Tag Archives: Bernanke

December 2013 Monthly Review (Video)

Welcome to our Monthly review video where we look back each month and highlight important items and MAYBE  few crumbs the crowd missed.

 http://youtu.be/KdQbx6fSWmI

Click here if all else fails

Vimeo if all all else fails.

Bernanke Begins Removing the Punchbowl

In surprise move the FOMC zigged a little and threw the street off (present party included) by slowing the asset purchases by $10 billion monthly in December. Our thinking was skeptical of this move due to the Bernanke sunset term (Janet Yellen takes over in late January) and the moderate economic numbers. No matter the reason, we are very happy at the move as were market participants.

Recall the FOMC had instated a $85 billion monthly asset purchase to artificially lower longer term interest rates in order to stimulate the economy, especially housing. Their announcement included not only at $10 billion trim of asset purchases to $75 billion monthly but also the vague intent to continue the declined purchases at each of the FOMC meetings in 2014, thereby being completely out of the asset purchase game by year-end 2014 …. if all goes well. Horaay we say as we have desired this slowing of stimulus for some time.

All eyes including ours will be watching the 10 year treasury rate (below, a multi-year chart of 10 year treasury), mortgage-backed security rates and Municipal Bond rates. We desire a smooth increase, of course markets can be vicious, so outcomes may be different…. So Far so good!

10 Year Treasury 2011-2013 Chart

Goldilocks is in the House … A Strong December Finish

There is nothing more that can be said about much of 2013 other than, not too hot, not too cold….just perfect….Oh I am sorry that is little Red Riding Hood…well the shoe may fit. 2013 may go down as the Goldilocks, Little Red Riding Hood year in many books with December capping off a sugary ice cream topping desert year.

Not to steal too much from our pending Newsletter, but 2013 was a VERY friendly equity capital market. Unfortunately it just does not always work that way. Sometimes it giveth and often times it taketh…. Attached is a chart showing the draw downs annually. Notice how small 2013 was/is.

Intrayear-1024x592

Diversification Will Always Win

As we say goodbye to 2013 and especially December, we wanted to re-iterate the MOST important item in investing in the current economic and political condition is to stay diversified. While we lean in certain directions, we always recommend a toe in most collective investment waters for safety, participation and good long-term outcomes. It is never a good idea to have all our collective chickens in one basket!

Diversification

Have a Great Day!

John Kvale CFA, CFP

8222 Douglas Ave # 590
Dallas, TX 75225
http://www.jkfinancialinc.com
http://www.street-cents.com

Bernanke Uncorks the Champaign Early … Friday

In a so-called seasonally light week of events, earnings, and Economic numbers, we decided to also go light with our charts of fun, here and here. Bernanke turned a light week into a very important one.

Bernanke Begins the Taper

On Wednesday the FOMC lead by Ben Bernanke as outgoing chair (Janet Yellen takes over at the end of January 2014) found enough evidence in the Economic tea leaves to slow the stimulus currently in the form of $85 Billion in monthly fixed purchases, artificially lowering interest rates (lowering from $85 Billion to $75 Billion monthly.)Pop The cork

Markets cheered more than we expected and interest rates have behaved post Bernanke taper. We have been wanting this to begin since summer and were very unhappy when the FOMC passed just before the government shut down. Maybe the relief we felt was also shared by other market participants and they responded by bidding markets higher. Time will tell!

TODAY IS FRIDAY and that means the end of another terrific week and the beginning of a Holiday Shortened two weeks. Next week the office will be closed on Christmas through the weekend. The following week is also a partial week with New Year’s landing in the middle. Suffice it to say money will be moving MUCH slower as skeletal crews will be manning all stations.

We will remain lightly tethered and ask if you have an emergency you email us!

Remember to spend time with those special in your life …. it seems only minutes ago we were welcoming all to 2013!

Best wishes and Season’s Greetings!!!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

http://www.jkfinancialinc.com
http://www.street-cents.com
8222 Douglas Ave # 590
Dallas, TX 75225

Obama Boots Bernanke….Who will step up to the plate?

We spoke at the beginning of this year (here) that Ben Bernanke’s term would be over in early 2014 and there would be much talk on his continued service or not.

