fbpx Skip to main navigation Skip to content

Call on Us: We came across this chart (from Shanin Thomas, CFA) earlier this week, and we think it’s a terrific reminder of the current macro state of affairs:

It’s a good illustration of the value of goal planning when there is more time. We want to help you dream about what those things can be for you. We’re a phone call away if there are any ways we can help you think through your financial goals, plan for immediate needs, think through retirement planning—we want to help you figure out how to invest in what matters most to you.

Mortgage Rate Hike: This past week saw another fixed-rate home loan jump, reaching the highest since December 2018. Two weeks ago, the 30-year fixed mortgage rate was 4.42% but jumped to 4.67% by the month’s end. The rise is hardly unexpected given the low mortgage rates through the pandemic. But, the increase has been quicker than most analysts expected. Typically, higher mortgage rates lead to slow home-buying activity. “But for now, there are ample signs that the U.S. housing boom, featuring surging prices, ultralow inventories, and persistent demand around the country, is far from over,” The Wall Street Journal reported.

The Great Exit: U.S. workers are quitting their jobs in record numbers—more than 24 million from April to September in 2021, reported by Bloomberg. With incomes hitting a plateau, job security perilous, cost of housing and education soaring, the idea of a financially stable life is a bit more fleeting. The pandemic introduced feelings of burnout and mental deterioration. As Bloomberg reports, “It’s a reaction against a system in which a grueling ‘996’ work schedule—9 a.m. to 9 p.m., six days a week—is common in industries like technology. Perhaps most interesting is this data: “Almost half of the world’s workers are considering quitting, according to a Microsoft Corp. survey. About 4 in 10 millennial and Gen Z respondents say they’d leave their job if asked to come back to the office full time, a global survey by advisory company Qualtrics International Inc. found—more than any other generation.”

Business Briefing

  • Biden Orders Oil Release—President Biden ordered the release of one million barrels of oil per day from the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve over 180 days to help bring down the crude oil prices driven up by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. (The New York Times)
  • More Russian Sanctions—The Biden administration imposed sanctions on tech companies and individuals suspected of helping Russia and its military evade economic penalties over Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the U.S. would “continue to target Putin’s war machine with sanctions from every angle until this senseless war of choice is over.”
  • TurboTax Problems—The Federal Trade Commission is suing TurboTax maker Intuit, accusing it of misleading consumers with ads promising “free” tax filing even though millions wind up being ineligible for the no-charge software option. “TurboTax is bombarding consumers with ads for ‘free’ tax filing services and then hitting them with charges when it’s time to file,” said Samuel Levine, director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection, in a statement.

Pandemic = Generosity: According to research from the world’s largest tracker of financial giving found that the pandemic made Americans more generous with their capital. Seventy-eight percent of U.S. counties with a COVID-19 threat increased the total amount donated in March 2020 compared to March 2019. Even more encouraging, the charitable amounts increased the most when the degree of danger from the virus was highest: 32.9% under high threat vs. 28.5% under medium threat compared to no threat. Perhaps this is a silver lining from the tragedy of the pandemic? We’re at our best individually and corporately when we live out the truth that it’s better to give than receive.