Tag Archives: Cover Letter

Q 3 2021 Review – Let the Taper Begin, Interest Rates, Bumpy Season

Let the Taper Begin

In late 2018 the FOMC learned a valuable lesson that they are intent on not repeating.  At their most recent FOMC meeting Jerome Powell, chair, made it very clear that the large monthly asset purchases, $120 billion to be exact, will begin to be tapered.  Powell also made it very clear that the eventual raising of interest rates would not occur until the taper was complete unlike the events of 2018 in which the FOMC tapered and increased short-term interest rates at the same time, much to market participants dismay.

Bottom line if all goes well scheduled monthly asset purchases will be trimmed and eventually reach zero sometime next year.

Interest Rates

The most widely followed interest rate, the 10-year US treasury, after having a startling move earlier this year from under 1% to over 1.7% dropped back down to the low 1.2% during the most recent slowdown due to the variant.

Whether Powell’s comments, or the turning of the variant, interest rates have taken note and moved up smartly to over 1.5% beginning the normalization of higher interest rates which is very good long-term for the financial system

Kyle Bass Predictions

In our Q4 Newsletter we noted some very positive predictions from local financial mogul Kyle Bass, namely oil reaching $100 a barrel before the year end and continued Federal Reserve protection along with a push through to the end of the variant.

Hopefully all of these predictions come true.

The Worst of Times the Best of Times

September and October tend to be the most challenging months for Capital Markets mostly due to large institutions, think Fidelity as an example, closing their books on the year which make for more volatile times. So far, this theme seems to have played true.

The good news is notwithstanding our 2018 example from above, November and December tend to be some of the better months of the calendar.

As we head to the end of the year, we will be watching all of these and many other things very closely and will be communicating live on our blog at street-cents.

Sincerely,

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder J.K. Financial, Inc.

Q 2 2021 Review – Return to Normal, Inflation Here to Stay or Transitory

Slowly Returning to Normal, or Some Similarities

With hindsight available as our measuring stick, it appears that sometime between March and April earlier this year things across the country really began to return to some type of normal.

As noted in our blog at street-cents.com and in the prior newsletter TSA throughput a measurement of airport travel looks to possibly eclipse 2019 highs later this year.

Restaurants began opening, some earlier and some much later, depending on the geographic location with patrons welcoming their reopening.

Uncertainty remains on the remote versus office environment. Most think the new normal will not be a complete office environment, but some blend of remote since it is readily acceptable and well tested.

Inflation, Here to Stay or Transitory?

As discussed in detail in our latest Q 3 2021 Newsletter, the most prevalent debate at this moment among market participants is the topic of inflation and it’s staying power, or just transitioning through. The importance of this subject is directly related to the FOMC, chaired by Jerome Powell and the timing of his reduced stimulus.  All eyes are on the inflation debate and the timing of the decrease in stimulus and will be sensitive to timing changes.

Not surprisingly economic numbers roared as they met favorable comparisons from last year, but in very recent days, have given the appearance of a return to normalcy already, decreasing concerns of longer-term inflation.

Capital Markets being forward looking are now trying to see what is around the next corner. As earnings continue to return to normal, valuations are finally beginning to be decreased from extremely stretched proportions and as long as earnings outpace returns a continuation of this should occur.

Time is really our friend, and once again the good news is, this will all play out in quarters rather than years. Things can certainly change quickly, and it is not a time to swing for the fences, which we never do!

Have a terrific summer and talk to you at the beginning of fall.

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Q 1 2021 Review – Three V’s: Vaccine, Volume of Money, Valuation

Vaccines, Volume of Money, Valuations 

With the continued increase of the number of people getting the vaccine a much-welcomed sigh of relief is being felt across the country and most of the globe. Thankfully thus far the variance seems not to pose a terrible threat and most continue even post vaccine to take the appropriate precautions. This is leading to a slow Opening of the country and a light at the end of the tunnel heading back to some type of normalcy. 

