17 Oct 2022

Low Volatility Investor Expectations

These are trying times for investors. We all know that markets are risky, and there are extended periods of bad times, but historically, the good times have more than offset the bad times, and the risks have been worth taking. In an attempt to ease the pain of down markets, some investors have pursued what is commonly called low-volatility funds. Other names for similar strategies include minimum variance and minimum volatility, but… Read More

12 Oct 2022

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 Inflation Hedges Unease Stock Returns and Recessions New at Acropolis The Big Picture Click here to read the issue: Q3 2022 Portfolio Insights

3 Oct 2022

Returns: Before, During and After Recessions

My article from last week, which you can read here, prompted a few people to ask derivations of, “Why don’t we sell our stocks – or at least reduce them – until the recession is over and sidestep some losses?” It’s an understandable question, but it makes me uncomfortable because I have some powerful memories of the 2008 global financial crisis when clients who bailed out of the market still felt… Read More

26 Sep 2022

Fed Indirectly Signals Recession

When the Federal Reserve raised interest rates last week, they also published their Summary of Economic Projections, which you can find here. You won’t find the word ‘recession’ in the document, but there is a pretty strong signal that the Fed thinks a recession is on the horizon in 2022. The second page includes a nice table that shows what the Federal Reserve Board members and presidents estimate for economic… Read More

19 Sep 2022

Core Inflation Knocks Market

Stocks sold off sharply this week, as noted above, mostly because markets had anticipated good news on the inflation front and didn’t get it. When I first saw the release, I thought it looked pretty good because the headline rate of inflation was only a tenth of one percent for the month, which brought the rolling one-year rate down to 7.8 percent.  While 7.8 percent is still far too high,… Read More

12 Sep 2022

It’s Good to be the Queen or King, Financially Speaking

I don’t have any real reason to be sad about Queen Elizabeth’s passing, but I felt a little down about it anyway. I’m a little embarrassed to say that I think I just loved the performances of Claire Foy and Oliva Colman in the Crown and Helen Mirren in The Queen, even if the portrayals could be tough. In any case, I read several articles from our press, but I… Read More

6 Sep 2022

Happy Anniversary – Acropolis Turns 20!

On August 27th, Acropolis turned 20 years old. We’re not great about celebrating that kind of thing, so it took an email from Bob Schramm to even raise the subject. I’m embarrassed to say that I knew it was at the end of August but thought it was either the 26th or 28th (and being right ‘on average’ doesn’t work with dates). In some ways, it feels like just the other day. I vividly… Read More

29 Aug 2022

The Word From Jackson Hole

In the 1970s, the Federal Reserve Board of Kansas City put on a series of three-day symposiums and invited economists, central bankers, and journalists to the Great American West to discuss the day’s topics. Former Fed Chair Paul Volker, who famously broke the back of inflation, liked to fly fish, so he steered the conference to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, in 1981, where it’s stayed ever since. The event became a… Read More

15 Aug 2022

Fed Tightening and Stocks

While inflation may or may not have peaked, Federal Reserve officials are still talking about raising interest rates. Several Fed officials called for rate hikes through 2023, and St. Louis Fed President said that the overnight rate should be four percent by the end of this calendar year (it’s currently between 2.25 and 2.50 percent). Although the Fed is already raising rates, a process also known as tightening, I wondered… Read More

8 Aug 2022

Warren Buffet

I heard an amazing statistic a few weeks ago: Berkshire Hathaway, Warren Buffett’s investment vehicle, could lose 99 percent of its value and still enjoy a track record that beats the S&P 500. Over the weekend, Berkshire released their second-quarter earnings, which reminded me of my newfound fact, so I pulled up the data. Sure enough, it’s true. And perhaps even more remarkably, it’s been consistently true since the year… Read More