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


Good morning.

After a few days in the doldrums, the S&P so far today is in positive territory … which resulted in a very interesting observation laid out in a Yahoo Finance article this morning which pointed out that the S&P has had 30 periods since 1950 where it has been up 5 consecutive months (which is likely again) and of those 30 occurrences, it has further risen 28 times a year later … around 12.5% higher, according to the article.

Note, however, there does seem to be confusing signals surrounding employment as hiring has slowed in the Richmond and Philadelphia regions (according to Daily Shot) while The Conference Board shows increasing consumer confidence relating to job availability.

I will share a funny thing about these consumer surveys in that basing any investing decision on the results is tenuous at best.  Let’s take spending for example.  Oxford Economics put out a chart showing almost zero correlation between consumer sentiment and spending over a 12-month rolling period.  So, if sentiment is down … deciding how consumers will behave might be better figured out by flipping a coin.

While the Baltimore bridge collapse is yesterday’s news (literally), one of the most fascinating aspects must be the actions of officials who … once they heard the “mayday” put out by those on the ship … were able to stop traffic going onto the bridge … even though they had only minutes to act.  Their actions, no doubt, saved a lot of lives.  A lot of lives.

There was a comment made yesterday by Larry Fink, CEO of Blackrock, that the retirement age should be pushed up several years … affecting social security and other benefits.  Well, thanks a lot buddy.  I still think a variation of the Bill Ackman “Birthright Plan” is a much wiser alternative.  Just leave my own retirement stuff alone!

And I don’t know if I mentioned it, but Emerald Portfolio Manager, Steve Amsterdam, was my partner walking around the floor of the Consumer Electronics Show in January.  He was kind enough to share his observations in this month’s “Emerald Wit & Wisdom” podcast … with the link attached to the last item below.

We kept the podcast to around 20 minutes and certainly got a lot out of our attendance.  Confirming this, I should mention that my robot vacuum (mentioned in the podcast) is scheduled to be delivered sometime this afternoon.

That about wraps it up for today.

I need a robot’s help to do my housework as it enables me to do other things I really enjoy, like watching documentaries.

In fact, after putting it off for a while, I finally got around to watching a show last night about building clocks.

I felt it was about time.

Have a great day,

Joseph G. Witthohn, CFA

A Look At The News March 27, 2023

As of 10:21 AM today

Why buy a home when you can rent?  While a renter loses out on any appreciation of the real estate they reside in, it is a lot easier on the pocketbook … everywhere you look (QZ)


… and home buyers recognize the high cost of owning a home … even if mortgage rates slightly decline … and have not been too excited about rushing into buying a home (CNBC)


With increasing focus on social security … and the entitlement debt taken on by the U.S. … some are broadcasting the need to raise the retirement age (Marketplace)


Inflation is still a concern even as some feel it will trickle down from here.  But what is the right rate?  Has the increase been much higher than what we see in the headlines? (Forbes)


Here is one way to get rid of combustion engine cars … stop selling them. Eight states already have plans to do this … and you can be sure there will be a lot of screaming to come (DailyMail)


One of the most evident things when meeting a young person is how they are dressed … as an impression is made (or ruined) even before a single word is spoken (ArtofManliness)


Meanwhile, as mentioned in my note today, here is the link to listen to the podcast describing observations on this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (Spotify)



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.