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What We Are Thankful For...

What We Are Thankful For...

November 22, 2023

At this time of year, the CFPs of Impel Wealth Management would like to take a moment to look through the lens of thankfulness and abundance as we get ready to partake in the Thanksgiving holiday.

Thanks to lower fuel costs, it is now less expensive to get to see your family this year than it was in 2022. This is true whether you are flying or driving. According to the American Automobile Association, AAA, it is expected that 55.4 million people will travel this Thanksgiving. This is the highest number since they began tracking holiday travel in 2000. 49.1 million people plan on driving to their destinations. AAA says that a gallon of regular gasoline now costs $3.33 a gallon, a 10% reduction from where we were last year.

We also know that inflation has come down from its peak at 9.1% in June 2022 to 3.2% in October of this year, according to the most recent CPI report. While this does not mean that prices have fallen, they are rising more slowly than we experienced over the last couple of years. This can be seen in the cost associated with a traditional Thanksgiving meal. According to the American Farm Bureau Federation, seven of the 11 items that are typically featured on Thanksgiving menus, such as stuffing, peas, and cranberries, have all seen their price decline since last year, including a 5.6% decrease for the family turkey.

As you can see in the chart above the combined cost for a Thanksgiving dinner is still 25% higher than what it was pre-COVID, the overall price decline gives us hope that overall inflation pressures are receding and may continue in the right direction as we head to the new year. Based on movements in the US stock and bond markets over the last few weeks, there is a growing belief that the diminishing inflation trends may lead to the Federal Reserve Bank being done with its interest rate increase campaign. That would give all of us something to be thankful for.

We can also look at the economy and see that unemployment is still below 4%. And while mortgage rates have risen to more than 7 1/2% currently, we can be thankful that approximately 80% of homeowners have fixed-rate mortgages below 4%. These homeowners are not affected by rising mortgage rates like people in other countries, where many homeowners have adjustable-rate loans, as you can see below.

Source: Bloomberg, Haver Analytics, GS

When we think back to what remote or socially distanced Thanksgiving looked like in 2020, we should all be thankful that we persevered through the uncertainty and survived to see our holidays return to a new sense of normalcy. I am extremely thankful for my beautiful wife Rachel, our children and family, and the incredible team of Impel Wealth that strives to serve you with excellence… all the time. We are also incredibly thankful for the long-term relationships we have had with you, our trusted friends and clients. We never take that for granted.

At Impel Wealth Management, we have tried to do our part to lower your family's Thanksgiving meal costs by providing you with a Thanksgiving pie. Nearly seventy of our client families will come by the office this week to pick up their apple or pumpkin pie. We were happy to be able to do this and thankful to be able to see you and spend a couple of minutes with each of you during this holiday week. Those client connection points are meaningful to us. We love to hear about your plans and your families as we continue “Moving Life Forward.”

Happy Thanksgiving!!