Special content from Jack, very short read!

Special content from Jack, very short read!

Uh oh! Signs of a potential financial market correction may be on the horizon:

  • The S&P 500 is down 4% from its all-time high.
  • Investors are showing increased interest in gold, silver, copper, and other commodities, which are often seen as safe havens during economic downturns.
  • Geopolitical tensions remain high in the Middle East and Ukraine which definitely creates nervousness in the financial markets.
  • There are weaknesses in some areas of the US stock market, including major companies like Apple and Tesla, as well as retail stores, commercial real estate, and an increased consumer debt load.

But: The good news is we anticipated probable market weakness and took action last week. The RFS growth model is 70% short, and LONG gold, silver, copper, and commodities. So we are in great shape for a major market pullback.

Don’t forget we are always here for you and your family.



S&P500  -1.2%
RFS Aggressive Growth Model (AG)  +.26%
RFS Aggressive Growth + Model (AG+)  +.26%

* End-of-day market returns as of 4/15/2024 

Special content from Jack, very short read!

Special Edition from Research Financial Strategies

Dear Friends and Clients,

This week, a good friend and client brought something significant to my attention. Despite our initial struggles to uncover the full story, my resourceful son-in-law managed to locate it. It comprises three parts and runs approximately 45 minutes in length. I urge you to take the time to watch it.

Why? Firstly, it offers riveting entertainment as Jon Stewart effectively dismantles Jim Cramer’s narrative regarding the events spanning from October 2007 to March 2009. Secondly, it stands as a testament to its accuracy—Jim Cramer’s defense boiled down to mere claims of being misled by acquaintances. And thirdly, it resonates with a message I’ve been advocating since 1991: the narrative of bear markets. Over the past 99 years, there have been a total of 20 such markets. Do you believe there won’t be a 21st? As a reminder, during the 2007-2009 bear market, when the SP-500 was -57%, the RFS growth model was -4%.

Allow me to share something I am deeply passionate about—the untold side of the story. Yes, a market decline of 57% is staggering. But what many fail to grasp, unless they delve into the statistics or engage with mental health professionals, is the collateral damage. As the bear market persisted, reaching into the summer of 2009, we witnessed alarming spikes in suicides, depression, domestic abuse, violence, substance abuse, foreclosures, evictions, and repossessions. These are the grim realities obscured by the buy-and-hold rhetoric espoused by firms like Vanguard and Fidelity.

As a wise general once remarked, “Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” I implore you to watch the videos, encourage your adult children to do the same, and share them with anyone in your circle who could benefit from the unvarnished truth. For, alas, such truths are seldom found on the polished surfaces of Fidelity or Vanguard websites.

 Very seriously,



Part 1: 

Part 2:

Part 3: 

Special content from Jack, very short read!

The Fed’s Drive To 2% Inflation

February isn’t over yet, but the Cleveland Fed has released its projections for a few key economic markers. Why are these markers important? The Fed likes to look at the Consumer Personal Expenditures (CPE) to gauge whether or not their plan to curb inflation is working. The projected CPE for February is 2.27, trending towards the 2% the Fed is looking for before announcing that inflation has been under control. Given the Fed’s caution about reducing interest rates until the CPE is holding steady at 2% or lower, the Fed will likely only reduce interest rates once these markers are met. In the meantime, stay focused on your financial goals, and if you have any questions/concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

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Special content from Jack, very short read!

Consumers Expect Better Days Ahead

Many consider the University of Michigan the gold standard for reporting on consumer sentiment and trends. Among its 50 monthly reports, the most well-known is the “UMich Consumer Sentiment” survey, which measures consumer confidence.

I also follow the University of Michigan’s “Expected Change in Financial Situation in a Year” report. As we see below, the index has been trending higher for over a year as inflation has moved lower and financial markets gained.

Investors believe their financial situation will improve due to a wide range of factors, including interest rates and home prices, to name a few. When investors are positive about the future, they tend to be more comfortable making longer-term commitments.

So when you see negative updates on credit card debt, the jobs market, or other reports, remember what this chart tells us: Despite all the concerns, people believe their financial situation will improve.

Special content from Jack, very short read!

EVs―The Next Big Thing

EVs―The Next Big Thing

An Interesting Email

We recently received an interesting email from a reader of our RFS website. Katie Griffin is a Senior Communications Specialist at EcoWatch.org, a group devoted to disseminating information on the environment to help reduce carbon emissions and their deleterious effects on the atmosphere. Turns out that Ms. Griffin read our article about Lithium,[i] which we sent to clients and friends in August of 2021.

In her email, Ms. Griffin wrote:

I wanted to reach out because I saw that you have some great information about electric cars on your page. It’s projected that there will be 18 million electric vehicles on U.S. roads by 2030. As EV’s grow in popularity, it’s important that people are aware of the different types, their impact on the environment and the pros and cons of purchasing one. 