Volume of Money 

The Federal Reserve (FOMC) led by Chairman Jerome Powell continue to buy assets at the rate of $120 billion a month. With a main goal of lowering the Unemployment rate, these funds of course are giving a boost to Capital Markets and providing massive volume liquidity. 

Additionally, the Fed has short term rates at zero and has stated they intend to keep them there for some time. This is also a stimulus for certain parts of the economy, but also a boosting effect on Asset Prices. 

With Fed controlled short interest rates being held low, longer term rates, notably on the 10-year US Treasury have been moving up in minor protest by bond vigilantes that economic stimulus may be too much, fortunately at this time there seems to be no effect. 

With the FED on record saying that short term rates are deemed to stay low, their first move back to normalcy maybe to pair back the purchases.  Our interest will be, when, and if this occurs, and more importantly, capital market participants reactions.  

Valuations 

As mentioned, multiple times in our blog at www.street-cents.com and again our Q2 2021 Newsletter, valuations by almost any metric are stretched. 

While valuations may be a more somber note, the re-opening and vaccine completion rates should dribble into corporate earnings, the ultimate driver of capital markets and possibly provide a wonderful “Grow into our Valuation” affect. 

If you asked us for our candid opinion, we would like capital markets to trend sideways while we grow into our valuations. Continued rise in capital markets could lead to a bumpier ride once the Fed adjust their policy. 

We of course will be watching carefully!  �

Sincerely,

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Q 4 2020 Review and Annual Private Policy

It’s hard to believe the final quarter of the year included an Election, multiple vaccines, the commencement of vaccine shots and near the end of the quarter, a second stimulus package for the year 2020. Wow!

Three Major Acts in a Little Over Twelve Months

If we look back just a little over twelve months, three major bills, The Secure Act, passed in late 2019, but left in the shadows by lasty years events. Then the Cares Act late first quarter 2020, followed by the Appropriations Act of 2021, which was an extension of the Cares Act. If you are not confused yet (or do not even remember some of these), congratulate yourself, most are! Not to worry, we will be reviewing all of these over the year as the much forgotten, Secure Act will have multiple planning techniques and mandates that once again may have been forgotten.

Who let the dogs out? Or Maybe Better Said, The Dogs Continued to Cheer!

Capital markets bullied by federal reserve purchases and anticipations of good news coming from a vaccine, in true Capital Market form did cheer much of the news, but not as much as many had thought, mostly because it had already been anticipated.

As we had mentioned multiple times, Capital Markets are likely well ahead of themselves currently which may make for tougher rowing in the near term, but just as clothes purchased a little too large for that growing teenager, Capital Markets with an expected economic recovery, should be able to grow into their overzealous clothes. However, with current stretched valuations, negative surprises may be met with more volatility due to the priced-to-perfection levels currently, once again making us happy we are conservative and diversified investors.

Interest Rate Watch

One thing we will be watching closely are interest rates, and their levels, as the economy begins to come back on line. The Federal Reserve is squarely focused on keeping interest rates down through their purchases. Should interest rates begin to rise or should the FED ease off (or even give speak of ease) of the pedal and interest rates rise on their own, especially quickly, this could be a headwind to Capital Markets and other assets. Not to worry, we will be watching and letting you know what we see and taking appropriate actions as needed.

In Closing

Your Fourth Quarter 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 and Client Relationship Summary (Form CRS); Requests for review will be accepted via phone, mail or email, and mailed immediately upon request.

Sincerely,

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

J.K. Financial, Inc.

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.

Q 2 2020 Quarterly Review Cover Letter –

The Look Through Continues

As mentioned in the last quarterly summary, Investors and Capital Market Participants are indeed looking through this self-made slow down and into the eventual continuation of the economy.

The FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) led by Jerome Powell continue to provide support via lower interest rates (likely for a shorter period than during the post 08-09 period)  and asset purchases to help shore up possible needed cash from institutions and participants.

Speaking of FOMC stimulus, should a vaccine or multiple vaccines, (the possibilities detailed greatly in our Q3 Newsletter), occur sooner, rather than later, a faster economic rebound may be in the cards. On the other side, should increase in contagion lead to further Economic slowdown, capital market participants would likely lose some of their enthusiasm.

The Sequel Is Usually not as Scary

One thing about the sequel, should it occur, it is usually not near as scary as the original. No doubt as mentioned again in our Q3 newsletter, many of the worlds brightest are working together and have learned much just over the last 90 days.

With the worlds brightest pushing massive energy to a common goal, the future, especially when dealing with healthcare, is likely much brighter and coming faster than we all think!

Given so many unknowns, we are likely to be captive to positive and negative headlines until the eventual vaccine is discovered.

With the possibility that Investors may have gotten a little bit ahead of themselves, expectation for bumps along the way over the next few quarters have heightened.

Again, why we like having a conservative posture.

Stay safe be well will talk to you in the fall!

Sincerely,

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Enclosure (2020 Report)

Q 1 2020 Quarterly Review Cover Letter –

First and foremost I want to wish everyone safety and healthiness as we go through these times. We will get through this and will all be stronger and more knowledgeable for the experience.  

As mentioned in our Q 2 2020 Newsletter, the speed of the lower Equity markets left many investors struggling for cash to recklessly sell their safest assets, bonds. This put unique pressure on Bonds and Bond Funds, temporarily lowering their value in stead of increasing their value, which is what should happen as interest rates lower. The good news with this situation, with history as our guide, this situation corrects over shorter time frames and also allows for our re-investment at artificially lower rates, a win, win in our opinion!  

An Unknown becomes a Known?  

As of this writing the contagion continues, uniquely, do to the self-imposed economic slowdown from the Virus, at a given point in time, hopefully much sooner than many may think, a great unknown will become a known.  

Unlike the last two major economic slowdowns there was uncertainty in far reaching aspects of other assets and other parts of the world and economies.  

At some point in time we will conquer the Virus and the unknown will become the known!  

Capital Market Participants will anticipate this and begin pricing in the not only conclusion of this economic slow down but the positive affects of the very large stimulus package that has been put into place.   

As mentioned in again and more prominently, in our Q 2 2020 Newsletter which you hopefully have already received, there have been an abundance of stimulus programs that at this point have likely not even begun to filter into our economy in any meaningful way.   

Once the full effects of the stimulus seep through our country and the unknown becomes the known we truly believe that our economy and therefore capital markets will be in a much better place in a much shorter time than in prior slowdowns.  

Stay safe, thanks for all of the positive comments – we will get through this together. 

Sincerely,

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

 

Q 4 Quarterly Review Cover Letter – Private Policy

There is a very old, well known, Wall Street saying that goes something like this.

“The stock market will always climb a Wall of Worry!”

Oddly there are two themes that are conveyed in this saying.

  1. The obvious, a wall of worry creates enough doubt for capital markets to operate efficiently and rise
  2. The less obvious, when everything is clear and the sun is shining, sometimes it’s near the end of the expansionary times and happy capital markets.

As fast as this year went, our memories are still very clear on what capital markets look like just twelve months ago.

In chicken little like fashion the sky was falling, Capital Markets, and participants were throwing a giant hissy fit, and the federal reserve was cranking up interest rates to participants dismay.

With 2020 hindsight, a nice wall of worry was created.

With earnings being the ultimate driver of capital markets, a drop in earnings, a recession, or global slow down, would lead to the decline in capital markets but for now we certainly don’t have to worry about item two above in that old wall street saying.

Speaking of recessions, be sure to review the capital market article in our Q1 2020 Newsletter, concerning the lowering of rates while the inverted yield curve – a much talked about by us event, and somewhat disdained. As mentioned in the newsletter we ran across this information mid quarter, and certainly must acknowledge the history brought up by the speaker and his chart, which may avert a recession, at least for now

Also in the newsletter two, two -part personal financial planning articles, one dealing with inheritance and another dealing with automobiles that you may find interesting as these topics were repeated in our office throughout the final quarter of the year and made for a great subject.

Thank you for your time, thanks for reading our blog posts, newsletter and YouTube videos, we enjoyed bringing you all original, somewhat rough at times information as we see it through our eyes!

In Closing

Your Fourth Quarter 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.

Sincerely,

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Enclosure (2019 Report, Private Policy)

 

J.K. Financial, Inc.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A True Yogi Berra saying may be fitting now – It’s like déjà vu all over again!”

Tariffs and Trade War Talks Continue

While the tariff banter seems relentless and every day changing, leading to Capital Market bipolar movements, one day irrational exuberance, and the next day irrationally depressed, as mentioned in our Q4 Newsletter, tariff talk has been going on for decades. With today’s constant bombardment of immediate news stories and short clips it seems, present party included, to be constant and all encompassing. The reality is this likely will work itself out, just as seen in the graph in the newsletter. Our bet is once the tariff talk turns into tariff agreements, we will see market relief and higher overall interest rates. For now, there’s no doubt that the tariff talk is slowing the global economy and there is no envy for public company managers trying to navigate the possible changes that occur on a day by day basis, making it very tough to stock inventory and make purchases.

Treasury Rates- Interest rate cycle

Given the afore mentioned Tariff Talk, FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) led by chief Jerome Powell and a company have embarked on a lowering of rates, twice to be exact, but only two .25 basis points each, in an attempt to help ease interest rate burdens and spur the economy. While not huge fans of the lowering of rates at this time due to gun powder needs at a future, when the inevitable recession occurs, at this time it appears we are on an interest rate decrease path, a complete 180° turn from just one year ago, when reserve officials were raising. If there is an agreement in Tariff talk, lowering of rates would likely stop, and we might even hear talks of raising, making for an interesting rate cycle. Time will tell.

Taxes or the savings of taxes paid

As we head into the final quarter of the year it’s time to make sure we’ve done all we can do for this years’ , especially items that have no look back features. As also mentioned in our Q4 newsletter, be sure to max those 401(k)s, contribute or distribute from 529‘s, complete Required Minimum Distributions (RMD’s) and make sure those charitable giving are complete this year, as all of these items have a hard stop year-end deadline.

Have a great day and start to fall!

Sincerely,

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Enclosure 2019 Report

Q 3 Quarterly Review Cover Letter

A True Yogi Berra saying may be fitting now – It’s like déjà vu all over again!”

Tariffs and Trade War Talks Continue

While the tariff banter seems relentless and every day changing, leading to Capital Market bipolar movements, one day irrational exuberance, and the next day irrationally depressed, as mentioned in our Q4 Newsletter, tariff talk has been going on for decades. With today’s constant bombardment of immediate news stories and short clips it seems, present party included, to be constant and all encompassing. The reality is this likely will work itself out, just as seen in the graph in the newsletter. Our bet is once the tariff talk turns into tariff agreements, we will see market relief and higher overall interest rates. For now, there’s no doubt that the tariff talk is slowing the global economy and there is no envy for public company managers trying to navigate the possible changes that occur on a day by day basis, making it very tough to stock inventory and make purchases.

Treasury Rates- Interest rate cycle

Given the afore mentioned Tariff Talk, FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) led by chief Jerome Powell and a company have embarked on a lowering of rates, twice to be exact, but only two .25 basis points each, in an attempt to help ease interest rate burdens and spur the economy. While not huge fans of the lowering of rates at this time due to gun powder needs at a future, when the inevitable recession occurs, at this time it appears we are on an interest rate decrease path, a complete 180° turn from just one year ago, when reserve officials were raising. If there is an agreement in Tariff talk, lowering of rates would likely stop, and we might even hear talks of raising, making for an interesting rate cycle. Time will tell.

Taxes or the savings of taxes paid

As we head into the final quarter of the year it’s time to make sure we’ve done all we can do for this years’ , especially items that have no look back features. As also mentioned in our Q4 newsletter, be sure to max those 401(k)s, contribute or distribute from 529‘s, complete Required Minimum Distributions (RMD’s) and make sure those charitable giving are complete this year, as all of these items have a hard stop year-end deadline.

