It will take more than 55 million barrels of oil to reduce energy costs

Late last week, President Biden announced he was going to release 55 million barrels of oil from our strategic oil reserve to combat high energy prices and inflation. Because we currently use 18mm Barrels of oil per day in the U.S. we are confident there will have to be further actions to solve the high price of oil (and its contributions to the inflation we have been seeing over the last few months). Although the announced policy attempts to bring down energy prices, we don't believe it will be successful long-term. The immediate response from OPEC was a counter-response suggesting they may act to push the prices up. Despite the back and forth with OPEC over oil prices, they plunged at the end of the week on renewed global health concerns due to the Omicron variant and renewed travel restrictions.

As the World Health Organization (WHO) named variants of the coronavirus, “officials turned to the Greek alphabet … When it came time to name the potentially dangerous new variant that has emerged in southern Africa, the next letter in alphabetical order was Nu, which officials thought would be too easily confused with ‘new.’ The letter after that was even more complicated: Xi, a name that in its transliteration, though not its pronunciation, happens to belong to the leader of China, Xi Jinping. So they skipped both and named the new variant Omicron.” (NYT)

We do not know how significant the new virus variant will be medically. “Dr Angelique Coetzee, chair of the South African Medical Association … said it was ‘premature’ to make predictions of a health crisis. ‘It’s all speculation at this stage. It may be it’s highly transmissible, but so far the cases we are seeing are extremely mild,’ she said.” (Guardian)

But restrictions with economic effects are already taking place.

Numerous countries have applied travel restrictions, (eg, U.S., U.K., E.U., Switzerland) with some stopping the passage of foreign travelers outright temporarily (Israel). Mandatory quarantines make business travel difficult (if not impossible) in the near-term. The goal appears to be to buy several weeks of time, for scientists to assess the situation.

Moderna’s Chief Medical Officer Paul Burton said a new shot could be available early in 2022. “‘We should know about the ability of the current vaccine to provide protection in the next couple of weeks,’ Burton said Sunday on the BBC’s ‘Andrew Marr Show.’ ‘If we have to make a brand new vaccine, I think that’s going to be early 2022 before that’s really going to be available in large quantities.’” (Bloomberg)

Central banks had been under increasing pressure to deal with inflation. The decline in global energy prices helps that particular issue near-term, but not in a good way. Part of the problem has been the shift in spending to goods vs. services (clogging up ports & supply chains). Services spending resuming could have removed some of this pressure. That looks partly delayed now.

It’s not just travel services. Healthcare services have already been strained. NY Governor Hochul “announced a State of Emergency Friday night to prepare for, and attempt to avoid, a surge in the Omicron COVID variant. … Along with that executive order, the Department of Health is allowed to limit non-essential surgeries and procedures for hospitals at limited capacity … The new protocols will begin Friday, December 3rd and will be reassessed in January.” (WWNY)

The U.S. economic data had fortunately shown some momentum (pre-variant). U.S. real GDP was revised slightly higher to a 2.1% q/q annual rate in 3Q. But the real news is about what’s happening in 4Q. Weekly jobless claims might have been affected by some seasonal adjustment issues, but the drop to 199,000 last week (!) was indicative of a broader package of improving data. Core cap goods orders rose +0.6% m/m in Oct. Real (inflation-adjusted) consumer spending was up +0.7% m/m in Oct., and while some of this may have been sales pulled forward from later holiday shopping, there’s a clear indication that demand was solid. New & existing home sales rose m/m in Oct. Tracking estimates for 4Q real GDP in the U.S. are at +8.6% q/q A.R. (!)

This is true even though consumer sentiment remained weak at 67.4 in the Nov U of Mich survey. We continue to watch what consumers do vs. how they say they feel.

Bottom line: markets which had priced in 3 or more Fed rate hikes in 2022 look to have overshot the mark, based on recent developments. Yet inflation concerns still matter to consumers, both economically & politically. Continued disruptions in goods/services and labor markets mean the inflation story is not finished yet.

True, as we’ve mentioned previously, high prices are not perpetually rising prices, and y/y comps should help put a top in the inflation rate (inverse base effects) in 2022. Falling energy prices will play a role in this now.

Then, central bankers will have to decide what to do with this increasingly-complicated profile. Rate hikes should still occur in 2H of 2022, as inflation is becoming stickier, and this tightening still sets the U.S. economy up for a 2023 “mid-cycle slowdown” in our view.

It is still the base case that supply can rise to meet demand. But central bankers are facing an increasingly difficult task of getting from above-trend growth (inflationary) to below-trend growth (disinflationary) without going too far. The path got bumpier this past week.

Friday’s Sell-Off Of -2.3% Not Even Close To Being In The 50 Worst
With the S&P 500 down -2.3% on the shortened trading day Friday, it was the worst one-day loss for the index since February. Historically speaking, this decline was not even close to cracking the top 50 worst days for the S&P since 1995. However, ranking 208 out of 6,775 trading days is still painful.

