Category Archives: World Political

Tariffs and Trade Wars, Analysis, History

Last Friday, rhetoric erupted once again concerning Tariffs and Trade Wars…. For some, present parties included, it seems like this is the first time we have experienced this type of talk.

Our friends from Visual Capitalist are here to rescue our memories and remind us all, this is far from the first Rodeo on Tariffs…. it’s actually been going on for 100’s of years…. note the interesting progress (lowered trading costs over time!)

For those wanting a detailed analysis Scott Grannis chimes in and does a great job explaining in great detail…

Here is your chart:



Have a Great “Trade Wars History Perspective” Day!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.
A Dallas Texas based fee only
Financial Planning Total Wealth
Management firm.


Tariff Update – AKA Trade Wars in the Old Days – Sure Enough we have been here before?

Over the past 30 years, much of what we learned are what opinions to trust, which views to listen to, and more importantly, who to tune out.

Scott Grannis, former chief economist for a large financial company and currently retired with no intention of returning to work (NO BIASES!) is one of our favorite reads. Here is a very small portion, but a favorite on the Tariff wars from Scott and his Blog “Calafia Beach Pundit” – he lives in CA currently.

“In the past 12 months, the US has imported about $525 billion of Chinese goods, while at the same time exporting to China only $135 billion. China is selling almost four times more “stuff” to us than we are selling to them. So, the thinking goes, if both countries jack up tariff rates to prohibitive levels, the Chinese have much more to lose than we do, particularly since our economy is still half again as big as China’s. At some point the Chinese will wave the white flag, we’ll all agree to reduce or eliminate tariffs and intellectual property right theft, and sweetness and light will return to international trade relations.

We can’t rule out a successful end to today’s tariff wars, but neither can we be confident that they will inexorably lead to a repeat of the Smoot-Hawley tariff wars which in turn led to the Great Recession. I continue to believe that tariffs are so universally understood to be bad and even stupid that eventually our leaders will do the right thing and make trade freer and fairer. Why bet against what would be a win-win for all parties? (Zero tariffs are an economist’s dream, since by facilitating free trade they would be a boon to all countries.)”

Trade Wars History – This is not our First Time

Follow his comments up with an excellent updated chart on the subject matter from our friends at Visual Capitalist, and we will let you formulate your own opinion – an opinion that is likely more updated than before reading this post!

Have a “Tariff Trade War 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.

10 Most Impressive Civil Engineered Projects – How Many Have You Seen In Person?

Near quarter’s end we end up heavy and deep into the “Financial Stuff” which at times can be BOOORING – We know and apologize…

Here is a challenge from a terrific graphic from our friends at Visual Capitalist –  not directly financial HEAVY stuff…

How Many of these have you seen in person? I bet someone out there has seen them all – let us know !

No cheating – you had to have been there in person with your own two feet! haha

10 Most Impressive Civil Engineered Projects


Full Disclosure – only two for yours’ truly – But not giving up, there is still time!

Have a Great “10 top Civil Engineered” Day!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.
A Dallas Texas based fee only
Financial Planning Total Wealth
Management firm.

The Six Letter Word – T A R I F F

Un-like the three letter word that is most prevalent on OUR minds currently … TAX …

Capital Markets have concerns of a six letter word ….

TariffTariff Wine

It’s such a little word, it almost needs to be bigger to show its’ importance…

Just in case you have not seen some of the rhetoric blowing capital markets around, the US and China are talking trade war, which is putting fear on everyone’s mind one day, then relief and rejoice the very next day … depending on the sound bite coming from each government official.

The reality is this will likely settle out some where in the middle.  Most will be happy … and we go along our collective merry ways. Until then, expect extra spicy headlines followed by more volatile Capital Markets.

It even could be just another excuse to find our footing after we got ahead of ourselves ….hmmm

Maybe a glass of Tariff Wine is just the ticket….

Patience is the key here!

Ok … back to Tax stuff !

Have a Great “Less Tariff Worry” Day!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.
A Dallas Texas based fee only
Financial Planning Total Wealth
Management firm.

