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Listen to the latest episode of the Emerald Wit & Wisdom Podcast (12/07/23)


Good morning.

What a tough start of the day.  My computer “updated” and every time it does this the “improvements” drive me crazy.  One example is the links I include with interesting (to me) news articles.  I am trying to regain the ability to just click on the link and … poof … having the article instantly pop up. I’ll eventually figure this out, but it is maddening.

Another thing many might find maddening is today’s stock market as worries are starting to set in that the Fed might not be cutting rates any time soon … and might not even do so this year at all.  Wells Fargo (one of the nation’s largest mortgage lenders) now has conventional 30-year jumbo loans at around 6.7% APR … so many of those that refinanced in the last few years will probably want to hold on to their much lower rates … along with their homes.  Those most facing a problem are the people who jumped into the very low rate “teaser loans” … as quite a few should expect to see their interest rates (which takes up a lot of the payment early in the life of the mortgage) to more than double over the next few years.

Right now, stocks are seeing a near 300-point drop in the Dow … and we are still one day away from the start of Jerome Powell speaking to (and getting grilled by) Congress … which often proves to be an anxious time for investors seeking out clues on what may lie ahead.

There was a recent Wall Street Journal article which dealt with depression/jealousy caused by seeing how well others appear to be doing through postings on social media. Many of us don’t need social media to feel this … as all we need to do is see Bitcoin’s recent advance and wonder “heck, why didn’t I put a lot of money into this thing that I don’t understand?” That’s right … Bitcoin is once again at a record level … and each day’s upward movement brings more wondering if the bandwagon upon which to jump has any more room.

It reminds me of a few years ago when gold was climbing in price and in response to a question as to why it was happening, the answer given was “gold is rising because gold is rising.”  At first it sounded naïve but makes a lot of sense.  Once something moves up … and we see others doing quite well … we want to get on board.  FOMO (“fear of missing out”) is a strong force to deal with.

And for those aware of history, it might be important to keep in mind that ¬Charles Ponzi taught that lesson well.

That about wraps it up for today.

In the background, I am streaming a show related to some dog competition on my television and it appears none of the mixed breeds are following instructions and running wild.

But there is no breaking away from the action as those in charge realize

… the show mutts go on.


Have a great day,

Joseph G. Witthohn, CFA

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A Look At The News March 5, 2024

As of 11:26 AM today


Bitcoin is back in the news and there will be more stories of riches made by investing (I mean speculating) in this and other alternative coin offerings (CNBC)


… but some are receiving money without investing at all … as studies continue as to the pros and cons of “basic income” (NPR)


If you are like me, you look in your kitchen and find items past their “expiration date” … but should these items be discarded?  Maybe not (TheBrighterSide)


… although one study claims there is an even greater danger in your kitchen … gas stoves.  Many have given up on the charcoal grill, so what’s next? (Zenger)


Like many of us, you take medicine … some of which is pretty important … but a risk when traveling is having it confiscated.  Be aware of steps to take (USAToday)


Much maligned Harvard is back in the news … but with a good story for the Ivy League powerhouse.  It is once again the “dream school” of many (CNBC)


The statements above are supplied for educational purposes only. The statements depict the viewpoints and opinion of the author and are not necessarily the views of Emerald Asset Management or its affiliates. The information described herein is taken from sources which are believed to be reliable, but the accuracy and completeness of such information is not guaranteed by us.