EcoWatch.org, which has a Twitter following of 238,000, recognized the growing popularity of electrical vehicles and as a result created a guide called “Electric Vehicles 101: Everything You Need to Know.” It’s a must-read for anyone wanting to buy, or just interested in, an EV. You may find the guide here

Yes, Everything

The EcoWatch guide kid you not: It does indeed have everything you need to know about EVs.

  • History: Did you know that in 1900 one-third of all vehicles on the road were electrical vehicles?
  • Types of Electrical Vehicles: HEVs, PHEVs, BEVs, … the alphabet’s heyday.
  • Are EVs Better for the Environment: yes, says the Guide. Some interesting facts here.
  • How Long Does It Take to Charge an EV’s Battery: In the Guide, you’ll find not only “how long” but “where”; you’ll discover ‘Plugshare, a free website and phone app that bills itself as ‘the most accurate and complete public charging map worldwide, with stations from every major network in North America and Europe.’”
  • Cost of Charging an EV: About half the cost of a combustion-engine car, says the Guide (assuming gas at $3.00 per gallon―so these days less than half).
  • Uncle Sam Wants You (to buy an EV): The Guide covers the federal tax credits you can enjoy when you buy an EV …but …

Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) Changed All That

The recently enacted Inflation Reduction Act made significant changes to the federal tax credits available to EV buyers. According to CBS News:

President Biden’s signing of the Inflation Reduction Act is changing the landscape for Americans interested in buying an electric vehicle. The law replaces a previous tax break for EVs with a new set of credits, although that depends on where a car is assembled.

The manufacturing requirements are effective as of August 16, 2022, the day the bill became law. Other restrictions, including strict limits on where batteries can be mined and assembled, kick in starting in 2023 and ramp up in future years.[ii]

The IRA requires assembly of EVs in North America before federal tax credits are available. It also restricts battery mining and assembly to certain locations. To make certain your prospective EV qualifies, you can check it against this list provided by the Department of Energy.

CBS News provides the following list of eligible cars:[iii]

2022 models that likely qualify for a tax credit under the Inflation Reduction Act

  • BMW 330e and X5
  • Chrysler Pacifica PHEV
  • Ford F Series
  • Ford Escape PHEV and Mustang MACH E 
  • Ford Transit Van
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee PHEV and Jeep Wrangler PHEV
  • Lincoln Aviator PHEV and Corsair Plug-in
  • Lucid Air
  • Nissan Leaf
  • Rivian EDV, R1S and R1T
  • Volvo S60

2023 models that likely qualify:

  • BMW 330e 
  • Mercedes EQS SUV
  • Nissan Leaf

You might notice that the list omits the most popular EVs sold in America; Chevrolet Bolt EV and EUV; GMC Hummer Pickup and SUV; and Tesla Model 3, Model S, Model X and Model Y vehicles. Even though these cars are assembled in America, their manufacturers have exceeded a sales cap under a previous law. This cap will be lifted in 2023, so if you’re shopping for an EV, you should include the popular models on your shopping list.

We’re On It

Only in the past four years have investors had the opportunity to invest in ETFs “specifically dedicated to driverless cars, electrical vehicles. and other innovations in the automobile industry.”[iv] For our Aggressive Growth Model, we selected DRIV.[v] The managers of this ETF―Global X―describe their overall philosophy in creating more than 60 ETFs:

A lineup that spans disruptive tech, equity income, hard-to-access emerging markets, and more. Or simply put, we strive to offer investors something beyond ordinary.[vi]

About the DRIV ETF, the managers have this to say:

EVs produce zero direct emissions, meaning broader adoption could result in reduced greenhouse gas emissions and improved urban air quality. Further advances in autonomous driving could also enhance roadway safety.

No One Knows

Who knows how far and how fast EVs will advance in the marketplace. With groups like EcoWatch (and, no doubt, hundreds more) supporting the transformational change to electrical vehicles and with the federal government eager to pay American citizens to buy them, it seems rational to conclude that investments like DRIV will do well in this decade.

But who knows where the overall stock market is heading. We’ve positioned our Aggressive Growth Model in a decidedly short position with the large 3x short position in SQQQ we bought on August 17, 2022. Counterbalancing this position are TQQQ and UPRO 3x long positions. When the market reveals its hand, we’ll sell either the short position (if the market is heading up) or the long position (if the market is heading down) and just ride in the direction our analysis takes us.

Call Us

As always, please call us at 301-294-7500. We are happy to answer any questions you have.

And please forward this email to family, friends, and colleagues―they, too, might be in the market for an electrical vehicle and would appreciate having access to EcoWatch’s EV Guide.