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401k Contributions Blakely Financial

401K Contributions: What you need to know

The IRS recently announced an increase in the maximum amount you can contribute to your employer-sponsored retirement plan in 2023. 

Due to high inflation, the cost-of-living adjustment means maximum retirement contributions will be rising almost 10% in the upcoming year. The contribution limit for employees who participate in 401(k), 403(b), most 457 plans, and the federal government’s Thrift Savings Plan has been increased to $22,500 ( which is up from $20,500 in 2022). Annual contribution limits have also been increased for traditional and Roth IRAs, up to $6,500 from the $6,000 limit of 2022.

 

What Does This Mean For Me?

If you are already making the maximum contribution to your 401(k) each year, this is good news for you, as you will be able to set aside even more money for retirement. If you are looking to maximize your retirement fund, you may want to consider contributing to both your employer-sponsored retirement plan and an IRA. 

 

If you cannot contribute the maximum amount to your retirement plan in 2023, don’t be concerned. Though the number has grown in recent years, only about 10-12% of people maximize their 401(k) contributions each year. Simply participating in an employer-sponsored plan puts you in a great position for a successful retirement, especially if you start early and remain consistent with your contributions. Remember that this increase is due to the high cost of living, so you may not have the funds left over to make your ideal contribution in 2023.  

Making the Most of your 401(k)

One of the most important financial planning strategies in saving for retirement is to maximize your employer’s 401(k) match. Taking advantage of that extra money can be a huge help to your retirement fund, especially if you are consistently contributing enough money to get the maximum match. If you are unsure about the specifics of your company’s plan, take the time to read over it thoroughly, perhaps with your financial advisor, so you can make the most of your money. 

A few key points to remember about a 401(k): it is a retirement savings plan, so once you put money in, it is always best to leave it in. There are penalties if you take the money out before retirement age. Also keep in mind that if you change employers, you can roll your vested balance into your new employer’s 401(k) plan or into another qualifying retirement account such as an IRA.

If you have questions, it is always a great idea to call your financial advisor for guidance. But no matter what, please take advantage of any type of savings plan your current employer offers as the earlier and more aggressive you are, the closer you will come to achieving your financial goals.

Engage with the entire Blakely Financial team at WWW.BLAKELYFINANCIAL.COM  to see what other financial tips we can provide towards your financial well-being.

Blakely Financial, Inc. is an independent financial planning and investment management firm that provides clarity, insight, and guidance to help our clients attain their financial goals.

Securities and advisory services offered through Commonwealth Financial Network, Member FINRA/SIPC, a Registered Investment Adviser.

Social Security Cost of Living Adjustment Adjustment

Social Security Update: Cost of Living Adjustment

If you receive Social Security benefits, you can expect them to be boosted by 8.7% in 2023. This cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) was announced by the Social Security Administration on October 13th, and it is a massive increase from that of previous years. 

What does this mean for you, and what does it imply for the future? 

In 2022, the Social Security cost-of-living adjustment was 5.9%, which was the highest in forty years. The last time the COLA was this high was in 1981, at 11.2%. This adjustment rate is set automatically, based on the inflation rate each year between July and September as it compares to the previous year, and has been set this way since the 1970’s. The amount is based on the rise in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W). 

Use the extra benefit wisely

Despite these annual adjustments for inflation, a 2021 study found that the buying power of Social Security benefits declined by 30% from 2000 to early 2021, in part because the CPI-W is weighted more heavily toward items purchased by younger workers than by Social Security beneficiaries. Due to this method of setting the COLA, you should not anticipate that the increase you are seeing in 2023 will be continued in the upcoming years; be sure to handle the extra money wisely to prepare for future years in which your benefits may not be as high. 

While the COLA will actually take effect with the December 2022 benefits, payments will be made in January 2023. To gauge how much more money you may see next year, take your net Social Security benefit, add in your Medicare premium, and multiply that by the 2023 COLA.

