15 May 2023

America & the PIIGS

A little more than ten years ago, Greece almost left the European Union (EU) because the longstanding structural weaknesses of the Greek economy were hit hard by the 2008 global financial crisis. The crisis was called Grexit, which should sound familiar since it was adapted a few years later for the Brit’s departure from the EU. Greece wasn’t alone, though. Several EU countries were in trouble: Portugal, Italy, Ireland, and… Read More

15 Mar 2023

Silicon Valley Bank: Something Broke

On Monday, I wrote that I would do three days of Insights in response to the Silicon Valley Bank failure. First, I wrote about how we are protecting your cash in this environment. Next, I wrote about how the bank failure might impact the overall economy. Today, I’ll try to break down how Silicon Valley Bank (SBV) failed. I’m certain that more details will emerge in the coming days, weeks,… Read More

14 Mar 2023

Silicon Valley Bank: Something Broke

Yesterday, I wrote about how your cash is protected in the wake of Silicon Valley Bank’s (SVB) failure last week, and I promised to write about the potential impact on the overall economy today. Before I do that, I thought I would let you know that one of the two primary corporate bond funds that we use owned some SCV bonds that lost about half of their value since last… Read More

13 Mar 2023

Silicon Valley Bank

The Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) failure is a big deal. Big enough that I am going to tackle it over three days. Today, I’ll talk about your cash and how it is protected. Tomorrow, I’ll talk about what SVB’s failure could mean for the economy and why this failure differs from the 2008 financial crisis so far. And, on Wednesday, I’ll break down what happened at SVB that caused it… Read More

27 Feb 2023

Considering Inflation Protected Bonds (Again)

In the first quarter issue of Portfolio Insights in 2017, I wrote that Acropolis was phasing out our exposure to inflation-protected bonds, also known as TIPs (for Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities). At the time, inflation was low and stable, and although I whole heartedly supported removing TIPs, I wondered what would happen when we were hit with surprise inflation, which is when TIPs work best. Well, it took five years for… Read More

6 Feb 2023

Acropolis Clients Market View

Since January, I’ve offered previews for the Investor Social, which we held last week to great success. Mother nature threw us a little snow, but we still managed to pack the house and will need to find a larger venue next year, and put it online. In the meantime, we’ll provide the presentation to anyone that asks. The highlight of the show for me is when we ask the audience… Read More

5 Dec 2022

The Risk of Stagflation

Way back in March, I wrote about stagflation, an economic state with high inflation, unemployment, and slow economic growth. I grade my own articles on a curve, and I give that one a C because I didn’t talk much about stagflation, instead writing about the related Misery Index. Two or three weeks ago, I saw a thematic ETF launched that is designed to benefit from periods of stagflation which got… Read More

14 Nov 2022

Good News for Stocks & Bonds (Less so, for Crypto)

Stocks were sharply higher last week, more than erasing the prior week’s declines. Although Wednesday suffered a tough selloff of more than two percent, Thursday’s 5.6 percent rally and Friday’s 0.9 percent move higher took the S&P 500 Total Return for the week to 5.9 percent. The big move is easily attributed to the better-than-expected Consumer Price Inflation (CPI) index, which was finally a step in the right direction (more… Read More

31 Oct 2022

When Recessions End

I’ve written about recessions a half dozen times this year, probably because it’s obvious to everyone that the risk of a recession is very high. A recession is not certain, and a handful of economists think we can avoid it (including the Federal Reserve staff economists, apparently), but I think common sense dictates that a recession is likely. Last week, the yield on the 10-year note was less than the… Read More

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