Financial Markets Update: August 17, 2023

“Too Hot to Fish, but Financial Markets Getting Cold.”

As temperatures hit record highs this summer, the financial markets are experiencing a moderate cold snap. During August, the 10-year Treasury bond yield has pushed higher to 4.2%, oil has increased to over $80.00 per barrel, stocks have eased 4% from recent highs, and the U.S. Dollar has strengthened. All of these markets are influencing one another.

The most important issue is the Federal Reserve policy and if they plan to raise interest rates again. Oil is another issue, as half is used for transportation and half is used in the production of many products, including plastics, fertilizers, electronics, and food preservatives. Thus, oil is an important underlying ingredient to inflation. While the U.S. has increased domestic oil production by 8.8% since 2019, OPEC and Russia have reduced production. Recently, Saudi Arabia has reduced oil production to keep their profits high as China’s growth slows. Since the 1970’s, Saudi Arabia has not been a friend to the U.S. In addition, consumption of oil in the U.S. has declined, thanks to innovations to reduce oil usage and pollution control.

Chart Courtesy of JP Morgan Asset Management, Guide to the Markets, August 16, 2023

Fixed Income
Moving on to other markets, higher inflation from oil may push the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates even higher. Treasury bond yields have risen to highs for the year, partially due to concerns about Federal Reserve policy. The budget fiasco early this year led to substantial bond issuance, and now the U.S. Treasury is issuing a heavy allotment of bonds to replenish resources needed to keep the government operating.

Since interest rates impact the value of other financial instruments, significantly higher interest rates, for example, if the 10-year Treasury yield increases from 4.2% to 5%, this could push stock prices lower.

Stocks have eased off from their recent highs primarily due to higher interest rates, and the Federal Reserve’s possible rate increases, China’s weakening economy, and most importantly, a decline in investor optimism. Investor psychology is a major factor in our investment analysis. Our tool to measure the short-term sentiment of investors is the put/call ratio. Recently, this indicator has been negative and has a way to go before the current downtrend reverses direction. As a result, we have taken a small “hedge” by purchasing securities that move opposite of the SP500 and the NASDAQ indices. Historically, August and September are weak months for stocks, so we are being cautious for the short-term.

Other Important Things
You should have received a proxy statement from Oneok in regard to the merger with Magellan. Please vote yes. It should be a good deal for Oneok, but shareholders need to approve the merger. Voting is easy. Just scan the icon on the proxy form or log into


Business Continuity and Succession Plan Disclosure Statement

Andrew Hill Investment Advisors, Inc. (“AHIA”) maintains a Business Continuity and Succession Plan (“BCP”) that has been developed with the goal of protecting the health and safety of our employees and maintaining continuity of service for our clients. Our Plan is designed to ensure that we are prepared to operate through significant business disruptions, so that our clients can access their accounts without significant interruption under most circumstances.
Key elements of our BCP include the following:

  • Critical data from our computer systems is backed up daily to geographically remote, secure facilities.
  • All AHIA employees can access its computer data remotely via secure connection. If AHIA’s primary network is not accessible, AHIA maintains replicas of all files and database servers in a geographically remote disaster recovery network available to all employees over a secure connection.
  • We maintain an office evacuation plan and emergency procedures in the event of a disaster affecting our primary office facilities or surrounding area.
  • We maintain an emergency contact list and procedures updated and distributed on a regular basis.

If your account requires servicing during a significant business disruption and we are unable to assist you, please call Fidelity Investments at 1-800-523-1203 and a dedicated team member will be able to assist you. It is impossible for us to anticipate every potential problem that may occur, but we believe our BCP will enable us to conduct business in the event of a variety of possible business disruptions. We review and test our BCP at least annually and it is subject to modification based on changing circumstances and assessment of need.

As a fiduciary, AHIA has certain legal obligations, including the obligation to act in client’s best interest. AHIA seeks to avoid a disruption of service to clients in the event of an unforeseen loss of key personnel, due to disability or death. To that end, AHIA has entered into a succession agreement with The Colony Group, LLC, effective May 24, 2019. AHIA can provide additional information to any current or prospective client upon request to Andrew D.W. Hill, President at 239-777-3188 or [email protected].

Andrew Hill Investment Advisors, Inc.
Privacy Notice

Andrew Hill Investment Advisors, Inc. (“AHIA”) believes it is essential that we maintain the privacy of the nonpublic personal information provided to us and that we obtain in connection with providing our products and services to clients.  AHIA views protecting its customers’ private information as a top priority subject to the requirements of the Federal Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act.  AHIA has instituted policies and procedures to ensure that client information is kept private and secure. 

AHIA limits the use, collection, and retention of such information to what we believe is necessary or useful to conduct our business and to provide and offer clients quality products and services, as well as other opportunities that may be of interest. Information collected may include, but is not limited to name, address, telephone number, tax identification number, date of birth, employment status, annual income, and net worth. 

In providing products and services, we collect nonpublic personal information about our clients from the following sources: 

  • Information we receive from clients on applications or other forms (e.g. investment/insurance applications, new account forms, and other forms and agreements);
  • Information about client transactions with us or others (e.g. broker/dealers, clearing firms, or other chosen investment sponsors); and
  • Information we receive from consumer reporting agencies (e.g. credit bureaus), as well as other various materials we may use to put forth an appropriate recommendation, or to fill a service request.

AHIA does not disclose any nonpublic personal information about its clients or former clients to any non-affiliated third parties, except as permitted by law.  While servicing a clients’ account, AHIA may share some information with its service providers, such as transfer agents, custodians, broker-dealers, accountants and lawyers.  Additionally, we will share such information where required by legal or judicial process, such as a court order, or otherwise to the extent permitted under the federal privacy laws.  

AHIA restricts internal access to nonpublic personal information about clients to those associated persons of AHIA who need to access that information to provide services.  As emphasized above, it has always been and will always be AHIA’s policy never to sell information about current or former clients or their accounts to anyone.  It is also AHIA’s policy not to share information unless required to process a transaction, at the request of a customer, or required by law.

AHIA places strict limits on who receives specific information about client account(s) and other personally identifiable data. As a rule, we do not disclose nonpublic personal information we collect to others. However, because we rely on certain third parties for services that enable us to provide our advisory services to clients, such as our attorneys, auditors, other consultants, brokers, and custodians who, in the ordinary course of providing their services to us, may require access to information, we may share nonpublic personal information with such third parties. 

AHIA may also disclose such information to others upon a client’s written instructions.  Such written instructions may be amended, and/or rescinded at any time in writing.  If a client prefers that we not disclose confidential personal information about them to non-affiliated third parties who provide a product or service that we feel would benefit them, the client may direct us not to make disclosures to such non-affiliated third parties via an opt-out provision.  We restrict access to nonpublic personal information about clients to those persons associated with AHIA, who need access to such information in order to provide our products or services to clients.  We maintain physical, electronic, and procedural safeguards that comply with federal standards to guard clients’ nonpublic personal information. If a client decides to close his/her account(s) or become an inactive customer, we will adhere to the privacy policies and practices as described in this notice. 

AHIA reserves the right to change these Privacy Principles, and any of the policies or procedures described above, at any time without prior notice. However, clients will be promptly provided with a current copy of our privacy notice upon material changes or upon request.  Active clients will receive a current copy of our privacy notice at least annually. These Privacy Principles are for general guidance and do not constitute a contract or create legal rights, and do not modify or amend any agreements.   If you have questions about this privacy policy, or if you wish to amend or rescind your written instructions with us at any time, please call us at (239) 777-3188.