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Make It Happen

Happy Market Update! 

 

Struggle is a word we hear a lot in conversations, publications, and social media. But what is a struggle? Is it relative? And if it is relative, what is it relative to? Is my struggle to get to benching 315 a struggle for someone who doesn’t understand why I feel the need to bench press a large lion? (Stop here. Benching pressing a lion sounds like a bad ass thing to do. Right? I mean come on.) My point here is that whatever struggle I may be having, others may not understand. And you know what? That’s okay. It’s not their life. We live in a world where social media tells us that everyone is on vacation in the best times of their lives…or they are turning down a rabbit hole that continues to get larger and larger as the weeks go on. I’m not saying that we need to ignore these people, but it’s also not your responsibility to fix them. Here’s a perfect example from Portlandia of what I mean:



Let’s take Jackson for a second. He’s 5 (and a half, Dad), and acting like he’s 15 already. He gets those growing pains in his legs…I can’t help that. All I can do is tell him that I had them too…and I’m 6’3”. That seems to ease him a bit, as he wants to be tall. Then I give him two shots of bourbon and send him to bed.



But seriously, I understand him but cannot really help. We see this a lot in the sales industry, myself included. It’s been a struggle to own a reboot of a mortgage company these past 2 years. No matter what I share with my personal team and sales team, as much as they may nod or love on me, they truly cannot understand unless they are living with it. That does not make it unreal, it just means that I must dig deep and find the strength to overcome. There’s a quote by Jim Rohn (that I’ve probably mentioned it in this newsletter before) that says we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with. If you are struggling, and you cannot find the ones that are helping you pull up, maybe it’s time to find a replacement. I call these 5 people “The Board”. They should be people you can seek advice from…even if the advice isn’t what you want to hear. In fact, maybe that’s best. And you know what, that will be a new struggle. See struggles are real and not always bad. To grow, we have to struggle. Ever see a baby try to walk? Struggle. Ever try to learn trigonometry as a teenager? Struggle. Ever dealt with a loss in your life and continued to get up each day that same week? Struggle. Ever see a guy eat 62 hot dogs and buns in 10 mins? Struggle. (Imagine what his belly feels like for the next week.) My point here is that the struggle isn’t forever. But you have to push yourself and actually try. Some people say they struggle, but they haven’t really even tried. I could write another several newsletters about why that might be. But this newsletter is to remind you AND me that while the struggle might be real, we must dig deep, look for the right guidance, and push. Push hard.

 

What does this have to do with a financial newsletter? Well, it was Fed week. That in itself is a struggle. You get to read about inflation, the Fed dots, and the slowing jobs and economy (yes, it really is slowing). I have a lot of charts in today…I had to push a lot out to next week, otherwise, I risk losing some readers who probably throw their coffee mugs at the wall some days they read this. But here we go.

 

I’m starting off with our friend NOD (@NOD008 on X). This chart he posted from Yahoo Finance is telling. As usual, I have my trusty red pen out to direct your attention. Why have we had chaos in our financial markets over the past decades? Does this chart look healthy? I would never buy a stock that looked like this. Or would I? Based on history (looking to the left as a mentor of mine, AJ Monte (@theoptionoracle on X) tells me), it sure looks like I can forecast what comes next. Can you? Gray is recession…but not what I want to point out. Look at how long we move sideways before we take a dive…a literal dive. Listen to the talking heads…or read this chart? I’m with the charts! Keeping rates higher for longer is a thing…but the struggle for them is how long can they sustain before it pushes us so far that we have to take that dive?



Well this week the Fed held their Fed Funds Rate steady. This adds to the higher for longer narrative. But I really like the next one…the Fed Dot Plat Map.



