MidSouth Week in Review
September 17, 2021

Weekly Update from Fund Manager Buzz Heidtke, MidSouth Investment Fund

Sep. 20, 2021 | RedChip Companies

The S&P suffered its second consecutive down week with a 0.5% decline.  The use of margin debt on the NYSE fell in July to $844 billion, breaking a streak of 8 consecutive months of record-setting debt.  The yield on 10-year Treasuries hit a two and a half month high at 1.37%.  Natural gas rose to $4.50 from its April low of $2.43, possibly because everyone is sitting at home.  Crude rose to $73 from its early September low of $67.  Retail sales rose 0.7% in August vs. the 0.8% decline expected by analysts.  The number of Americans who applied for first-time unemployment benefits rose to 332,000 vs. 312,000 in the week prior.  Sources:  New York Times and Wall Street Journal




Poor Trading – A recent study found that while certain mutual funds and ETFs delivered a 9.4% average annual return for the past decade, the average investor in these funds got only 7.7% due to poorly timed trading activity – Retire With Money


Oops! – Citibank credit card application: (  ) live with parents  (  ) Rent  (  ) Own home  (  ) Own Co-op or Condom – New York Times


Capital Gain Taxes – On Monday, the House Ways and Means Committee set the top capital gains rate at 25% vs. 20%.  Also a 3.8% median surtax for high earners bringing the top rate to 28.8% vs. the 39.6% rate Biden had proposed earlier.  Lawmakers will have the chance to amend the proposal – Wealth Management ….. The committee also proposed raising the corporate tax rate to 26.5% from 20% - Ways and Means Committee


Apartment Rents – rose 10% in August, the first double-digit increase in more than 20 years.  The cause:  younger adults who have been living with their family and moving out, middle-income workers who have been priced out of the housing market are now renting and a limited growth in new apartment supply – Wall Street Journal


Cash – will be a distant memory.  A decade from now digital payments will be the norm and people will give you odd looks when you pay with cash – Jody Jonsson, CEO Capital Research


Residential Real Estate – bought by companies or institutions more than doubled in the 2Q in hitting an all-time high of 67,943 properties – RedFin


Golfers – A study of 300,000 golfers found that the death rate to be 40% lower than other people.  Golfers with lower handicaps were the healthiest because they played more.  Walkers burned 721 calories over nine holes vs. 411 for cart-riders – New York Times


Social Security – The 68 million including retirees, disabled people and others who rely on the benefits are likely to receive a 6% to 6.1% cost-of-living adjustment next year because of a Covid-19 related spike in inflation – Senior Citizen League


The Following States – got higher revenues in FY 2021, prompting them to enact legislation to lower individual tax rates:  AZ, ID, IA, LA, MO, MT, NH, OH, OK, WI.  Idaho had the biggest increase in revenue for FY 2021 at 21% and New Hampshire has proposed lowering their top tax rate from 5% to 0% - Tax Foundation


Jackie Robinson – Because of WWII causing a shortage of pro baseball players, the league considered lowering the acceptance age to 15 or 16, instead they decided to bring in Black players from the negro league.  The first was Jackie Robinson at $600 a month, plus a $3,500 signing bonus by the Dodgers.  After going to the minor league, Robinson went on to become player-of-the-year during his first full year in the majors – Saturday Evening Post – 1950


Ouch! – The top earners in NYC could face a combined city, state and federal income rate of 61.2%, according to proposed plans by the Democrats in the House – CNBC


Farmland – U.S. farm real estate value is averaging $3,380 per acre this year, up $220 per acre or 7%, from 2020.  The most expensive is in the Midwest, averaging $5,000+ per acre in places like the Corn Belt – The Business Journal


Poverty Rate – declined to a record low of 9.1% vs. 11.8% in 2019.  The enormous government relief effort helped offset the worst economy contraction since the Great Depression – New York Times


Covid Deaths – in the U.K. during the first half of the year involved only 1.2% of those who had received their second Covid dose – U.K.’s Office for National Statistics


Medicare – Based on an 8-31 report, the trust fund supporting Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) is projected to be depleted by 2026.  The fund could be corrected by an immediate 0.77% increase in Medicare payroll taxes or an immediate 16% reduction on Medicare expenditures – Medicare Trustee Report


Sears – which was started in Chicago in 1893, closed its last store in its home state and now only has 34 stores in operation vs. 700 when it filed for bankruptcy in 2018 – CNBC


Retirees – 3.2 million Americans retired in 2020, a 56% increase over the 2.05 million Americans who averaged retiring over the previous 8 years – Pew Research Center



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