Have a great day and start to fall!

Sincerely,

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Enclosure 2019 Report

Q 2 Quarterly Review Cover Letter

The big news this quarter happened near the end of the quarter in mid June.

Near the end of 2018 the FOMC, led by chairman Jerome Powell, were on record to increase rates three additional times after their late in the year .25% increase. Capital markets threw a gigantic hissy fit. Fast forward a mere six months later, Powell lead FOMC are no longer interested in raising rates and maybe even considering lowering rates, a possibility virtually no one thought probable late last year.

Capital market participants have a way of making their feelings known – it does appear that the hissy fit late 2018 was in response to too fast of a rate increase. While we may never know for sure, post Powell chairman negation of further rate increases, and possible future lowering of rates were met with capital market participant applause.

We still feel there is a lot of ground to cover before an actual rate lowering may occur, and with market participants pricing in an expectation of late July lowering of rates, certainly there’s a possibility of disappointment.

For the moment it appears that interest rates will not go higher, and will at the least stay where they are for the foreseeable future and maybe even go lower from the current 2.25% to 2.5% threshold.

Tariffs and the Slowing Global Economies

The lack of a tariff agreement has put, for obvious reasons, many company managers in a holding position. Combine this with some global waning of growth, and we have a slight macro slowdown.

Global slowdowns are normal, and should not be feared. Major downturn‘s are the crux of problems and are what the FOMC seem to be most fearful of above.

With earnings being the ultimate driver of capital markets, a slowdown would take the wind out of the sails of levitating markets

Inverted Yield Curve Update

The recent deeper and more prolonged inverted yield curve, not hugely inverted but definitely inverted may be signaling a recession to come. In our Q3 2019 newsletter we dig very deep into multiple charts and update our thoughts once again on the inverted yield curve. The bottom line with an inverted yield curve is no one knows when the eventual recession may occur.

While the investment skies are rarely sunny and blue, there are some overcast unknowns at this time. Sunny skies can happen very quickly with agreements and progress from different parts of the world.

We are conservatively positive, and look forward to how all of the cross currents play out in the next few quarters. Needless to say this is not a time to swing for the fences in investment portfolios, we would argue it’s never the time to swing for the investment fences.

Have a great summer will talk to you in early fall!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Q 1 2019 Report Cover

 

No one really knows for sure!

Just like we weren’t certain what caused a hissy fit the last quarter of 2018, no one really knows for sure why everyone became so happy this quarter. Needless to say, we think this is a more normal reaction and possibly a reversion to the mean from the hissy fit.

As mentioned in our Q2 2019 Newsletter, capital markets could have been protesting higher interest rates – or as mentioned in one of our most read posts at Street-cents.com, it could have just been that it was amateur hour and movement during a Gentleman’s agreement no movement time was exaggerated. No matter the reason, capital markets have a happier face.

Inverted yield curve

Just as we pushed the Q2 Newsletter off to the presses, the yield curve did officially invert – as a reminder, yield curve inversion is when short term interest rates are higher than long term rates, which occurred in the last five days of the quarter. The reason we, as well as many other in the industry crow about this unique situation, is it has been a precursor to recessions with great accuracy.  Before taking shelter and hiding under the covers, this precursor has no accuracy on the depth, and very little accuracy on the timing of a recession.  In some instances a recession occurred two years after the inversion.

Recession Definition

As mentioned again in our Q2 Newsletter, the definition of a recession is two consecutive negative gross domestic production – GDP prints – yes that could be – .01% and -.01% making for a mini-mi recession, but still a recession. No matter, just as you can’t be partially sick or partially have an accident the inverted yield curve did occur. As such we will be monitoring the situation very carefully and remembering that now, is not the time to be taking extra risk.

Interest Rates

Given the yield curve inverted, no steep inflation signals are occurring, and the economy is growing, but not red hot, it is likely we have seen the highest short term rates for a while. Fed officials seem very comfortable at the current level. As more data is recorded, things can change.

We will talk to you again in the summer, have a great day!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP