RSWA » Latest Articles
10.14.2022 by David Robinson

OPEC+ Lowers Oil Production-Blow to U.S. & Europe

OPEC+ Stiffs U.S. and Europe: Defying intense U.S. pressure, OPEC, and its non-OPEC partners, including Russia, have decided to slash oil production by 2 million barrels a day. With oil prices having fallen roughly 33% from early June, these oil producing countries chose to reduce production to drive the price of oil up. These cuts will be inflationary, weaken the global economy, and bolster Russia’s financing of its invasion of Ukraine. CNBC The U.S. will face higher gas and oil prices, as it heads into winter and its midterm elections. Axios

The Future of the U.S. Relationship with Saudi Arabia: Has Saudi Arabia shown its cards? Was its decision to align with Russia on the production cuts simply an economic decision? Or does it reflect in part a strategic policy shift to tilt toward Russia and an attempt to impose economic and political damage on the U.S. and Europe at an especially sensitive time? The U.S. quickly signaled that a review of the strategic relationship with Saudi Arabia is underway. CNBC Reuters Does it serve the best interests of the U.S. any longer to supply Saudi Arabia with state of the art weapons and weapons systems?

Reading the Fed Tea Leaves: When can we expect the Fed to ease its rate increase policy? Fed Chair Jerome Powell has been adamant that the Fed will raise rates until inflation returns to its target range. Lael Brainard, the Fed Vice Chair, noted this week that monetary policy will remain restrictive for some time but also noted that the impact of collective global rate hikes by central banks needed to be monitored. Charles Evans, the Chicago Fed President, suggested that a rate pause next spring might make sense.   Wall Street Journal New York Times Are the comments by Brainard and Evans early signals that the Fed policy may become more dovish within months? We suspect that Evans speaks for himself but assume that Brainard coordinates her remarks more closely with Powell.

Sizeable Social Security 2023 COLA Increase: The federal government will announce the 2023 cost of living adjustment to social security benefits this week. Experts expect it to be historically large, in the vicinity of 8.7%. Faced with rising costs, retirees will welcome this news, along with a decrease in Part B Medicare premiums. New York Times

Rising Cost of New Cars: We continue to hear from clients that it is difficult to find both new and used cars. With supply chains improving, more new cars will become available, but financing costs have risen sharply along with all interest rates. CNBC We may be faced with a new automobile ownership “normal”. Cars will be more costly, leading to owners delaying purchases and extending the average ownership period for cars. This will put pressure on dealers to lower prices in time.

IRS Backtracks on Inherited IRAs: The IRS has communicated some good news to owners of IRAs that have been inherited from family members. Penalties have been waived for some owners who believed that they were not required to take distributions in 2021 and 2022, based on confusing IRS communications. If you own an inherited IRA, consult with your financial advisor and accountant on what this means for you. Wall Street Journal

Medicare Advantage Plan Ratings: Medicare has published its 2023 Medicare Advantage Plan and Part D ratings. Roughly half of Medicare recipients are enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans. If you are in a Medicare Advantage Plan or considering one, we encourage you to check out the ratings. Medicare Advantage plans have their advantages (pun intended) but be alert to the potential for abuses and lack of transparency. Many large insurers have been accused of fraud. New York Times

Six Habits of Self-Made Millionaires: The author of this article spent 5 years interviewing 233 self-made millionaires. Spoiler alert, here is what he found for common traits: constant learning; more listening than talking; building great teams; dreaming big; prioritizing health; and making their own luck. CNBC

A Quote to Consider:You are the sum of one small choice stacked upon one small choice stacked upon one small choice, ad infinitum.” Ryan Holiday

Lifestyle Notes:

  • Portland Makes Top Ten Small Cities List: Portland is a gem of a city. We love it when it receives due recognition. WMTW
  • How to Get Out of a Rut: Oliver Burkeman may well be my favorite writer in the practical psychology space. Click on the links for a simple but effective strategy for jump starting yourself as need be. The Imperfectionist Oliver Burkeman
  • Dinner at 5pm? Diet researchers have begun to pay more attention to when we eat, as distinct from what we eat and how much we eat. Recent research suggests that eating earlier in the day is better. It is also helpful to narrow the eating window to around 10 hours a day. MedicalXpress
  • Coffee vs Tea Smackdown: The linked article is the best comparison analysis of coffee and tea I have ever come across. It is fair to say that coffee gets the overall nod, but individual preferences and health concerns play an important role too. Washington Post But no need to make it an either-or decision. I drink coffee in the morning and green tea in the afternoon.
  • Robots Making Fries and Pizza: Who is the strange looking fellow making my pizza back there? Will robots be making our pizza and fries in the future? This artificial intelligence (“AI”) stuff suddenly seems more real! Reuters Axios
  • Blue-Eyed Mutants: Scientists now believe that all blue-eyed individuals are descended from one European who lived 6,000 to 10,000 years ago. Everyone had brown eyes up to then when a gene mutation occurred. I forwarded this article to my daughter, who also has blue eyes. Her response? “This means we’re mutants, right?” 

Upcoming RSWA Webinar: You can expect an invitation soon for our webinar with retirement planning expert Professor Michael Finke. Professor Finke will talk about “Planning for a Life in Retirement” this coming October 27th at 4:30pm. 

If you know someone who would like our newsletter, please share it with them.

As always, thank you for reading. Stay safe and be well. We look forward to hearing from you and connecting.


We're sharing our market and economic insights & helping you with retirement!

Subscribe to our Weekly Newsletter and receive our Quickstart Guide to Retirement Planning!