Weekly Update

July 15, 2016 Update


Initiation is a good thing

Sometimes stock investors just get things a-moving. We see big jumps in stock prices that clearly reflect a change of attitude. These big jumps can come late in a rally when investors fear of missing out (FOMO) kicks into high gear. We saw this FOMO on full display in September-October of 2007. Emerging market stocks had delivered a long and powerful run more than tripling in price over a four-and-a-half year period. (more…)

Weekly Update

July 8, 2016 Update


Robo-advisors – Passive gets a new package

The investment industry thrives on new products, new ways to invest that are usually just a different marketing spin on the same stuff. The basic investment strategies are well-known. You can endeavor to be a “value” investor buying low and intending to sell high. You can choose to be a momentum or growth investor buying “high” in hopes of selling at even higher prices those companies, industries, sectors, markets that are already moving up. (more…)

Weekly Update

July 1, 2016 Update


Charting the Brexit damage – outside of Europe

We might as well start where we left off last week. Then, we pointed out that the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) remained within its trading range despite the Brexit plunge. Monday’s trade this week punctured that pretty picture by dropping the DJIA below the line we drew thus heralding a change in market tone from kind of, sort of, maybe bullish to more of an unhappy view. By week’s end, however, the tone had dramatically flipped back as if the Brexit vote never happened. (more…)

Weekly Update

June 24, 2016 Update


Get on board!

Thursday’s “Brexit” vote shook up markets worldwide. Strong reactions from commodities, stocks, bonds, currencies – everything was affected by the vote. Whether that’s warranted or not time will tell. Is it the beginning of the end for the European Union? After all, the United Kingdom was not a part of the Euro currency and thus was really sort of only halfway into the EU anyway. Is this the first really serious rejection of the past couple of decades of globalization? It seems so. There appears to be those who embrace globalization as a positive force for how we can now seamlessly move goods and services around the world in one massive marketplace. (more…)

Weekly Update

June 17, 2016 Update


The stock market comes to dislike central bank policies

There are increasing calls for the Federal Reserve to step aside and let the market do its thing. Oh sure, there have long been the Fed doubters who despised the central bank intervention in bond markets, which in turn heavily influenced stocks and other assets. But those voices were largely drowned out as stocks roared higher and the Fed appeared to have successfully put a sturdy floor under the markets with ultra-low interest rates as the fuel. Markets are now telling the Fed that they’ve had enough, however, of the easy money policies of global central banks. With interest rates now negative across wide swaths of the global government bond market as German bonds went negative just this week. (more…)

Weekly Update

June 10, 2016 Update


Money, time, and happiness

A couple of recent articles struck our fancy by talking about the link between money, life “efficiency”, and how all that relates to our happiness. At the bottom, we have a link to an article from The Economist magazine talking about the impact Amazon is having on Wal-Mart. One sentence from that article resonated as being really about the life and happiness of their customers:

“What Walmart did for Americans’ wallets, Amazon is doing for their time.”


Weekly Update

June 3, 2016 Update


Incentives and money

With stock markets grinding higher toward all-time highs (with the S&P 500 already there when including dividends) and little new information to ponder, we offer a reprint of a recent post by blogger Ben Carlson on money, incentives, millennial behavior, and what makes for “success”. (more…)

Weekly Update

May 27, 2016 Update


Markets change their tune?

For much of this year and, frankly, the past couple of years, markets have wrung their hands worrying about the impact of the removal of Federal Reserve stimulus in the form of ultra-low interest rates. What would happen when the Fed began raising interest rates? Would chaos ensue? (more…)

Weekly Update

May 20, 2016 Update


Yield inversion

This week?s Federal Reserve meeting minutes pushed investors toward thinking once again that interest rate hikes are coming sooner rather than later. The Fed minutes showed a group almost itching to push rates higher as long as economic data holds up. That shift in tone sent market interest rates upward somewhat and brought out all kinds of analysis of what might be coming in terms of yields/rates. The real fear of investors is that the yield curve will “invert” with short-term rates moving higher than longer-term rates. (more…)

Weekly Update

May 13, 2016 Update


The emotional side of investing

As most investment newsletters we do spend a lot of time on the markets and what affects them, on technical indicators and investment vehicles. Another topic we visit fairly frequently in this column is the emotional side of investing which we judge to be just as critical for success. A long-term wealth building program must by definition be emotionally sustainable. (more…)