A Reminder That Market Timing Is Incredibly Difficult
Although it’s easier said than done, ignoring the day-to-day gyrations in the market and headlines for rationalizations of sell-offs is often the best strategy. We would all love to time the market to miss the worst days and be invested only on the best days, but it is impossible. As the chart below shows, missing just the five best days over the last 25 years would result in annualized returns 1.8% less than being fully invested.

Average Stock Is Down -13%, In-Line With Historical Median
After last Friday’s decline, the average stock for the S&P 500 is down -13%, in line with the historical median. If this were to turn into a deeper correction, there could be significantly more pain to be had before the market reaches the -2 standard deviation mark, which historically has been a decent barometer of entry points during a major sell-off.
Source: Strategas

Chart reflects price changes, not total return. Because it does not include dividends or splits, it should not be used to benchmark performance of specific investments. Data provided by FactSet.


Fortem Financial
(760) 206-8500



Latest News


Omicron's Market Risk Is Already Looking Overdone

Calm is returning, unless you count holiday travel stress. But the new variant's bigger impact could be on monetary policy, with the Fed unable to


Read Story


Food, gas prices pinch families as inflation surges globally

Rising prices are fueled by high energy costs and supply chain disruptions.

ABC News

Read Story


The Tell: Oil could hit $150 a barrel with OPEC+ 'in the ...

Oil futures can shake off the omicron-inspired selloff and "overshoot" to the upside, potentially "overshooting" to $150 a barrel in 2023 with OPEC+ "firmly in the driver's seat," say ana...


Read Story


Brian Amidei, along with Partners Joseph Romano and Brett D'Orlando have also been named *2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 Five Star Wealth Managers!

Awards and recognitions by unaffiliated rating services, companies, and/or publications should not be construed by a client or prospective client as a guarantee that he/she will experience a certain level of results if Fortem is engaged, or continues to be engaged, to provide investment advisory services; nor should they be construed as a current or past endorsement of Fortem or its representatives by any of its clients. Rankings published by magazines and others are generally based on information prepared and/or submitted by the recognized advisor. Awards may not be indicative of one client’s experience or of the Firm’s future performance. Neither Fortem nor the recognized advisor has paid a fee for inclusion on a list, nor purchased any additional material from the award provider. The criteria for each award is listed below:

Five Star Professional Disclosure:
The Five Star Wealth Manager award is based on 10 eligibility and evaluation criteria: 1) Credentialed as an investment advisory representative (IAR) or a registered investment advisor; 2) Actively employed as a credentialed professional in the financial services industry for a minimum of five years; 3) Favorable regulatory and complaint history review; 4) Fulfilled their firm review based on internal firm standards; 5) Accepting new clients; 6) One-year client retention rate; 7) Five-year client retention rate; 8) Non-institutionalized discretionary and/or non-discretionary client assets administered; 9) Number of client households served; and 10) Educational and professional designations. The inclusion of a wealth manager on the Five Star Wealth Manager list should not be construed as an endorsement of the wealth manager by Five Star Professional or the magazine. The award methodology does not evaluate the quality of services provided. Additional information about this award is available at:
Fortem Financial 2016. All rights reserved.

Data Sources: News items are based on reports from multiple commonly available international news sources (i.e. wire services) and are independently verified when necessary with secondary sources such as government agencies, corporate press releases, or trade organizations. Market Data: Based on reported data in WSJ Market Data Center (indexes); U.S. Treasury (Treasury Yields); U.S. Energy Information Administration/ Market Data (oil spot price, WTI Cushing, OK); (spot gold/silver); Oanda/FX Street (currency exchange rates). All information is based on sources deemed reliable, but no warranty or guarantee is made as to its accuracy or completeness.

Neither the information nor any opinion expressed herein constitutes a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any securities, and should not be relied on as financial advice. The opinions expressed are solely those of the author, and do not represent those of Fortem Financial, LLC or any of its affiliates. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. All investing involves risk, including the potential loss of principal, and there can be no guarantee that any investing strategy will be successful. Forward looking statements are based on current expectations and assumptions, the economy, and future conditions. As such, forward-looking statements are subject to inherent uncertainty, risks, and changes in circumstance that are difficult to predict. Actual results may differ materially from the anticipated outcomes. Carefully consider investment objectives, risk factors and charges and expenses before investing. Fortem Financial is a registered investment adviser with the SEC. Advisory services are offered through Fortem Financial.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is a price-weighted index composed of 30 widely traded blue-chip U.S. common stocks. The S&P 500 is a market-cap weighted index composed of the common stocks of 500 leading companies in leading industries of the U.S. economy. The NASDAQ Composite Index is a market-value weighted index of all common stocks listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange. The Russell 2000 is a market-cap weighed index composed of 2,000 U.S. small-cap common stocks. The Global Dow is an equally weighted index of 150 widely traded blue-chip common stocks worldwide. Market indices listed are unmanaged and are not available for direct investment.

Fortem Financial

Recent Posts


Fortem Financial Group, LLC, has adopted this policy with recognition that protecting the privacy and security of the non-public personal information we obtain about our customers is an important responsibility.

