14 Jun 2021

Drawdowns in Retirement, Part Deux

Last week’s Insight about the risks associated with so-called bond alternatives with higher yields prompted a lot of feedback, which I always appreciate. Here’s the article in case you missed it. One curious reader asked a great question: what if we allocated some of the bond money to a few of these higher-yielding options? That was enough to send me down the rabbit hole, looking at all kinds of higher-yielding… Read More

7 Jun 2021

Drawdowns in Retirement

This past week, I was meeting with a client and the discussion turned to the low yield bond environment. The client has a pretty common question – isn’t there something that yields more? The answer is yes, there are a lot of things that yield more than the investment-grade bond market. We could buy junk bonds, emerging markets bonds, or other questionable issuers. These kinds of bonds aren’t inherently bad,… Read More

24 May 2021

Betting Big on the Future

Some of the hottest exchange-traded funds (ETFs) over the past few years come from the ARK family of funds, founded and run by famed investor Cathy Woods. The ARK funds are a series of theme-based ETFs that seek to find the early companies in a variety of emerging fields including robotics, space exploration, genomics, fintech, and 3D printing, among others. I can’t say that I’m very familiar with the ARK… Read More

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