If you have not yet begun to claim Social Security benefits, you may consider delaying until they are needed. Your benefits will still reflect the cost-of-living adjustments whether you claim them now or in a later year. Each year that you delay, benefits will increase 8% from your retirement age until age 70. Obviously, this strategy will not be ideal for every person, especially if you have health concerns, but you can change your mind at any point and begin receiving payments- you don’t have to delay until age 70 even if that was your initial plan. Conversely, if you are not ready to retire or decide to go back to work after retiring, you can still receive your social security benefits

If you are in need of a financial planner to help you get the most out of your benefits to enjoy a long and comfortable retirement, contact Blakely Financial today. 

Engage with the entire Blakely Financial team at WWW.BLAKELYFINANCIAL.COM  to see what other financial tips we can provide towards your financial well-being.

 

Blakely Financial, Inc. is an independent financial planning and investment management firm that provides clarity, insight, and guidance to help our clients attain their financial goals.

 

Securities and advisory services offered through Commonwealth Financial Network, Member FINRA/SIPC, a Registered Investment Adviser.

Navigating the Bear Market

How to Navigate The Bear Market

When stocks are declining, it can cause a lot of stress and uncertainty for investors. Now in 2022, we are in the midst of a bear market- here is how you can best prepare yourself to make it through, stay positive, and benefit from the bull market that will eventually follow! 

Does a Bear Market Lead to a Recession?

Bear markets happen and are to be expected given the current tumultuous nature of the pandemic and the sociopolitical climate. Bear markets don’t necessarily indicate economic recession.  In this current climate, many experts, like Mitch Zacks, believe we are not headed for recession:

The U.S. jobs market is still historically tight, household finances and the U.S. consumer are still healthy, and corporate profit margins are high. I believe sentiment has fueled declines more than fundamentals have.”

Though not all experts agree on what will happen next, the usual indicators of a recession are not currently present in 2022.

Bear Markets in History

The term “bear market” refers to a period of at least two months in which stocks fall at least 20% off their high. Though this percentage is significant, bear markets could perhaps be more generally defined by the sentiments of investors, as they lose confidence and become more risk-averse during these times. Throughout history, stocks lose an average of 36% during a bear market. 

It’s important to note, bear markets tend to last less than a year; whereas, The average bull market duration is 2.7 years. The stock market is positive the majority of the time, so it is best to think rationally about navigating a bear market before catastrophic thinking takes over.

Patience Pays Off 

Though it can be troublesome to think about the losses that occur during a bear market, it is important to shift your mindset towards the future. Many investors take drastic steps when they realize the market is trending downward, often selling off stocks for fear of more substantial losses. Alternatively, some may feel pressure to “buy the dip” in hopes that the prices will soon rise to a profitable level. Both of these types of reactions can in some cases be successful, but are often not. It is impossible to time the market exactly, and attempting to do so can cause more financial and emotional stress than it’s worth. 

“Selling out of stocks and waiting for confirmation that a new bull market has arrived almost certainly means missing the first several months of the new bull, which is a crucial time to be invested.”

This advice may not be applicable for certain people, such as those on the brink of retirement who may not have the time to wait out a volatile market. In any case, it is important to ensure your assets are in the right place for you in particular to meet your long or short term investment goals.

Protect Yourself Against Future Bear Markets

During a bull market, it can be easy to forget how uncomfortable it is to watch your assets go down in value. Be sure to use your resources in times of economic security to ensure your financial safety against future losses. Though the media can be a helpful tool in assessing the state of the market, it will not be the best source of financial advice. Only your financial advisor will know the specifics about your means and goals to help you navigate your way through a volatile market

Investing will always come with risks, and a declining market is one of them! Contact Blakely Financial for further assistance in maintaining diversified investments through a bear market. 

Engage with the entire Blakely Financial team at WWW.BLAKELYFINANCIAL.COM to see what other financial tips we can provide towards your financial well-being.

