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The R Word

It is at the tip of everyone’s tongue. It is the lead story every night on the news. Of course, I’m talking about a recession. Beyond the sensationalist headlines and the actual financial pain felt by millions of Americans lies the question: “What can I do about it?” A pragmatic approach shifts the focus from worrying to doing. These periods are never fun for anyone involved, but they are expected throughout history.

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The Path Forward

Most things in finance can be simplified into a simple supply versus demand equation. Without having to take an Economics 101 course, changing one or both sides of the equation will affect the price of the good or service in question. Think about the exorbitant prices people are willing to pay for popular sporting events or the hottest Christmas toy – a classic case of demand overwhelming the available supply. On the flip side, the discount bin at a department store represents oversupply related to current demand. Our present inflation predicament is a result of abnormalities in both supply and demand.

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Ukraine, Inflation, and Midterm Elections

The rogue thunderstorm blowing into this situation is the standoff between Russia and the West by way of Ukraine. I don’t pretend to be an expert in geopolitical matters, so I won’t attempt to forecast the outcome. However, plenty of investors are taking measures to protect their portfolios from any escalation on that front, which shows in the daily price moves. This isn’t the first flare-up of hostilities, and it certainly won’t be the last. Before hitting that sell button, think about all the prior occurrences and the related outcomes.

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Interest Rates Are Going Up, Now What?

For the average American, the Federal Reserve raising interest rates has ramifications beyond the immediately visible. With the current expectations being that the Fed will likely raise its key interest rate possibly up to four times in 2022, this piece will examine the impact of higher rates.

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Reviewing 2021 While Looking Ahead

Peering into a crystal ball is an interesting challenge for obvious reasons. Nobody knows how the future will play out, and even if we did, gauging the market’s reaction to that future is impossible. For example, anyone who foresaw the devastating economic impact of the still-ongoing pandemic would have surely pulled their money from the stock market and missed the returns over the last two years. That being said, what are some major themes to watch for in the year ahead?

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