

Keep your eyes and ears out for anything suspicious!

Vault Saves Day Twice

Here in our real life experience post, we ended up needing the Vault to help save time and a HUGE hassle at a far distant Tennis Tournament. Who would have thought they would be so strict in identification at a Tennis Tournament?

Here is a neat reminder of what might do into your very own Personal Vault:

Legal Documents □ Wills □ Deeds □ Revocable & Irrevocable Trusts □Power of Attorney □ Codicils (Supplements made to a Will) □Living Wills/Health Directives □Prenuptial Agreements □ Buy/Sell Agreements □ Contracts Social Security and/or Veteran’s Administration Info Insurance Policies (Life, LTD, Disability, Medical, Car, Property) Medical Records Bank & Investment Statements □Pensions, IRAs, passport-2642170__340Annuities etc. □Investment Accounts □Stock Options/Certificates Liabilities □List of Credit Cards with contact information □ Mortgages □Loans Taxes □Tax Returns □ W-2 Forms Identification □ Birth Certificates □ Drivers Licenses □Passports Family □ Adoption Papers □ Marriage License □Pictures □ Audio Files □ Video Clips Property □Titles to Homes, Autos, Boats, etc. □ Warranties Employment Benefits

Capital Market Comments

Interest Rates

10 Year Treasury touches 2.70% – Where to next?

After floundering in the low 2% range, it appears interest rates may be on the rise. This is just in time as the FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) are set to raise short term rates several times this year and the one thing we DO NOT WANT is an inverted yield curve (more on this another time).

We have argued higher rates are helpful as long as they move gradually.

So far so good!

1-29-18 10 Year Treasury

Have a Great Day!

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 2017 Podcast Video, Financial Planning and Capital Market Update- By John Kvale

Here is our December 2017 Monthly review. If you are too busy to read, feel free to listen as we describe our post and thoughts in friendly podcast format.

So Long 2017 … Hello 2018 .. Nice to see you!

December 2017 Video

Financial Planning Tip (s) –

You have been IRMMAAtized – Options for Relief

In our post, here and here we discuss the Medicare Means testing levels, both historic and what we are faced with in 2018.

Due to the faster lower Tiers of income, the Social Security Administration has casted a wider net for all of us.

Here are the new levels, again from our post AND in even GREATER details in our Q1 2018 Newsletter.

2017 V 2018 Medicare IRMAA levels

A life event change may create relief – Life events not limited to the following-

  • Marriage
  • Divorce/Annulment
  • Death of Your Spouse
  • Work Stoppage
  • Work Reduction
  • Loss of Income-Producing Property
  • Loss of Pension Income
  • Employer Settlement Payment

Please see our Q1 2018 Newsletter for detailed instructions on how to get relief from these faster grabbing surcharges.

Personal Spring Cleaning in the WinterUnsubscribe monitor-608241__340

Personal Reminder Email Tip

In our post mid-month here we discussed cleaning your emails to lower the Tidal Wave of daily emails.

After almost four weeks we are down to a trickle.

What was most interesting were the different experiences of who was up front and nice about the “Unsubscribe” request and who was down right dirty about letting us off their list. Surprised and disappointed with some companies.

Capital Market Comments

VIX – Fear Index Goes into Hibernation

We initially wrote in our Newsletter article and Blog post here, the VIX went to sleep … after another few closes below 10, we are coining it “Hibernation”

VIX as of 12-15-17

From 1990 to 2016 this Fear index closed below 10 a total of 9 times. During the year 2017, it has closed below that level 52 times and counting !!

Wow … Hibernation!

Interest Rate Increases

Just few years ago, with former FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) chair Ben Bernanke running the show, a miscalculated mention of a pending interest rate increase threw the Capital Markets into a tail spin – and that was just a mention of one small .25% increase. WOW-

When the history books are written on this period of time, FOMC members “Listening” to markets may be prominent, and possible reason for success.

In 2017, the FOMC raised rates 3 times with very little market disruption. They are on record for 3 more in 2018. The best part of this, market participants are not throwing a hissy fit and seem to be welcoming the increases.

Today, we think NOT increasing the rates as forecasted would cause more harm than increasing – exactly the opposite of just a few years ago. Way to pivot FOMC officials.

2017 Fed Funds Rate Bar Graph

 

Happy New Year!

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

November 2017 Podcast Video, Financial Planning and Capital Market Update- By John Kvale

Here is our November 2017 Monthly review. If you are too busy to read, feel free to listen as we describe our post and thoughts in friendly podcast format.

Enjoy!

November 2017 Video

 Thank You Holiday Party Goers!

arboretum-after-hours-800x800

Financial Planning Tip(s)-

RMD – Required Minimum Distribution Reminder

In our post here this month, we reminded all of those with birthdays between 7-1-46 and 6-30-47 that have the unique option of deferring their first mandatory RMD taxable distribution to next year, but if you do that will mean you need to take two distributions in the same year.

Considerations:

  • Higher/Lower Income
  • Bigger/Smaller Expenses
  • More/Less Donations

The first year is the only time we get this option, all the future years are mandatory with not option.

Capital Market Comments

A lot of positive indicators – Markets taking notice

It appears the US and Global Economies are finally making a synched recovery. Capital Markets are taking notice.

As we mentioned here, Unemployment rate hit a very low 4.1%

11-1-17 Unemployment rate 10 year trailing

This time, International Markets have wind in their sails as well….

MSCI Global Index

11-30-17 EFA Global

See you on the other side of a New Year !

Happy Fall Season!

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

October 2017 Podcast Video, Financial Planning and Capital Market Update- By John Kvale

Here is our October 2017 Monthly review. If you are too busy to read, feel free to listen as we describe our post and thoughts in friendly podcast format.

