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Listen to the latest episode of the Emerald Wit & Wisdom Podcast (03/21/24)


Good morning.

The first quarter of the year is behind us and forecasters that announced it would be troublesome for investors are quietly licking their wounds. This group was right about one thing … inflation stayed above the Fed 2% target … but markets chose to focus more on continued buying by the American consumer … and today we watch as futures are positive and the Dow attempts to break above 40,000.

Ah, the Fed … the Fed.  The “Fed Watch” will be the game we play for the next few months as there is an increase in bets being made that June will see the start of rate cuts as Reuters reports the CME FedWatch tool moved up to seeing a 68.5% chance (up from 57% at the end of the week prior).  But the article points out even deeper moves called for by strategists at Citi … where the claim is further softening in the labor market could result in 5 cuts this year (while consensus presently calls for 3).

It might be noted … as pointed out in the first article below … that too much of a drop in inflation is not necessarily a good thing.

Sure … we might applaud lower costs … but “deflation” … where people just stop buying as they think lower prices are ahead … can be rather damaging to an economy.  I will say, the mentioned article is an interesting read … even as we all hope inflation reverses … but not too much.

I think I might have made a mistake this weekend. Somehow, an item hit my mailbox touting a sale on wine and … upon investigation … I felt the prices offered made a purchase worthwhile.  To share something that maybe I shouldn’t … a few years ago I decided that if I greatly reduced my wine consumption, I could buy much “better” wines (aka. “no more of the Mad Dog 20/20) and reduce both my spending and my headaches.

So, yes … I did my homework … ordered some rather awesome wine … and went on with my day. Then the inevitable happened.  Almost every place I went on the internet gave me dozens of pop-up ads on wine sales for the next few hours … and I couldn’t seem to escape, other than turning off my computer for a few hours.

It almost drove me to drink.

Meanwhile, I am waiting for the weather to clear up as a friend and I found something interesting called “Spark Golf” and we play later today.

The rules are simple … you join a “league” and once a week, after work, you play 9 holes at one of over 2,000 courses in the U.S. and Canada. It is 100% made for “social” play.  Hit a ball out of bounds?  Move it in play (with one stroke penalty).  In a divot?  Improve your lie.  Too many shots on one hole?  Don’t worry … take you ball out of the bunker, take the max score and move on. Within 3 feet of the hole?  It’s a “gimme.”

Boy, if I use these rules to play 18, maybe I will break 100 this year.

That about wraps it up for today as I need to go to the food store.

I cooked yesterday and ran out of certain items … including Worcestershire Sauce … which is, after all, my favorite condiment.


It’s hard to say.

Have a great day,


Joseph G. Witthohn, CFA

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A Look At The News | April 1, 2024

As of 10:56 AM today

We would like prices to fall … wouldn’t we? Don’t be so fast, says economists, as there is certainly a downside to this (APNews)


… but, as I point out many times, one thing going down … and rather quickly … is birthrates … and this article claims the world is certainly not ready (ScienceAlert)


Getting people to listing to you might seem difficult at times … and, no, using a hammer is not a solution.  But one expert suggests you give these ways a try (CNBC)


Aside from higher income, one benefit of staying in school is a longer life … though much of this might certainly be due to being able to afford better health care (ScienceAlert)


If you shop at Costco, you will have noticed the free samples that seem so readily available.  Be kind to those dishing them out … they don’t work for Costco and get much lower pay (Mashed)


I tried this and it is pretty good … and will improve over time. Instead of going crazy putting together a Powerpoint, use AI as an assistant. You might love the result (Geeky-gadgets)


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.