9 Jul 2014

When Interest Rates Rise

With the Federal Reserve now unwinding their bond purchasing program known as quantitative easing, it’s likely that the Fed will start to raise short-term interest rates at the end of 2015 or the beginning of 2016 (assuming no new information). Now that we ‘know’ that the Fed will raise rates, what will happen when interest rates rise?  The short answer is that it depends.  I know that’s an unsatisfying answer,… Read More

8 Jul 2014

Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble

I had intended for the subject line to be Bubble, Bubble, Toil and Trouble, but I don’t know Shakespeare very well: it’s ‘double, double, toil and trouble, fire burn and caldron bubble!’  Since I wanted to write about bubbles, I went with the latter half of the statement, which still sounds fairly ominous. The New York Times has a terrific new section, The Upshot, that featured an article yesterday titled,… Read More

By Tags:
7 Jul 2014

Unemployment Report Does’t Disappoint

The fireworks started a day early on Thursday with the Bureau of Labor Statistics announcement that employment increased by 288,000 in June and that the April and May numbers were revised upward by a combined 29,000 jobs. June marked the fifth month where more than 200,000 jobs were added per month and averaged more than 250,000, a streak that we haven’t seen since the late 1990s. Furthermore, the unemployment rate… Read More

By Tags:
30 Jun 2014

Financial Times Top 300 RIAs Includes Acropolis

The Financial Times Top 300 RIAs includes Acropolis in their inaugural ranking! A subscription may be required, but here is the link to the report. When we started out nearly 12 years ago (our anniversary is in August), we received a few accolades from a magazine published by Bloomberg that consistently said that we were one of the fastest growing firms. Still, compared to other firms on the list, we were… Read More

By Tags:
10 Jun 2014

Getting Better After-Tax Returns

One of the questions that we get from time to time is why one spouses account is outperforming the other.  It’s kind of a funny question because it reveals some sort of mild competition between a husband and wife, who are presumably on the same team. When there is a discrepancy, it almost always has to do with what type of investment we put in certain accounts. For example, imagine… Read More

By Tags:
9 Jun 2014

Cash is Trash

A recent report by State Street’s Center for Applied Research recently found that individual investors favor cash the world over.  In the US, investors keep 36 percent of their investible assets in cash.  Globally, that’s a little less than average.

By Tags:
8 Jun 2014

Labor Market Picks Up

On Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that the economy added 217,000 jobs to the payrolls in May, which actually brings the number of jobs to levels not seen since before the recession in 2007. The chart below shows just how long it took it took to get back all of the jobs that were lost – a staggering six and a half years. The chart demonstrates that the… Read More

By Tags:
3 Jun 2014

Cliff Asness Says: Fire Your Mechanic

One of my favorite people in our industry is Cliff Asness, founder and current mouthpiece for AQR, one of the mutual fund companies that we use. His academic background is very strong, he got his PhD in finance from the University of Chicago, the intellectual home of efficient markets, but wrote his dissertation on momentum, the most significant critique of the efficient market hypothesis.  His advisor was none other than… Read More

3 Jun 2014

Do Hedge Funds Hedge?

Bloomberg News reported yesterday that the private equity giant KKR was closing down a hedge fund that they formed three years ago.  KKR is one of the largest and most successful private equity firms in the world, but they have struggled to find their way in other areas of the asset management business. The hedge fund, known as KKR Equity Strategies, wasn’t successful attracting assets with only 20 clients investing… Read More

29 May 2014

GDP Turns Negative

The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released their second estimate of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) yesterday for the first quarter of this year. Initially, the BEA reported the economy grew by an annualized rate of 0.10 percent, which was a fairly bad print.  The cold winter shouldered a lot of the blame, but it also seemed like the economy would have slowed down anyway even if the winter had been… Read More

By Tags: