8 Mar 2021

Investing for Inflation

Last week, I looked at some of the investor concerns about inflation, noting that inflation expectations had jumped recently (you can read the full article here). As the economy comes out of the covid-induced recession, the government is still responding aggressively, which has some investors concerned that there will be too much money chasing too few goods, leading to higher prices. This week, I promised to describe some of the… Read More

22 Feb 2021

Acropolis Trading Results

Outside of last week’s look at the state of the economy, most of these Insights of late have been about trading, mostly thanks to the bizarre price action of GameStop and normally obscure parts of the market, like SPACs (click here, here, or here to see these articles). Two weeks ago, the focus was on getting good ‘execution,’ which means getting good prices when we trade. Execution, and some of… Read More

16 Feb 2021

Where the Economy Stands Now

Vanguard has always provided balanced and thoughtful commentary about the economy and markets. In the last few years, they’ve done an even better job of producing it regularly and making it easy for advisors to access. Today, I’m sharing a client-approved document that they produced that is easy-to-read and sets a great baseline for thinking about 2021. The title says it all: Approaching the Dawn. Although I encourage you to… Read More

8 Feb 2021

Modern Robin Hood is No Hero

Last week, I wrote that that frenetic trading of a handful of stocks was affecting our portfolios, albeit moderately. I noted that GameStop was the largest holding in the S&P 600 small-cap index, which meant that we owned it through the index fund that tracks that index (and a few other places: for more, click here). Last week, GameStop stock fell -80 percent, but it didn’t hurt us too badly… Read More

1 Feb 2021

The GameStops Here

Just one week ago, I wrote about SPACs as a potential indicator for a frothy market and referred in passing to ‘Robinhood traders’ as another sign of the times. Little did I know that these foes of the rich and friends of the poor would dominate the news and that everyone I encounter would bring up GameStop. I tried to make the case that the craziness in SPACs probably isn’t… Read More

25 Jan 2021

What the SPAC?

Have you been hearing a lot about SPACs? They are one of the current poster-boys for market froth, along with Tesla, IPOs, bitcoin, and Robinhood traders. Officially, SPACs are ‘special purpose acquisition companies,’ but are often called blank-check companies. Historically, a relatively well-known investor would raise cash and form a SPAC, which is publicly traded. But, until the SPAC went out and bought a company with the cash they raised,… Read More

19 Jan 2021

The Hottest Funds of 2020

The Wall Street Journal last Sunday (that can be found here) about the top stock funds in 2020. They featured the Morgan Stanley Inception fund, which gained 150.6 percent, and pointed out that it surged 19.5 percent in the last few weeks of the year. The manager discussed how they had more than their fair share of investments in e-commerce, people working from home, and streaming entertainment. The top ten… Read More

3 Nov 2020

Special Election Coverage!

Well, election day is finally here. Over the past few months, many clients have understandably expressed concern over what may happen to the stock market. And, while we don’t know what the results will be or when we’ll know them, we do have history to look back on. And, even though I’ve heard both candidates and countless media people say that this is the most important election in our history, all of… Read More

15 Jun 2020

Yield Curve Control

Last week, I noted that in the Q&A session following the latest Federal Reserve meeting that Chair Powell said that other monetary policy tools such as ‘yield-curve control’ were still under consideration. What is yield curve control, or YCC?  Good question. A little background first. Now that the Federal Reserve has lowered interest rates to zero (okay, near zero, but effectively zero), what tools does it have? We know that the… Read More

26 May 2020

Economic Growth Expectations

Last week, I saw an interesting table from Goldman Sachs that estimated economic growth across the globe. The table looked exactly like the first four columns of this table, including the various highlights.  Those columns show the annual inflation adjusted (or ‘real’) growth rates for those economies. I took their data and annualized 2020 through 2022 to see what they expect in the first year of the downturn and what… Read More