4 Dec 2017

The Crazy Thing? Stocks Could Go Much Higher

Long time readers know that I’ve been cautious on US stocks for some time, calling them overvalued in 2014. Last year, I referred to a quote from Sir John Templeton, who famously said that ‘Bull markets are born on pessimism, grow on skepticism, mature on optimism and die in euphoria.’ I said then that I could see the rally continuing on for years but that we were probably moving from… Read More

20 Nov 2017

The Bucket Approach

In my mind, the word ‘bucket’ should be banned from the investment industry because it brings to mind the ‘bucket shops’ where unlicensed hacks in boiler rooms cajole unwitting investors into pump and dump schemes. Despite my view about this word in this industry, it seems to be what we as a group have settled on for a particular retirement planning strategy (I’m not a fan of smart beta either,… Read More

13 Nov 2017

The Canary in the Bond Market?

The recent poor performance of junk bonds received a lot of attention last week, culminating in an article in the Wall Street Journal that asked, ‘Are High Yield Bonds the Canary in the Coal Mine?’ The two largest junk bond ETFs, HYG and JNK, saw their largest weekly pullbacks since August, falling just short of a percent each on unusually large volume. There are several reasons for the selloff: Barron’s… Read More

6 Nov 2017

The Fault in our Stars

In 2014, one of the breakout movies of the year was The Fault in Our Stars, a romantic drama based on a book written in 2012.  I didn’t see the movie or read the book, but I did notice the box office receipts of $307 million compared to the production budget of $12 million – now that’s a solid return on investment! I also liked the sound of the title,… Read More

30 Oct 2017

How the Fed Could Change

According to reports Friday, President Trump is expected to announce his choice for Fed Chair sometime next week. Sources in the White House say the list of candidates has been narrowed down to three, current Fed Chair Janet Yellen, Fed Governor Jerome Powell and Stanford University economics professor John Taylor. The “Taylor Rule”, named after the same Taylor who is being considered by President Trump, was first introduced in an… Read More

2 Oct 2017

Trump’s Tax Principles

Following the election last November, I outlined what we could reasonably expect from the Trump administration (you can find the article here).  The article may have been a little tough to follow because I was trying to meld what Trump had said on the campaign trail and two proposals floating around the House. At this point, the picture is a little more clear as President Trump and GOP leaders outlined their… Read More

25 Sep 2017

Changes to the Missouri Most 529 Plan

I received a package from Missouri Most last week highlighting a change to the college savings plan. For those investors, like me, that use the age-based options, Vanguard is expanding the stock/bond options to make the journey a little smoother for investors. Currently, there are five age categories, starting with zero to five years old, then six to ten years old, 11-15 years old, 16-18 years old and for 19-year… Read More

18 Sep 2017

The Equifax Breach: What to do Now

As soon as Equifax announced that they had been hacked and that 143 million consumers were affected, I assumed that I was one of them – and not just because nearly one out of every two Americans was impacted. I use www.mint.com to track my monthly income and expenses and one of the features that they offer is information about your credit score once per month. It’s a great feature because… Read More

11 Sep 2017

Cliff Asness Says, Fire Your Mechanic

This article was originally published on June 3, 2014.  In my humble opinion, it holds up well; although I am disappointed that value stocks still haven’t turned around more than three years later.  As much as I don’t like that fact, however, the central thesis of my article is that these strategies can underperform for long periods of time.  One of my favorite people in our industry is Cliff Asness,… Read More

5 Sep 2017

New and Improved: The Shiller PE Ratio

Longtime Daily Insights readers are no strangers to the Shiller PE-ratio, a valuation metric that uses ten years of inflation-adjusted earnings to evaluate the cheapness or richness of the stock market – a search of the term on our website yields more than a dozen results. I’m very proud to say that our understanding of the Shiller PE is now greatly expanded, thanks to our own Ryan Craft. In the past,… Read More