Interpretation & The Chocolate Detour

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“We are making mindful advent calendars1 for the holiday with plans to exchange them on Thanksgiving Day. Would you2 like to participate?” my daughter asked. The rules were simple: Make a calendar spending as little as possible and have it ready to exchange on Thanksgiving Day. My cousin, who was visiting from Wisconsin during the holiday, decided she would join in the group thus participating in the fun. While we were working on our craft – scrolling the web for inspiration, writing notes to ourselves, and kicking our individual ideas back and forth – my husband Mike became interested in what we were doing. Out of the blue, he announced he would also make a mindful advent calendar. As you may notice on the headline picture, there is a calendar with a mindful note to read each day of the advent season and on the left occurs a simple advent calendar with a chocolate for each day of advent. My husband’s idea: Each day the person should be mindful of the simple task of tasting chocolate!

The advent calendars that were exchanged were all unique and different. Some were elegant, some included a simple physical task with each note, another was shaped as a wreath, a fourth contained simple little mindful thoughts for each day and then there was the one that was begging to be different. It was a gentle reminder to everyone that we are all unique, to appreciate the difference in others and how they approach the world and the holidays. The calendar exchange did its trick for at least one of us as it has made me more mindful of others. Including you, my clients: Much appreciation for the uniqueness that is you and allowing White Raven Financial3 to share in your view of life!  

Now on to the financial world . . . Similar to prior months, the economy has been very attentive to inflation and the probability of continued interest rate hikes. On the 30th of November, we learned from Fed Chair Powell4, that the Federal Reserve is considering smaller increase rates in the future. That attempt may have just been foiled due to another strong month of jobs growth being reported5 on the 2nd of December. The Charles Schwab team of Liz Ann Sonders and Kevin Gordon in a recent blog6 commented on the weaker economic trends as the U.S. heads into 2023 while Federal Reserve does what it feels is necessary to bring down inflation. They noted that a mild recession may set stocks up for a better second half of the year. Jeffry Bartash of Market Watch noted7 that there were little signs of a recession currently due to the 2.9% growth of Gross Domestic Product in the third quarter. It appears that the thoughts of a recession are still very much what my mom would call a yin and yang.

Contrary to the U.S., the British appear8 on the brink of a recession according to CNBC/Economy. In the article by CNBC, it was noted that it may be one of the longest recessions for the country since records began. Russell Investments reiterated the negative growth in England in their Q4 2022 Global Market Outlook9. In their Outlook, they also noted how energy supply in Europe is adding additional headwinds to the European economy.

The recent rise in the markets these past two months have been a bright spot for most portfolios in what has been a gloomy year. You may have heard in the past about a Christmas Rally10. According to Seasonax10 there is such a phenomenon and it can be quite impressive. But please be mindful in that it doesn’t always happen.

For November, all three major market indices secured monthly gains continuing the headers that were posted in October. Of the three major indices, the blue-chip barometer (the DOW)* cleared the most goal post and brought a 5.93% win for the month. The S&P 500 (SPY)* challenged the winner but missed by a strike and posted a 5.56% gain. The tech-rich Nasdaq Composite (COMPTR)* dribbled through the month and did a throw in for third with a 4.37% gain to the positive. (*After linking, click on Quarterly & Monthly Total Returns, “Monthly” tab). On Tuesday, November 29th, the Dow Jones Indices released the latest S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller12 report. The report showed that home price gains had decelerated for the third month in a row across the U.S. although the year-over-year gain was at 10.6%. The September composite Home Price Index13, before seasonal adjustments, noted that month-over-month data had the month of September showing a 1.0% decrease from the prior month of August for the composite index.

Regards and thank you (as always) for reading,

The Team at White Raven Financial

Advisory services offered through White Raven Financial Services, Inc. a Registered Investment Advisor in the State of Washington.

*Indexes are unmanaged and do not reflect service fees, commissions, or taxes. You cannot invest directly in an index. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results. Returns for the DOW, S&P 500 and the NASDAQ are the total return (price only) provided by Morningstar as October 31, 2022. Diversification and asset allocation do not assure or guarantee better performance and cannot eliminate the risk of investment loss.

*The Standard and Poor’s 500 is an unmanaged, capitalization weighted benchmark that tracks broad-based changes in the U.S. stock market. This index of 500 common stocks is comprised of 400 industrial, 20 transportation, 40 utility, and 40 financial companies representing major U.S. industry sectors. The index is calculated on a total return basis with dividends reinvested and is not available for direct investment.

*The Dow Jones Industrial Average covers 30 blue chip U.S. companies selected by the editors of the Wall Street Journal. The Dow represents about 25% of the NYSE market capitalization and less than 2% of NYSE issues.

*The NASDAQ is a market-value weighted index that measures all NASDAQ domestic and foreign common stocks.


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Diane Jochimsen

Meet the Author:
Diane Jochimsen

Diane Jochimsen is the founder and lead financial advisor at White Raven Financial. Whether working on investment portfolios or with a financial plan, Diane always seeks to know more about clients’ values, aspirations, and end goals.

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