The Lowry Letter®

The Lowry Letter® - 10/27/2022

Tax adjustments are live for 2023. Tax brackets have moved up by 7%, meaning that you can earn more money before your income pushes into a higher bracket. The percentages applied to each bracket remain the same.

Contribution limits have also increased for retirement plans (see Ask the Joes®).

The Lowry Letter® - 10/19/2022

Inflation remains high when prices are measured compared to the same month last year. The rate is not increasing markedly month-to-month, which is a positive development. Because monetary policy (what the Federal Reserve does) takes 6-9 months to impact the real economy, it is too early to know what higher rates are doing to prices.

Many eyes are on housing, with important numbers expected this week.

The Lowry Letter® - 10/13/2022

Last week, Joe Jr. took his kids to help with church group hurricane clean-up activities in Port Charlotte. While the damage is significant, we were impressed by the mobilization of emergency personnel, utility workers, and other key people. They have even restored access to Sanibel by vehicle. Limited to emergency and utility workers, they expect that residents will be able to drive to the island by October 21.

The Lowry Letter® - 10/6/2022

While we were spared serious effects from Hurricane Ian, many in our state were not. There are a number of good agencies providing support, including the American Red Cross.

In other news, most investors are thinking about continued pressure on stock and bond markets. We have reviewed the reasons for this before, including the lingering effects of Covid-related slowdowns, related government support, and resulting inflation.

Federal reserve policy has been aggressive. It is important to remember that interest rate increases, like most economic policy, can take many months to impact the economy. The markets have moved ahead of the real economic impact, especially in mortgages. Housing has been affected by these measures and as that expense comprises a large part of the inflation calculation, some relief may be coming.

The Lowry Letter® - 9/27/2022

Hurricane Ian is heading to Florida, so the Lowry Letter® is earlier than usual so we can brief you on our Emergency Procedures. The storm is likely to make landfall Wednesday night/Thursday morning, though that may change. Floridians have entered the mode where we divide our day into the 3-hour increments between NOAA updates.

In the event the storm requires office closure, we will be working remotely and will be able to review phone messages and email and respond to your needs.

The Lowry Letter® - 9/22/2022

The Federal Reserve raised interest rates, as expected. Brad McMillan previewed the move in this post. Looking ahead, he wrote:

Current betting is on another 75 bp hike at the next meeting, then a slowdown to 50 bps each, with the target rate topping out at around 4 percent to 4.5 percent. If that is what the comments suggest, again no real market reaction. The real action will be in the details, especially around what the market expects versus what the Fed says.

So, there will be continued movement and activity as Fed comments are released and reviewed.

The Lowry Letter® - 9/15/2022

Tuesday saw the worst day for the stock market since 2020. Inflation remains high and the implications of that on interest rate policy weighed on the market.

Despite this, measures of economic risk remain mixed, with labor remaining a key positive and something that keeps the official recession question in the mix. More on this below.

The Lowry Letter® - 9/8/2022

Technically, the “dog days of summer” took place between July 3 and August 11. The rise of the star Sirius (the “Dog Star”) in proximity to our sun was believed to produce the hottest days of the year. The weather of the past few weeks in much of the country are putting the dog days to shame. We hope for cooler temps (and more positive markets) as we near the 4th quarter of 2022.

The Lowry Letter® - 9/2/2022

If you missed our recent webinar, you can view it here on our YouTube Channel. We hope you enjoy it (and the questions are still pretty timely).

The Lowry Letter® - 8/24/2022

As we sit with you for periodic meetings, we feel continually grateful for your trust and confidence. 2022 has been a challenging year for the markets and has tested our collective patience. We receive excellent questions about the best way to handle the market declines that are a normal part of being an investor. Often, the answers sound similar: “Focus on what you can control. Maintain a long-term commitment to your investment program. Diversification and a systematic approach still make sense.”