Muhlenkamp Memorandum Issue #133

In their Quarterly Letter, Ron and Jeff state that the markets seem to be pretty price insensitive for popular companies. The economy continued to grow at a modest pace, but if you look at the overall metrics, it’s a “mixed bag.” In Jeff’s article, “Prolific Natural Gas in the United States: Looking Back Over the Last Decade,” he explains how the consumer has benefited from the availability of low-cost natural gas and how it has affected the sources of U.S. electricity generation as well as U.S. natural gas exports.
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Quarterly Letter, January 2020

Looking back over 2019 only two things really mattered much to the economy of all the things that hit the headlines: tariffs and the Federal Reserve. The imposition of tariffs on imported goods forced a re-evaluation of a lot of supply chains and was a headwind for businesses. The Fed reversed the direction of policy in January: shifting from raising rates and reducing their balance sheet to lowering rates and expanding their balance sheet.
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Archive of December 11, 2019 Webcast

A record-long economic expansion and bull market in the U.S. is continuing. Are problems developing that could end them? During our webcast, Ron and Jeff Muhlenkamp reviewed the indicators they regularly look at to help them answer that question. They also briefly discussed areas where they are finding attractive investments and where they are not.
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Muhlenkamp Memorandum Issue #132

Ron and Jeff share what they see going on economically, financially, and politically in their Quarterly Letter. Their topics include: U.S. trade negotiations with China, Brexit and the markets, a German recession, an inverted yield curve, low inflation, and slowing industrial growth. Tony shares his ideas about money in terms of good and evil in his article, "Letter to My Daughters: On Money." Read our Memo to see if he thinks money is the root of all evil, or good for the soul?
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Quarterly Letter, October 2019

It’s been a noisy summer. Lots of political news, lots of tariff and trade war news, lots of international headlines of various sorts. Funny thing though, as we write this note during the last week of September the S&P 500 Index is within three percent of the all-time high it set in July. By that measure, it’s been a quiet summer.
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Archive of August 29, 2019 Webcast

During our webcast Ron and Jeff Muhlenkamp examine some financial indicators to determine the overall health of the economy. In terms that we can all understand, they explain each chart, slide by slide, looking at both causes and symptoms of conditions that can lead to growth or decline. In summary, they share that economic indicators remain mixed, though a little worse off than last quarter. In some aspects of the economy, there has yet to be a full recovery from the previous recession. Are we headed for another downturn in the near future? See what your conclusion is after hearing their economic report.
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Muhlenkamp Memorandum Issue #131

In their Quarterly Letter, Ron and Jeff discuss the Fed’s actions on interest rates, trade negotiations with China, the United Kingdom’s progress with Brexit, and the indications of a slowdown in the United States. In his article, “Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!” Tony reminds investors to remember their financial goals and the fundamental investment principles when threats arise.
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Quarterly Letter, July 2019

Here are the highlights of what we’re seeing so far this year: The Federal Reserve last raised short-term interest rates in December 2018 and is now actively talking about cutting them. The futures market, in fact, is pricing in two to three cuts this year. The Fed has also stated they will end the shrinking of their balance sheet in October. They’ve undergone quite a shift in thinking over the last six months! Our concern last year was that the Fed, through the reduction of the balance sheet, would reduce dollar availability and cause asset markets to fall. The Fed’s actions this year have alleviated that concern.
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Archive of May 30, 2019 Webcast

During our webcast, Ron and Jeff Muhlenkamp use several economic charts to discuss the trends they see, data that concerns them, and indicators that keep them optimistic. For example: Delinquencies in auto loans continue to tick up. Credit card debt is now a concern and negative nominal yields on bonds continue in some countries (a historical aberration). Small business optimism and consumer confidence remain high. Watch our webcast to see what else they have to say.
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Quarterly Letter, April 2019

A couple of noteworthy changes have occurred in the first quarter of 2019: First, the Federal Reserve has reconsidered their program of interest rate increases and balance sheet reductions. They now intend to hold short-term rates steady in 2019 and end their balance sheet reduction program in October 2019. Last year, we wrote extensively about the risk to asset prices we saw in the Federal Reserve’s asset reduction program and, we believe, the market started reacting to that program in October 2018.
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