Author :
Obsidian Planning

Obsidian Market Update 8/19/2022

Hello friends!


This week, we’ll take a look at some… less conventional economic indicators. Then, we’ll delve into a topic everyone loves: coffee.


Often when we talk about economic indicators, we’re talking about unemployment, inflation, and other data used by analysts to determine the health of the market. We can across some other less formal indicators to consider- we by no means give any validity to them, but we found them interesting and unique to read.

  • Remember Al Greenspan’s “men’s underwear index”? In theory, it’s another way to look at discretionary spending, as men aren’t likely to go buy new underwear if money is tight. The lipstick index and the cardboard box index work in a similar way.
  • The Big Mac index is also fun (and making us hungry). Rather than a spending metric, it looks at the relative value of the US dollar to other currencies. If a Big Mac costs $5 in the US but $2 in South Africa, it shows that the South African rand is weak against the dollar.
  • A surprisingly accurate, if grim, measurement is the recession index, which tracks how many times the Washington Post and the New York Times use the word “recession.” The higher the number, the more likely the recession.
  • The champagne index is also shockingly accurate at times, but it makes sense–people pop bottles when times are good.


If you were going to track the economy in your own life, what metric would you use?


All this talk of economics got you sleepy? Here are some of the best coffee beans in the world to get you perked right back up!


(Well, first, we should say that there is no objective standard for the best coffee. Things ranging from your upbringing to your taste training to your mood can affect what you do and don’t like. But if you want to try something new, this is the list for you).


  • If you like floral/fruity, try Tanzania Peaberry coffee, ideally medium roasted.
  • For a coffee that holds up well to a dark roast, Nicaraguan or Sumatra Mandheling beans will go down smooth.
  • A spicy, fruity bean that will expand your range, try Ethiopian Harrar. Ethiopian Yirgacheffe is also great, even though the hipsters love it. Sometimes the hipsters are right.


That’s it for us this week! Enjoy your favorite cup of joe this weekend, and we’ll be back in your inboxes next Friday.


How We Help


Our team at Obsidian guides people through all types of life transitions, like retirement, death of a spouse, divorce, and many others. We recently counseled and updated a family’s Lifestyle Protector plan because of an exciting career change. These clients have relocated to a different area of the country to pursue an opportunity to advance in their career and experience a new location. This kind of move can bring up a lot of questions and uncertainty about the impact to their long-term plan. We have found that our clients value our role as a sounding board during significant life changes, whether positive or negative, and this case was no exception. We sat down with our clients to decide how to address housing, new company benefits, the impact to income and expenses on future retirement cash flow, and the impact of taxes on their plan. We illustrated how this new adventure would affect their future thus giving our clients the information and leverage to make the best decision for their family.


Advisory Services offered through Obsidian Personal Planning Solutions, LLC. Securities are offered through Triad Advisors, member ​FINRA/SIPC.​ Obsidian Personal Planning Solutions, LLC, and Obsidian Personal Planning Solutions, Inc, are not affiliated with Triad Advisors.


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