All financial companies choose how they share your non-public personal information. Federal law gives consumers the right to limit some but not all sharing. Federal law also requires us to tell you how we collect, share, and protect your non-public personal information. Even when you are no longer our customer, we will only share your non-public personal information as described in this notice. So, please read this notice carefully to understand what we do.

The types of non-public personal information we collect and share depend on the product or service you have with us. This information can include items such as your Social Security number and income, your account balances and transaction history, and your investment experience and account transactions.

We collect your non-public personal information in a variety of ways. For example, we obtain your non-public personal information when you open an account or give us your income information, tell us about your portfolio or deposit money, or enter into an investment advisory contract. We also collect your non-public personal information from other companies. For example, from the custodians who hold your account assets.

All financial companies need to share customer’s non-public personal information to run their everyday business. Below, we describe the reasons we can share your non-public personal information and whether you can limit this sharing.

We share your non-public personal information for our everyday business purposes such as to process your transactions, maintain your account(s), respond to court orders and legal investigations, report to credit bureaus, to protect the confidentiality or security of your records, or as permitted by law. We may also share your non-public personal information for our own firm’s marketing purposes; so that we can offer our products and services to you.

Federal law gives you the right to limit only sharing non-public personal information about your credit worthiness for our affiliates’ everyday business purposes; sharing non-public personal information about you with our affiliates to market to you; and sharing non-public personal information with non-affiliates to market to you.

We don’t share non-public personal information about your creditworthiness with our affiliates for their everyday business purposes. We don’t share your non-public personal information with our affiliates to market to you. We don’t share your non-public personal information with non-affiliates to market to you. We also don’t share your non-public personal information for joint marketing with other financial companies. State laws and individual companies may give you additional rights to limit sharing.

We share non-public personal information with our parent company affiliate, Focus Financial Partners, Inc, for its internal and external auditing purposes. We also share your non-public personal information with a non-affiliate for the purpose of aggregating it and providing summary information based on this data to our parent company, Focus Financial Partners, Inc.

To protect your non-public personal information from unauthorized access and use, we use security measures that comply with federal law. These measures include computer safeguards and secured files and buildings.

Our policy about obtaining and disclosing non-public personal information may change from time to time. We will provide you notice of any material change to this policy before we implement the change.

If you have questions please call us at 760-206-8500 or go to our website at


Fortem Financial Group, LLC ("Fortem Financial" or the "Firm") is a federally registered investment adviser with offices in California and Arizona. Fortem Financial and its representatives are in compliance with the current registration and notice filing requirements imposed upon federally registered investment advisers by those states in which Fortem Financial maintains clients. Fortem Financial may only transact business in those states in which it is notice filed, or qualifies for an exemption or exclusion from notice filing requirements.

This website is limited to the dissemination of general information regarding the Firm's investment advisory services offered to U.S. residents residing in states where providing such information is not prohibited by applicable law. Accordingly, the publication of Fortem Financial' website on the Internet should not be construed by any consumer and/or prospective client as a solicitation to effect, or attempt to effect transactions in securities, or the rendering of personalized investment, tax or legal advice. Furthermore, the information resulting from the use of any tools or other information on this website should not be construed, in any manner whatsoever, as the receipt of, or a substitute for, personalized individual advice from Fortem Financial. Any subsequent direct communication from Fortem Financial with a prospective client will be conducted by a representative that is either registered or qualifies for an exemption or exclusion from registration in the state where the prospective client resides. Fortem Financial does not make any representations as to the accuracy, timeliness, suitability, completeness, or relevance of any information prepared by any unaffiliated third party, whether linked to this website or incorporated herein, and takes no responsibility therefore. All such information is provided for convenience purposes only and all users thereof should be guided accordingly.

All statements and opinions included on this website are subject to change as economic and market conditions dictate, and do not necessarily represent the views of Fortem Financial or any of their respective affiliates. Past performance may not be indicative of future results and there can be no assurance that any views, outlooks, projections or forward-looking statements will come to pass. Investing involves risk, including the potential loss of principal, and the profitability of any particular investment strategy or product cannot be guaranteed.

Any rating referenced herein may not be representative of any one client's experience. Further, the Firm's receipt of any rating is not indicative of the Firm's future performance. The Charles E. Merrill Circle of Excellence award is granted by Merrill Lynch for outstanding client service and satisfaction. The award is granted based on annual criteria established by Merrill Lynch for its top decile advisors. The Barron's Top 1,200 Financial Advisors rating of the top financial advisors in the United States is based on data provided by participating firms. The following factors are included in the rankings: assets under management, revenue produced for the firm, regulatory record, quality of practice and philanthropic work. Investment performance is not an explicit component. The Palm Springs Life's "40 Under 40" Rising Young Professionals to Watch in the Coachella Valley is based upon nominations from the local business community and selected by the staff of Palm Springs Life.

For information pertaining to the registration status of Fortem Financial, please refer to the Investment Adviser Public Disclosure website, operated by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, at, which contains the most recent versions of the Firm's Form ADV disclosure documents.