July 2022 Financial Update

Don’t call it a comeback…………………

Another month in the books and market conditions improved, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves and start celebrating the return of the bulls. Sure, it was nice to see the markets move up for once. And they moved up in a significant manner as well. However, we are not even close to being out of the woods on inflation and our economy is slowing down.

Tractor Supply

Not to pour cold water on the jubilant mood, but our incompetent politicians and delusional fed chairman still refuse to acknowledge what is right before our very eyes. Our economy entered a recession in the first half of 2022. That is a fact, the numbers don’t lie. But, instead of stepping up and being leaders these shameless bureaucrats are acting like cowards and they continue to play games with the American people by refusing to admit it.

Instead they have decided to do what failing politicians and government lifers always do, which is lie and spin the narrative. But stopping at a simple lie isn’t enough to cover up for this level of incompetence. Nope, instead they are going to an even more pathetic level by trying to dupe the minions into not believing what they are seeing.

Much like we saw with the old “inflation is transitory” scam they ran with for a year, they are now trying to change the definition of a recession in order save their political lives. Don’t fall for it people! Let me reiterate that this is not a political stance, it is a factual stance. It’s economics!

The definition of recession is clear. It has stood the test of time, it has been applied the same way administration after administration, donkey or elephant.

To begin with, let’s take a look at the definition:

recession

NOUN

  • 1A period of temporary economic decline during which trade and industrial activity are reduced, generally identified by a fall in GDP in two successive quarters.

Now, I know counting to two is hard for politicians and some people that are blinded by their affinity for a political party, so let me break it down further using the governments own data:

Q1 GDP = -1.6%

Q2 GDP = -0.9%

Pretty cut and dry don’t you think? We have clearly met the long accepted definition of a technical recession. Trying to spin and redefine the word because some economic data points are different than they have historically been during a recession is plain stupid. Sure, everything is out of whack because of inflation, supply constraints and the post covid world, but the GDP numbers are what they are regardless.

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So why not just acknowledge this reality level with the American people and work on charting a course for a better tomorrow? Politics, that’s why. This is what you do when you don’t have a plan and have sold out to the highest bidder. So instead of taking responsibility they decided to play the old “this time it’s different” card. Yeah, let’s go with that because it’s worked out so well in the past. Hello, 1999 is calling and they want their logic back!

So were does this leave us, the people? Well I don’t know about you, but makes me furious when elected officials are unwilling to be straight with the the public. Especially when that person markets himself as a plain talking straight shooter. Which is also apparently another lie and really not a surprise at this point.

Maybe it’s just the way I was raised, but I have always felt that being straight forward with people was the best way to go. I know the people who worked with me and under my direction always appreciated that aspect of my personality because there was never any surprises or doubts about where we stood or what we were trying to accomplish. If something was going to be difficult or didn’t workout how we planned we acknowledged it and worked to figure out a better way to tackle it. We didn’t skirt the issue and try to redefine success or failure in order to avoid responsibility.

This is what we are experiencing right now in our government and everyone should be pissed. The government is telling you that you are too stupid to understand what you see right in front of your own eyes. They did it with inflation for over a year and they are doing it again with the recession. But have no fear, they will tell you what to believe with their spin and alternative definitions and you need to accept it.

All we have heard since Covid started is follow the data, follow the data, follow the data. But every time the data reflects and inconvenient truth this governments only response seems to be deny, deflect and redefine. How are we supposed to trust people that can’t take any responsibility?

It’s time we all start looking out for #1 because our government officials continue to shovel truckloads of #2 trying to coverup for their failures.

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Here is how our portfolio performed in July 2022:

(Our original portfolio goal $1.5m)

Portfolio = $1,408,513

Our Portfolio Increased By $91,146 or 6.92% From The End Of June

Year-To-Date Our Portfolio Has Decreased By -14.21%

Net Worth = $1,457,807

Our Net Worth Increased By $92,378 or 6.77% From The End Of June

Year-To-Date Our Net Worth Has Decreased By -13.33%

On a portfolio level it was a good month, but that is not cause for celebration. In last months update I said I believed we would enter a recession if we are not already in one. Well, we are in one and the data confirms it despite the shell game being played at the government level.

