Twas two weeks before Christmas 2023 - Butler Financial, LTD
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Twas two weeks before Christmas 2023

Doug Drabik discusses fixed income market conditions and offers insight for bond investors.

Twas two weeks before Christmas, when all through Ray Jay’s house,
Yields were stirring, inflation flames the Fed continued to douse;
The forecasts were hung by economists with care,
In the hopes that their merit helped investors prepare;

Yet predictability far from nestled including moves of the Fed’s,
While visions of soft-landings danced in their heads;
And Biden in his office, and Trump readied to scrap;
They unsettle the nation, voters begrudging the trap.

When out in the market, unstable pricing does matter,
Bank accounts aren’t getting any fatter,
Away went the handouts, deferrals, backstops and cash,
Consumers still spending their last hoorah bash.

The moon on the breast of a new-world foe,
Terror and dread, a market pause from this global blow,
When, what to my wondering eyes did appear,
But more volatility created by this unsettling fear,

With little resolve so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment yields got a wonderful kick.
More income, duration the name of the game,
Tax harvesting swaps shared in this fame.

“Now Lisa Marie Presley! now Dick Butkus! now Jim Brown! now Bobby Knight!
On Sandra Day O’Connor! on Charlie Munger! on Henry Kissinger! They gave their fight,
To the top of their class! They all stood tall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!”

As fiscal deficits continue to apply,
Enlarging national debt as it climbs way too high.
So up to the government, let’s see what they do,
With a sleigh full of politicking, does anyone have a clue?

And then revolving credit through the roof,
Savings depleting, mortgage rates no spoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney consumer’s debt continuing to compound.

An escape or a recession at our foot,
The economy rolling or soon tarnished with ashes and soot;
Will the earnings, spending and growth stay on track,
Or the geopolitics and debt put us on our back?

A.I. – how it appeared! Economic burden to carry!
A device to create or destroy – the unknown a bit scary!
Taylor Swift perhaps the spark and flow,
Riches and fame to Kelce her latest beau.

Musk, Jinping, Putin, Powell, Lagarde – influence to bequeath,
Impeachment, indictment, expulsion as we grit out teeth.
We had a volatile year, investor angst with some pain in the belly,
Yet income gratified portfolios, like a bowl full of jelly.

Sixteen years since yields injected such wealth,
Increasing duration to lock in financial health.
A wink in time can change where we head,
Will we land soft or get the recession we dread;

The curve’s inversion still at work,
Thankfully spread product providing much perk,
Electric cars, AI, geo-politics, border issues – this year’s prose,
Leadership dismay, war, deep recession – possible next year foes.

I spring from my desk, to avoid financial thistle,
Fixed Income Solutions you can call with a whistle.
Our mission to help clients shine like winter snow white,
But most importantly remember,

“Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”


The author of this material is a Trader in the Fixed Income Department of Raymond James & Associates (RJA), and is not an Analyst. Any opinions expressed may differ from opinions expressed by other departments of RJA, including our Equity Research Department, and are subject to change without notice. The data and information contained herein was obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but RJA does not guarantee its accuracy and/or completeness. Neither the information nor any opinions expressed constitute a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security referred to herein. This material may include analysis of sectors, securities and/or derivatives that RJA may have positions, long or short, held proprietarily. RJA or its affiliates may execute transactions which may not be consistent with the report’s conclusions. RJA may also have performed investment banking services for the issuers of such securities. Investors should discuss the risks inherent in bonds with their Raymond James Financial Advisor. Risks include, but are not limited to, changes in interest rates, liquidity, credit quality, volatility, and duration. Past performance is no assurance of future results.

Investment products are: not deposits, not FDIC/NCUA insured, not insured by any government agency, not bank guaranteed, subject to risk and may lose value.

To learn more about the risks and rewards of investing in fixed income, access the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s website at finra.org/investors/learn-to-invest/types-investments/bonds and the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board’s (MSRB) Electronic Municipal Market Access System (EMMA) at emma.msrb.org.

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