From the recent archives of TGIF 2 Minutes – especially worth a second look as the year 2023 unfolds. Inflation recently came in at a still very high 6.5%… which seems “low” only because several months ago inflation was at 9.1%. Shelter and services (including daycare) remain the areas with highest inflation; gas, autos, computers, and sporting goods saw slower rises in still high prices. Employment remains an oddly strong component of the economy – leaving the likelihood of a “soft landing” type of economic slowdown a possibility.
Sept 2022: It is fairly safe to say that the US has entered a recession, even if the backwards looking, narrowly focused, official “National Bureau of Economics Research”, or NBER, has not declared it yet. The NBER is a private, non-profit organization founded in 1920 that somehow came to possess the distinct “responsibility” of declaring recessions in the US. Seriously?
After a year – really a decade – of excellent returns in the stock market, and for 2019 in the stock AND bond markets, it makes sense to ask, “WHAT IF?” As in, what if certain events take place in the markets or economy that could spoil the last several years of positive portfolio returns? Naturally then, there would be a handful of guesses or responses to the “what if” questions.
“10th Anniversary of what?” you may ask. Well, it appears you are not the only one in a state of ignorant bliss – no offense intended! I thought it may have been a bigger deal in the news, but very little has been written or reported about this 10-year milestone.
Newsflash: Things are (mostly) GOOD in the economy, businesses and peoples’ financial lives in the US these days. Don’t take my word for it. Just this week The Wall Street Journal ran an article leading with: “The job market doesn’t get much better than this.”* The title of the article was, “Inside the Hottest Job Market in Half a Century.” Wages on average in the US are rising modestly after “long-term stagnation” (their words not mine), and unemployment is the lowest in 50 years – with women experiencing some of the greatest gains in workforce participation.
BUT – it was 10 years ago this weekend on March 9, 2009 that the US stock market hit its low, with the S&P 500 index ominously touching 666, only to settle around 2750 this week. Ten years ago, the US (and global) economy was in “The Great Recession” and it was ugly. But then, yes, the S&P 500 took its time and has risen in value over four (4) times in roughly 10 years. There have been a few bumps – amidst higher interest rates – but stocks in the US and globally are materially higher which has created and grown wealth along the way. Continue reading “Happy 10th Anniversary?”