Missing Jackson Hole

Bernanke’s announcement that he would not attend one of the many but important FED meetings in Jackson Hole Wyoming was our first signal. While not mandatory, attendance is certainly expected at the Jackson Hole FED meeting.

Obama Gives Big Ben the Boot

Recently president Obama in a Charlie Rose interview completely tossed Bernanke under the bus with a comment of most notably “He has stayed longer than necessary” Yikes, to us his fate was sealed at that moment and whileBoot President Obama’s statement was possibly without tact, the point was made.

All Eyes on the Successor

At this time it appears Janet Yellen is the leading candidate, but there is a lot of political ground to be covered before the transition. At our Axel Merk Roundtable event, Merk stated Yellen would make Bernanke look like a hawk, meaning more stimulus over less in the future. We will see! With the US FOMC chairman being one of the most powerful positions in the US and debatably the world, we expect a lot of conversation and debates between now and early 2014.

Have a Great Day!

John Kvale

PS A travel day today…but back tomorrow !

http://www.jkfinancialinc.com
http://www.street-cents.com
8222 Douglas Ave # 590
Dallas, Tx 75225

Last Chance to See Axel Merk…..Keep the Questions coming

The final touches are in on the Axel Merk event and the timing could not be better.

With the recent Bernanke Punchbowl Removal we cannot wait to discuss the global possibilities and consider ourselves extremely lucky on the timing.

Please keep sending your questions to cathy@jkfinancialinc.com we have had great thought-provoking questions currently, but are happy for additional ones that may inspire topics in other unique directions.

June 27th 6:00-7:30 PM

Park City Club

Round Table Discussion with

Axel Merk

Axel Merk

and

Clients of J.K. Financial, Inc.

Have a good Monday!

John Kvale

PS I have great news provided by D Magazine that we will share later as the stage belongs to Mr. Merk at this time.

http://www.jkfinancialinc.com
http://www.street-cents.com
8222 Douglas Ave # 590
Dallas, TX 75225

More Positives …Housing…we are not kidding !!

In light of our prior post of 17 out of 18 articles being negative in our local business section, we wanted to comment on the latest Case Shiller release of housing prices. This lagging index (by design this index uses delayed data for accuracy purposes, thereby resulting in a lagging of data) is currently giving clear signals that housing has finally lifted itself from the doldrums. Do not get us wrong, we are not saying it is off to the races, but when our slow dog begins getting his legs under himself, he is no longer a drag on the economy and may be an addition sooner rather than later.

Here is the Nov 27, 2012 chart:

You immediately notice that we are way off the top and finally off the bottom (reversion to the mean..a topic for another time) but it looks like after a head fake or two, our housing dog is no longer floundering.

Why is this important?

At near peak growth in housing, (yes this was overheated at the time, but bear with me) this sector contributed almost 20% to GDP. In Q42011 that number fell to less than 15% according to NAHB report, getting to that level was a huge drag on our total GDP.

One can easily infer a stronger housing sector may add jobs, increase optimism, and partially offset any fiscal cliff issues that may come from beaurocratic gridlock.

If this does in fact pan out, we will give Big Ben his due as we have been VERY skeptical of his continued “Juice is Loose” money fire hydrant!

We hope you enjoyed another positive amongst a recent world of negatives !

Have a Great Day!

JK

PS This is no recommendation to go buy a second home, there are still dragons out there in specific parts of the country…but they are smaller dragons, never the less!

214-706-4300
http://www.jkfinancialinc.com
8222 Douglas Ave # 590
Dallas, TX 75225

A Market Update and our thoughts…..Congrats to Donald “The Brain”

Many may blame the election results for the recent market movement, but this is not 100% true.  We would argue that the sugar induced (QE3)  market has run its course from the FOMC’s recent announcement and we are just now back to reality, and closer to fair value, by our estimate.

Here is a chart of the S&P 500:

Over the last several days, post-election, capital markets have been droopy and retreated slightly. It is worth taking note of our description,  “droopy” and “retreating” as the total market movement from the Bernanke “Juice is Lose” run is just 5% lower from its peak.

Markets can, and do, overshoot on the downside, just as they get too optimistic on the upside. The good news is they usually find their footing and these over reactions create opportunities for those willing to keep a steady hand.

Have a Great Day!

JK

PS Donald “The Brain” carded his first hole in one recently…congrats Donald we know your investment picks are as good as that swing…Well Done!

