31 Mar 2014

Buybacks vs Dividends

When a company earns a profit, all accounting maneuvers aside, there is more cash in the till at the end of the year than there was in the beginning. Some of the money reinvested in the business in the form of capital expenditures (often called CAPEX), which refers to the purchase or upgrade of physical assets like property, buildings or equipment. When management has made all of their capital expenditures,… Read More

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27 Mar 2014

You Can’t Time the Bond Market Either

A few days ago, I was listening to the podcast EconTalk (yes, that’s what I do in my ‘off’ time).  The host, economist Russell Roberts interviews well known economists about a whole hos to economic subjects, from the broad theory to the day-to-day application. The episode that I was listening to (but haven’t yet finished), featured Gene Fama, the University of Chicago Booth School of Business professor who came up… Read More

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25 Mar 2014

ALM Insights – March 2014

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: The Plan to Wind Down Fannie and Freddie Economic Analysis – Fed Digests Mixed Data Bond… Read More

24 Mar 2014

Yellen Speaks and Moves Markets

Markets closed lower on Friday, but were up strongly for the week. The S&P 500 was up 1.38 percent, the Russell 2000 was up 1.04 percent, the MSCI ACWI ex US was up 0.23 percent and the Barclays Aggregate bond index was up 0.18 percent last week. Please note that I’ve made an index change from the MSCI EAFE to the MSCI ACWI ex US index starting today.  The reason… Read More

11 Mar 2014

Which Stock Sector is Best?

A lot of our attention at Acropolis is focused on asset classes like US large or mid cap stocks, emerging markets or bonds.  We also spend a lot of time researching and trying to optimize strategies like value, momentum, size and quality. Another dimension that factors into our decision making process are stock sectors (bond sectors too, but I’ll save that for another day).  Within the S&P 500, there are… Read More

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7 Mar 2014

Five Years of Bull

During the tech bubble in the late 1990’s, I had the feeling that seeing five years of 20 percent plus returns was a one in a lifetime type event and that was going to be it for me. Looking at the data today, that was a pretty good bet since there have only been a few times when the average return for five years has been greater than 20 percent. … Read More

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6 Mar 2014

When to Take Social Security Benefits

Stocks were basically flat yesterday after Tuesday’s strong rally.  Some smaller economic releases like the ADP private payrolls report and the ISM services data were softer than expected, but the news from the Fed’s ‘beige book’ was modestly positive.  All of the reports included the negative impact of this winter’s cold weather.

5 Mar 2014

Acropolis vs the Yale Endowment

Just as I enjoy and learn from Warren Buffets annual letter to Berkshire stockholders, I also read and get a lot of value from the annual report from Yale’s endowment.  Here’s a link to the current report. Yale’s endowment is the largest in the world and has enjoyed spectacular investment performance, particularly under the stewardship of David Swensen, who wrote one of my favorite investing books of all time, Pioneering… Read More

3 Mar 2014

New Investing Insight from Warren Buffet

Markets were a bit of a seesaw Friday and were up more than a percent in the mid day, but dropped back in the last hour of trading on the increasing tensions in the Ukraine.  It was still a record close for the S&P 500. The second estimate of fourth quarter GDP was released in the morning and markets shrugged off the downward revision from the first estimate of 3.2… Read More