This week, we’ll take a look at what the last two quarters have shown us with the economy, and then we’ll check out the best county fairs in the US.
The last two economic quarters have seen the economy shrink by 1.6% in Q1 and another 0.9% in Q2. So, now that we’ve seen a decline over two quarters, does that mean we’re in a recession? Not necessarily.
The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) uses a different metric. Their official definition of a recession includes a broad, deep, long-lasting, significant decline in economic activity. It uses a variety of indicators, including job growth, industrial production, and consumer spending, so it’s not a simple calculation. And at the moment, signals are mixed. For instance, job growth and unemployment are both looking good.
Given the results of the last two quarters, some people were surprised by the Fed’s decision on July 27 to raise interest rates instead of cut them–the typical response to a recession. The current economic environment is certainly not typical given the pandemic, supply chain issues, war in Ukraine and the reasons behind the rise in inflation. The vote amongst Fed members was unanimous, and Fed Chair Jerome Powell concurred with the NBER that we are not, currently, in a recession, given how strong labor is. The Fed continues its strong commitment to reducing inflation, which does come with risks, including raising unemployment.
If you’re interested in how any of this is affecting your portfolio, first, remember that we keep portfolios well balanced in order to ride out these sorts of waves. Second, of course, you can always give us a call and we’ll be happy to walk through it all with you, as we always are.
It’s county fair season! One of our favorite times of the year. While many of us are partial to the Great Frederick Fair, we thought it would be fun to take a look at the top state and county fairs in the United States. Here are some that made several lists!
- The York State Fair in Pennsylvania claims to be America’s first fair, and it has upheld a tradition of being fun and community oriented ever since.
- The Osceola County Fair in Florida is all things Florida kitsch (exotic animal exhibits! Pie eating contests! Frisbee dogs!) plus the agricultural fair, rides, and food we expect from a good old traditional fair.
- The Skagit County Fair in Washington state has intriguing additions to the usual fair line up, like a Museum of Curious Things and a Butterfly Encounter. If you’re in the PNW, check it out and let us know how it is.
- The Medina County Fair in Ohio brings a Battle of the Bands to the fair culture, in addition to featuring extra-thrilling carnival rides.
- The Kansas State Fair is the largest event in the whole state. It even has a wedding venue! Talk about dedication to a theme.
That’s it for us this week! Eat some funnel cake for us, and we’ll be back in your inboxes next Friday.
How We Help
This week we met with a client looking at investment properties to purchase in Maryland, which seems like the perfect time to remind everyone that Obsidian can assist with running cash flow projections and help you evaluate these real estate opportunities. In this case, we helped the couple determine what their real long-term goals are, and how to best diversify their wealth to achieve the vision of their ideal future. Location, income versus capital appreciation, how much capital to use versus borrowing are all important factors to consider. We finally were able to run projections to see how these new investment properties would impact their retirement success rate. If you’re considering investing in directly-owned property, please give us a call and we’ll work through your situation with you!
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