This Is Not Your Grandfather’s Stock Market

June 16, 2024

Just 1% of S&P 500 Stocks Are Yielding 60% of 2024’s Gains  by Thomas Brueckner, CLTC  Benjamin Graham, the mentor that Warren Buffett first met in 1947, championed diversification across multiple asset classes. That wisdom is entirely supplanted by the weighted composition of today’s S&P 500 index.  Many of you probably heard about the “Magnificent Seven” last year. Those seven companies were responsible for pulling the other 493 firms in the S&P 500 from the mundane return of 7.8% to

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The Era of Fed-enabled Markets is Over

March 16, 2023

The length and severity of the looming recession no longer matters By Thom Brueckner If you’re like most investors of the last 12 months, you’ve been scratching your head, wondering at the direction of markets amid the Federal Reserve’s relentless push toward higher interest rates in an attempt to curb the inflation they once thought was “transitory”.   The market has essentially been trading within the same 2000-point range for the better part of 14 months, and the first 1500 points

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The Incredible, Inevitable, Avoidable Recession of 2022

March 15, 2022

After five straight weeks of losses on Wall Street, followed by last week’s “dead cat bounce“, the question I get asked more than any other is, “Thom, do you think we’re going into a recession?”  The answer, as the title suggests, is increasingly and overwhelmingly yes, although many of the mismanaged causes now contributing to that recession have been entirely avoidable. As Forbes just reported, the last 10 weeks have been the fifth worst start to a year in U.S.

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The CDC is Holding Our School Children Hostage to Political Science

August 12, 2021

Over the last 18 months, I have spoken to many of you about the tyrannical controls that school boards have placed upon your grandchildren, and the impact those mandates have had on their parents, your adult children. “Our daughter hasn’t been able to return to work, because she’s at home supervising remote learning—even as private schools and the public schools in Florida have been fully open all year…”, one client pleaded, echoing the frustrations that I’ve heard from dozens of

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U.S. Inflation? Only Temporarily…

July 16, 2021

Sugar is up 50%, gas prices are up $1.10 this year, and lumber (was) up over 300%.  Many of you have been emailing and calling asking, “Should we be worried that 1970s style inflation is back?” As I’ve been saying on my radio show for several months, if the markets actually believed that these inflation numbers were anything to worry about, we wouldn’t still be testing all-time highs on a weekly basis. The reason the year-over-year Producer Price Index—up an

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The Impact of Volatile Markets on Your Retirement Drawdown

May 28, 2021

Fact: We are now several months into the 13th year of an ongoing* bull market, which began—courtesy of the Federal Reserve’s ZIRP (zero/low interest rate policy) on March 9th of 2009. Apart from this merely being a curious factoid, why is this significant?  Well, for starters, it behooves us to note that the average bull market lasts 3.8 years, and when the market does go into bear territory (a loss of more than -20% from the recent high) its average

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A Tale of Two Economies

April 30, 2021

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…“, the opening line in Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities, came to mind on Wednesday afternoon and Thursday evening of this week. In a tale of two speeches, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell first admitted that the Federal Reserve expects to see “transitory inflation” well in excess of their preferences, later this year. Late Thursday night, in his first speech before a joint session of Congress, President Biden attempted

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Why Markets Are Erratic and Why You Should Be Concerned

March 8, 2021

On March 5, the U.S. Labor Department released the jobs numbers for February, and they were phenomenal. While the expectation for jobs created was about 182,000 for the month, February saw job growth of 379,000 new hires, more than double the estimate, while unemployment dropped a tick to 6.2%, and the numbers for January were revised higher by an additional 117,000 hires. The day before, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell signaled that although they see signs of “transitory inflation” in the

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The Science Now Shows our 38.64 Million Unemployed Could Return to Work

May 21, 2020

As a financial advisor, I deal in absolutes, data, numerical analysis, and logic.  Clients are constantly asking me for my take on a wide variety of related subjects, and no subject has been more confusing to them than our nation’s convoluted and ever-changing response to the Chinese COVID-19 virus and its consequences to their finances.  When our leaders and virology experts first recommended shutting down society, we didn’t know what we didn’t yet know—so we played it safe.  That was

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Coronavirus and Our National Debt

May 8, 2020

As this author celebrates 30 years in private practice this month, I can think of no issue about which I have seen more confusion, misunderstandings, and lack of context over that span than the issue of our National Debt. Every four years, as Americans go to the polls, the party out of power in the White House finds a way to misrepresent and assign responsibility for the national debt to the party currently in power in the White House. The

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