Flattening yield curves, stock valuations, and yield spreads. I’m amazed how often I’m asked for my take on any (and there are others) of what I refer to as buzz phrases. Don’t get me wrong, it’s the world I live in and for those interested I’m more than happy to discuss (or bore you to tearsJ) any one of them.

Read most financial publications or watch any financial news network and you’re likely to be hit with any of a number of buzz phrases dominating today’s financial headlines. Now just to be clear, yield curves, spreads and stock valuations are important measures used collectively or independently by qualified professionals as a means of measuring market conditions on both a forward looking and backward looking basis. I refer to them in this piece as buzz phrases because too often they’re used as a tool to promote a service or newsletter using the element of fear to create action. I’m not just referring to the fear of the next bear market. I’m also referring to the fear of missing out on the next Google or Amazon.

On the geo-political front, I’m still of the opinion the struggles between the Sunni’s and Shiite’s in the Middle East coupled with the instability on the Korean peninsula remain the most overt threats to world peace and this bull market. History has shown that even in such an event, any pull back in stocks would likely be short lived. Here at home, the Federal Reserve has raised interest rates 4 times since last December, unemployment remains near 4% and our economy continues to gain steam. Last week the Senate passed a tax bill that according to published reports puts more money into all taxpayers pocket while cutting the tax rates for businesses which could lead to expanding operations, strengthening balance sheets or both. One thing I’m keeping an eye on in the midst of all this positive news is the relationship between the tight job market and the economy growing too fast. That could cause a rapid spike in inflation which would likely lead the Fed to raising interest rates faster than anticipated. So stay tuned by checking out my monthly tidbits at www.milesfinancialservices.com .

In the meantime, don’t be confused with buzz phrases. Stay nimble, be tactical and know what you own.

Merry Christmas. Have a safe and enjoyable holiday season.