This chart is from the CME. It’s a dot-plot of what the Fed Meeting participants are forecasting. The red line is me telling you where we are currently. You can see that 4 of them don’t expect to lower rates. 7 of them think we lower by 25 basis points, or what the talking heads tell us is 1 time in 2023. Then you have the rest saying 2 times (or 50). So more than half think none or one. Remember, the talking heads all told us we would see up to 8 this year. That’s their struggle…they don’t actually know anything. Stop listening to them. And hey, don’t listen to me. Read the charts. There are some saying that the economy is great but we need 3 times this year. That is stupid. If the economy is great, then why cut? If you don’t understand that last part, call or email me. I’ll explain.



Meanwhile, we did get inflation news. Remember, the Fed’s target is 2. Again, I’ve drawn a nice line and written a really ugly 2 so you can see the target. Are we there yet? No. So why would the Fed move their rate down? In fact, you can see that for almost a year, we have moved sideways. So we did some “damage” to inflation…but that has literally stopped…and moved sideways. This is why some think the Fed may need to raise rates again. I don’t like it either, but the work is not done yet. So no way we get a rate cut any time soon.



Why is the economy doing well? Is it the overspending by our Federal Gov’t? Why yes! Yes it is! This chart shows that each time we have had a % of GDP (Gross Domestic Product) this high, we have a crisis. “This time is different” is a famous last line. Why is this time different? This is a fiscal newsletter…and I lean to the right fiscally. STOP SPENDING OUR MONEY ON STUPID SHIT! We have infrastructure problems that need my taxes. But you’ve got send money overseas, launder it, and send it back to your political agendas that are ONLY to get you re-elected. Shame on everyone in DC. You are not good people.



Speaking of not good people…how about those that report our jobs? Even Jerome Powell this week said, “there is an argument that (payrolls) may be a bit overstated.” Wow. That’s an understatement. I bet he got some calls at home that night. But he’s right. Look at this chart. There’s your jobs…part-time is not a healthy environment. Record number of people have more than one job. Sure, things are great. Here’s your 3rd part-time job, sir. Enjoy your life! You are welcome!



Speaking of jobs…let’s check in on some new laws created to “help” people…and how they are doing. Let’s start with California. This headline from ZeroHedge speaks volumes. Way to make that law work well! So it’s not just DC politicians screwing things up. The screwing comes all the way down to the local levels.



And yes, Colorado (where I live) does NOT get a pass. Look at this ridiculous new law. Remember above when I said the struggle was relative? Well, Free Speech is not relative. If you let someone burn my Flag in this country, then I can say whatever I want. Who decides what’s mis-information? The party in charge? That’s not good for anyone. Maybe your party won’t be in charge some day. How are you gonna feel about it? This is stupid. I don’t need a parent. I’m 50. I did my time as a kid. I did NOT give you the authority to tell me what I can and cannot say. So get ready to fine me and put some cuffs on me. 



Okay, that was pretty intense…and a lot. So let’s move towards the original reason I started this newsletter. Interest rates. Here is a look back at the average 30yr fixed in this country from the 70s. It’s nice because it doesn’t look this bad when you zoom out. But that spike on the right, hurts. This shows us that the 2s are probably not likely. Over the past 2 decades, we are probably near an average of 5.5-ish. That’s probably healthy. I know the 7s are not.







10yr: This is a good sign…for the first time this year. That is a firm breakout to the downside of my upward yellow trendline. We tried to push back up to it after the jobs last week…and we failed to hold it higher. This is GOOD for interest rates. Let’s see if we can hold this move down and help out housing. 



MBS: Likewise, we are near our highs in MBS (high means lower rates). We need some help here…this does not look as promising as the 10yr, but we will take what we can get…even if it’s in the short term. Come one MBS! You can do it!





The bottom line here is that struggles are needed. I won’t say we need struggles to understand what a non-struggle is (like I did with winning and losing last week). I just want to say that if people don’t understand, it’s probably because they are in a different struggle part of life. It’s not up to the people around you to get you un-struggled. You have to do that. So put on your boots and lace them up! Today is the best day to start solving that struggle.

 

What does not kill you makes you stronger.

Tim








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