July 19, 2024
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California homeowners pay an average of $28,790 in non-mortgage costs per year to own their properties, according to Bankrate.com’s latest report on the hidden cost of home ownership. The figure includes property taxes, insurance, upkeep and repairs, utilities and cable, making California No. 2 after Hawaii (more than $29,000). The average cost across the country is $18,112 or about $1500 per month. For California, that’s about $2,400 a month on top of the monthly mortgage payment. Costs have risen about 26% since 2020, the report said.

Mitch Zacks at Zacks Investment Management thinks that persistent low readings from the VIX or volatility index, make sense. While “some pundits are labeling this low volatility investment environment as ‘too sanguine,’ with markets pricing in too much optimism,” Zacks writes that odds do not favor doomsayers are wrong this time. The large risks from de-globalization, geopolitics and persistent inflation are “either overblown, far off into the future or widely known.” He points out that short-term “choppiness” in equity markets doesn’t necessarily forecast a major downturn.

With the Federal Reserve’s rate-setting body set to meet on June 12, Mechanics Bank Wealth Management is looking at the global rate cuts as a barometer and sticking with the dot plots indicating two Fed rate cuts for 2024 after the meeting. Sweden, Switzerland, Canada and the European Central Bank have all cut rates with Canada now at 4.75% and the ECB at 3.75%. Two rate cuts by the Fed would put Fed Funds at 4.75%, still 100 basis points above the ECB’s current rate.