Attention-grabbing Headlines: Wars, Money Supply, Interest Rates, and Bitcoin  

There are always headlines moving the markets. Well, perhaps it’s more accurate to say that there are always headlines and the markets are always moving. As to whether those headlines are the cause of market moves is open to debate. Regardless of the cause and effect relationship, headlines can create headaches for investors, and it can be difficult to know if those headlines are worth worrying about. So today I would like to look at a few headlines that have jumped out at me in recent weeks. Among those attention-grabbing news stories are geopolitical conflicts, the United States money supply, interest rates (yet again), and bitcoin.

Vintage TV sitting in sand bank in front of a blue sky

Why Avoiding Billionaire Investment Advice Benefits Your Financial Plan

Dylan Potter, CFP®, VP and Wealth Manger, delves into the reasons why you should steer clear of personal finance advice from billionaires and focus on your own financial plan. These insights are rooted in the principles of self-control, understanding your own risk tolerance, and avoiding undue influence from high-profile investors.

Three people snowboarding down a mountain under a blue sky

AGI vs. Taxable Income vs. MAGI —Why it Matters

When determining your eligibility for a variety of deductions, credits, and retirement plans, you will often come across terms such as AGI, taxable income, and MAGI. Let’s explore what each of these terms mean, how to compute them, and why they matter.

Cybersecurity and AI

Spam, Scams, and… AI?

I don’t know about you, dear reader, but lately it seems the volume of spam I have been receiving has ballooned wildly. Spam certainly was not born with the advent of the internet and has been a reality of the connected world even before most households had an AOL installation disc arrive in the mail. Remember chain letters? However, just this year I have noticed more and more phishing emails are getting through the spam blocker on both personal and professional inboxes.

Person walking on a tight rope surrounded by rocks

Risk is What You Don’t See

While known risks like recessions are widely discussed, the most consequential risks may be those not currently on our radar. Dylan Potter, Vice President and Wealth Manager at Howe & Rusling, shares a story from his time as a U.S. Army Ranger detailing how the most perilous risks often go unnoticed and how this applies to your portfolio.

Older woman with hands interlaced sitting their lap

A Case For Aging Happily

Whether it’s reading neurosurgeon Sanjay Gupta’s Keep Sharp, or listening to Dr. Peter Attia (author of Outlive: The Science and Art of Longevity) on Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard, a favorite podcast of mine, or simply contemplating the many conversations I have with the older people and clients in my life on a daily basis, I have been devouring everything I can on this complex and interesting topic.

Women reading a newspaper with color collage elements over the photo

Let’s Talk About Headlines: Jackson Hole, China, U.S. Banks, and Nvidia

With earnings season winding down and this week’s relatively light economic calendar, the talk of the week has been around Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s speech at Jackson Hole which is underway as of the publishing of this article. One of these days, speeches by Federal Reserve Open Market Committee (FOMC) members and monetary policy decisions may once again be humdrum affairs which don’t compel regular newsletter updates, but that time has not yet come.

Colosseum in Rome, Italy

The Auriga’s Whisper

In ancient Rome, the generals who returned from victorious military campaigns were celebrated with grand parades, known as triumphs. After arriving home, the Roman general would also be given a slave, known as an Auriga, by the Roman Senate. Each Auriga was charged with a simple task: as the victory parade progressed through the streets of Rome, every so often, whisper in the general’s ear, “Memento Homo.”

Dove and Hawk with fed building and chart of interest rate increases

The Fed and Interest Rates: A Tale of Two Birds

Is it the best of times or the worst of times in the economy? It seems to depend on what data you review. On the negative side of the scale, the Conference Board’s Leading Economic Index is deeply negative, and the US Treasury yield curve is deeply inverted. We have not seen such stark indicators without a resulting recession in the last 50 years. On the other side of the scale, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq indices are up double digits year-to-date while the unemployment rate is still historically low and inflation, as measured by the year-over-year Consumer Price Index (CPI), is falling and has been for a year since peaking in June 2022. In fact, due to falling inflation, the year-over-year measure of US real (inflation-adjusted) average hourly earnings is positive after two years in the negative. Is it possible that the negative indicators are wrong this time?