Blakely Financial, Inc. is an independent financial planning and investment management firm that provides clarity, insight, and guidance to help our clients attain their financial goals.

Securities and advisory services offered through Commonwealth Financial Network, Member FINRA/SIPC, a Registered Investment Adviser.

 

10 Ways to Help Yourself Stay Calm During a Volatile Market

10 Ways to Help Yourself Stay Calm During a Volatile Market

Staying calm can be difficult when the market goes on one of its periodic roller-coaster rides. It’s useful to have strategies in place that prepare you both financially and psychologically to handle market volatility. Here are 10 ways to help keep yourself from making hasty decisions that could have a long-term impact on your ability to achieve your financial goals.

1. Have a game plan

Having predetermined guidelines that recognize the potential for turbulent times can help prevent emotion from dictating your decisions. For example, you might take a core-and-satellite approach, combining the use of buy-and-hold principles for the bulk of your portfolio with tactical investing based on a shorter-term market outlook. You also can use diversification to try to offset the risks of certain holdings with those of others. Diversification may not ensure a profit or protect against a loss, but it can help you understand and balance your risk in advance. And if you’re an active investor, a trading discipline can help you stick to a long-term strategy. For example, you might determine in advance that you will take profits when a security or index rises by a certain percentage, and buy when it has fallen by a set percentage.

2. Know what you own and why you own it

When the market goes off the track, knowing why you originally made a specific investment can help you evaluate whether your reasons still hold, regardless of what the overall market is doing. Understanding how a specific holding fits in your portfolio also can help you consider whether a lower price might actually represent a buying opportunity.

And if you don’t understand why a security is in your portfolio, find out. That knowledge can be particularly important when the market goes south, especially if you’re considering replacing your current holding with another investment.

3. Remember that everything is relative

Most of the variance in the returns of different portfolios can generally be attributed to their asset allocations. If you’ve got a well-diversified portfolio that includes multiple asset classes, it could be useful to compare its overall performance to relevant benchmarks. If you find that your investments are performing in line with those benchmarks, that realization might help you feel better about your overall strategy.

Even a diversified portfolio is no guarantee that you won’t suffer losses, of course. But diversification means that just because the S&P 500 might have dropped 10% or 20% doesn’t necessarily mean your overall portfolio is down by the same amount.

4. Tell yourself that this too shall pass

The financial markets are historically cyclical. Even if you wish you had sold at what turned out to be a market peak, or regret having sat out a buying opportunity, you may well get another chance at some point. Even if you’re considering changes, a volatile market can be an inopportune time to turn your portfolio inside out. A well-thought-out asset allocation is still the basis of good investment planning.

5. Be willing to learn from your mistakes

Anyone can look good during bull markets; smart investors are produced by the inevitable rough patches. Even the best investors aren’t right all the time. If an earlier choice now seems rash, sometimes the best strategy is to take a tax loss, learn from the experience, and apply the lesson to future decisions. Expert help can prepare you and your portfolio to both weather and take advantage of the market’s ups and downs. There is no assurance that working with a financial professional will improve investment results.

6. Consider playing defense

During volatile periods in the stock market, many investors re-examine their allocation to such defensive sectors as consumer staples or utilities (though like all stocks, those sectors involve their own risks and are not necessarily immune from overall market movements). Dividends also can help cushion the impact of price swings.

7. Stay on course by continuing to save

Even if the value of your holdings fluctuates, regularly adding to an account designed for a long-term goal may cushion the emotional impact of market swings. If losses are offset even in part by new savings, your bottom-line number might not be quite so discouraging.

If you’re using dollar-cost averaging — investing a specific amount regularly regardless of fluctuating price levels — you may be getting a bargain by buying when prices are down. However, dollar-cost averaging can’t guarantee a profit or protect against a loss. Also consider your ability to continue purchases through market slumps; systematic investing doesn’t work if you stop when prices are down. Finally, remember that the return and principal value of your investments will fluctuate with changes in market conditions, and shares may be worth more or less than their original cost when you sell them.