Presidents Day Reminder … Olympics .. Sentimental Friday …

In honor of President’s day, next Monday the 19th is a government, Capital Market, bank and Post office Holiday … Our office will be closed as well…presidents-day-3079810__340

After a huge Mid-Week Capital Market Post, we are going to keep this one short and sweet.


Hopefully you have been watching the Winter Olympics as much as we have. Congrats to all the men and women who have worked so hard to put themselves in such an honorable position.

Only a sporting event could unite two countries that have been at odds for so long.

Here is to wishing they remain friend for all of our well being after the event.

Sentimental Friday

Maybe it was the Valentines Day with the kids and seeing just how fast they grow. Maybe it is the winding down of Cathy as our office manager after 10 years. (She is retiring shortly.) Maybe it is the long weekend without tennis and good family time. Maybe it is the shadow of anther spring about to bloom.

No matter what, maybe its a good time to take a moment to give thanks for all the great things we have and get to experience.

Have a Great Weekend … Back to business next week!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.
A Dallas Texas based fee only
Financial Planning Total Wealth
Management firm.


Q 1 2018 Newsletter Video Audio Podcast Review By John Kvale

Welcome to our Video and Audio Podcast Review of our Q 1 2018 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!


Q 1 2018 Newsletter


Medicare – IRMAA – Means testing

In this long overdue article we dig deep into the background of Medicare and the means testing of recent years. IRMAA, Income Related Monthly Adjustment Amount – AKA higher premiums thresh holds are analyzed and presented for 2018.

In the best part of this article we discuss what to do in order to lower your higher means testing Medicare Premiums.

Have We Already Had a Bear Market?

A Bear Market is generally defined as a drop of 20% or greater. In late 2015 – 2016 almost every asset category except the most popular dropped by 20%. In this article we discuss why this may be good news for the future of the current market.

VIX – A Fear Gauge Goes to Sleep

VIX a volatility (fear measure) rises when fear is rampant and slowly drifts lower when fear is absent. Over the last 26 years the VIX index has closed below 10 a total of 9 times. In 2017 this fear index closed below this level 52 times. We warn not to take these placid seas for granted.

First Time Personal Reflections

In this off the cuff article, we give thanks for all the wonderful things we have, what good things have come during the year and a general Thanks To All of YOU our clients and friends.


Ready or not … 2018 here we come!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.
A Dallas Texas based fee only
Financial Planning Total Wealth
Management firm.

Interesting comments from CEO of Mortgage Real Estate Investment Trust

Each year we are kindly invited to a terrific event of publicly traded companies by our friends at Three Part Advisors.

This year the event featured over 70 companies, mostly of smaller capitalization. We enjoy going to this event as a terrific way to really get into the weeds on what is going on in the Economy as well as learn more about the companies themselves.

Chance meeting and lunch Dynex CEO

One of the favorite sessions featured the CEO and Chairman Byron Boston. Luckily, after his discussion, we sat together at the same table for lunch … extending thoughts and comments from his public discussion.person-boston

As chairman of a publicly traded Mortgage REIT (Real Estate Investment Trust) Mr. Boston had/has (rates greatly affect his company) very strong opinions on rates among other things.   Of course our ears perked up when Mr. Boston gave his views and even some forecasts …

  • Rates will be lower longer this cycle
  • Highest rates of his lifetime (Wow- big statement) are in last 15 years
  • Global growth is coming, but more fragile than many think
  • Inflation will not get above 2%
  • Globalization has created an irreversible connectedness between our economy and the rest of the world (We could not agree more!)
  • If inflation goes over 2%, rates will go higher as well- I asked the question, but he did not think inflation would get over 2%

At lunch we had more candid hot topic conversations beyond my comfort zone of our blog.

We were VERY impressed with Mr. Boston. He gave his distinct thoughts with triggers for being wrong and right for that matter …. what is not to like!

We will code this forecast and check back again later to see how well Mr. Boston did !

Have a Great “More Rate Clarity” Day!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.
A Dallas Texas based fee only
Financial Planning Total Wealth
Management firm.