Tag Archives: VIX

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.

December 2017 Podcast Video, Financial Planning and Capital Market Update- By John Kvale

Here is our December 2017 Monthly review. If you are too busy to read, feel free to listen as we describe our post and thoughts in friendly podcast format.

So Long 2017 … Hello 2018 .. Nice to see you!

December 2017 Video

Financial Planning Tip (s) –

You have been IRMMAAtized – Options for Relief

In our post, here and here we discuss the Medicare Means testing levels, both historic and what we are faced with in 2018.

Due to the faster lower Tiers of income, the Social Security Administration has casted a wider net for all of us.

Here are the new levels, again from our post AND in even GREATER details in our Q1 2018 Newsletter.

2017 V 2018 Medicare IRMAA levels

A life event change may create relief – Life events not limited to the following-

  • Marriage
  • Divorce/Annulment
  • Death of Your Spouse
  • Work Stoppage
  • Work Reduction
  • Loss of Income-Producing Property
  • Loss of Pension Income
  • Employer Settlement Payment

Please see our Q1 2018 Newsletter for detailed instructions on how to get relief from these faster grabbing surcharges.

Personal Spring Cleaning in the WinterUnsubscribe monitor-608241__340

Personal Reminder Email Tip

In our post mid-month here we discussed cleaning your emails to lower the Tidal Wave of daily emails.

After almost four weeks we are down to a trickle.

What was most interesting were the different experiences of who was up front and nice about the “Unsubscribe” request and who was down right dirty about letting us off their list. Surprised and disappointed with some companies.

Capital Market Comments

VIX – Fear Index Goes into Hibernation

We initially wrote in our Newsletter article and Blog post here, the VIX went to sleep … after another few closes below 10, we are coining it “Hibernation”

VIX as of 12-15-17

From 1990 to 2016 this Fear index closed below 10 a total of 9 times. During the year 2017, it has closed below that level 52 times and counting !!

Wow … Hibernation!

Interest Rate Increases

Just few years ago, with former FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) chair Ben Bernanke running the show, a miscalculated mention of a pending interest rate increase threw the Capital Markets into a tail spin – and that was just a mention of one small .25% increase. WOW-

When the history books are written on this period of time, FOMC members “Listening” to markets may be prominent, and possible reason for success.

In 2017, the FOMC raised rates 3 times with very little market disruption. They are on record for 3 more in 2018. The best part of this, market participants are not throwing a hissy fit and seem to be welcoming the increases.

Today, we think NOT increasing the rates as forecasted would cause more harm than increasing – exactly the opposite of just a few years ago. Way to pivot FOMC officials.

2017 Fed Funds Rate Bar Graph


Happy New Year!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

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

VIX – A Fear Gauge – That went to sleep in 2017

The VIX index is a fear index that pops up really high when fear is rampant, and drifts down when fear subsides.

VIX and The Year 2017 Record Breaking

Over the last 26 years the VIX has registered a end of the day reading of 10 or less 9 times.

VIX as of 12-15-17

At the close of market just a few days ago, as you can see, 9.42.

Care to guess how many days and counting the VIX closed below 10 in 2017 SO FAR?

49 … FORTY NINE … and counting!

While this is terrific news for a smooth ride in 2017, looking ahead we don’t want to get to used to this type of calm.

Think about this for a second, the fear index has closed below 10 in the last 26 years only 9 times, and this year it has closed below that level 49 times! (So far!)

It was an unusually fearless year.

Stay Vigilant !

Have a Happy “Low VIX/Fear” Day!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

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



Three Hits (Rates, Geithner, VIX) from the Newsletter ALREADY for 2013

With a heavy week of posting we wanted to keep this Friday light as you head into your weekend. We will keep this at a high level with greater details to come, but wanted to lightly review (brag..haha) while the events are still recent.

Three items we wanted to point out that have already had a hit in the new year from our Q 1 2013 Newsletter are as follows:

Our biggest worry, Interest Rate Misbehavior:

Interest rates took a step up after several dissenting FOMC members noted in their recently released transcript that they may be ready to “Stop the Juice” (As opposed to our prior concerns “The Juice is Loose“) …Actions: This demands careful attention and with our belief of a soggy economy especially in the first half of this year, is most likely a noise, but the stakes are high and this ranks as one of our most watched items from the past several years and will continue so moving forward.

Geithner Retirement:JackLew

Jack who? … No Jack Lew is a possible replacement for the abruptly retiring announced Timothy Geithner who is the current Treasury Secretary (lookout debt ceiling talks… Lew you are in the crosshairs):

While no secret of a possible departure, there was at least doubt that Geithner would resign this year, especially this early in the year.  Our expectation/concern was that he would, however we never imagined he would announce his departure before we could get our Newsletter to you. Whoever gets the nod, in baptism by fire notion, you better be ready as the debt ceiling negotiation is about to begin with the first deadline in mid February…..buckle up!

Tea leaves and the VIX: A CBOE report interestingly named  “What’s On Our mind”

The CBOE in almost confession like fashion, released this short report of how the VIX has never dropped so fast in such a short time. Ah ha, we told you so, this is one of the items we feel is no longer as true of a gauge as it used to be in reading the tea leafs of the markets. Again, this happened BEFORE we could get you the newsletter. Hat tip Donald “The Brain” as the bones of this article are his, only my words here.

While we have never had such a fast payoff on our previews (hard to believe these hit before we even sent the Newsletter), we hope our skeptical economic view for this year is wrong, but we are still very conservative for this year at best.

Have a super weekend!


PS Hope you liked my confession article this week, it was a toughie to write and very personal but hopefully worthy of your time!

8222 Douglas Ave # 590
Dallas, TX 75225

Where did everyone go ? We suspect….

On Monday, August 13, 2012 the NYSE experienced the lowest non-holiday trading volume in almost a decade (thanks Zero Hedge.)  Our favorite fear indicator the VIX (volatility index) fell to an almost 5 year low as well.

Why is this happening?

While many, including ourselves are on vacation (but happily remained tethered), and the month of August is normally a month of The Hampton’s refuge by Wall Street types, these events transpire annually and are not unusual for comparison purposes, as such this does not explain all for us. Our belief is that our world has become, at least for the moment, so consumed by our European counterparts, that we have slowed dramatically since many across our friendly pond take the month of August as Holiday.

Of course no one knows for certain, and anyone can run with a thesis, we like ours the best.

Source: Zero Hedge

Have a Great Day!




8222 Douglas Ave # 590

Dallas, TX 75225

Portfolio Insurance/Umbrellas are Inexpensive Today!

Purchasing an umbrella in the rain is often more expensive than while the sun shines. Portfolio insurance carries many of the same characteristics.

As market participants ring the all clear bell, we happily enjoy the fruits of their efforts as portfolio insurance has become cheaper, due in most part to the continued downward path of the CBOE Volatility Index or VIX.

The VIX, a measurement of fear, also has a directly influence on the option prices we have mentioned in many of our educational series.

We are not calling for rain, however if an umbrella was needed during the last storm, now is a better time to make the purchase than during the storm.

Have a Great Day!




PS Getting Closer to our Special Private Client Event in late April !