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...
Most folks experience anxiety about carrying any kind of debt load. Many of us do not even distinguish between the different types of debt that we owe.
Of course, some debts may be “better” than others. A subsidized Stafford loan from the Federal government allows a student to defer his/her principal and interest during college, pay [...] Continue Reading...
Upon his passing, Warren Buffett would like a trustee to place 10% of his wife’s money in short-term government bonds and 90% in a low-cost S&P 500 index fund. Buy-n-holders see this as vindication for the idea that lazy asset management is superior to every other approach. After all, who in the world can claim [...] Continue Reading...
One of the key themes that I presented at the start of 2014 was the notion that capital would begin shifting abroad. Attractive valuations compared to U.S. equities, ongoing stimulative measures in Europe as well as “carry trade” funding of higher-yielding assets contributed to several high conviction purchases.
Chief among them? iShares MSCI New Zealand (ENZL). [...] Continue Reading...
The Internet buzzes with predictions for the next bear market. Some use fundamental analysis to make their case. For instance, Shiller’s cyclically-adjusted price-to-earnings ratio for U.S. equities (PE 10) employs 10 years of trailing corporate profits. It currently stands at 25.6, while the historical average is roughly 16.5. This suggests that if U.S. large-cap stocks [...] Continue Reading...
Economist Hyman Minksy argued that when a private sector accumulates too much debt, an economic system buckles. Supporters of his theories point to the catastrophic effect that sub-prime mortgages had on the 2007-2009 U.S. economy. Detractors simply highlight the 2010-2011 euro-zone crisis. In essence, the excessive borrowing and spending by beleaguered European nations nearly destroyed [...] Continue Reading...
The European Central Bank (ECB) did not really surprise anyone with its well-telegraphed rate cuts on 6/5/2014. Yet risk assets of all shapes, sizes and geographic origins rallied a bit more than most had anticipated. The reason? Not only did the ECB slash its overnight lending rate — not only will they charge banks for [...] Continue Reading...
Technology was the best performing sector in the five years prior to the 2000-2002 stock market bear. The acceleration of dot-com mania created a boom-to-bust scenario that few had ever seen. Yet “tech” actually weakened before other segments of the economy. What’s more, corporate shares of technology companies witnessed far more violent sell-offs than stock [...] Continue Reading...