Beyond the Bell

Hot Air Balloon half inflated on the ground

What the Heck is Stagflation?

There has been some talk of stagflation this year and it finally became enough for Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell to comment on it. It seems to me that a lot of financial jargon gets tossed about without consideration for the fact that most people didn’t go to school for economics or get a job in finance. So, since it’s in the zeitgeist, maybe it’s time to define some terms and get to the bottom of a couple of questions. What is stagflation? Is it occurring in the U.S. right now?


Market Outlook Spring 2024

In our Winter 2024 outlook, we wrote about what we thought would be the most important factors that would impact investments in 2024, including:
(1) Will inflation continue to fall as expected towards the
Fed’s 2% target?
(2) Will there be a recession?
In January, a large majority of investors believed that the Fed would successfully bring inflation down from a very high level to near its 2% target by the end of 2024 while avoiding a recession. In this update, we analyze recent inflation and economic data and provide our opinions as to how it changes the outlook.

Markets moving on computer screen and with a newton's cradle swinging

Why is the Market Falling?

Any time the stock market falls for several days in a row, investors are bound to wonder what’s causing the volatility, even if they aren’t necessarily worried about it. I have not had many clients, friends, or family members ask me about the recent losses in the stock market yet, which I take to mean that most people aren’t that concerned. However, if the trend continues, it’s only a matter of time before I will be talking about the markets at dinner parties. Our readers and clients know that we think and invest long-term, but I always tell my clients that I want them to know why we’re doing what we’re doing. An informed investor is a more confident investor. With that in mind, let’s examine the recent price action in the markets, discuss what might be causing the reaction, and try to understand what the future may hold.

Flip clock moving

Help Maximize Returns: A Comprehensive Guide to Savings and Short-Term Investments

Over the last couple of years, a very commonly asked question we hear from clients or regularly address in our financial planning process with individuals is what to do with savings in this environment of higher short-term interest rates. It’s a good question, and one that hadn’t been particularly relevant in the decade prior, marked by near-zero interest rates. It’s relevant now and continues to be relevant.

VR googles showing an image of a Metavers isometric illustration with meme coins

Investors, Speculators, and Irrational Markets: Why We Focus on the Long-Term

Among my friends in the industry, we tend to challenge one another’s thinking and ask interesting questions just for fun. Well, I call it fun, though our significant others may beg to differ when it comes up at dinner parties. Lately there have been several discussions about whether current prices are justified by underlying fundamentals and one friend even suggested he may use some “fun money” to short NVDA. This inevitably led my other friend to a quote he has revisited often as of late…

map with compass

Distance and Time

Land navigation, in Army jargon, is the act of navigating from one point to another over long distances in varied terrain using a map, protractor, and compass. Every major selection event in the Army (Ranger School, Special Forces selection, etc.) has a graded land navigation component as part of the larger selection event.

Paint chips in whites, reds, and oranges

Business Entity Selection for Small Business Owners 

One of the most important decisions that small business owners face is selecting the right type of business entity. There are many options available, such as sole proprietorships, partnerships, limited liability companies (LLC), and corporations. The type of entity you select will affect everything from your day-to-day operations to the amount of liability you are exposing yourself to. This article will evaluate the pros and cons of each option in order to help you determine which structure would suit you and your business the best.

Illustration of chess game with magnificent seven logos and

How Are the Magnificent 7 Faring Through Earnings Season?

The S&P 500 closed last week down 0.42% ending a five-week winning streak and pulling back from a string of record-breaking highs. The dour mood continued into the beginning of this week and the S&P 500 only barely squeaked out a positive return in the last few minutes of trading on Wednesday leading up to the Nvidia earnings release only to turn on a dime and power back on Thursday. There are explanations for this activity which I’ll explore below. However, the bottom line is that volatility is back in the markets, and we are seeing that in the reactions to earnings announcements this quarter. As of Wednesday night, the companies dubbed the Magnificent 7 have all reported earnings and they seem as good an example as any to explore how changing expectations are impacting stock prices.