As we close out 2023 it’s useful to reflect on the things we got right and the things we got wrong. I was wrong about the US economy.
On July 5, 2022, the yield curve between the two-year and ten-year Treasury notes inverted and I was certain the US economy would slip into recession. Yield curves become inverted then the interest rate for short-term loans becomes higher than the interest rate for long-term loans. Typically, an inverted yield curve is followed by recession, but this time appears to be different.
There are no signs the economy is headed to recession, or even slowing down. In fact as recently pointed out in a WSJ Article, “A year ago, everyone from the strategists at Wall Street banks to rap artist Cardi B was calling for a recession. Instead, inflation continued falling, consumers kept spending and the unemployment rate fell to 3.4%, the lowest level since 1969.”
So, what should we expect for 2024? Clearly, I have no idea!
My best guess, inflation...
Recently, a prospective client came to me looking for help gaining some extra resources to grow their business. He wondered what would be required to get an SBA Loan. We walked through a list of qualifications together, and everything seemed to check out just fine until it became apparent to him that he'd have to draft a business plan.
He already had a well-functioning business with a great-looking cash flow statement, so why would he need a business plan? He assumed that business plans were typically drafted for startups or new companies just trying to get off the ground, but not for an existing business entity with a proven track record.
As we continued with the conversation, we discussed how much this prospective client was looking to borrow and why he wanted a loan from the Small Business Administration in the first place. He stated that he needed about a half-million dollars. Wow, this guy must have big plans, I thought to myself.
However, when I asked what his plans...