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

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

17 Jan 2023

Acropolis Investor Social Preview #1

After two years of staying home, Acropolis is hosting our 5th Annual Investor Social (invite below). I thought it would be fun to preview some of the slides leading up to the event, partly in hopes of drawing folks and partly to give the out-of-towners who weren’t invited some of the content (I’ll be happy to email the presentation after the event to those who missed it). This week, I… 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

7 Nov 2022

We Planned For This

Since this bear market started, I’ve concluded several articles by saying that we’ve planned for this. When I say this, I don’t mean that we predicted what would happen this year or why – we didn’t. I mean that we’ve planned for this in two ways. First, we knew that the returns this year were possible, and second, we’ve included bad returns in our financial planning models to estimate 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

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