Category Archives: Performance Report Cover Letter

Second Quarter 2018 Cover Letter Review

On the road to nowhere? Or are we?

While capital markets around the globe may seem subdued, especially compared to last year’s movements, looking beneath the surface there is much going on.

Increased Company Earnings

With the corporate tax cuts, earnings are increasing. Public companies are enjoying terrific earnings growth and logging excellent earnings reports as the year continues. With little movement in capital markets and increased earnings, valuations by most any measure, are becoming less expensive. Also, worth notice in our Q3 Newsletter is a detailed article concerning lowered numbers of public traded companies, a possible source of different valuations moving forward.

Financially Happy Consumer

Broadly, the consumer from a financial standpoint is doing well. A happy consumer, leading to a more freely spending consumer, is an important point for the United States since the Gross Domestic Economy is made up of over two thirds consumer spending. Much of this financial happiness comes before a lower tax burden, likely to be felt by consumers next tax season – again in our Q3 Newsletter there are multiple family scenarios detailing the tax savings due next year.

Interest Rates

Market participants have digested multiple rate increases in stride, unlike times before. With gradual rate increases already occurring in the year, and more expected, normalization of interest rates is occurring without the fears of past. Being the first time in almost a decade to have rate increases, we are on Inverted Yield Curve watch (detailed article again in our Q3 Newsletter) as a possible predictor that rates have moved too far, and a signal of a possible recession. So far this has not occurred.

In closing, our patience theme from the beginning of the year seems to be still best suited.

Have a Great Summer!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

First Quarter 2018 Cover Letter Review

In true Groundhog like fashion, Capital Markets, after getting way ahead of themselves early in the quarter, saw their shadow only to turn, run and hide.

Included in the newsletter, which we sent early to give everyone a chance to view and remind of the tax strategies, is an article about the VIX and its reverse brother the XIV. These funny products along with the more recently noted tariff talk has been the recent excuse for capital markets to act like a bashful Groundhog.

The reality is capital markets got way ahead of themselves and needed time to rest. From our perch we would much rather them rest go sideways or even down a little bit, rather than getting WAY ahead of themselves like they did early in the quarter, only to quickly revert and likely overshoot to the downside.

Interest Rate Increase

In this most recent quarter we did just digest another small interest rate increase. Our new Federal Reserve Chairman Powell, looks to continue the gradual increase rates, slowly normalizing short term interest rates, and continuing on the path left by his predecessor Janet Yellen.

Capital Markets have a very unique way of signaling Interest rates have been raised too far called an inverted yield curve. Look for rhetoric about an inverted yield curve soon, as the historic importance and accuracy of this effect are in our crosshairs at this time.

Consumer and Earnings

With an economy that is two thirds driven by the consumer, a happy and spending consumer along with company earnings, which are beginning to digest the new tax reform, lead to a good backdrop.

As we mentioned in our Newsletters and repeatedly at street-cents, this is likely a year we will need patience, we see no change in that view at this time.

Have a great spring, talk to you in the summer!

Sincerely,

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Fourth Quarter 2017 Cover Letter Review – Private Policy

Do you recall the last time you went to a movie, maybe even begrudgingly, because expectations were low, but the movie turned out good, making for a wonderful surprise? Starting out the new year of 2017, most, including us had minimal expectations for the year 2017; A bad movie.

What If We Already had a Bear Market?

In our “What if we already had a Bear Market?” article in the coming Q1 2018 Newsletter the early 2016 drops across most asset classes except the more popular ones were 20% to over 30%. While markets don’t usually repeat, they often rhyme, again setting low expectations for the 2017 movie.

Sleepy VIX

Not only did we not start out bad, (Good Movie) but we may have just experienced a generational “Fear-Less” year. In our record breaking low “VIX Fear” article again in our coming Newsletter, a reading less than 10 on the VIX (Volatility/Fear Index) had occurred just 9 times over the last 26 years. Our surprisingly good movie year recorded 53 end of day VIX closings below 10, five times as many as ever recorded. Good movie.

Interest Rates

Post great recession of 2007-2009 most expected the FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) controlled rates ascent to begin moving back up as they always did through history. Thanks to a stubborn, data watching, Janet Yellen (FOMC Chair) rates have been correctly moved up gradually. The current Federal Funds rate was increased 3 times in 2017, once in December to the targeted level of 1.25-1.5%. Officials are on record for another 3 moves or .75% in the next year, gradually pushing rates nearer their more normal historical levels.

