Prime Age to Employment Ratio

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Mar 112019
 

This looks like a really solid recover since the “Great Recession”!

It looks like this employment ratio is back to its 2009 peak, but it still has a way to go to get back to its late 1990s level. To me, it just seems unlikely that wage growth acceleration won’t be coming soon. The real question; will be whether inflation follows shortly thereafter.

GDP Update

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Jan 162019
 

This chart was part of today’s Wall Street Journal Daily Shot.

Looks like Oxford Economics is expecting at least somewhat of a slow down this year. They also had some information on the potential impact of the government shutdown. However for now, the year over year comparisons will be harder due to the impact of the tax cut impact in 2018

If I recall, they were suggesting that the shutdown might result in around a 0.4 tenths of a percent reduction per quarter.

Lets hope that gets resolved soon.

Hindsight is Wonderful!

 Economy, General Interest, Investing, Retirement Planning  Comments Off on Hindsight is Wonderful!
Jan 152019
 

Who knew at the start of 2018 that the stock market’s ride would be this wild? Although after a very lucrative 2017, it should have been reasonable to expect a change.

The challenge is always to try to determine which way to go – going forward. It turns out that hindsight is not very helpful looking forward. Looking backwards, I would say it was easy to see that a trade war with tariffs and the resulting business disruptions and uncertainty were going to be a problem. But, the timing, magnitude, and duration of the challenges were and actually still are hard to quantify.

If foresight was any good, we may have known when to make some changes, but I’m pretty sure art and fine wine would not have been my alternate investments.

Luxury Goods Outperform as Markets Swoon WSJ 12-31-2018

On the other hand, in spite of its lumps and bumps our democracy and capitalism based economy will almost certainly continue to work going forward. And, although Art and Fine Wine may be perfectly good asset classes, I think I’ll stick with Equity, Fixed Income, and Cash along with some real estate for my investment assets.

Have a Happy New Year!

Quite the Ride

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Jan 152019
 

The last three months of 2018 would have been a great roller coaster ride. But, maybe not so much fun for investors.

S& P 500 WSJ Chart

Hopefully we are on the up hill climb for now. With a little luck the next slope won’t be near as exciting.

Its been a brutal year

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Dec 262018
 

It appears that investors have been much more cautious this year when it comes to adding to their investment accounts. This Wall Street Journal chart indicates a pretty significant decline in additions to US mutual and ETF assets this year.

WSJ 12 26 2018

Inflation – Which Way?

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Nov 162018
 

The October CPI update is out.

For the past year, the consumer price index is up 2.5%.

The Core CPI, which is generally less volatile, was up 2.2%.

US CPI – End of October 2018

So basically, we are about where the Fed wants inflation to be.

The challenge or concern of course will they be able to keep it around it 2% target rate.

With oil dropping significantly the last few weeks, lower gasoline prices should help lower future CPI readings.

WSJ – Daily Shot

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Aug 272018
 

There were a couple of very interesting  charts in today’s Daily Shot. 

https://blogs.wsj.com/dailyshot/2018/08/27/the-daily-shot-stock-investors-ignore-the-elephant-in-the-room/

First is a blurb attributed to Jerome Powell, which suggests that the Fed is likely to continue on its slow but steady path of rate increases.

The second item relates to the relative attractiveness of stocks versus fixed income. It shows, at least on a current income basis, dividend income is now no longer a particularly attractive benefit for owning equities versus fixed income assets.

 

Trade Wars

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Aug 022018
 

Per the President, trade wars are easy to win.
I, for one, am not convinced.

This looks like it has the potential to be quite messy, especially for farmers and consumers.