Like Watching Paint Dry

The markets haven’t been all that exciting this week. Choose your analogy. Watching paint dry. Watching grass grow. I chose the former since I am in full grass planting mode and it better grow quickly next week after the sun, rain and warmth coming. Below is an index I don’t often show, but one that the masses follow religiously. It’s the VIX index which is one measure of volatility based on the options market. Typically, when stocks fall the VIX […]   Read More
Date: April 21, 2023

Tax Day Trend & Two Sectors

Adios tax day 2023! It was good to se you go. Congrats to all of my CPA readers who braved another season and survived. I feel like there was more work done this year than in the recent past with more preliminary 1099s than ever before. Twitter was abuzz about paying taxes. 10% of taxpayers pay 80% of taxes which makes sense in a progressive tax system. Liz Warren claimed that Americans are paying so much in taxes simply because […]   Read More
Date: April 19, 2023

Could a Roth Conversion Ease Your Tax Bite?

Minimizing the amount you pay in taxes is essential for weathering market downturns. However, the complexity of the U.S. tax code often makes it difficult to plan effective tax strategies on your own. This is why affluent taxpayers sometimes assume that their best option is simply to pay whatever they owe each year.  Many of them have no idea how much money they could potentially save by planning financially to lower their tax liability. One strategy worth considering, for instance, […]   Read More
Date: April 17, 2023

All That Good News to Begin Earnings Season

Now that JP Morgan has reported earnings, Q1 earnings season is officially here. Banks usually kick us off and we saw a slew of solid reports to end last week. So far, rumors of more banks’ demise are not panning out. And let’s not forget about the benign CPI and PPI reports last week, further confirming inflation’s demise. However, with oil rallying, that tailwind has dissipated. With all that good news, the stock market should have soared, right? Below is […]   Read More
Date: April 17, 2023

Inflation Data Benign – Strong & Weak Indices

After a benign CPI report, the PPI report was even more tame, continuing to support my longstanding theme of inflation moderation. This has been an amazing story as we now have 9 straight months of lower month over month inflation. I can’t find a similar streak over the past 50 years and I saw on Twitter you have to go back to the 1930s to see, not exactly a valid comp. Of course and obviously, it is difficult to see […]   Read More
Date: April 14, 2023

Bears Are Wrong – Yet Again

As I finish this post, the government just released the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and it came in a touch cooler than expected across the board. Inflation continues to moderate as has been my thesis for a year. While it is not getting back to the Fed’s arbitrary long-term target of 2%, it should still slowly meander to some new normal level below 4%. And yes, this takes more pressure off the Fed to raise rates higher for longer. I […]   Read More
Date: April 12, 2023

A Powerful Indicator Just Lit Up – Not to Be Ignored

The major stock market indices continue to digest recent gains. We know that the Dow Industrials, S&P 500 and NASDAQ 100 have been leading while the S&P 400 and Russell 2000 have been lagging. I expected Friday’s employment report to lead to some Monday morning fireworks, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Stocks look down a bit and bonds a little worse, but nothing too bad. The bulls should make some noise during the day. Those of you […]   Read More
Date: April 10, 2023

April & Q2 Setting Up Nicely For The Bulls But Concerns Remain

Let’s focus on April and what it seasonally brings to the stock market. We know that it an historically strong month for stocks, especially in a pre-election year. We also know that when it begins the month in an uptrend, it averages more than 1% return. We also know that the super strong trends that began at last November’s election continue this month and through Q2. Regarding Q1 ending, when the stock market does not breach the lowest levels from […]   Read More
Date: April 6, 2023

New Month & Quarter – Could Banks Be a Winner?

The new month and new quarter begin today and the typical tailwind may be somewhat muted because of how strong stocks were last week. Nonetheless, we still have positive seasonals this week. With the masses looking to avoid showing banks on their Q1 ending reports I wonder if we see some reversion to the mean for the super hated sector that was in the spotlight for much of Q1. I can’t say the chart above of the banks really creates […]   Read More
Date: April 3, 2023

Never Die on the Hill of a Market Scenario

Although the media keeps saying how surprised they are about the strength this week, it was in the cards last week and I wrote about it in all posts. It’s really amazing how they try to spin a new narrative to back up the price again. Last week, it was about the teetering banking system and how easy it is to create a bank run. Who would be next? Or, would Yellen’s and the FDIC’s measures save the system from […]   Read More
Date: March 31, 2023

“What if I Run Out of Money?”