Enjoy!

October 2017 Video

Break In – D Magazine Honors – Best Wealth Managers

We are super happy to be honored in D Magazines Best Financial Planner and Wealth Managers Award !!

Thanks so much and congratulations to our fellow recipients.

9-27-17 FINAL DMAG Spread

11th Consecutive Honor – John Kvale Best Individual Financial Planner

The 11th consecutive D Magazine best Financial Planner award was also in this edition and we are super happy to announce, John received his 11th consecutive nomination!DmagLogo

Wow and again thanks to our fellow recipients!

Financial Planning Tip(s)-

Social Security Increase

Don’t smirk at 2%, every penny counts! With a CPI (Consumer Price Index) increase of 2% year over year, the Social Security Administration passed the good news on earlier this month. Take that 2% increase and run!

img_0937

Capital Market Comments

Rates are Slowly Ticking Up

After much silence on interest rates, we have taken notice of recent movement as the global economy begins to pick up steam … Overseas seems to really be getting their act together.

10-24-17 10 Year Treasury

Consumer Sentiment Also Higher

The University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment hit a post “Great Recession” high this month.

With two thirds of our US Economy being based on consumer consumption, this bodes well for the Economy.

10-13-17 Consumer Sentiment

See you at the end of November, which also features our very special Blooper Thanksgiving Video from a few years ago!

Happy Fall Season!

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

September 2017 Podcast Video, Financial Planning and Capital Market Update- By John Kvale

Here is our August 2017 Monthly review. If you are too busy to read, feel free to listen as we describe our post and thoughts in friendly podcast format.

Enjoy!

September 2017 Video

 

Financial Planning Tip(s)-

Equifax breach

One of our most popular posts this month was here on the Equifax Breach.

Update, it appears the site Equifax set up, after entering some of our individual information to see if our privacy was compromised, defaults to yes for everyone.

The good news was this breach occurred months ago and if we have not had problems yet, at least the aggressive hackers are not using our information.

As mentioned in our post, it is not a matter or if, but when our personal information we be divulged. We need to all act accordingly and protect ourselves to prevent the eventual problems a loss of our information may create.

Real Estate Wire Fraud Issuesfraud-2695269_960_720

Briefly, this important  post about Real Estate Wire Fraud is worth noting again. While after the fact, this type of fraud looks easy to detect, in the throws of what is a stressful time (buying a new home or the like) fraudsters are taking advantage of our vulnerabilities.

If there are any last minute changes to your closing, BE SURE to contact the receiving party to confirm they are legitimate.

Capital Market Comments

United States Dollar Talk

With a few “Sky is Falling” US Dollar headlines, we addressed these concerns front and center in this Post and also in our coming newsletter with the chart below from our fellow blogger and former economist  Scott Grannis and Bloomberg.

20170907_150433563_iOS

Not only is the Unites States Dollar not undervalued, its still too strong using recent history as a guide!

See you at the end of October.

Happy Fall Season!

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

August 2017 Podcast Video, Financial Planning and Capital Market Update- By John Kvale

Here is our August 2017 Monthly review.

August 2017 Video

Financial Planning Tip(s)-

1 Minute Video Series – Six of them to be exact

Over the last six weeks we had fun recording our first series of videos on our New Total Vault …. A total of Six to be exact!

  1. Finding your Cool New TOTAL Vault
  2. Resetting the Password on your Cool New TOTAL Vault
  3. Uploading Important Docs to your Cool New TOTAL Vault
  4. Connecting outside Accounts to your Cool New TOTAL Vault
  5. Running nifty reports from your Cool New TOTAL Vault
  6. Constant Improvements coming from your Cool New TOTAL Vault

All of these can be found using our search feature on our blog here or here at our main website.

Capital Market Comments

The “Natural” rate of Employment/Unemployment

In this post during the month we take a deep look at the Unemployment rate and just why it was not different this time, but why it took so long to normalize.

img_0889

It is not to much of a stretch to think normalization took longer because it has been such a slow recovery. VERY SLOW — this recovery is the far right weak line with the lowest slope.

JPMorgan GDP expansion chart

See you at the end of September.

Happy Summer!

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

July 2017 Podcast Video, Financial Planning and Capital Market Update- By John Kvale

Here is our July 2017 Monthly review.

July 2017 Video

Financial Planning Tip(s)-

Why NOT to add After Tax funds to your IRA

We carefully reviewed the disadvantages of AFTER tax funds in and IRA as we ALWAYS want good savings habits, but there are more and less efficient ways to save funds.

Here are the key challenges with after tax funds in an IRA:

  • Upon eventual distribution you must calculate a distribution basis which will be different from your actual distribution – Easy for the IRS to confuse
  • You must carry the basis on your tax return- forever- IRS Form 8606 must be filed to keep up with your basis
  • Your heirs may also have to deal with this basis upon your death

1 Minute New Vault Videos

The fun summer New Vault Videos have begun. Holding them to just one minute has been a formidable challenge, but so far we have done pretty well…

Resetting the password of Our New TOTAL Vault

Here is the post of one of the most common questions for our New TOTAL Vault….

Resetting or Acquiring a New Password

Remember you can always easily email us for a quick reset… but if you want to do it yourself… here you go

 

Capital Market Comments

Janet starts Shrinking “The Balance Sheet

In this lengthy post, we take a complete dive into not only what is meant by “Shrinking” the Balance Sheet, but also how it was bulked up and what the next step may be.

img_0874

 

The line on the far right should begin to drop soon, moving back towards a more normal size Balance Sheet, like it was prior to the “Great Recession of 07-09” , shown by the far left of the chart.

See you at the end of August.

Happy Summer!

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