Monday , January 30 2023
Home / Tag Archives: 5.) Alhambra Investments

Tag Archives: 5.) Alhambra Investments

Weekly Market Pulse: A Fatal Conceit

Inflation* in the US is falling rapidly with the CPI rising just 0.9% in the second half of 2022 versus 5.4% in the first six months. Existing home sales are down 14.6% in the last 3 months and 34% over the last year. Housing starts are down 22% and permits are down 30% year-over-year. Orders for durable goods are down 1.2%, exports are down 3.8%, and imports are down 4.3% over the last 3 months. Real disposable income is up 0.8% in the last six months but was down...

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Weekly Market Pulse: The Consensus Will Be Wrong

What’s your outlook for this year? I’ve heard that question repeatedly over the last month and if you’re reading this hoping I’ll let you have a peak at my crystal ball, you’re going to be disappointed. Because I don’t have a crystal ball and neither, I hasten to add, does anyone else in this business. So, no, I don’t know what’s going to happen this year. I do know what the consensus view is, what the majority expects to happen, and that may be more useful. Because...

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Great News! Consumer Sentiment Is Awful!

I don’t know how many times I’ve seen blog posts or articles or Tweets about negative consumer sentiment over the last year. These articles rightly point out that the University of Michigan consumer sentiment survey is sitting near (or at a few months ago) 50 year lows. This fact is taken as a negative for the economy and therefore stocks. The only problem is that sentiment today tells you only how people view things today – and investing is about the future. If...

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Weekly Market Pulse: Happy Holidays

We received a host of economics reports this past week; some good, others not so much. The week started with the Consumer Price Index report coming in better than expected at an increase of just 0.1% from the previous month (7.1% from a year ago), compared with respective estimates of 0.3% and 7.3%. This is great news (and the market responded in kind), as inflation continues to moderate not only here but also in Europe. US import and export prices were also both...

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Weekly Market Pulse: Envy

Legendary investor and Berkshire Hathaway vice-chair Charles Munger recently stated: “The world is not driven by greed. It’s driven by envy.” I think this perfectly encapsulates our current investing era. In a day and age where social media has replaced not only traditional news media but human interaction, where influencers and gamers are top career aspirations for the nation’s youth, where artists (content creators) are paid by the number of followers, likes, and...

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Weekly Market Pulse: Currency Illusion

When we think about the challenges facing an investor today, the big problems, the things we worry about that could cause a lot more harm than some interest rate hikes, are mostly outside the United States. China is prominent this weekend because of demonstrations against their zero COVID policies. The Chinese people appear to be pretty well fed up with the endless lockdowns and have finally decided to try and do something about it. Unfortunately, I’m not sure...

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The IRS Will Tax Less of an Estate in 2023

In 2012, the American Taxpayer Relief Act (ATRA) established, for the first time, a permanent estate tax and gift tax exemption. The exemption is the amount an individual can pass on at death without paying estate taxes. The legislation set the exemption at $5 million per person, indexed for inflation. Five years later, Congress decided the exemption was not large enough and passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA), which increased the lifetime exemption...

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2023 Retirement Plan Contribution Limits

Worried about saving enough for retirement? You can put away more next year. The IRS has just announced the new retirement plan contribution limits for 2023. The contribution limit for employees who participate in 401(k), 403(b), most 457 plans, and the federal government’s Thrift Savings Plan increases to $22,500, up from $20,500. For individuals 50 and older, the catch-up contribution limit goes to $7,500, up from $6,500. So, if you qualify for catch-up...

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Weekly Market Pulse: Good News, Bad News

One thing I can tell you for certain about last week’s big rally on Thursday and Friday: there were a lot of people who desperately wanted a good excuse to buy stocks. And buy they did after a better-than-expected CPI report Thursday morning, pushing the S&P 500 up nearly 6% on the week with all of that coming on Thursday and Friday. The same could be said of bonds which also had a good week, with the aggregate index up 2.3%. The stock market rally probably says...

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The Cleanest Dirty Shirt

The Cleanest Dirty Shirt It’s easy to overestimate the problems the United States faces while underestimating its strengths. The challenges are certainly significant. Politics have seldom been so divisive. The government is running an annual deficit of over a trillion dollars, with a total debt many times that. Inflation has spiked. The Fed has been hiking interest rates at a pace that could imperil the economy. There is enormous wealth disparity. Economic growth has...

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