Supply of Money and Interest Rate Transmission Mechanisms

BoCo in May

Feels like I’m getting to the end of my Thursday finance series!

Things I’ve noticed in May 2022:

  • Stablecoin instability
  • Pain at the retail level
  • Step-down price adjustments of stable businesses with mkt cap >$1 billion (disappearance of margin trade on reliable dividends, perhaps)
  • Buyer of my sale was 95% debt financed with a payment of 3x the gross rent I was receiving
  • Market down 19%, as I write

What I haven’t seen:

  • Widespread pain
  • Institutional capital destruction
  • Anything, anywhere, that looks cheap

Given the money creation of this cycle, those are key words to watch:

  • Pain
  • Capital Destruction
  • Cheap

Until those arrive, I’m going to be patient and live my life.


A reminder.

The Great Recession of 2008/2009 first got my attention with trouble in the interbank lending market (Early Summer 2008), this was after ~20% market decline.

There was a long way for the bear market to go, and its effect on real asset prices had years to run.

Great deals were available 2010-2012 => the equivalent of 2-4 years from “now”

Same thing in the UK Recession of 1990, my first out of school.

  • If we’re in a blip then rebalancing will be just fine
  • If we’re in for something more serious then it takes time to develop AND it takes years for price expectations to adjust

Live a life where you don’t need to be right.

Sunday Summary 15 May 2022

Tweets of the Week (by engagement)

  1. Better to REMOVE one thing than chase the latest thing
  2. Our Pelotons read power -29% to +15% (nested threads)
  3. There is no hurry in Early Base (or anytime, really)
  4. What I did to get Ironman Marathon under 3-hrs
  5. Recap of my 2nd round of Swedish 5:2

Data comes from my Public Dashboard on BlackMagic.So

Family

Workouts & Working Out

High Performance Living

A public forum a lousy place for topics that require 1:1 trust

Strategic Family Capital

Couples trip to Vail last week – we skinned to the top of Ptarmigan, two days after closing.

Back in Feb, I laid out ideas for Multigenerational Capital, it included my strategy of Sell, Buy & Hold.

Last week, I completed the Sell Goal for 2022. There are two numbers I’d like to revisit:

  • Gross Yield of 43 years, 2.3%
  • Net Yield of 64 Years, 1.6%

I gave up ~2% yield on capital to add to my Strategic Reserve.


From wsj.com 5/5/2022

Snapshot from last week:

  • 2Y to 30Y yield ~3%
  • 30-year mortgage 5.25%
  • VTSAX Dividend Yield ~1.5%

By the end of 2022, short-term margin debt is expected to cost more than index equity yields. Medium-term debt is already more expensive.

These changes mark an end to the free-money policies of the last few years. This is a big change – it is unknowable if the change will prove sticky.

So… wait and see. I did a minor rebalance this week.

The rebalance was a repeat of the “buy less” strategy I shared in Feb.

In March 2020 I increased equity allocations to 72% of my Vanguard portfolio. 

Allocating additional capital in 2022, I made a reserve for “an investment that benefits the present”…

…then rebalanced to 60% equity allocation. 

This reduced the size of the new investment and got me past decision paralysis, driven by a fear of near-term loss.

The reserve now sits at ~15 years Core Cost of Living.


Looking pro

We’ve been looking around for a place in the mountains.

Coming off a year of AirBnB skiing, I know our cost to rent implies a gross yield of 0.75 – 1.75%.

Alternatives to buying:

  1. Stick the Strategic Reserve into VTSAX, rent through AirBnB and let dividend growth hedge rental inflation
  2. Stick the Strategic Reserve into a medium term bond product (VBTLX @ 3%) and earn a margin over my cost to rent
  3. Pursue either of the above, double my discretionary spending and run the capital down between now and my wife’s 85th birthday

For now, I’m taking Door #4

  • Rebalance after large (down) moves
  • Watch the Federal Reserve increase rates
  • See what happens

A 35% market decline implies a dividend yield over 2.25%, which would let me lock in the equivalent of three-months cost of living (after tax, forever).

I tossed my idea of buying a Sprinter Van for camping. The shift towards “assets for fun” doesn’t come naturally.

Real Estate Outlook 2022

How I think about the pricing history of financial assets – note bottom right blip

I sold a large real estate asset this week, a residential rental.

There’s an argument that the buyer got the building for free (Twitter thread on backing out land value).

At the closing, my agent (50-ish) shared that the only recession he’d really experienced was 2008/2009. So the next chart is his personal experience with asset pricing.


Right hand corner blip looks a little bigger

The above chart is ~20-years of mortgage rate history. If you’re 40-something this is what you lived.

Mostly a one-way bet => falling long rates inflate financial assets.


Back to my sale.

I sold for a three reasons:

  1. At 53, my life is changing. The window of what I need to finance is less and less. I have begun a strategic shift towards creating the life I want to live in my 60s.
  2. Real Estate is lumpy, we don’t have the ability to incrementally rebalance. I wanted to reduce exposure before making any additional purchases.
  3. The sale was valued at 43 years gross rental income (2.3%). Cash proceeds, after tax, were 64 years net rental income (1.6%).

Institutional Memory is 1,000 days, max.
Here’s the last 1,000 days in the mortgage market.

The real estate market is like a super tanker, it takes a long time for momentum to shift. After the 2008/2009 recession, non-foreclosure prices didn’t adjust until the middle of 2010.

