25 Nov 2014

Investing at All-Time Highs

A friend of mine came into some money recently and said that he was wary about actually investing the funds because the market is at an all-time high. He said that he knew he wasn’t supposed to time the market, but wanted to get my thoughts before pulling the trigger. I told him what I tell everyone: as long as your time horizon is sufficiently long, it’s okay to go… Read More

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16 Oct 2014

Why Are Stocks Faltering?

On Wednesday, I wrote that I was ‘double shocked’ to see that the yield on the 10-year US Treasury note had fallen to 2.175 percent, so imagine my surprise yesterday when the yield fell to 1.86 percent – triple shocked! What was to blame for the steep initial losses and sudden (though not complete) recovery? No one really knows, actually, but here are some of the more credible theories across… Read More

1 Oct 2014

3 Current Stock Market Observations

Back in February, I wrote that the stock market was overvalued and cited metrics like the Shiller PE ratio and Tobin’s Q that show the market is high relative to history. At the time, I concluded by saying that timing the market is notoriously difficult, so pick your stock/bond allocation and stick with it through thick and thin. (Click here for the article) A few people called or emailed back… Read More

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26 Sep 2014

Canaries in a Coal Mine: Stocks Sell Off

Since taking over Daily Insights last July 1, the market has gone up steadily at an annualized pace of 19.69 percent through the close of business yesterday. In addition to the substantial gains, volatility for the S&P 500 has been uncharacteristically low. Naturally, I’m appreciative that we’ve all been able to enjoy a straight-up market, but I’m also realistic and know that it won’t always be like this. It’s normal… Read More

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27 Aug 2014

A New Milestone: S&P 500 Closes Above 2,000

For the 30th time this year, the S&P 500 closed at an all-time high.  Yesterday was an even bigger deal because it crossed a big round number: 2,000.  While that shouldn’t mean anything special, it does.    Investors are humans that are subject to all kinds of psychological biases and round number attachment (my name) seems to be one of them.  If you go to Wikipedia, you can get a… Read More

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22 Aug 2014

The Bull Market That Won’t Die

This is the bull market that just won’t quit. Just a few weeks ago, when stocks dipped it appeared we were finally getting the correction that we’ve all collectively been expecting for years now. It’s unusual to go this long without a 10 percent correction or a 20 percent drop, which is the typical definition of a bear market. The decline that we just went through was less than four… Read More

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8 Jul 2014

Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble

I had intended for the subject line to be Bubble, Bubble, Toil and Trouble, but I don’t know Shakespeare very well: it’s ‘double, double, toil and trouble, fire burn and caldron bubble!’  Since I wanted to write about bubbles, I went with the latter half of the statement, which still sounds fairly ominous. The New York Times has a terrific new section, The Upshot, that featured an article yesterday titled,… Read More

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7 Mar 2014

Five Years of Bull

During the tech bubble in the late 1990’s, I had the feeling that seeing five years of 20 percent plus returns was a one in a lifetime type event and that was going to be it for me. Looking at the data today, that was a pretty good bet since there have only been a few times when the average return for five years has been greater than 20 percent. … Read More

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