There has been a great deal of talk about the housing recovery. Sales of existing homes steadily rose between mid-2011 and mid-2013 on the back of a weak U.S. dollar and an increase in the money supply. Indeed, Federal Reserve monetary policy had stimulated demand for U.S. stocks as well as U.S. real estate. Yet [...] Continue Reading...
In a world of high-frequency trading, central bank rate manipulation and cross-border fund flows, fundamental value often gets pushed to the back burner. Without question, U.S. stocks are very expensive — inordinately overpriced. Nevertheless, most will opt to continue placing their faith and their hard-earned dollars in what they know.
Can one pursue reasonably priced equities [...] Continue Reading...
Most of the top 50 economies in the world have engaged in one form or another of monetary stimulus since the start of 2009. Halfway through 2014, most still endeavor to keep interest rates low to encourage borrowing by consumers and businesses; nearly all of those countries or regions also hope to fuel exports with [...] Continue Reading...
Government debt around the globe is roughly 40% higher than it was just five-and-a-half years ago. In fact, the majority of “top 10″ economies, including the United States, carry untenable debt burdens of more than 100% debt-to-GDP ratios.
How dangerous are these circumstances? Well, imagine a family that earns $120,000 per year and carries credit card [...] Continue Reading...
The 30 companies that comprise the Dow Jones Industrials collectively failed to increase sales in 2013. Yet the price of the Dow surged more than 25%. And while that price appreciation for the big-time benchmark may be slowing, the Dow still managed to eclipse 17,000 without generating much in the way of actual revenue growth.
Sales [...] Continue Reading...
According to a study by LPL Financial, the ‚Äúsmart money‚ÄĚ may be exiting equities. Hedge funds, institutions, insiders and foreigners were net sellers of stock in June. The net buyers? Individuals and corporations. The brokerage firm‚Äôs chief market strategist, Jeffrey Kleintop, further explained that companies buying back shares of their own stock accounted for most [...] Continue Reading...
“The contraction in the first quarter is not reflective of the underlying state of the U.S. economy and the subsequent flow of data points to a significant snap-back in the second quarter,‚ÄĚ explained the chief economist at Regions Financial. Keep in mind, Richard Moody, like the overwhelming majority of economic pundits, projected rising interest rates [...] Continue Reading...
Imagine for a moment that you are not familiar with ticker symbols. Now, let me name seven contenders for your investment dollars — assets that simultaneously diversify your portfolio as well as increase your risk-adjusted performance.
Ticker Symbols (Imagine That You Are Unfamiliar With Them)
Approx YTD %
SPDR S&P 500 (SPY)
Cut to the chase, right? [...] Continue Reading...
Many of the word’s most respected economists projected the direction of interest rates at the start of the year. The average assessment? Experts collectively anticipated that the 10-year Treasury bond yield would rise from 3.03% to 3.41% by the end of 2014.
I didn’t see it.
For one thing, the well-being of real estate in a below-trend [...] Continue Reading...
In the history of the NBA Finals, no team had ever come back from a 3-1 deficit. Miami Heat believers explained that records were meant to be broken. And Lebron James asked, “Why not us?”
To the dismay of some basketball fanatics, the San Antonio Spurs mercifully disposed of their inferior competition in the fifth game. [...] Continue Reading...