Money Clip

Blog by Matthias Paul Kuhlmey

Matthias Paul Kuhlmey is a Managing Director & Partner at HighTower Advisors, where he serves as wealth manager to High Net Worth and Ultra-High Net Worth Individuals, Family Offices, and Institutions.

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  • Summer Charts: A New Capitalism Needed

    Thursday, August 25, 2016

    Posted by: Matthias Paul Kuhlmey

    Americans are becoming far more comfortable with (or reliant upon) higher levels of debt. Data released by the Fed shows that consumer credit has not only grown to unprecedented levels, but also that the annual rate of change has become increasingly more significant since 2011. Considering that the U.S. consumer “anchors” the faith of the domestic economy with a 70% contribution to GDP, historical trends of (increasing) consumer credit combined with the below-illustrated reduction in wages relative to GDP may be even more alarming than current levels of total consumer debt owed…

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  • Summer Charts: Something’s Gotta Give

    Thursday, August 11, 2016

    Posted by: Matthias Paul Kuhlmey

    There is a broadening sense that the current market environment does not “feel right,” especially given the emotional aftermath of the equity volatility spikes that occurred near the beginning of this year and following the pro-Brexit vote in the United Kingdom. However, as investors need to focus on planned, rather than emotional, asset allocation choices, data that guides objective outcomes needs to be considered. One of my favorite measures for assessing market conditions has been the Cleveland Financial Stress Index, or CFSI (named after the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland): “The CFSI is designed to track distress in the U.S. financial system on a continuous basis…track[ing] stress in six types of markets: credit markets, equity markets, foreign exchange markets, funding markets (interbank markets), real estate markets, and securitization markets.”

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  • Summer Charts: Of Black Swans and Other Creatures

    Friday, July 29, 2016

    Posted by: Matthias Paul Kuhlmey

    Given unprecedented equity levels, paired with an only “OK” economy, critical observers of financial markets are looking (if not waiting) for the next proverbial shoe to drop. The risk giving basis to an increase in volatility and a potential market correction may be far from our borders, yet it is intimately connected to the U.S. debt position.

    Over the past five years, the U.S. has increased government debt through the issuance of U.S Treasury securities by $4.47 trillion, to a total of $19.26 trillion. Regarding the financing side of this development (e.g., who “consumes” the debt issued), contrary to common belief, the U.S. Federal Government is the largest investor in Treasurys through its intra-governmental holdings (including Social Security and nearly 230 other federal agencies). Second in position are international governments, with China leading the league table at $1.24 trillion, or about 6.4 percent of all Treasury securities outstanding…

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  • Collective Wisdom

    Wednesday, July 27, 2016

    Posted by: Matthias Paul Kuhlmey

    This morning on MoneyLife, Maja Janko, Jimmy Hausberg and I discuss accommaditive policy and the real economy as drivers of the market.

    Please click here to listen to this morning’s MoneyLife Show segment.

  • Summer Charts: Incognito Employment

    Thursday, July 14, 2016

    Posted by: Matthias Paul Kuhlmey

    PowerPoint Presentation

    Regarding the employment situation in the U.S., current levels and the trend appear to be promising, but there are two fundamental issues that investors need to focus on in the short-to-medium term: 1) the discrepancy of what is measured vs. what is really occurring (and related economic impact), and 2) the potential cap on current employment levels, when measured by U-3.

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