2 Jul 2015

Doing Well by Doing Good

The end of the second quarter is always a relief for me because for the past six years, it has meant that we are finally through getting our CEFEX certification. As you probably already know, we serve our clients in a fiduciary capacity, which means that we are required to act in the best interest of our clients.  You may think that everyone in the financial services industry has to… Read More

30 Jun 2015

Markets Respond Reasonably Well to Greek News

As I wrote yesterday’s edition of Daily Insights on Sunday night, it was ‘obvious’ that stocks would respond poorly to the news and that bonds would fare reasonably well. In a sense, I’m not surprised at the market reaction yesterday.  That said, I would also not have been surprised if markets had been much worse than they were.  After the fact, I can say that the response is what I… Read More

29 Jun 2015

The Situation in Greece Intensifies

After nearly five years of kicking the can down the road, it appears as if the situation in Greece may be at an inflection point. Yesterday, the European Central Bank (ECB) said that they would not provide any additional emergency funding to the nation’s banking system.  Without the new funding, most people in and out of Greece believe that there will be a run on the banks. People in Greece… Read More

26 Jun 2015

The State of Housing in Three Charts

I was reading in the Wall Street Journal that homes with 15 or more bedrooms were becoming very fashionable and, in a different article, master suites are now so large that they feature media rooms, offices, gyms, kitchenettes and laundry rooms. In other words, housing is back! Okay, maybe those things and the race to build a $100 million spec home (yet another article) signal that the rich are doing… Read More

25 Jun 2015

ALM Insights – June 2015

ALM Insights is focused on banks and other institutions that use their portfolio to manage risk on both sides of their balance sheet. It takes an in-depth look at securities investment strategies, balance sheet and asset/liability strategies, regulatory topics and general economic information. To view this issue, click the image below. In This Issue: Is Bond Market Liquidity Gone? Is Janet Bluffing? Looking at Deposit Alternatives

25 Jun 2015

The Sun is Shining on Small Cap Stocks

A number of people have noted that small cap stocks are really strong this year, as you can see from the chart below. I want to illustrate this outperformance a little differently in the chart below, which requires a little explaining. In the first chart above, I showed what a dollar invested in each index would have turned into.  Although you can’t invest a dollar in anything, let alone an index… Read More

24 Jun 2015

Maximizing Social Security

It’s a little hard to believe, but I read more and more in the popular press about maximizing Social Security benefits.  One of the best-selling books this year is called ‘Get What’s Yours: The Secrets to Maxing Out Your Social Security’ by Laurence Kotlikoff.    I tried to read it earlier this year and admit that even I found it was pretty dry, and I think it’s fairly obvious that… Read More

23 Jun 2015

Save Alexander Hamilton

My favorite television show of all time was The Wire, a gritty HBO series about the hard life of the people and institutions in Baltimore, from cops and drug dealers to longshoremen, politicians, lawyers and middle school kids. When the US Treasury announced last week that they intend to replace Alexander Hamilton on the $10 bill in 2020 with an important woman in American History, my first thought was about… Read More

17 Jun 2015

A Strategy for Stock Sectors

A little more than a year ago, I attempted to answer the question, ‘which stock sector is best?‘ The answer, of course, is that it depends.  It depends on what time horizon you are evaluating, whether you care about overall performance, risk-adjusted performance and so forth. My conclusion to that article is that no sector is ‘best’ and the best strategy is to have diversified exposure to a basket of… Read More