8. Remember your road map

Solid asset allocation is the basis of sound investing. One of the reasons a diversified portfolio is so important is that strong performance of some investments may help offset poor performance by others. Even with an appropriate asset allocation, some parts of a portfolio may struggle at any given time. Timing the market can be challenging under the best of circumstances; wildly volatile markets can magnify the impact of making a wrong decision just as the market is about to move in an unexpected direction, either up or down. Make sure your asset allocation is appropriate before making drastic changes.

9. Look in the rear-view mirror

If you’re investing long-term, sometimes it helps to take a look back and see how far you’ve come. If your portfolio is down this year, it can be easy to forget any progress you may already have made over the years. Though past performance is no guarantee of future returns, of course, the stock market’s long-term direction has historically been up. With stocks, it’s important to remember that having an investing strategy is only half the battle; the other half is being able to stick to it. Even if you’re able to avoid losses by being out of the market, will you know when to get back in? If patience has helped you build a nest egg, it just might be useful now, too.

10. Take it easy

If you feel you need to make changes in your portfolio, there are ways to do so short of a total makeover. You could test the waters by redirecting a small percentage of one asset class to another. You could put any new money into investments you feel are well-positioned for the future, but leave the rest as is. You could set a stop-loss order to prevent an investment from falling below a certain level, or have an informal threshold below which you will not allow an investment to fall before selling. Even if you need or want to adjust your portfolio during a period of turmoil, those changes can — and probably should — happen in gradual steps. Taking gradual steps is one way to spread your risk over time, as well as over a variety of asset classes.

Remember that while they’re sound strategies, diversification, asset allocation, and dollar-cost averaging can’t guarantee a profit or eliminate the possibility of loss. All investing involves risk, including the potential loss of principal, and there can be no guarantee that any investing strategy will be successful. If you need further assistance in remaining calm during a volatile market, contact Blakely Financial and we will talk you through it.

 

This material has been provided for general informational purposes only and does not constitute either tax or legal advice. Although we go to great lengths to ensure our information is accurate and useful, we recommend you consult a tax preparer, professional tax advisor, or lawyer.

Engage with the entire Blakely Financial team at WWW.BLAKELYFINANCIAL.COM to see what other financial tips we can provide towards your financial well-being.

Blakely Financial, Inc. is an independent financial planning and investment management firm that provides clarity, insight, and guidance to help our clients attain their financial goals.

Securities and advisory services offered through Commonwealth Financial Network, Member FINRA/SIPC, a Registered Investment Adviser.

Blakely Financial Inflation Update June 2022

High Inflation: How Long Will It Last?

In March 2022, the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), the most common measure of inflation, rose at an annual rate of 8.5%, the highest level since December 1981.1 It’s not surprising that a Gallup poll at the end of March found that one out of six Americans considers inflation to be the most important problem facing the United States.2

When inflation began rising in the spring of 2021, many economists, including policymakers at the Federal Reserve, believed the increase would be transitory and subside over a period of months. One year later, inflation has proven to be more stubborn than expected. It may be helpful to look at some of the forces behind rising prices, the Fed’s plan to combat them, and early signs that inflation may be easing.

 

Hot Economy Meets Russia and China

The fundamental cause of rising inflation continues to be the growing pains of a rapidly opening economy — a combination of pent-up consumer demand, supply-chain slowdowns, and not enough workers to fill open jobs. Loose Federal Reserve monetary policies and billions of dollars in government stimulus helped prevent a deeper recession but added fuel to the fire when the economy reopened.

