16 Apr 2018

$1 Billion Tax Bill

If you’re writing a check to the government tomorrow for tax day, you’re probably not too happy about it.  At least you’re not suffering like John Paulson, the hedge fund manager, who is writing checks to the Fed and state for over $1 billion – on top of the $500 million that he paid in estimates last year. I know, I know: it’s a high class problem that we would… Read More

9 Apr 2018

Tariffs, Profits and Global Growth

Concerns about a trade war flared back up again last week.  The US released a list of proposed tariffs on some $50 billion worth of Chinese imports.  The 25 percent levies reach broadly, including medicine, aviation, semiconductors and consumer goods like dishwashers, snow plows and motorcycles. Beijing was quick to respond with reciprocal tariffs, announcing $50 billion on 106 products including soybeans, automobiles, chemicals and aircraft.  Some analysts pointed out… Read More

2 Apr 2018

Big Data, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

Like every industry, the investment community goes through ‘hot’ trends that grab everyone’s attention and a lot people’s dollars. One of the reason that I’ve attended Schwab’s annual conference for the past 16 years is that I like to see these trends in the form of sales pitches to advisors. I didn’t pick up on this in the very early days, but it became obvious after the 2008 financial crisis… Read More

26 Mar 2018

A Look at Tariffs and Trade Wars

This past Thursday, President Trump announced tariffs on Chinese imports citing security concerns and a significant trade deficit and estimated approximately $50-$60 billion in new tariffs. This was a follow up to his previous announcement of a 25 percent tariff on imported steel and a 10 percent tariff on imported aluminum. Following both announcements, stocks proceeded to sell-off on fears of a trade-war. Since the simple act of increasing tariffs… Read More

12 Mar 2018

Busting Another Wall Street Myth

Over the last few months, I’ve read multiple articles making the claim that the correlation between stocks and bonds is shifting and that the new relationship will negatively impact portfolios. One recent Bloomberg article, titled ‘Easy Allocation Models ‘Doomed’ as Diversification Breaks Down’ really set me off and caused me to take a closer look at some of these claims. The thrust of the claim is that the recent negative… Read More

7 Mar 2018

The Year So Far

We are two months into 2018 and so far it has been just about everything that 2017 wasn’t. Higher interest rates, higher inflation expectations, more stock market volatility, new tax laws, the list goes on and on. I usually have to wait for an entire year to go by before having enough to do a full recap – this year I get to do it in the first days of… Read More

5 Mar 2018

Hollywood Goes to Wall Street

I like to think that longtime readers have picked up on my love for all things markets. I also love the movies and in honor of the Oscars last night, I thought that it would be fun to list the best (and worst) Wall Street movies of all time. To make this list even more fun, I’ve included links to trailers and clips, but I have to warn you about… Read More

26 Feb 2018

Who is Jay Powell?

On February 5th, Jerome ‘Jay’ Powell was sworn in as the 16th Chairman of the Federal Reserve, following Janet Yellen, who served one term starting in 2014. Powell’s first day on the job was the sharpest day of the recent stock market selloff, when the S&P 500 lost more than four percent. I don’t think that the market fell because of the new Fed Chair, but I have read a… Read More

20 Feb 2018

The Dip Was Bought

Last week’s Daily Insight was a little long and a little technical, so today I am going to keep it short and sweet. The market appears to have shifted back into rally mode with concerns about inflation, rising bonds yields or volatility, seemingly falling by the wayside.  At this point, this correction seems a lot like the last two, although as I said last week, it’s a little too early… Read More