MONTHLY MONEY MATTERS: INFLATION & WHAT'S NEXT

Written at 2 AM from a 35,000 view - raw & unscripted


We used to have a saying on the trading floor - if it's on “CNN” the story is over. Inflation seems to now be the leading headline and higher commodity prices have found their way into consumer prices and your budget.


In September 2021, the Feds began indicating that they would reverse their course on lower interest rates. This came at a time when the markets were at all-time highs. Stock prices responded accordingly as the fed finally hit the button in early 2022.


The news is about what is going on right now but as an investor, I am trying to look into the future - what is happening in the background? ZOOMING IN

  1. Housing prices I see some light. Pictures of lines around the block at open houses seem to have vanished. I even saw a price reduction and a house on the market for more than two weeks. This is nothing to take to your mutual fund manager but observation is part of investing. On the ground, you can sometimes see what the statisticians have to wait for data to see. That said, mortgage applications and the size of the mortgage have fallen off in the last two weeks.

  2. Commodity prices A crack of light. Commodity prices feed the cost of everything you buy. According to the WSJ, Oil is down 20% since the beginning of June, lumber, cotton, and copper are down 30% since March, and corn wheat and soybeans are now lower than pre-Ukraine invasion prices. Prices remain high and the Fed has not reversed their stance, but I am watching this space more carefully rather than what the Fed is currently doing with rates.

  3. Demand The post covid pent-up demand seems to be getting released this summer by way of travel. Amidst this spending, most people I know have made themselves very familiar with each item on their weekly spending and adjusted their day-to-day habits to safeguard their longer-term savings. Another observation, while I was in NY, was that shelves were stocked with inventory, unlike last year when a bathing suit in June 2020 could not be had. Inflation will remain in the headlines, politicians will probably always be corrupt and there is likely always to be a human suffering story to gut our day. There are things in our control to make things better for ourselves, our household, and our community.

ZOOMING OUT What I'm doing Being the boss b*tch of my budget


  • making decisions about what I want my life to look like

  • embracing frugality as part of life, and finding the joy that means most to me

  • Investing - continue to use active portfolio managers vs. index funds. Looking to go back into the market to buy individual shares for my fun medium-term portfolio

  • My art portfolio is now up 25%; I don't think I will add more at this time

  • Normalize money as part of my well-being

  • Talk about finances with friends/family as I do about nutrition and wellness

  • Debt - upping the paydown

  • Laugh - humor is still the best way to bring up a scorching topic with a relative