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Latest Issue

Growth Pains

January 27, 2023

In stock investing there’s a management style called “growth at a reasonable price” or GARP. It seeks to achieve steadier results by avoiding both expensive growth stocks and beaten-down value stocks.

We can apply a similar idea to economic growth. Everyone wants the benefits of higher GDP. How much inflation, unemployment, and market losses are “reasonable” for the price? When the economy and markets are booming, most people tend not to worry about the price. And sometimes lunch really is free. Not normally and certainly not often, but occasionally the stars align.

Right now, some economists—not a majority but more than a few—think the Fed can deliver a “soft landing.” That would mean inflation drops to a more tolerable level, unemployment doesn’t rise much from today’s historic lows, and a mild recession, if one happens at all.

Possible? Yes, it’s possible, but I wouldn’t call it likely. I expect a real recession soon. It will be different and probably less painful than the Great Recession, but still hurt. And yet… I have to hesitate. So many other people have that same expectation, and I don’t like being in the crowd.

Is a soft landing more likely than most of us think? Maybe so. Today we’ll review the latest data and think about where this is all headed. First, let me again direct your attention to my longtime friend Keith Fitz-Gerald’s Morning! 5 with Fitz letter. He does a tremendous job filtering out the noise and showing his readers how to take advantage of the...

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