  • Prices move at the margin => the marginal buyer had a strong tailwind through the pandemic, that has changed in 2022.
  • There will be an impact of the near-vertical move in rates this year => initially, we will see this in markets that require loans to complete.
  • The scale of “the impact” is unknowable and complicated by supply shortages of re-sale houses and for new build.
  • Prices are being supported by rapidly rising cost-to-build and cost to renovate/remodel.

Lots going on – I can make a case for +25% and -25%.


At 53, taking 64 years-equivalent cash-flow off the table, in a rising rate environment, is a decision I’ll be able to live with regardless of future outcome.

Live Like A Billionaire – Risk Preference and Life Lessons

This series has been about learning from those without financial limits:

  • Who do they share their best moments with?
  • What are those moments?
  • Are we missing out?

Once I’m on the inside of the team, I notice that my risk preference is the lowest in the group. Frankly, not surprising when you are rolling alongside extreme skiers and mountaineers.

Here’s something about risk. Group risk rises to the level of the MOST risk tolerant member.

It’s why my investment committee has the rule “most conservative carries the decision.”

Anyhow, with two young kids and a pregnant wife, I had learned what I could and wanted to put more time into my young family.

So I opted out.

My boss…

>You firing me?

>>No, most definitely not. There is no way I will be able to repay you for what you taught me.

…and off I went for a decade.

Once again on the road less travelled.

Not over, yet – most of them took up Skimo.

😉


Let’s recap:

Best Days are defined by shared outdoor experiences with a small number of close friends – building memories that last

Peers & Teachers have a mix of kindness and competitiveness => notice this combination when you see it. These are people who tell us the truth, push us to do better and keep us grounded.

There’s nowhere to get to => I realized that between my wife, and my kids, I could create my own inner circle. A circle where we share Best Days and reduce our collective risk of ruin.

I remain grateful for the opportunity for a look behind the curtain.

Sunday Summary 24 April 2022

G – Literally Just listened to your catalyst podcast – excellent!!!!  Wow, truly good – thank you for putting that out there.  I took 8 pages of notes and I have already read your writing for decades


Family Wealth

High Performance Case Studies

Workouts

Live Like A Billionaire – From The Inside

A question I raised on Brad’s podcast, who’s your reference set?
Who am I trying to impress?

Last week, I wrote about my introduction to the well-adjusted rich.


Roll forward, I’m on the “special projects” team.

I have a look around.

  • World-class skier
  • World-class ultramarathoner
  • World-class mountaineer
  • Younger version of, said, WC Mountaineer
  • Biz partner: former D1 athlete

Every person a mix of kind and competitive.

A limited number of close relationships, the collective sum being who the boss wanted to become.

This insight does not require assets.

It requires:

  • enough space in your life to think strategically (control your schedule)
  • the knowledge of where you want to go (choose wisely)
  • access to the people you want to become (last week)

What wasn’t there.

I saw: spouse, kids, PA, pilot and the rest of the team.

No Posse.

The world has an incentive to tell us what we want to hear, if you’re rich then even more so.

Close relationships, who share truth.


How was the team used?

Short trips, shared experiences, having fun together.

Doing fun things with world class people.


Assets are no barrier to this life.

Go get it.

Sunday Summary 17 April 2022

The Body You Want

Fit Kids & Parenting

Wealth

High Performance Habits

Strength & Conditioning

Live Like A Billionaire – Student to Teacher

Unexpected mid-week power day.
It’s hard to put a value on the ability to “drop everything”.

What does the title of this piece bring to mind?

  • Jet?
  • Multiple properties?
  • Luxury yacht charters?
  • Seven-figure burn rate?
  • Handing out favors to friends and strangers?
  • Being hailed and feted?

One of the best parts of my coaching journey was getting to know “the well adjusted rich.”

I’m going to spend a few Thursdays running through the lessons I learned from watching people who have a different set of limits.


The Best Teachers You Can Find

My journey started ten years before I got the job.

First, I was a student…

Meeting Joe Friel: Joe is the founder of triathlon coaching in the United States. I had the chance to spend a weekend with him in the Spring of 2000.

By the way, this is how you might get a mentor interested in you…

  • I went to him
  • I showed him how he’d helped me
  • I listened to his advice
  • I went away and did it

Something he said stuck with me, “I’d never met someone who understood my teaching as well as you.” I didn’t just study his philosophy, I tried to embody it.

Joe started me as a coach, helped me win races and wrote a book with me.

Great deal for both of us.

The strategy worked once, so I repeated…

John Hellemans, Scott Molina, Dave Scott, Mark Allen => I was able to learn from the best.

I shared what I learned, for free, widely.


Eventually, I was a teacher…

A decade later, I turn up in Oceanside, on a road bike, in March, and crush most everyone over 40 in a 70.3 race.

Two guys, I’d never heard of, reach out for a call and I accept. I didn’t know they were friends and checking me out, separately.

I get hired and have the chance to look under the hood of the well-adjusted rich.

Turns out my client was a successful finance-guy, who stayed in the game.

His life was, and remains, the best-case scenario of a life I decided not to lead.

Becoming world-class, publicly, creates unexpected opportunities.


Let’s call this Chapter One.

If you’ve been watching me on Twitter – you can see I’m following a similar playbook in 2022.

Not towards any specific goal => simply to connect, be engaged and create unexpected opportunities.

Sunday Summary 10 April 2022

Productivity

Family Wealth

High Performance Habits

Sports Science