31 Mar 2015

Beat the Market in Bonds

One way to judge the performance of a mutual fund or ETF is to compare the results to a relevant benchmark, which is usually an index that has relatively similar characteristics. Another method is to compare your fund to a group of funds that are basically pursuing the same strategy.  Admittedly, we don’t use this approach very often, even though I think it would make our job a lot easier… Read More

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27 Mar 2015

Warren Buffett’s Special Access

Warren Buffett is the master.  There was never any real doubt about that in my mind, but the Heinz/Kraft deal that was announced yesterday is another reminder that the Oracle of Omaha hasn’t lost his touch. Over the past few years, Buffett has been on a buying spree, probably to help set the course for Berkshire Hathaway in the coming decades knowing that he might not be around to steer… Read More

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26 Mar 2015

It’s Tax Time (for Suckers)

Tax time is fully underway at Acropolis as we help clients and their accountants get the information they need to prepare their taxes.  It’s a cumbersome process for everyone (although the accountants have it the worst by a long-shot) that concludes with writing a check to the government. People might not be so bothered by the whole process if they felt that their money was going to good use, but there… Read More

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25 Mar 2015

And the Yields Keep Tumbling Down

Last year, one of the big stories was falling yields.  Much to everyone’s surprise the yield on the 10-year US Treasury note fell from an even three percent to 2.17 percent. After falling sharply early this year into mid-January, yields started to rise and ultimately retraced their steps just a month later. Just as people started to think, ‘Okay, this is it – now interest rates are going to rise,’ yields started… Read More

24 Mar 2015

ALM Insights – March 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: At Least We Aren’t Europe Bond of The Day – When Does 2% ≠ 2%? More Problems… Read More

24 Mar 2015

Fund Manager Beats Market for 40 Years

The most recent issue of Bloomberg Markets magazine featured a photo of a stately gentleman with a blazing headline that read, ‘This Fund Manager Has Consistently Beaten the S&P 500 for 40 Years.’ The article highlights the performance of The Nicholas Fund (ticker: NICSX), a $3.6 billion mutual fund run by Albert Nicholas, who started the fund in 1969.  The article says that he has outperformed the S&P 500 by… Read More

23 Mar 2015

The Fed’s New Drug of Choice

Even though I was out of town last week on vacation, I generally keep my ear to the ground for market news and last week that was especially true because the Fed was expected to move one step closer to raising interest rates. For at least a year, the Fed has maintained that they would be ‘patient’ about the timing of raising rates.  I assumed, like most people, that the… Read More

13 Mar 2015

Women and Investing

Despite being married with two daughters, I am not an expert on women. For a long time, I couldn’t figure out why women might want or need different financial advice from advisors. A few years ago, Dannelle Ward set me straight and pointed out that women do face different financial circumstances that sometimes require different advice. Here are some statistics: • At birth, the life expectancy for women is 81.3… Read More

12 Mar 2015

What Corporate Bond Yields are Telling Us

It should not come as a surprise to anyone that markets have performed very well over the past five years. The S&P 500 has earned 16.12 percent per year in the five years that ended in February. Few investors realize that corporate bonds have also done very well over the past five years. For the five years that ended in February, the Barclays US Corporate Bond index has earned 6.22… Read More