More recently, the Russian invasion of Ukraine has placed upward pressure on already high global fuel and food prices.3 At the same time, a COVID resurgence in China led to strict lockdowns that have closed factories and tightened already struggling supply chains for Chinese goods. The volume of cargo handled by the port of Shanghai, the world’s busiest port, dropped by an estimated 40% in early April.4

 

Behind the Headlines

Although the 8.5% year-over-year “headline” inflation in March is a daunting number to consider, monthly numbers provide a clearer picture of the current trend. The month-over-month increase of 1.2% was extremely high, but more than half of it was due to gasoline prices, which rose 18.3% in March alone.5 Despite the Russia-Ukraine conflict and increased seasonal demand, U.S. gas prices dropped in April, but the trend was moving upward by the end of the month.6 The federal government’s decision to release one million barrels of oil per day from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve for the next six months and allow summer sales of higher-ethanol gasoline may help moderate prices.7

Core inflation, which strips out volatile food and energy prices, rose 6.5% year-over-year in March, the highest rate since 1982. However, the month-over-month increase from February to March was just 0.3%, the slowest pace in six months. Another positive sign was the price of used cars and trucks, which rose more than 35% over the last 12 months (a prime driver of general inflation) but dropped 3.8% in March.8

Slower at the Core Inflation Graphic

Wages and Consumer Demand

For the 12 months ended in March, average hourly earnings increased 5.6% — not enough to keep up with inflation but enough to blunt some of the effects. Lower-paid service workers received higher increases, with wages jumping by almost 15% for nonmanagement employees in the leisure and hospitality industry. Although inflation has cut deeply into wage gains over the last year, wages have increased at about the same rate as inflation over the two-year period of the pandemic.9

One of the big questions going forward is whether rising wages will enable consumers to continue to pay higher prices, which can lead to an inflationary spiral of ever-increasing wages and prices. Recent signals are mixed. The official measure of consumer spending increased 1.1% in March, but an early April poll found that two out of three Americans had cut back on spending due to inflation.10-11

 

Soft or Hard Landing?

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) of the Federal Reserve has laid out a plan to fight inflation by raising interest rates and tightening the money supply. After dropping the benchmark federal funds rate to near zero in order to stimulate the economy at the onset of the pandemic, the FOMC raised the rate by 0.25% at its March 2022 meeting and projected the equivalent of six more quarter-percent increases by the end of the year and three or four more in 2024.12 This would bring the rate to around 2.75%, just above what the FOMC considers a “neutral rate” that will neither stimulate nor restrain the economy.13

These moves were projected to bring the Fed’s preferred measure of inflation, the Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) Price Index, down to 4.3% by the end of 2022, 2.7% by the end of 2023, and 2.3% by the end of 2024.14 PCE inflation — which was 6.6% in March — tends to run below CPI, so even if the Fed achieves these goals, CPI inflation will likely remain somewhat higher.15

Fed policymakers have signaled a willingness to be more aggressive, if necessary, and the FOMC raised the funds rate by 0.5% at its May meeting, as opposed to the more common 0.25% increase. This was the first half-percent increase since May 2000, and there may be more to come. The FOMC also began reducing the Fed’s bond holdings to tighten the money supply. New projections to be released in June will provide an updated picture of the Fed’s intentions for the federal funds rate.16

The question facing the FOMC is how fast it can raise interest rates and tighten the money supply while maintaining optimal employment and economic growth. The ideal is a “soft landing,” similar to what occurred in the 1990s, when inflation was tamed without damaging the economy. At the other extreme is the “hard landing” of the early 1980s, when the Fed raised the funds rate to almost 20% in order to control runaway double-digit inflation, throwing the economy into a recession.18

Fed Chair Jerome Powell acknowledges that a soft landing will be difficult to achieve, but he believes the strong job market may help the economy withstand aggressive monetary policies. Supply chains are expected to improve over time, and workers who have not yet returned to the labor force might fill open jobs without increasing wage and price pressures.19

The next few months will be a key period to reveal the future direction of inflation and monetary policy. The hope is that March represented the peak and inflation will begin to trend downward. But even if that proves to be true, it could be a painfully slow descent.

