Muhlenkamp Memorandum Issue #135

In this issue of the Muhlenkamp Memorandum, Jeff and Ron Muhlenkamp discuss the effects of COVID-19 on the economy in their Quarterly Letter. Tony explains the use of the Client Relationship Summary and our responses to the suggested questions to ask advisers. Archives of our May webcast, "MAPPING YOUR FINANCIAL FUTURE: It’s Never Too Late to Save for College," and our June webcast, "WORKING THE PROBLEM: The Impact of COVID-19 & Some Advice to Answer Our Clients’ Top Concerns," are available on our website.
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Archive of February 27, 2020 Webcast

During our webcast Jeff Muhlenkamp discussed the state of the economy and the threats he perceived to it and the markets. Since then the rapid spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and unprecedented measures by governments at all levels have rendered much of what he discussed irrelevant. We don’t know any more about the health risks posed by the COVID-19 than you do. Nor do we, or anyone else, know the secondary and tertiary political and economic consequences of the virus spreading.
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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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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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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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Muhlenkamp Memorandum Issue #130

Ron and Jeff note in the Quarterly Letter that: for 2019, the Federal Reserve has adjusted the plan for their asset reduction program; there has been an inversion in the U.S. Treasury yield curve; and the U.S. economy appears to be slowing. Tony explains his "why" in "Letter to My Daughters: On Financial Health and Wellness." Do you have trouble doing something simple, but not easy? Find out what helps Tony reach his goals.
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Archive of February 28, 2019 Webcast

Ron and Jeff update their views on the economy and the global investing environment. Negative developments include slowing global economic growth and diminishing positive impacts from the 2017 tax law changes. Positive developments include a fairly stable domestic economy and a shift in Federal Reserve attitudes and possibly actions. Give it a listen for more details.
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