Sadly, we are in the season of scary things.

Halloween decorations adorn the shelves at retailers and are beginning to fill the baskets of consumers.  Markets are scaring investors every few days with some pretty good bounces in between.

Experts are telling us daily that good things do not await us.  The media is making sure we remember that – no matter where we watch, read or listen.

“Tis The Season?

Sometimes it is too easy to get lost in a bunch of averages and percentage point relationships.

It gets even easier to be lost when you mix in week to week changes, month to month changes, YOY changes and then the various 3, 5 and 8-we ek averages of same to smooth out the noise.

We cover a ton of that for you below

In the world’s need to fill up space and time on too many “news” channels, the idea of summarizing and keeping it short and simple – well, costs real money.

But Let’s Try

The market rallied on Friday afternoon (back to prices traced into on August 25th) – after the jobs report came in far weaker than expected.

Notably, that would make two current reports last week that were not all that pleasant.  Could it be that the bad news bears and the constant rolling of that tape are beginning to have a self-fulfilling impact we mentioned late last month?

Well, if so – and we will need to watch over it – this would suggest we could potentially chop around for another few months before continuing on the pathway previously noted.

I suppose it would provide a lengthier window of time to review values and piece together solid positions for the long run.

So, it is something to watch – and use to our advantage should it occur.

About Those Jobs Numbers

People hear headlines like “the US economy only created 149,000 jobs last month” and they think it is of some importance to focus on the number.

I would simply suggest that the US economy produces hundreds of thousands of jobs per week – maybe more.

It also eclipses hundreds of thousands each month.

It is important we all realize that the number we hear in the all-too-important jobs report each month is a “net” change number.  T his means, the US economy created 149,000 more jobs than it ended during the previous month in question.

After another two revisions and then an annual revision next year, we will “know” what the real number is however.

The bigger point to this? 

Here it is:  as of now, we have never had more people working in the US. 

Now, many will argue “But Mike, look how many don’t have a job still!”

This would be true – to some extent.  However, it is a fact:  there has never been this many people working in the US labor force.

Also–and importa nt for you to remember – the government process of “reporting jobs” does not account for population growth.

Hmmm…ahh, I can almost feel the pause and slight shift in perspective.

Like I said to open the notes – it is easy – very easy – to get lost in all the percentage noise.

One must ask themselves this:

“If things are so bad, how can we be setting new records on retail sales each month?  Or car sales hitting record highs?  Or consumer confidence being solid?  Or new home sales being quite positive in a trend?  Or mortgage apps to buy or refi – once again taking full advantage of the unprecendented levels of fear which are driving rates down yet again?”

Take all these issues into account when you hear a “bad number” and then one must decide which perspective you will choose.

Another Thing About GDP

In our latest video above, I have noted a few things about the past and present to help you with a bigger picture view.

We hear regularly how this economy and its’ recovery has been false or weak – or worse, “all because of QE.”

We hear how it is the weakest on record and they compare it to previous times.  Once again, it is easy to get lost in numbers—so let’s check the details.

In 1986, for example, we had a GDP of $7.96 Trillion.  In 2014 it was over twice that amount – in trillions.  Today we moan and groan – because the experts moan and groan about the “paltry/anemic 2.2% trailing grwoth rate in the GDP.”

In 1986 after all, it was 3.6% so something must be wrong correct?

Well, let’s see.

If we take $7.96 Trillion and we add a 3.6% growth rate, we get new growth in dollar terms of about $287 Billion – no small feat indeed.

Now, if we take 2.2% growth on top of $16.8 Trillion, then this produces new growth production in dollar terms of roughly $369 Billion.  In other words, there have been very few days in our history as a country where we have been producing growth at a higher output rate in new dollar terms.

So, I ask again….which set of numbers do we want to fret over?

We can be confident of one thing:  

Unleashing our economy is no longer about business or consumers.  They ar e doing just fine.

It is more about the ridiculous number of choke holds we have seen put on business, via taxes, fees, social events and regulatory regimes over the last 6 to 7 years.  The corporate world is running with mutliple weights tied around its neck.

We find a way to truly relieve some of these tremendous stresses and build a more balanced apporach to same in the next administration – and we will see dramatic growth ahead.

The Bottom Line

A solid plan in place?  Make sure you have a good advisor and all your goals focused in that planning process.

You now just focus on your path – not the news headlines.  Remember what Warren said:

“Use market folly to your advantage” and we would add – stay focused on the long-term, not ne xt month.

More shortly.