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Listen to the latest episode of the Emerald Wit & Wisdom Podcast (5/18/23)


Good morning.

Stocks are relatively steady at the moment … with a slight drop as debt talks have come to a standstill (duh … what a surprise) … but what caught my attention this morning was a statement by Tom Keene on Bloomberg pointing out that the VIX Index (measuring market expectation of volatility over the next 30 days) forecasts a relatively calm stock market … even though this takes us past the date Janet Yellen claims the U.S. will run out of money if the debt-ceiling crisis is not resolved.

Sorry for the incredible run-on sentence.  It’s the new coffee beans.

While CNBC claims investors feel the situation will get resolved, Bank of America warns that markets are underestimating the Fed’s next moves … completely ignoring the old Wall Street saying of “don’t fight the Fed.”  Maybe the reason … and this is just me talking … is the Fed may have lost quite a bit of credibility (remembering the “transitory” claims right before the inflation explosion starting in April of ’21).

Still, another warning is projected by a Bloomberg Poll in which the view of a majority of economist is for negative GDP for both the third and fourth quarters of this year … in line with the Conference Board Leading Economic Indicators … which has just been reported as negative … for the 13th consecutive month.

Even the jobs market has been hit with uncertainty … as Bloomberg is reporting very recent or soon-to-be grads are having a difficult time finding employment.  Has the job market finally turned around to the point where candidates will not be so demanding as to salary and benefits?
By the way, that could be a good thing in one way … as the rate of wage growth (a Fed worry) could slow.  And those candidate “demands” could also be a bit quieter as I just read, via a survey by Quality Logo Products, that the number one benefit college seniors look for is “flexible hours.”  I suspect there are more than a few employers insisting that is the company that will set the hours … not those they will consider hiring.

On to AI (Artificial Intelligence) for a moment as I just can’t escape this.

The recent Spotify “Emerald Wit and Wisdom” podcast on the subject of AI, was very well received and I received a few requests for the topic’s continuance.  Even though I’ve been quite aware of this for months, I realize there is so much I don’t know.  Just this morning I was reviewing things like BloombergGPT, Auto-GPT and … each for finance … and realized that even as people think I’m somewhat on top of this … I’m getting lost.  Quickly.

I thought that if I was a kid … with nothing to do this summer … especially in line with the second article below that claims the fastest growing job right now is “AI Specialist” … I would really try to get some sort of expertise in the topic over the next few months.  But online classes seem quite expensive … and descriptions don’t really seem to cover what I personally am looking for.  So, I might have to attempt this on my own.  One article below claims this is so important and will be so prevalent (I’ve heard it said that “AI is the new electricity”) there is not room for either ignorance or apathy toward it.

And I tend to agree.

That about wraps it up for today.

One interesting article I came across this morning is the second-to-last one below having to do with diets.

The new claim is it does not help to follow the “fad” diets at all … as each of our bodies are different from person-to-person and what helps one might not work for another.

So out the window goes my own up-and-down constant yo-yo dieting (which has been unsuccessful for years).

I have learned that dieting is very much like the pants I tried to squeeze into this morning.

… one size doesn’t fit all.

Have a great day,

Joseph G. Witthohn, CFA
Vice President
Emerald Asset Management PA, LLC
610 Freedom Business Center Drive
King of Prussia, PA 19406
Direct: (610) 285-9905
cell: (856) 625-7915


A Look At The News | May 19, 2023

As of 11:53 AM today …

Markets are doing fairly well at the moment and the VIX (volatility index) appears to tell us things are calm.  But is the market wrong about the Fed’s next move(s)? (Crast)


What is one of the fastest growing jobs right now?  It shouldn’t be a surprise. It is figuring out this whole AI thing (Gizmodo)


… but one thing I try to point out … is what I feel is the importance for every one of us to be aware of AI… as this article claims there is no room for ignorance or apathy (Medium)


Some companies … fearing privacy issues … have banned employee use of ChatGPT … at least as it pertains to material company discussions (CoinTelegraph)


… yet other systems have thrown in the towel … and upon further consideration actually have lifted a ban on its use (Gizmodo)


It is quite interesting that instead of the approach where the claim is that certain foods are better for us … a thought is that it depends on our bodies … as we might each react differently (NPR)


One approach to the retirement problem … with regard to not saving enough … is the simple statement to “just work longer.”  Obviously, that is not a solution for everyone (CommonDreams)


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.