Is a recession coming? Are you worried about running out of money after retirement? With the financial uncertainties caused by a likely 2023/2024 recession, global economic turmoil and increasing life expectancies, even some affluent families and individuals are growing apprehensive about their financial future.  However, there is a way to ease those fears—by getting proactive. If you create a comprehensive financial plan for your post-retirement years, you can ensure that your retirement savings last throughout your life. We just need […]   Read More
Date: March 31, 2023

How a 2023 Recession May Impact the Elderly

As the economy continues to show uncertainty, many people are asking themselves how a potential recession in 2023 may impact their finances and future plans. This is especially vital for the elderly population: People living on fixed incomes are facing heightened levels of financial concern alongside retirees-to-be with fewer working-age years left before retirement age.  Even financially independent families and individuals should be aware of the potential risks posed by a 2023 recession. It’s vital to understand which actions taken […]   Read More
Date: March 30, 2023

Seasonals Remain Strong – Banks Still Key

As I mentioned on Monday this week continues to be strong on a seasonal basis. Last week’s high in the various major stock market indices is the next point for the bulls and bears to embrace. Until then on the upside it is just noise, however I do believe the market will exceed those highs shortly. Beyond this week, we also have strong seasonal trends in April and the entire Q2. Remember, seasonals act as nice tailwinds or headwinds, but […]   Read More
Date: March 29, 2023

It’s ALL About the Banks

I know it was a big ask for both Huskies teams to make it to Texas, but the men came through and earned their first Final Four appearance since 2014. Friday was another interesting day in the saga of Silicon Valley Bank, Signature and Credit Suisse. It was only a matter of time before the bears turned their focus to Deutsche Bank as I mentioned last week. The difference is that the German government is not going to allow DB […]   Read More
Date: March 27, 2023

Stress Ahead of the Weekend – Yellen & Her Flip Flops

The Fed did what was expected and hiked 1/4%. Jay Powell’s press conference was viewed positively by the markets. It looks like maybe one more 1/4% rate hike and then to neutral. But Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen overshadowed Powell by doing a flip flop of her flip flop. And I am not referring to the rubber things I wear on my feet when it’s warm. On Wednesday she commented that the government has no intention of guaranteeing an unlimited amount […]   Read More
Date: March 24, 2023

Fed to Hike by 1/4% – Balance Sheet Balloons Again!

Today, the FOMC (Fed) concludes their regularly scheduled two-day meeting. And for the first time in years, there are two outcomes being discussed by market participants which makes today all the more interesting. The stock market model for the day is plus or minus 0.50% and then a rally into the close post-2pm. However, we should realize that the stock market has rallied smartly into the announcement, taking some firepower away. In my view what usually is an 80% certainty […]   Read More
Date: March 22, 2023

UBS, Fed and More of the Same

While the major stock market indices struggled on Friday and it looked on the ugly side, the range from high to low was still in between the range from Thursday. The NASDAQ 100 remains the strongest and the S&P 400 and Russell 2000 remain the weakest. I would like to see the weak bounce without the leaders ceding. That may be a tall task right here, but the bulls need to get prices to close above Thursday’s high. Over the […]   Read More
Date: March 20, 2023

Markets Still on Edge

The end to a volatile week is here and the “risk on” markets fared well over the past two days. The bears tried to break keenly watched levels, but they were thwarted at each attempt. The NASDAQ 100 has behaved very well along with other growth indices while mid and small cap have been lagging. This combination makes an assessment more challenging. While I love seeing tech and the subsectors rally and lead, the market absolutely needs the financials to […]   Read More
Date: March 17, 2023

Volatility Rising But Nowhere Close to 2008 or Even 2022

I am still surprised that Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) created so much panic and anxiety over the weekend since the news broke on Friday. I guess losing two banks in the blink of an eye with the second and third largest failures in history reminded too many people of 2008. As I have said too many times to count, this is not 2008. It’s not even close except that it’s in the same millennium. Don’t get me wrong. I am […]   Read More
Date: March 15, 2023

Bank Failure, Bank Runs and Images of 2008

As I mentioned on Friday to those who receive our regular blog updates, markets had two giant pieces of news to digest. First, Silicon Valley Bank (SIVB) was put into receivership by the FDIC and then we had the February employment report. I thought I was going to spend this post on the latter as it’s the biggest economic report of the month and would offer clues on what the Fed would be doing next week when they meet again. […]   Read More
Date: March 13, 2023