15 Apr 2021

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 Sensational Small-Caps The Gift that Keeps On Giving Pandemic Volatility Subsides The Big Picture Click here to read the issue: Q1 2021 Portfolio Insights

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

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

28 Apr 2020

Financial Conditions Easing

A few weeks ago, I wrote that even though stock prices were still volatile, the stress in the market was settling down; I called it ‘stabilizing, but turbulent.’ Financial journalists often write about the ‘market plumbing,’ and it occurred to me that plumbing is a good analogy for the difference between stress and turbulence.  Volatility is like being in a nice hot shower and it turns ice cold. Obviously, something’s… Read More

24 Apr 2020

Chance of Recession: 100 Percent

Last year, the researchers at Bloomberg developed an index that assigned the probability of a recession to the US economy (and others around the world) based on a variety of economic data. I find the index interesting because, unlike a lot of other signals that attempt to do the same thing, this one seems to predict the recession before the recession actually hits. That’s the good news.  The bad news,… Read More

22 Apr 2020

Dodging Commodities

One of the best decisions that our Investment Committee made was back in 2008 when we decided not to add commodities to the portfolio. It’s hard to believe now, but there was a lot of pressure back then to add it because stocks were down and commodities were doing well. If you look at the 12-month period ending on June 30, 2008 just before the worst part of the storm,… Read More

13 Apr 2020

Coronavirus & Earnings Season

Earnings season kicks off this week, and although we’ve seen a few economic data releases, earnings announcements will offer a lot of information about how the coronavirus is impacting companies. Right now, according to FactSet, earnings are expected to be lower by 10 percent compared to the first quarter last year.  If that’s the case, it will be the largest year-over-year decline since the third quarter of 2009, when the… Read More

6 Apr 2020

Markets Stabilizing, but Still Turbulent

There is no question that we haven’t even started to see the economic impact of the coronavirus, since all of the data that we get is in arrears. For example, last week we got two important pieces of data about unemployment that told different stories.  The good news is that the unemployment rate in march was 4.4 percent, which is an increase from the previous month, but not bad. However,… Read More

30 Mar 2020

A Breath of Fresh Air

Stocks rallied in response to the fiscal and monetary policy response from the government. On the monetary side, the Federal Reserve announced that they would provide ‘unlimited’ quantitative easing (QE), and announced new facilities to support credit markets. The Fed had recently committed to buying $500 billion in Treasury bonds and $200 billion in mortgage-backed securities, and said that it would continue in the amounts needed to support smooth market… Read More