Projections are based on current conditions, are subject to change, and may not come to pass.

 

1, 5, 8-9) U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2022
2) Gallup, March 29, 2022
3, 7) The New York Times, April 12, 2022
4) CNBC, April 7, 2022
6) AAA, April 25 & 29, 2022
10, 15) U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, 2022
11) CBS News, April 11, 2022
12, 14, 16) Federal Reserve, 2022
13, 17) The Wall Street Journal, April 18, 2022
18) The New York Times, March 21, 2022

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This material has been provided for general informational purposes only and does not constitute either tax or legal advice. Although we go to great lengths to ensure our information is accurate and useful, we recommend you consult a tax preparer, professional tax advisor, or lawyer.

Engage with the entire Blakely Financial team at WWW.BLAKELYFINANCIAL.COM to see what other financial tips we can provide towards your financial well-being.

Blakely Financial, Inc. is an independent financial planning and investment management firm that provides clarity, insight, and guidance to help our clients attain their financial goals.

Securities and advisory services offered through Commonwealth Financial Network, Member FINRA/SIPC, a Registered Investment Adviser

What’s Driving Gas Prices Higher?

What’s Driving Gas Prices Higher?

Whether you’ve seen the prices at the pump, clicked on the headlines, or overheard discussions in the grocery store, you know the rising cost of gas has everyone talking. At the start of the summer driving season, the average price of regular gasoline in the U.S. reached an all-time high, surpassing $4.50 per gallon. Inflationary pressures, including strong demand, supply chain disruptions, and low inventories, have caused price spikes for many consumer goods. As the cost of filling your tank rises, you’re likely wondering which markets factors caused the spike in gasoline prices.

Costs and Taxes

Crude oil is the most important input cost for gasoline. This commodity is primarily refined into gasoline and other transportation fuels, including diesel and jet fuel. Ethanol, a fuel made from corn, is blended with crude oil to represent 10 percent of gasoline volume on average, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA). Operating costs associated with refineries, transportation (e.g., pipelines, tankers, trucking), and gas stations, as well as federal, state, and local government taxes, contribute to gasoline prices. Differences in operating costs and taxes explain the wide range of gasoline prices across states.

Higher Gasoline and Crude Oil Prices

Figure 1 illustrates the strong correlation between the prices for gasoline and crude oil, which is currently around $115 per barrel for West Texas Intermediate (WTI), the U.S. index. Prices for both commodities have just about doubled since early 2021. Covid-19 lockdowns in China and plans by several countries to release strategic oil reserves helped ease oil prices in recent months. The price of gasoline, however, has continued to increase.

 

Figure 1. U.S. Gasoline and WTI Crude Oil Prices, 2007–2022

U.S. Gasoline and WTI Crude Oil Prices, 2007–2022

Source: Bloomberg

 

Decreased Refinery Capacity

Demand for transportation fuels, such as gasoline, dropped sharply early in the pandemic when consumers stayed home, causing several refineries to close permanently. Global refinery capacity fell in 2021 for the first time in 30 years, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). U.S. refinery capacity dropped to 2015 levels, as shown in Figure 2. Additionally, existing U.S. refineries have limited spare capacity with utilization rates above 93 percent, the highest since December 2019. Meanwhile, refiners are generating record profits from strong demand, capacity constraints, and a higher spread between prices for oil and refined products, such as gasoline.

 

Figure 2. U.S. Refinery Capacity, 2007–2022

Figure 2. U.S. Refinery Capacity, 2007–2022

Source: Bloomberg

 

Lower Inventory and Higher Demand

Both U.S. gasoline and oil inventories are at low seasonal levels compared to the five-year range, as shown in Figure 3, which highlights U.S. gasoline inventories. Gasoline and oil demand recovered faster than supply over the past two years while the economy bounces back from the pandemic. Refineries typically boost output before demand peaks during the summer; however, capacity constraints limit supply increases. Although the U.S. still imports oil because its refineries were initially designed to process heavy crude produced from other countries, such as Canada and Venezuela, higher U.S. exports have reduced inventories as Europe seeks to reduce its reliance on Russia for energy imports.

