Fed Concerned About Prices, Historic U.S. Job market, Supply Chain Improves
As we look forward to what 2022 has to offer, we dive into key factors that we believe could impact the future of the market such as:
- The Federal Reserve and inflation concerns
- Never-before-seen U.S. job market
- Easing supply chain pressures
The Federal Reserve Seems Panicked About Prices – For the better part of 2021, the Federal Reserve had been banking on inflation easing (“transitory”) while the U.S. employment picture continued to improve, which would have given policymakers a gradual off-ramp to tightening monetary policy. In the fall of last year, the Fed planned to taper and end QE in the first half of 2022 and then gradually raise rates in the second half. By November those plans had changed, with the Fed indicating they wanted to accelerate the taper and end QE by March instead of June. By December, those plans had changed again. Minutes from the Fed’s December 14-15 meeting, published on January 5, 2022, make it clear the Fed is more urgently concerned about prices: “participants generally noted that…it may become warranted to increase the federal funds rate sooner or at a faster pace than participants had earlier anticipated.” The minutes also noted that some participants see it as “appropriate to begin to reduce the size of the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet relatively soon after beginning to raise the federal funds rate.” Trading in interest rate futures indicates an approximately 70% probability the Fed would increase the fed funds rate at or before their March meeting.1
Why You Should Avoid Market Timing in 2022
With a new year comes new possibilities!
With that being said – Selling in and out of the market at the wrong times is a habit of an average investor, but what would happen if you changed the cycle?
Investors often fall into the trap of trying to buy “at just the right time,” or selling stocks during a crisis when emotions are running high. To better help you avoid acting off emotions and fear, try downloading our guide, “How Market Timing Can Affect Your Retirement Plan2”. This guide explains these behavioral traps and offers potential solutions.
If you have $500,000 or more to invest and want to learn how you may be able to avoid these mistakes today, click on the link below to get your free copy:
A U.S. Jobs Market Like Never Before – The U.S. labor market continues to post record-like numbers, all signaling it’s a great time to be a worker in the U.S. The number of people filing for unemployment – a metric known as initial jobless claims – registered at 207,000 for the week ending January 1, which is around levels last seen in 1969. Job openings in the U.S. also continue to reach record highs, with an estimated 12 million available jobs by the end of last year. That means 1 million new jobs were added in Q4 2021, underscoring the desperation of companies to bring on new workers to meet demand. In November, 6.9 million Americans were out of work and said they wanted a job, which makes it clear that anyone in the country who wants a job can find one. Workers have leverage, and they have been using it to demand higher wages and to leave undesirable jobs. Indeed, workers quit jobs at a record rate in November, with 4.5 million people quitting in what has been termed the “Great Resignation.”3
As Supply Chain Pressures Ease, Will Inflation Follow? There are growing signs in the U.S. and Europe that supply chain problems could be peaking. One key indicator that eased in last month’s data was the ‘supplier delivery times’ component of U.S. manufacturing indices, which fell to 64.9 in December from 72.2 in November. In normal times, falling supplier delivery times mean that demand is waning, but in the current environment, it likely means that bottlenecks are clearing, and goods are being delivered on a better schedule. European factories posted similar drops in factory activity last month, which again appear to be tied to an easing of logjams versus a drop-off in demand. Factories in Europe also reported that prices for inputs rose at their slowest pace since April 2021, a sign that associated inflation pressures may be easing as well. Given the inflation story of 2021 was largely tied to too much demand bumping up against snarled supply chains and labor shortages, an easing of bottlenecks and an improvement of the labor market could start providing inflation relief sometime in the next few months.4
These factors that change the state of the market, such as inflation rising, could cause an investor to fall into the trap of trying to buy “at just the right time,” or sell stocks during a crisis out of fear.
Both of these impulses are likely to lead to more failures than successes over time. Even when emotions are running high, we recommend focusing on the long-term view and sticking to your course.
But before making any big decisions, check out our guide, “How Market Timing Can Affect Your Retirement Plan.”5 This guide seeks to explain emotional and behavioral traps that investors can fall prey to and offers potential solutions to common mistakes that many self-managed investors make.
If you have $500,000 or more to invest and want to learn how you may be able to avoid these mistakes today, get your free copy by clicking on the link below:
2 ZIM may amend or rescind the “How Market Timing Can Affect Your Retirement Plan” guide for any reason and at ZIM’s discretion.
3 Wall Street Journal. January 6, 2021. https://www.wsj.com/articles/weekly-jobless-claims-01-06-2022-11641415216
4 Wall Street Journal. January 4, 2021. https://www.wsj.com/articles/factories-took-a-small-step-back-toward-normal-11641317687?mod=djemRTE_h
5 ZIM may amend or rescind the “How Market Timing Can Affect Your Retirement Plan” guide for any reason and at ZIM’s discretion.
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