Further, while the markets were celebrating bad news not being horrible news, new data showed that inflation is persisting and the economy continues to slow down. And interest rates were increased 75 basis points once again as the fed desperately tries to regain control and some semblance of creditbility.

As I said last month, and several times before, there is a strong chance the fed overshoots on the rate hikes as they are far behind the cycle and playing catch-up. It’s takes months for rate changes to work through the system and they have now increased rates by 150 basis points in just 6 weeks. There is no way to know the impact of these rapid increases on the economy or if they will stamp out inflation.

Mr. fed chairman said he believes that rates, now at 2.5%, are neutral and neither helping or hurting the economy. I’m not sure how one draws that conclusion when we have met the definition of a recession and the day after the latest rate increase we also get a 4.8% print on the feds preferred core inflation gauge. BTW, that core number strips out food and energy which pushes the number up to a whopping 6.8%! That’s quite the pickle as typically we should be lowering rates in a recession not making giant increases.

This is the problem with denial in economics. By denying inflation realities a year ago and missing the opportunity to slowly move rates the fed has put itself in a horrible position. Now they are forced to make big moves against inflation, into a slowing economy, at a time when they should be lowering rates to stimulate growth. As a result they will have no idea where things are heading or how much they have harmed slowed the economy until it’s too late. That’s a huge policy error that we will get to live with for the foreseeable future.

For now, bad news is good news as long as it’s not horrible news. In other words, it’s anyone guess what will happen from here as we are in uncharted incompetence.

Here is how we did on our spending for July 2022:

Monthly Budget = $5,000

Total spend for July 2022 = $4,817

Over/Under Monthly Budget = -$183

Over/Under Budget YTD = -$3,288

Less Prepaid Site Fees = $1,890

Net Over/Under Budget YTD = -$1,397

July was a pretty good month on our spending as we were able to stay under budget by $183 despite having a significant increase in gas expenses with our son driving our jeep to work every day. We also had some extra expenses for a rare restaurant meal and a trip up to the main Penn St. campus. I consider these quality expenses as it’s family time, but it still cost a bit of cash against our budget.

Our prepaid site fees increased in July as we had to pay for one of our upcoming stays in full before our arrival date. Over the next couple of months about 65% of our current prepaid fees will run off as we start moving back across the country. We are looking to book a couple of sites for next year so it’s possible we will just replenish the category if somewhere we want to go has availability.

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In our last update we mentioned that we were keeping our options open on our travels to see if we can finds ways to save or be more efficient. Well, it just so happens that the work-camping gig we had planned for November 2022 through February 2023 fell through. More like the person forgot about us and our conversations. But, the good news is that we were accepted into a work-camping program in a nice warm location for late October 2022 through March 2023. So instead of working-camping 4 months for a free spot in semi-cold weather we will be covering over 5 months in nice weather. This will give us a nice savings on our budget for the end of 2022 and beginning of 2023.

The only caveat is that we don’t really like staying in one spot for that long so it might get tough over time if we don’t enjoy the work. But, if we like it then we might be able to go back seasonally and always have a warm place to go in the winter. The help on our budget for next year could become important as the route we are planning consists of high tourist areas which means much more expensive campsites. So by saving money in the beginning of the year it gives us more flexibility for booking stops in those places. Always an adventure!

Thanks for reading our blog! Make sure to follow us on Instagram for updates on our adventures as it happens.

See you on the road………….

Joe

P.S. If you haven’t heard we started an online store called StuckonCamping where you can get some of our designs on stickers, magnets, shirts, hats, tote bags and more! Check it out for camping, RV, Jeep and other outdoor designs! 

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