The third quarter was another challenging one for markets in what’s shaping up to be a volatile 2022. The Federal Reserve (‘Fed’) continued its path of tightening financial conditions which most directly translated to two 75 basis point (0.75%) rate hikes over the quarter. This brought the Fed Funds upper target rate to 3.25% – a far cry from the 0.25% upper bound entering the year. Central bank policy reverberated through nearly all areas of the economy pushing 30-year fixed mortgages to over 7% and weighing heavily on asset prices. Making sense of it all, the economy remains in a transitionary period. After enduring a massive global disruption from the COVID-19 pandemic, many world economies are migrating to a new equilibrium while seeking to combat inflation and roll-off massive legacy stimulative efforts. The new normal is likely to incorporate higher structural inflation and slower growth. From an investment sense, many of the trends that were well-suited for a period of moderate growth and high levels of liquidity may not be as appropriate for the new environment. That said, this transition likely comes with new opportunities to take advantage of and cash savings are finally starting to earn a reasonable level of return.


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