214-706-4300
http://www.jkfinancialinc.com
8222 Douglas Ave # 590
Dallas, TX 75225

With the USA Election in the books, key events coming soon!

With the re-election of President Obama, all eyes will turn toward the next hurdles!

We have crowed about the Fiscal cliff and with a decided election vote (no extended time needed for a decision…taxes are set to rise dramatically on 12-31-12) a maximum amount of time is available for getting our taxable ducks in a row.  We know it is a big decision and wish all political participants play nice together and come to a positive decisive resolution (sooner rather than later would be great too!)

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has hit the eject button and will leave his post shortly after year-end as well. Larry Fink of Blackrock is the whispered successor at this time.  This presidential nominated and senate approved post is heavy on work and light on accolades. Capital market participants including ourselves would like a clear runway to the next person holding the post.

Looking even further into the future, FOMC chairman Ben Bernanke has stated he wished to no longer hold his position after year’s end 2013. We will be interested to see if this statement sticks. For those conspiracy theorists, recall Greenspan was repeatedly asked to extend his stay and conceded after multiple retirement announcements.

Have a great day!

JK

214-706-4300
http://www.jkfinancialinc.com
8222 Douglas Ave # 590
Dallas, TX 75225

The Great Disconnect…Our Worry

With glass half full personalities and attitudes we always error on the greener side of the argument, however when it comes to capital markets and their actions we feel it very important to remain fully objective.

Currently we feel the markets are overvalued due to Bernanke’s “Juice is Loose” monetary program, among other things.  We will know if the fullness of time what the end game is, but here is our concern:

If the capital markets become too disconnected to fundamentals on the upside, this can happen on the downside as well!

Unfortunately, the pain of down market times are much stronger and seem to last much longer (time goes slowly when your sick) than the overly positive antitheses position.

We certainly do not FEAR the disconnect, we just feel it worth reminding you and also ask you remember these “Good” times so we can call on them in the future, as needed.

Today I jump on a plane and head out-of-state for the remainder of the week, however, I will be in constant contact with the office.

Have a Great Day!

JK

214-706-4300
www.jkfinancialinc.com
8222 Douglas Ave # 590
Dallas, TX 75225

Pontification by Zigg, our own lonesome dove

For those who are unfamiliar with Zigg, our contrarian friend who shows up at times of extremes, here is a recent conversation with a few of his thoughts.  Zigg is of course our mythical friend who has no barriers of speaking and thus always tries to speak his mind candidly.

Zigg told me he has great concerns about Mr. Bernanke and his money printing as he might want to save the printing presses for a REALLY rainy day. Here are a few of Ziggs thoughts:

  1. The bigger the hole we dig the harder it is to escape (think debt)
  2. Interest rate vigilantes are watching the US and too much debt may have the exact opposite effect as desired, rising rates rather than firmly lower
  3. Less is more as even too much of a good thing will cause you to lose  reality

Maybe the real reason for Zigg’s less than recent positive view was near the conclusion of our most recent visit, Zigg let it slip that his son had recently graduated college. All through college Zigg had been sending him a nice amount of money on a monthly basis to keep his bills low and overhead down. Apparently Zigg’s son thought this monthly amount was just fine for him as he had grown to expect it, and after graduation directed his old dad to just send the monthly money to his son’s new island.  Upon confrontation by Zigg, his son stated it was a troubling economic times and he just thought it better to not change a thing (more QE please.) I did not pry any further into their personal affairs.

Ziggs Son

We hope you enjoy Zigging while other Zagg and have patience with our parity.

Thanks for reading us this week and have a great weekend!

JK

214-706-4300

http://www.jkfinancialinc.com

8222 Douglas Ave Suite 590

Dallas, TX 75225

Two Thumbs Up for Bernanke (First Post FOMC Press Meeting a Success)

My biggest fear in Bernanke’s first public, history making, speech today, was the time he was to be in front of the group.

Today, Big Ben led with a reading of notes and press releases, much like a teacher would at the start of class. This in effect shortened the impromptu portion of his press meeting and set the tone for the entire meeting. In our opinion, mission was accomplished by humanizing the Fed and taking much of the mystery out of our Financial leaders decisions and policy making process.

Bottom Line, Two Thumbs Up!

Have A Good Rest of the Day!

JK