FFG Insights

2023 Year-End Review & Forward Outlook The most common debate covered in the financial media during 2023 centered on the FED’s ability to engineer a soft landing in the US economy… That is, a reversion on inflation back down to the FED’s target of (2% YOY) without a major spike in US unemployment and/or recession (sustained drop in GDP)....

As the last remnant of colored leaves falls from the trees, and the anticipation of a joyous holiday season grows, most of our clients have one thought on their mind – reducing their tax bill. Our annual tax planning letter will review some tried and true tax planning concepts and cover some of the changes taking place for the 2023 and 2024 tax years, and beyond. ...

Don’t fight the FED. For a decade+, soft monetary policy boosted asset prices (stocks, bonds, real estate). That era is behind us and higher rates with FED balance sheet tightening present a major headwind for asset prices looking forward. Don’t get wooed by glimpses of a soft landing. A credit event and/or spike in unemployment rates is still likely before the FED eases interest rate & monetary policy. These events have historically been required to bring inflation “all the way down”. Coupling this with the fact that household excess savings have been zeroed out in Q3’23 further supports major credit events being imminent....

The results of the first half of 2023 suggest that the overwhelming consensus among market participants is that interest rates will fall materially in the near-term. This is reflected in the recent outperformance of more interest-rate sensitive growth stocks (vs. value stocks), the inverted yield curve, and the remarkably resilient domestic real estate market. ...

In the start of 2023, volatility, as measured by the VIX index, was low. Stocks continued their strong recovery from the bottom in October 2022. Growth stocks have experienced the largest rebound. This is following a ~30% down year in 2022. The cooling inflation numbers and the prospects of a possible recession have led market participants to expect a “FED PIVOT” in the back half 2023/early 2024. This would lead to a lowering ...

The elections are behind us and we just need to finish counting to see exactly where things landed. Point of clarity, we are referring to the 2022 elections. Our annual tax planning letter will focus on the following topics:...

Things could get worse in stocks but we should be humble in our attempts to predict FUTURE short-term price movements and FED policy. The market reaction to the rapid rise in interest rates is not a surprise. As rates rise, the math around stock valuations based on discounted future cash flows becomes more challenging....

Review of Worldwide Index Returns for Q2’2022 and Full Year 2021 - We continue to favor Value stocks vs Growth stocks in the US and abroad we are starting to discuss adding to overall equity exposure (where appropriate) in client meetings when ........

A Review of Some Benchmarks: Worldwide Index Returns for Q1’2022 and Full Year 2021. Hot topics for 2022 including interest rates and recession risks, inflation, housing and insight on investing in times of uncertainty. ...

Some Context on Predicting the Future & the Efficacy of Forecasting. At FFG, we tend to live by the saying popularized by Scott Galloway which is paraphrased here: “Predictions are useless but predicting is invaluable”....

The House recently passed the Build Back Better (BBB) Act. It now sits in the Senate and there will likely be some back and forth before they vote on a final version. As such, we are still not clear exactly what changes will be made to the tax law. Our hope is that by 2024, Congress will let us know what the 2022 tax law will be....

Forming an outlook in this market is challenging as most of our measures for valuing stocks and real estate are based in USD terms. A stable currency value is incredibly important for this purpose....

Years of shortages in new housing starts, 2-5x higher lumber prices, demographic swells, and dovish government policies explain the rapid rise in real estate prices. Millennials are now the largest block of the US population and are ......

Today, the risks in Bitcoin are still real and we appreciate them as we always have. While still a “hot topic” we are passed the Bitcoin hysteria that was 2017 and over ......