 

Figure 3. U.S. Gasoline Stocks, 2020–2022

U.S. Gasoline Stocks, 2020–2022

Decline in Oil Supply

Global oil producers quickly cut capital expenditures early in the pandemic to preserve cash for debt servicing and other operating expenses amid highly uncertain oil demand and plummeting prices that fell to around $20 per barrel. Figure 4 illustrates the decline in oil production from the OPEC and the U.S., the world’s two largest groups of producers. Supply from Russia, the world’s third largest oil producing country behind Saudi Arabia, also declined after its invasion of Ukraine.

 

Figure 4. OPEC and U.S. Oil Production, 2012–2022

Figure 4. OPEC and U.S. Oil Production, 2012–2022

Source: Bloomberg

 

Oil Production Constraints

Global oil production is slowly recovering as producers have been more cautiously investing in long-term projects, such as offshore drilling, due to a highly uncertain demand outlook for oil. Traditional automakers, for instance, are investing heavily in electric vehicles amid policy support and plans by several countries to phase out internal combustion engines (e.g., gasoline, diesel) in the coming decades.

Furthermore, shareholders have forced publicly traded oil and gas producers to focus on capital discipline, profitability, reducing debt, and investor returns through dividends and stock buybacks. Production growth was the prior objective from a capital allocation standpoint, but producers struggled to generate positive cash flow and earnings following the 2014–2016 crash in oil prices.

Several other market developments have contributed to a slow recovery in oil production:

  • S. oil producers focused on drilled but uncompleted wells (DUCs) to limit costs when oil demand began to recover after the pandemic. In other words, producers sacrificed future supply growth by completing existing wells at a faster rate than drilling new wells.
  • A large portion of U.S. oil supply is produced from shale regions, such as the Permian Basin. Compared to conventional wells, shale wells have high depletion rates that average around 70 percent by the end of the first year, according to asset manager, GMO. This requires continuous capital expenditures to maintain or increase production levels by drilling new wells.
  • Small private oil producers have been the main source of production growth in the U.S. as opposed to larger publicly traded producers given shareholder demands for capital discipline.
  • Inflationary pressures and shortages for labor and materials, such as steel, reduced the operating capacity for oil field service companies, which supply oil rigs and other equipment to producers.

 

U.S. Production Forecasts

The U.S. is the world’s top oil-producing country with supply averaging 11.9 million barrels per day over the past two months. Forecasts from the U.S. EIA imply moderately higher production of about 200,000 barrels per day for the remainder of 2022. Oil production growth is expected to accelerate in 2023 and reach an all-time high, averaging more than 12.8 million barrels per day.

A Look Ahead

For the immediate future (this summer), it looks like gas and oil prices will remain high due to global supply issues, low inventories, and increased travel. There is hope for an ease or decline of prices later in the year with the potential for more supply and lower demand. Please contact my office with any questions or requests for more information on current prices or future forecasts.

 

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This material has been provided for general informational purposes only and does not constitute either tax or legal advice. Although we go to great lengths to ensure our information is accurate and useful, we recommend you consult a tax preparer, professional tax advisor, or lawyer.

Engage with the entire Blakely Financial team at WWW.BLAKELYFINANCIAL.COM to see what other financial tips we can provide for your financial well-being.

 

Robert Blakely is located at 1022 Hutton Ln #109 High Point, NC 27262 and can be reached at 336-885-2530

Securities and Advisory Services offered through Commonwealth Financial Network®,

Member FINRA/SIPC, a Registered Investment Adviser. Fixed insurance products

and services are separate from and not offered through Commonwealth Financial Network®.

Authored by Brad McMillan, CFA®, CAIA, MAI, managing principal, chief investment officer, at Commonwealth Financial Network®.

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