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FOMC Minutes – About as Expected

The Fed FOMC meeting minutes just released pretty much confirmed my thoughts and where we might be going. Most FOMC members are thinking a reduction in interest rate hikes starting in December–but it isn’t unanimous–some are thinking that the continuation of 3/4% point hikes are still the right way to go.

We have employment numbers coming in 9 days which is then followed up by the consumer price index on December 13th–the same day as the next FOMC meeting starts. Can you imagine the shock that will hit the market if those 2 reports come in hot? It could happen.

With the level of uncertainty in markets, interest rates and global politics (including war) we could get all kind of shocks in the markets–but pretty much regardless I am planning to remain close to fully invested in a diversified portfolio. I have found this year that in spite of the hammering preferred stocks and baby bonds have taken my portfolios are only down a manageable amount–a continual drip of dividends and interest have helped the bottom line.

Today I took a part position in the WR Berkley WRB-E 5.70% baby bond–solid issue with a 6% current yield (but potentially redeemable in only 4-5 months). I hope it will continue after 3/30/2023 (1st call date), but not overly concerned one way or another. I may add a part position in WRB-F 5.10% issue with a slightly inferior current yield, but a 12% yield to first call–will see.

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