Category Archive: 5.) Alhambra Investments

Market Currents – Is The Economy Contracting?

Is the economy contracting? Alhambra’s Steve Brennan poses that question to CEO Joe Calhoun.

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Weekly Market Pulse: No News Is…

Nothing happened last week. Stocks and bonds and commodities continued to trade and move around in price but there was no news to which those movements could be attributed. The economic news was a trifle and what there was told us exactly nothing new about the economy.

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Be Sure to Read the Medicare Fine Print

Medicare. The government defines it as “The federal health insurance program for people 65 and older.” That seems simple enough. But there’s more to it than meets the eye because Medicare, like so many other things, has fine print that could end up costing you a lot of money if you don’t know about it.

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Weekly Market Pulse: The More Things Change…

I stopped in a local antique shop over the weekend. The owner is retiring and trying to clear out as much as she can before they close the doors so I paid a mere $3 for the Life magazine above. I think it might be worth many multiples of that price for investors who think our situation today is somehow uniquely bad. The cover headline could just as easily be describing today as 1970.

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Weekly Market Pulse (VIDEO)

Alhambra CEO Joe Calhoun compares the similarities between today’s bear market and past ones, plus last week’s data on the economy, employment, and whether the new data points to recession.

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Powell’s White Whale

The lagged effect of inflation. “Just call me Ishmael,” Jay.

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Goldilocks Calling

Since the summer of 2020, my expectation for the US economy has been that once all the COVID distortions are gone, it would revert to its previous trend growth of around 2%. And that seems to be exactly what is going on with the economy right now.

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How Working Longer Affects Your Social Security Benefits

Since 1935, Social Security has been synonymous with retirement. It was always intended to supplement retirement income, never be a person’s total retirement income. Unfortunately, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, about half of older Americans rely on Social Security for at least 50% of their income, and 25% of retirees rely on it for 90% of their income. That’s why more Americans are choosing to work longer.

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Investment Team Addition



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Weekly Market Pulse: The Dog That Didn’t Bark

Gregory (Scotland Yard detective): “Is there any other point to which you would wish to draw my attention?” Sherlock Holmes: “To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time.” Gregory: “The dog did nothing in the night-time.” Sherlock Holmes: “That was the curious incident.” From Silver Blaze by Arthur Conan Doyle, 1892

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Rate Hikes Are Working

New home sales were reported for July as down nearly 13% to 511K, a number that is just about the average since 2010 (543k). But that doesn’t tell the whole story obviously. New home sales have fallen sharply since December of last year, down 39%. The drop from the peak in August 2020 is even more dramatic, down nearly 51%.

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The Economy Improved In July

The Chicago Fed National Activity Index rose to 0.27 in July with all four categories of indicators rising. The 3 month average was unchanged at -0.09. That indicates growth is slightly below trend and is far from the recession threshold of -0.7.

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Weekly Market Pulse: Same As It Ever Was

History never repeats itself. Man always does. Mark Twain is credited with a similar saying, that history doesn’t repeat but it rhymes. Of course, there is scant evidence that Clemens said anything of the sort just as Voltaire may or may not have penned the quote above. But both men were much wittier than I – than most – so I’ll take them both as being representative if not genuine.

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Tips for Buying a Medicare Supplement Policy

The clock is ticking and it gets louder the closer you get to the magic age of 65. That’s when you sign up for Medicare. But there’s more than one way to receive Medicare coverage. There are Medicare Advantage plans, sometimes referred to as all-in-one plans, because they provide medical coverage and can also provide benefits for vision, dental, hearing, and prescriptions.

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Another Historic Social Security Cost of Living Increase is on the Way

It’s almost time for the Social Security Administration to break out pencil and calculator to find out how much more it costs to live this year than it did last, and then decide how much of a raise Social Security beneficiaries will get in 2023. For 2022, the Social Security Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) was 5.9%, the largest increase since 1982.

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Fed Official: Inverted curve means Fed is awesome [Ep. 269, Eurodollar University]

James Bullard, St. Louis Fed chief, says the yield curve is twisted by the inflation surge, and may not be a recession message. Indeed, markets are twisting it because they have confidence the central bank will get control of consumer prices.

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Weekly Market Pulse: Opposite George

It all became very clear to me sitting out there today, that every decision I’ve ever made, in my entire life, has been wrong. My life is the complete opposite of everything I want it to be. Every instinct I have, in every aspect of life, be it something to wear, something to eat… It’s all been wrong.

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In 1982 the Fed missed an opportunity; it still haunts us [Ep. 267, Eurodollar University]

On May 20, 1982 the Fed held an emergency conference call for which transcripts are missing (on purpose? by accident?) to solve the "Drysdale Problem". They 'solved' it by focusing on the trees and ignoring the forest.

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Ask Bob: Is Maxing Out Your 401k A Good Investment Decision?

Since the beginning of 401(k) plans in 1978, people have considered it to be the quintessential retirement plan—you get to save money before taxes and in most cases, the company puts money into your account, too. What could be better than that? But now, 44 years later, it’s time to take a broader look at 401(k)s that considers taxes on 401(k) distributions.

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Yield Curve Inversion ‘Infection’ Spreading [Ep. 263, Eurodollar University]

The US Treasury yield curve continues to spread and has reached the 52-week bill. The Fed is being told by the market it will be CUTTING rates, soon.

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