Janet Yellen will be leaving her post next year and we look for her replacement to continue on the transparent, methodical, data watching, path of rate increases that keep market participants personal VIX/Fears in check.

Next Year’s Movie?

Looking into next year’s movie, we think it is healthy to have a conservative view again. We are not predicting or welcoming a bad movie, but just staying vigilant! Good movie or bad, we will be prepared.

In Closing

Your Fourth Quarter 2017 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.

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

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.

Third Quarter 2017 Cover Letter Review

There are times when capital markets are sensitive to a whiff of any disturbances, with the least seeming un-important event causing dramatic sentiment and then of course capital movement.  

We are not in those times currently! 

Over the latest quarter, we have seen Mother Nature flex her muscles in some of the most terrible disastrous Hurricanes in a century. Participants and markets mostly relieved after the conclusion of multiple landings, took the damage in stride and continued to move forward.  

On a regular occurrence, over the last 90 days, international countries have fired powerful test fired weapons, garnering much headline banter from neighboring countries, United Nation members and multiple leaders of countries. Participants and markets yawned and moved forward again. 

An old foe of times past, debt ceiling concerns and debate, even arose during the latest quarter. Upon an extension capital markets had a relief moment but nothing near the size of just a few years ago, when even a whiff of debt ceiling talk sent participants running for cover and capital markets into a tailspin.  

Our friends at the FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) have set a plan to lower the balance sheet, over an extended period of time, slowly and diligently. Market participants and capital markets once again looked past the news and forward with very little disruption. 

Today, capital market are acting like the Eveready Bunny; they just keep going, which is fine by us, but there will be a day when that changes as this has been one of the longest runs in market history with not even a 5% correction.  

Happy Participants and Capital Markets have created a problem finding valuations that look inexpensive to reasonable as their ascent has pulled most domestic assets to high levels. Good news comes from our friend across the pond. It appears our international friends are getting their acts together in a big way and with a less rising Unites States dollar, the stars may be finally aligned for tailwinds from abroad. 

Our core article in the coming Newsletter discusses from a high level several valuation metrics, world capitalizations and even the US currency, its long-term average and recent movement. 

Historically we are entering a favorable time for market participants and capital markets as they frequently embrace in a positive way, the Holiday seasons. We will see if they do the same this year, and if not, we will be ready. 

Have a good fall season and we hope to see you at our Holiday Party at the Dallas Arboretum the Saturday before Thanksgiving weekend.

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

 

 

 

Rates Rise and No One Blinked, Report Cover Letter

The once dreaded and feared interest rate raise seems to have run its course from a fear standpoint. Just a few quarters ago when Ben Bernanke was the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) chairperson, the whisper of a long-awaited rate hike lead to market calamity and many to believe rates would be permanently artificially low.

Near the end of this most recent quarter, current FOMC chair Janet Yellen raised rates to the 1% level, a level not seen in almost a decade and without much capital market trepidation. Longer term the short-term interest rate controlled by the FOMC may not go all the way back to the higher levels once seen historically, however a 2-3% rate would still be stimulating from our perch. It is possible the gradual move higher will extend this current economic expansion.

Speaking of rates, in our Q3 2017 Quarterly Newsletter we do a complete deep dive on interest rates, among many other items, that may have changed Residential Housing Prices movement for the foreseeable future. While so many argue of reasons for Housing volatility, the answers are less vivid than many may think.

Continued optimism from company executives seems to have given them confidence to expand their businesses dropping the unemployment rate to levels many thought not possible via hiring’s of workers. It is possible an employed consumer is a happy consumer who is also a consumer who spends more. With consumer spending making up over two thirds of Gross Domestic Production (GDP) this bodes well for domestic and world growth, as long as it continues.

Given low but rising interest rates (finally) a happy higher price valued Home Owner (again full details in the Newsletter), a happily employed consumer, it is no wonder many assets and most capital assets, especially the US markets are priced to perfection (high compared to historical values). The fantastic news is that our overseas counterpart capital markets are not priced as high and it looks like investors are finally beginning to warm to their markets. Our good friend diversification keeps us exposed to these markets as the possibly reawakening occurs. Look for more on this on our street-cents.com blog.

