Letter to Stakeholders, December 2022
Read or listen to our letter here:
Wednesday, December 7th, 1:04 pm EST. For the second month in a row, you will see a slight improvement in your account balance. These “unrealized gains” are a welcome change from the “unrealized losses” of 2022. The expectations for 2023 are varied. Citibank expects “rolling recessions,” JP Morgan expects a “mild recession” while Goldman Sachs thinks the United States will “escape recession.” Jason Howell Company interprets these divergent predictions as “Nobody really knows.”
Your investment account balance will fluctuate less in 2023 because of actions we have taken in the bond market on your behalf. We will continue to seek opportunities that reduce wild swings in your balance, but we won’t eliminate risk. A basic premise of investing is that risk and return go together. Remaining mostly invested in equity (stocks) gives you the greatest opportunity to recover additional “unrealized gains” in 2023 and 2024 (when interest rate relief is expected).
Last month we mentioned how inflation overshadowed other issues in the mid-term elections. Despite concerns with the incumbents, the electorate voted for mostly the same political makeup of Congress. Time magazine – yes, it still lives (virtually) – put it this way: The 2022 Midterms Show Just How Stuck We Are. Last night’s re-election of Senator Raphael Warnock once again proved that “swing voters” will often make the final decision in US politics. (Note: We still write this in “Georgia” font).
A divided congress means divisive politics will remain the norm (and be reinforced). Sustainable investing practices will be scrutinized and mischaracterized for political gain. This is a fight against public sentiment but will persist regardless.
Crypto and decentralized finance will have leaders spending time in congressional hearings next year thanks to recent bankruptcies of BlockFI and FTX. If you haven’t heard of those firms, then you guessed right on waiting to “invest” in crypto assets.
Global trade has been significantly impacted by the pandemic. The Inflation Reduction Act is now spurring the European Union to reexamine the benefits of protectionism. Watch for global trade and (slightly related) immigration policy in 2023.
Neither Doug nor I took any new professional photos this year, so you’ll excuse us for not sending our “mugs” out on holiday cards (again). What we have done is take time to educate ourselves and add resources for your benefit.
Doug is currently enrolled in the Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy (CAP) program and expects to complete it early next year. This course of study adds a specialization to our practice in charitable planning. You too can be a philanthropist! I speak for Doug when I say that if you have questions, just ask him (Doug@JasonHowell.com). Conversations now about tax planning and the latest tools (Donor Advised Funds (DAFs) Fiscal Sponsorships, etc.) can help to enhance your overall financial plan over time.
Since last December, my open question has been: how can we enhance our current investment philosophy? I spent some of my holiday season last year studying options trading. This year I’ve taken the time to explore private investments and am currently enrolled in a certificate program called Private Markets for Advisors. The diversification ideal is lowering risk while capturing return. Using alternative investments – those outside or derivative of the stock market – can help us do that (and lower heart rates).
In addition to education, Jason Howell Company has added a relationship with TriState Capital Bank to facilitate “asset/securities-based” lending: the ability to borrow against your investment portfolio with simplified underwriting. Securities lending can be a time saving, tax saving and/or portfolio-unrealized-loss management strategy for cash distribution needs. Questions? Email me: Jason@JasonHowell.com
In 2023 we will compete directly with the largest investment banks while maintaining our independence. Please let us know if there’s anything you see that you’d like us to do.
Jason J. Howell, CFP®, CPWA®, CSRIC®
Jason Howell Company is an independent, family wealth management firm run by two owners who believe you should feel good about money.
Jason J. Howell, CFP®, CPWA®, CSRIC® and Douglas W. Tees, MBA, CFP® are each married to patient wives and are dedicated to their kids. Jason and Doug have built a firm with a great reputation. The firm is based in Northern Virginia but serves clients (virtually) all throughout the United States.
Our clients are “first generation wealth” who suffer from a little "imposter syndrome." They've earned their way but have succeeded into a financial level that goes beyond how they grew up. They want their money to be meaningful and are concerned about how their wealth affects their relationships (especially their kids).
We facilitate feeling "good about your money" in three ways:
- Family Governance: We walk the principles through a process that gets them talking about what it was like to grow up with money, how they pay bills and save today and what they want their family legacy to sound like. This turns into a “Family constitution.”
- Sustainable Investing: We match the values derived from the “Family Constitution” to a sustainable investing strategy that incorporates an adaptive efficient market theory with environmental, social and governance factors
- Proactive Philanthropy: Many of our clients will have a little extra, even after they achieve their family’s personal goals. We show them how much they can afford to be giving while living to the people and causes they care about
To feel good about your money, just book an introductory call here: Introductory Call