15 Apr 2021

Portfolio Insights

We are pleased to provide a digital copy of Portfolio Insights, our quarterly newsletter. Table of Contents: Stock Market Summary Bond Market Review Sensational Small-Caps The Gift that Keeps On Giving Pandemic Volatility Subsides The Big Picture Click here to read the issue: Q1 2021 Portfolio Insights

12 Apr 2021

Down the Data Rabbit Hole

I was planning a different article on life expectancy after reading about Prince Philip’s death at 99. I couldn’t have told you his name until I watched The Crown on Netflix and he was one of my favorite characters, especially in the first two seasons. I know it’s fiction, but I would never have read his obituary before watching the show. Instead, though, I fell down a rabbit hole looking… Read More

29 Mar 2021

Having it all with Buffer Funds?

I’m proud to say that Acropolis was an early adopter of exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Although they had been around for almost ten years by the time we launched the firm, they were not actively used. In fact, five years before we launched Acropolis, I wanted to buy some in an account that I had with my dad’s broker at A.G. Edwards. I wanted to buy the S&P 500 ‘Spider’ fund… Read More

22 Mar 2021

Roth 401k Considerations

People frequently ask me if they should use contribute to their ‘regular’ IRA or their Roth IRA. I’m usually wishy-washy in my answer because it depends on a variety of factors, including things that are simply unknowable. Before getting into whether you should or shouldn’t consider the Roth option, let’s review the basics. A ‘regular’ 401k (as people often refer to it when talking to me), is the traditional savings… Read More

15 Mar 2021

Sensational Small-Caps

Over the last six months or so, small-cap stocks have enjoyed one of their strongest periods of relative performance in history. In the five months that ended in February, the S&P 500 is up 14.1 percent, which is a terrific return, but the S&P 600 Small-Cap index, is up 50.3 percent, which is tremendous. This month isn’t over, so it’s too soon to say for sure, but as of Friday,… Read More

8 Mar 2021

Investing for Inflation

Last week, I looked at some of the investor concerns about inflation, noting that inflation expectations had jumped recently (you can read the full article here). As the economy comes out of the covid-induced recession, the government is still responding aggressively, which has some investors concerned that there will be too much money chasing too few goods, leading to higher prices. This week, I promised to describe some of the… Read More

1 Mar 2021

Worried About Inflation?

Although some of the weakness was thought to be technical in nature, it is also the latest chapter in an ongoing tough market for bonds amid rising inflation expectations, a reasonably strong macro-outlook, solid corporate earnings, improving covid trends, and expectations for continued fiscal stimulus. Only energy posted a win for the week, up 4.3 percent. Utilities and consumer discretionary stocks were down -5.0 percent respectively, and technology fell by… Read More

22 Feb 2021

Acropolis Trading Results

Outside of last week’s look at the state of the economy, most of these Insights of late have been about trading, mostly thanks to the bizarre price action of GameStop and normally obscure parts of the market, like SPACs (click here, here, or here to see these articles). Two weeks ago, the focus was on getting good ‘execution,’ which means getting good prices when we trade. Execution, and some of… Read More

16 Feb 2021

Where the Economy Stands Now

Vanguard has always provided balanced and thoughtful commentary about the economy and markets. In the last few years, they’ve done an even better job of producing it regularly and making it easy for advisors to access. Today, I’m sharing a client-approved document that they produced that is easy-to-read and sets a great baseline for thinking about 2021. The title says it all: Approaching the Dawn. Although I encourage you to… Read More

8 Feb 2021

Modern Robin Hood is No Hero

Last week, I wrote that that frenetic trading of a handful of stocks was affecting our portfolios, albeit moderately. I noted that GameStop was the largest holding in the S&P 600 small-cap index, which meant that we owned it through the index fund that tracks that index (and a few other places: for more, click here). Last week, GameStop stock fell -80 percent, but it didn’t hurt us too badly… Read More