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Find the Joy!

Updated: Sep 6, 2023

Happy Market Update!

I just want all of you to know that I do not use AI to write these. Want proof? Okay…do you think it would approve of some of the things I write? Not a chance in hell.

Speaking of Joe Biden, did he fall up the stairs again? For the love of God, would someone please install one of those staircase chairs for him? Too much? Fine. How about a “Puttin’ on the Ritz” cane?

While he tours Eastern Europe, and the Fed argues with itself about whether 25 or 50 bps point increases in the Fed Funds Rate will help inflation, I spent some time in San Diego with some former market makers. These people see millions of dollars moving around their portfolios…and work at the speed of light…and you know what? Could not be happier. What I took from that experience was not about making millions (although I have some pretty good notes on it), but about them being happy in what they do. We’ve all heard the saying about doing what you love, and you won’t work a day in your life. I don’t know about all that…until I see it in person. I’ve seen people tell me they love what they do, but over time, you can see they are lying to themselves. These guys were laughing and enjoying everything around them. It was, simply put, amazing and refreshing. I’ve taken the positives of our move here at The Bear Mortgage Team and decided to double down on that joy. You should look around yourself and do the same. It’s not easy…so find a mentor. There will always be hard days. How do you handle it? It’s not anyone else’s fault how you spend your day. That’s what I took from there.

But enough of my college psychology class. This is a financial newsletter, for the most part, and I’m here to help teach you to protect your money and assets. Circling back to our conversation a few weeks back about all time high in credit card debt, and near record lows in savings…now, we are seeing a surge in 401k loans. I spoke to a person who runs a billion dollar manufacturing company who confirmed they are seeing this. So I wondered, if Covid stimulus runs out in May, credit cards are maxed and at all time high rates, savings is depleted, and the max 401k loan is pulled…what’s left? Man, that seems like a bad recipe. So don’t buy the Range Rover right now. Find a vehicle that is 1/3rd the cost. Maybe that European vacation is out of the question…cool, drive the new non-Range Rover to the badlands of South Dakota. It’s pretty cool. You don’t have to live like you are an Instagram video. Be real…and careful. Oops…back to my college psychology. Sorry about that.

Chart stuff is next.

Did you know we continue to drop, dramatically, in our Strategic Petroleum Reserves…and gas prices are rising again? This is not good if we fight any wars (Ukraine…cough)

And that demand is not about China using all the oil. It’s below where it would be without covid, and with it “re-opening”. So where is all this oil going?

As reported by “ZeroHedge” (from Bloomberg), January saw a 37% year over year decline in existing home sales. Those of us in mortgages could have told you that. And interest rates have risen since early Feb. Another bad recipe…

We will get Feb jobs reported next week. It will be interesting if we continue to see an increase in jobs created, which as you know…I think are part time jobs. Inflation is not moving down either. At the end of last week, the PPI (what producers pay) rose for Jan. So 60 days later…we the consumer pay for that. Businesses are not there to eat cost…that gets passed through. If you don’t like it, then don’t invest your 401k in businesses. The PPI was the highest since June…when inflation was accelerating still. Remember, our inflation has only slowed the rate of increase. It’s not dropping…don’t be fooled.

10yr: The recent move up is a problem. We did break above the 3.9% level. While we are just below it today, the question is this just a fake out? If we move back up, I think we go back to the 4.25% levels we saw in Oct/Nov. Lock any loans you have. That 200 day moving average (yellow line that I did not draw) really showed itself to be support. Oof.

MBS: Same story. The green line is the 100 day moving average. Remember lower here means higher rates. That line quickly turned from possible support to resistance. Now we have to get back above that…and all the other moving averages. Oof again.

Friends, look around and find joy. I know you wonder how to find joy when Tim “Doom and Gloom” Lindsey is here. But I am telling you…and have been for a long time…to prepare for the worst. I make Jackson, my 4 year old, save 25% of the money he gets from chores. All I’m saying to you is don’t spend all your money on things you might wish you did not buy if things do go south. When we get “high on the hog” again, I’ll say, go have a lot of fun (still saving money…i.e. paying yourself first). But for now, maybe buy a little extra pasta for the pantry before it costs more. Imagine if you had bought chickens 2 years ago. I bought 4…and have them stashed. I refuse to say where…for obvious reasons. I find joy in prepping for the worst. This way if it doesn’t happen, I can find joy in paying for my trip to space instead of Europe. Elon, where you at?

Tim Lindsey

Originating Branch Manager

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