Q1 2022 Quarterly Commentary

I am proud to announce that Julius Wealth Advisors has officially completed its first full quarter since the beginning of the firm. While there is plenty to share about the quarter that has been, like any good acceptance speech, I need to say a few words of thanks.

 

Firstly, I'd like to thank my family, but most importantly, my wife, Miriam. Without her support, I would not be where I am today.  While with most couples, we don’t always see eye-to-eye on things, her unwavering belief in me is amazing.  I vividly recall going out to dinner with a close couple of ours towards the end of last year when the wife said, “wow, Jason, going out on your own, that’s a big move.”  My wife quickly jumped in and said very firmly and confidently, “we will be ok.”

 

Next, I’d like to thank my grandfather Julius, the namesake of this business. Without him, I would not be who I am today.

 

I’d also like to thank all of the clients who have joined us so far. Thank you for joining me on this journey, and I greatly look forward to seeking to grow together in the future. We’re only just getting started!

 

I founded Julius Wealth Advisors because I saw more and more people falling behind in their finances, with the same people in this industry that caused these problems, in my opinion, being the ones trying to fix it! More importantly, I wanted to help clients to plan for their future, make more informed investments, and change their behavior for the better. This is why I seek to offer more than simple, cookie-cutter financial advice. I wanted to help people to build their financial knowledge, and find the freedom to enjoy their passions.  All with the utmost integrity.

 

Integrity. Knowledge. Passion. These are the values that I founded this business on, and the values I want to instil in every one of this firm’s clients and employees.

 

Now, in lieu of music to play me off, let’s take a look at the quarter that’s been.

The Quarter in Review

Rising Inflation

I think you’ll agree with me when I say what a quarter it has been. To kick things off, inflation is still at a 40 year high[1]. This has caused quite the stir, including monetary tightening from The Fed and even pontifications of a recession. In my opinion, if you use the lens of history, this is macro talk.

 

From my experience, when everyone talks about something that’s going to happen, we have the ability to prepare for what's to come. This is why markets are discounting mechanisms. When we see something coming, the shocks to the system typically aren’t as bad. It’s the things that we don’t see (or the unknown unknowns) that we should be worried about - like the Financial Crisis.

 

In the years leading up to the crash, no one could see the poor health of the banks, as banks are typically fairly opaque entities to analyze. The same thing happened during COVID. We didn’t see it coming and the market didn’t have time to prepare. When we’re talking about bad events, like people are now, we’ve typically seen them before. They’ve spotted warning signs and they’re shouting from the hilltops. If we’ve seen them before, we usually can get ready. This typically mitigates or discounts the potential threats that we’ve spotted on the horizon.

 

Instead of focusing on chatter and talking-head pontifications, we believe you need to look at the micro, the businesses and people instead. As assets are typically priced on their cash flow (more on this later), the cash flow businesses and people wake up every day to better themselves and their families.  For example:

 

 

The War in Ukraine

When the tragic events in Ukraine began, many here in the US had one eye on the news and one eye on the markets. However, things didn’t play out in the market quite as people expected. Throughout March, the S&P 500 recovered most of its losses from pre-invasion and almost the year. As I discussed in my blog, geopolitical events like conflict often have a different impact on the market than people expect.

 

The Bubble of F.O.M.O

An ugly investing trend that has taken place in recent years has started to expose itself. With the rise of crypto, the GameStop/Meme stock events, and the market more accessible than ever before, what I call F.O.M.O investing (what I discussed in episode 2 of my podcast) has been unfortunately common.

 

After a lengthy period of people trying to jump on the latest thing, the market has done what it typically does; expose the true value of a business. This is what has led to the recent crash in the valuations of these assets. The dip has exposed that many of these businesses, despite the hype and buzz, weren’t very profitable, to begin with.

 

Don’t worry, this isn’t a bad thing. In fact, this helped reinforce our investment philosophy which emphasizes owning high-quality profitable assets for decades not days, while seeking downside protection. If you chase short term gains, I’ve found, you’ll often end up with long-term pains. Here at Julius wealth advisors, we’re all about seeking sustainable, long term wealth.

 

Let’s Talk Performance

For most financial companies, this is the moment where they talk a big game, pound their chest, and talk about performance. Like an athlete in a post-match interview, they are doing everything they can to showcase their performance, or lack thereof, in a positive light. This is toxic behavior in my opinion, and what leads to the F.O.M.O. nonsense discussed above.

 

In fact, this is the very reason I left my society labeled ‘stable’ job and started my own business. I wanted to help clients grow their long term wealth for the long term, not share a spin report with “impressive” numbers every three months.

 

My grandfather Julius used to receive quarterly reports in the mail (I’m really showing my age here) and would open them in front of me. He’d glance at them for all of 10 seconds, throw them away and make one of two jokes:

 

If the report was good, he’d say “Let’s go to dinner!”. If the report was bad, he’d say “maybe we won’t be eating tonight.” No matter what the report said, we’d always have dinner, and the report always ended up in the bin.

 

The point here is that if you’re here to see some short-term numbers, you’re going to be disappointed. Not because the numbers aren’t there or good (if you are a client, you know where to find them, or if you don’t please let me know so I can assist), that’s beside the point. It’s because a great quarterly number now means nothing for your long term future, and frankly, is not what we’re about here at Julius Wealth Advisors.

 

I’m here to help you develop strong, long term habits. I’m here to help you to grow your financial knowledge and to make better decisions. I’m here to help you build long term, sustainable wealth and to achieve your financial goals.

 

Thank you for a better first quarter than I could have prayed for.  If you or someone you know would like to discuss any items in more detail, please feel free to schedule time.

 

Jason Blumstein, CFA®

CEO & Founder

Julius Wealth Advisors, LLC

 

 

 

Disclosures:

 

This piece contains general information that is not suitable for everyone and was prepared for informational purposes only.  Nothing contained herein should be construed as a solicitation to buy or sell any security or as an offer to provide investment advice. Past performance does not guarantee any future results.  For additional information about Julius Wealth Advisors, including its services and fees, contact us or visit advisorinfo.sec.gov.

 

  1. Inflation rose at fastest pace in 40 years in March as consumer prices jumped 8.5% - Paul Davidson, USA Today, 2020.
  2. Balance Sheet of Households and Nonprofit Organizations, 1952 - 2021 - The Federal Reserve, last updated March 10, 2020.
  3. March Jobs Report Shows Strong Gains - New York Times, Originally Published April 1, 2020.
  4. Number of unemployed persons per job opening, seasonally adjusted - U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics