The Back Porch

The Back Porch is where it all happens—relationships are formed, stories are told, advice is passed down. Here is where we share news, articles, advice and thoughts. Pull up a chair.

Interest Rates and the Dot Plot Chronicles

Interest Rates and The Dot Plot Chronicles

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The federal funds rate is the target interest rate set by the Federal Reserve at which commercial banks borrow and lend their excess reserves to each other overnight. Used as a benchmark for short-term lending for financial institutions, it also acts as a peg to many consumer rates. Raising the fed funds rate makes it…

In It to Win It

In It to Win It

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“Since 1926, 84% of the rolling 3-year periods for the S&P 500 index (i.e., the 94 separate 3-years beginning 1926-28, then 1927-29, . . . 2019-21) have produced a positive return. The S&P 500 consists of 500 stocks chosen for market size, liquidity and industry group representation. It is a market value weighted index with…

The Fed's Magic Money Machine

The Fed’s Magic Money Machine

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In a previous Business Brief, we told you that inflation was caused by “printing money.” Not paper money – the Federal Reserve creates brand new electronic dollars with a keystroke. Since 2020, the Fed has purchased $4T of bonds (previously issued U.S. Treasury securities and agency securities backed by bundles of home mortgages) from commercial…

Polar Plunge

Polar Plunge

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Metaverse real estate sales totaled over $501 million in 2021 and could double in 2022. Virtual real estate developers may want to consider building a North or South Pole for Facebook parent Meta (FB), which lost over $232 billion in value on February 3, 2022. That’s the biggest one-day plunge in value in the history…

Inflation Basics

Inflation Basics

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The transitory versus permanent debate is over. Inflation rose 6.8% in 2021, the largest increase since 1982. Three things to remember – 1. Inflation is too much money chasing too few goods. It is broad-based, as opposed to localized inflation caused by supply versus demand or product specific. You cannot have inflation without an increase in…

Veterans Day

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Patriotism. Love of country. A willingness to serve, and to sacrifice, for the common good. These qualities define the character of our Veterans and are the reason we celebrate them on Veterans Day. In November 1919, following the end of World War I, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed November 11th as the first commemoration of Armistice…

Bitcoin Bonanza

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I’m hearing about bitcoin every day! What is it? Bitcoin is a private, decentralized, digital currency. Each coin exists, electronically, on blockchain. Bitcoin was developed in 2009 by founder Satoshi Nakamoto. This is a pseudonym for the person (or persons) who developed the first blockchain database. Nakamoto designed bitcoin to be a “peer to peer…

Ending 2020 on a High Note of Gratitude

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Gratitude. Cicero called it not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others. Here at the Gracestone Group, we agree. We are ending this crazy year on a high note of gratitude. We appreciate all of you for hanging in there. We appreciate your resilience, your positive attitude and your overall good…

Celebrating Dads Video Poser Frame

Celebrating our Dads

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A Happy Father’s Day Message from Gracestone! Natalie: Here at the Gracestone Group, we love our dads. Dad taught me to find beauty in the outdoors. He introduced me to the music of B.B. King and he showed me how to remain calm under terrible pressure. Helen: Father’s Day is an opportunity to honor those…