Category Archives: Finance

Bears Watching: Cash & Real Estate

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I love this chart produced by Capital Spectator on a monthly basis:

Two things I find interesting:

  1. Cash is still the best performing asset through the one year mark.  Actually, cash is the only positive performing asset (in nominal terms).
  2. And the poor performance of Foreign Real Estate over five years. Foreign real estate is the worst performing asset, at least in U.S. dollar terms.

Bears Watching: Short Yields & Fed Funds Rate

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Wow. Stunning collapse in short duration yields.


Over 100 bps on the two year.

And what is even more interesting to me is the gap between the current Fed Funds target rate and these rates:


Seems like that is going to need to resolve itself somehow, at some point.

Are Credit Conditions Tightening Again?

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Despite the Fed raising interest rates, credit conditions were actually relaxing on some levels in the back half of 2022.

“Financial conditions have loosened significantly in recent months and, by some measures, are around levels that prevailed last March when the Fed initiated this hiking cycle.” – Why the Federal Reserve Should Raise Rates by Half a Percent

Equities were rallying through this period, unsurprisingly.  So, were digital bit apes and other assorted things.

However, there appears to be evidence that credit conditions are now heading the other way:

  1. “The Federal Reserve has reduced its balance sheet by $626 billion since the peak in April 2022, with total assets now down to $8.34 trillion, the lowest since August 2021, according to the weekly balance sheet released today. Compared to a month ago, total assets dropped by $94 billion.” “Over the past four weeks, the Fed has shed $61.2 billion in Treasury securities, exceeding by a smidgen the monthly cap of $60 billion.” – Fed’s Balance Sheet Drops by $626 Billion from Peak
  2. “The only time conditions have tightened this much has been in advance of or during the last 4 recessions since 1990.” – Credit conditions in Q4 were recessionary
  3. “As it stands, the average lender is now back up into the low 7’s for a well-qualified 30yr fixed scenario. These aren’t the highest levels we’ve seen during this cycle, but they are the highest in more than 4 months (and not too far away from the long-term highs just under 7.4%).” – Calculated Risk: “Mortgage Rates Now Back Above 7%”

We have had a 15 year bull market with low interest rates and lots of liquidity.  In other words, “Disneyland.”

My sense is most market participants are going to be slow to change how they learned to behave during the bull market cycle, until they are forced to do so.  

Excel Templates & Other Free Stuff

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Financial modeling and excel are skills that I am good at.  I am not sure if that is a good or bad thing.

And at times, I have posted some templates and workbooks that I find useful or use a lot.  Hopefully, they will save you a bit of time.

Here is a current listing:

  1. Excel Template: Stacked Bar Chart with Total
  2. Excel Template: Football Field Chart
  3. Maturity Schedule

These are all downloadable on Gumroad at no cost.  

Drop a note in the comments if there is something excel that you would like to see.  No promises.  

Remember, you get what you pay for…


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This is not investment advice.  This is just information that anyone who has any savings in high yield savings or money market accounts should know.

The most recent Treasury Bill auction results:

And Notes:

Look at that rate on the 26 week bill. And the 2 Year Note cracking 3%.

Marcus, you and your peers better up your game a bit.

Again, this is most definitely not investment advice.

Bears Watching: All Time Lows

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I see a chart like this, and the value hunter in me, cannot help but see an opportunity.  This fund is plumbing its all time lows.

But then I look at a chart like this, and think, well maybe all time lows when the history is only from 2010 forward, is irrelevant (maybe even dangerous) given the macro squishing that could happen if large flows / rate trends reverse (i.e. return to more normal levels).

The vast majority of interest rate history is above, not below, where we are today.

Source: Visual Capitalist

That’s A Bunch Of…

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Ok, what am I missing?

The seller wants to sell me house that will cost almost $10,000 per month, and wants to rent it back for $5,000 per month.

I presume that if I do enough of these, I will make it up in volume?