Quote of the Week
“Strength is the product of struggle. You must do what others don’t to achieve what others won’t.” – Henry Rollins
The Jobs Market and the Housing Market Shatter Expectations
The US job market gains exceeded all of the expectations in March. The economy added 916,000 jobs, far exceeding the expectations of a 150,000 increase. The only damper on the report is the fact that a lot of the jobs were lower paying in industries such as restaurants and bars. Hey, new jobs are new jobs that actually pay wages that get spent, which will create more jobs.
The US economy is on the rebound.
The other significant statistic has been the increase in home prices which have averaged an +11.2% in major metropolitan areas over the last 12 months. The boom is a result of record low mortgage rates and a shortage of homes for sale. We expect the record increase in prices to start to slow going forward due to increases in mortgage rates and the rising cost to build a new home. For example, the cost of lumber has risen by over 70% in the last year.
On the flip side, the primary factor to keep demand high going forward is the massive number of Millennials entering their prime home buying ages of 30 to 34. This Millennials’ slice of the population is 50% higher than the Boomer’s slice when they were in their prime home buying years.
Today we got the 2nd Quarter Macro Themes from Hedgeye, our data vendor. Based on the data and the mathematics, we are in one of the best environments for the economy and markets in the second quarter. The whole world except China (Quad III) is in Quad II for the second quarter. This should be good going forward. We are invested in Quad II assets, and we will ride the wave as long as it lasts.
One question I am often asked is, “When do I think things will get back to normal or the way it used to be?”
I received this update on where we stand in our progress on “getting back” to normal. I hope this report from Columbia Threadneedle Investments will give you a good status report on our progress.
The following article from the Arizona Department of Transportation caught my eye. It came out about a month ago and I thought I’d share the news by reprinting it below.
The link to the article is
Arizonans can now renew driver licenses online
Contactless option will allow older adults to make healthy choices
PHOENIX – Renewing a standard Arizona driver license and a commercial driver license can now be completed with a few clicks on a website.
As Governor Doug Ducey’s Executive Order on deferring standard driver license expiration dates ends on Feb. 28, the Arizona Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Division is giving many Arizonans the ability to renew their driver license online. Previously, renewals could only be processed during an office visit.
“Most Arizonans with a standard driver license must renew their license when they turn 65 years of age and every five years thereafter,” ADOT Director John Halikowski said. “During the pandemic, ADOT wants to continue Governor Ducey’s efforts to help protect our most vulnerable and we’re pleased to be able to offer a contactless renewal option so people can continue making healthy choices.”
An in-office visit will be required to renew a standard Arizona driver license if an individual’s photo of record was taken more than 12 years prior to renewal, but most Arizonans will be able to renew their driver license without visiting an MVD office. Driver license-holders can log-in to their account at AZMVDNow.gov to see their eligibility for online renewal.
To renew a CDL online at AZMVDNow.gov, an individual’s address must remain the same, a valid primary document is on file with MVD and their current credential must be in good standing. CDL holders with a hazmat endorsement will not be able to renew their license online.
This new, streamlined renewal option was made possible, in large part, when MVD implemented a state-of-the-art computer operating system last spring. That change replaced an obsolete system that contained elements that were older than 35 years and no longer sustainable. The new system has made it possible for MVD to offer customers the ability to complete most services online at AZMVDNow.gov, eliminating the need to visit an MVD office for many Arizonans.
“We’ve all seen a lot of change over the last year, but this is something new that everyone can embrace,” MVD Director Eric Jorgensen said. “The website AZMVDNow.gov has added convenience for customers and made it easier for Arizonans to conduct their business with MVD. Adding driver license renewals to the long list of other services, like registration renewals, change of address and ordering a replacement license, will help keep Arizonans out of line and safely on the road.”
When renewing online, an individual’s official driver record will be updated with the new expiration date in the MVD system when the application and payment are submitted electronically.
When it comes time to renew a driver license, individuals can follow the below steps to renew online.
Go to AZMVDNow.gov and sign-in to your account. If you need to activate your account – everyone with an Arizona driver license has an account – follow those steps.
After logging in, select “Renew Now” in the “My Credential” section and follow the instructions.
Allow about 15 days for processing and mail delivery of your new driver license.