Weekly Update

Tis the Season

Published July 14, 2017


As many of our subscribers are interested in various stock market strategies, and timing strategies more specifically, we thought you might enjoy this article from Dana Lyons.

“Seasonality in stock investing is a tricky thing. In one way, some of the most profitable and reliable timing systems are those which depend only upon seasonality. On the other hand, emotionally and rationally, they are extraordinarily difficult to implement, at least exclusively. (more…)

Weekly Update

An Overview of Oil

Published July 7, 2017


Since hitting $55 per barrel at the beginning of the year oil prices have steadily declined to a price around $45 now. This tumble below $50 marks a point where some newer wells might be unprofitable. Nevertheless, U.S. supply of oil has been surging higher for years now upsetting the decades-long dominance of OPEC oil nations and remaking the global oil market. (more…)

Weekly Update

This Time IS Different

Published June 30, 2017

timingcube_cartoon063017We found this recent post from Ben Carlson to be of interest:

Sir John Templeton wrote “16 Rules for Investment Success” in 1993. The following is by far the most quoted passage:

The investor who says, ‘This time is different,’ when in fact it’s virtually a repeat of an earlier situation, has uttered among the four most costly words in the annals of investing.

“This time is different” is something of a sacrilegious phrase in the investment industry. Every time markets, corporate fundamentals or long-followed economic ratios enter above-average territory there are sure to be pundits or investors warning about complacency and imminent mean reversion. Anyone who claims it’s different this time is mocked with disdain for daring to question long-term financial relationships. (more…)

Weekly Update

The Seduction of Pessimism

Published June 23, 2017


We strive in our weekly blog posts to present all the major prevailing views on markets. Nevertheless, we have marveled over the years about the staying power of the doom-and-gloom crowd. How is it, in the midst of a long running bull market that the doom and gloom crowd has any remaining followers at all? (more…)

Weekly Update

A Technical Reflection on the QQQ

Published June 16, 2017


This week, for the first time this year, the Nasdaq 100 (symbol: QQQ) said “hello!” to its 50-day moving average. The 50-day moving average is a very common reference point for investors and machines programmed to trade. In Chart 1 below, the 50-day moving average is the blue upward sloping line. (more…)

Weekly Update

Volatility at Decade Lows

Published June 9, 2017


A couple of months ago we posted on our blog an article titled “Risk Rises” which talked about the VIX volatility index shooting up almost +50% over a period of a few days. At the time it seemed this sharp jump in market volatility might presage a shift in market tone. (more…)

Weekly Update

The Fed’s Post-Crisis Strategy

Published June 2, 2017


We are now a decade into the Federal Reserve’s latest period of monetary policy seeking to stimulate the economy. Prior periods of monetary policy focused on pushing very short-term interest rates higher or lower to accelerate or decelerate the economy and/or inflation. The unprecedented impacts of the financial crisis forced the Fed to adopt additional monetary policy tools, such as “quantitative easing” or “QE” for short. (more…)

Weekly Update

The Bull Market Is Just Beginning…?

Published May 26, 2017


One of the frequent narratives about this stock market is how it just keeps on rolling higher and must soon change its character. That there is a gravitational pull that will bring it back to something lower – e.g. a more “reasonable” valuation, a reset of time, etc. In consideration of the notion that this bull market is now some eight years old, we offer the recent article from market observer Mark Hulbert discussing whether this bull market is indeed quite as old as some might argue: (more…)

Weekly Update

Risk Management

Published May 19, 2017


When we talk about risk we usually think about our potential for losing money. But there is obviously a very big difference between losing 1% of our portfolio and losing 10% of it. We can use the size of the investment to manage our risk. To do this, we determine how much money we are willing to “lose”. (more…)

Weekly Update

Economic data versus the stock market

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Published May 12, 2017

TimingCube_cartoon051217There is a natural tendency for investors to believe that the stock market will follow economic trends.  What some people fail to realize, at least initially, is that investors are looking out into the future and the expected movement in the economy.  Only when an economic datapoint shows up that is at odds with that expected outlook do stocks react.  The Citigroup Economic Surprise Index (CESI) seeks to measure how those datapoints are matching up to what has been expected.  (more…)