Tag Archives: Consumer

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!


John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Pay them More and they will be Happy – Friday

This post was booted due to the Surprise Presidential Election results… but it is important enough we wanted to mention it anyway…

Fridays are usually reserved for a light glide into your weekend… Hey… next week is Thanksgiving… we can suck up a heavy Friday Post before Thanksgiving… right? Right! 😀

Enjoy your weekend… Here is the one week delayed post !

Build it and they will come?

Ok… so Kevin Costner said it better…

Build it and they will come…

In a close parallel…

Average Wage Growth Way Up

We have been watching the happier consumer for some time…


The latest wage growth report shows a year over year growth at almost 3%….

Recall our prior posts of National Retail Federation expecting record Holiday Sales?

Consumer spending makes up over 2/3rds of Gross Domestic Production (GDP – measure of economic growth)

Happy Consumer with greenbacks in his/her pocket …..

Happy/Spending Consumer may mean a better economy….just saying!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

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

How about that Santa Rally … Consumer Back? … From the Road …

When I mentioned a Santa Rally in the throes of lead balloon oil barrels, weak trading volume, and falling earnings estimates, “no guarantees” was a certain inclusion.

S&P 500 Santa Rally 12-22-14

One can almost see a sleigh going into the sky the last three days.  Fundamentals?  … shhh … tis the season, we can worry about that next year.

Checking In From the Road

Consumer confidence, comfort, and most important … SPENDING!

  1. Maybe I am in a unique part of the country
  2. Maybe it is the season
  3. Maybe this time its different? (Doubtful)

If not, the consumer is coming back and feeling more confident  … great news for spending and GDP (Gross Domestic Production – Measure of economic situation – about 2/3 consumer spending related.) More healing in the works.

Enjoy your Monday … From the Road!

John Kvale CFA, CFP

8222 Douglas Ave # 590
Dallas, TX 75225