Summer doldrums?

Maybe, but we always keep our guards up as risk can happen fast, even if the less tenured folks are at the wheel of the capital markets.

Have a Great Summer!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Q 2 2017 Cover Letter

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

 

Everybody is Happy! Q 1 Cover Letter

Everybody is Happy!

From Bloomberg Consumer Sentiment to Gallup Polls to the Conference Board and to our University Of Michigan Survey of Consumers (Multiple Polls reviewed in detail in our most recent Newsletter-coming to you soon) all are pointing higher, with some even pointing to all time highs.

A more pro-growth tone seems to have put wind in the sails of those polled as well as capital market participants. Heck, the most recent quarter even garnered an interest rate increase of a small .25% in the shorter term Federal Funds rate. Looking back just over a quarter and including December of 2016, there are now two interest rate increases under the FOMC’s (Federal Open Market Committee’s) belt. The first rate increase in this economic cycle, post 07-09 Great Recession started in December of 2015. According to many, created the “record breaking” rocky start a year ago. Fast forwarding to today, market participants and the economy for that matter, seem to welcome a normalization of short term rate increases.

Speaking of rate increases, under normal circumstances all other items being held equal, which then never are, interest rate increases are a muzzle on the economy and in many cases are the cause of a larger slowdown or recession. The problem with this comparison is rarely have short term rates been zero, which they were held at for over five years in this economic cycle. It is possible that an increase of rates from such a low level to a more normal level may actually be energizing rather than resistance as past comparisons may show.

Is there a downside?

Capital markets look forward, usually 6-12 months. All this positive sentiment has led to stretched valuations from a historical point. The current Price/Earnings ratio, again shown in our latest newsletter, finds itself at 26, with a long term average of 15. Just as economic cycles do not die of old age, capital markets do not go down just because their valuations may be stretched. Higher valuations can lead to less room for errors, not a time to let our guards down and also not a time to be swinging for the fences, however valuations can return to normal simply with all this positive sentiment translating into higher world capital market earnings. Said another way, “Growing into the current Valuation.” Time will tell, and we will be watching closely.

Spring seems to finally have sprung, enjoy !

Sincerely,

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Enclosure (Q 1 Report)

Q 4 2016 Report, Private Policy Statement 

They did it again; Pollsters zero, people two!

In the last quarter of the year, the pollsters completely missed the mark on the US Presidential election, just as our relatives across the pond did earlier in the year on the British vote to leave the Euro, also known as Brexit.

Very similar to the Brexit reaction, as the surprise became a reality, capital markets swooned with the old faithful Dow Jones average dropping over 800 points in the thinly traded futures markets around the world near the middle of the night USA time.

With even faster speed than the Brexit reaction, market participants came to their senses and began making fascinating bets, moves, and adjustments to take into consideration what the surprise nomination may mean in the future. As mentioned in our Q1 2017 Newsletter, interest rates began moving up in dramatic fashion, this time without concern by capital market participants.

Did we mention the FOMC raised rates?

In December of 2015 the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) raised rates .25%, leading many to find cause and effect for the terrible beginning to 2016. See our 2016 review again in our Q1 2017 Newsletter with a terrific chart of the start of the year, along with descriptive highlights of the year.

In the most recent quarter, specifically December of 2016, Janet Yellen and crew at the FOMC once again raised rates from .25 to .50% on the very short time frame feds funds rate. They also spoke of multiple rate increases to come in 2017. This time, unlike the beginning of 2016, market participants yawned at the move, with the afore mentioned market participants not only expecting the rate increase, but welcoming future increases. The FOMC has moved from the lead story to almost unfindable as market participants seem to be less concerned with deflation and looking ahead to a possible bout of healthy but subdued inflation.

Taxes

While there are MANY items on the table for tax reform, we prefer waiting until laws are passed before making too many actual planning adjustments. There are major reforms being spoken of from Estate to Personal Income taxes that may have planning implications if enacted. Rest assured we are on top of these and will monitor and happily adjust as clarity occurs.

In Closing

Your Fourth Quarter 2016 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.

Have a Fantastic start to 2017!

Sincerely,

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Enclosure (Q4 2016 Report)
Private Policy Statement

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.