25 Aug 2016

Dow Falls 1,000 (One Year Later)

Last year at this time, deep fears about China’s economy caused US markets to drop sharply.  The Shanghai market -8.5 percent one day drop spread to our shores and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) fell -1,000 points in a single day. The week before, markets that had dropped by the massive one day plunge sent all of the stock market indexes into a correction, generally defined as a decline… Read More

24 Aug 2016

Investors Behaving Badly

Yesterday, when discussing the volatility of emerging market stocks, I have to admit that I was a little surprised by the year-to-date return, which is up 16.15 percent through yesterday as measured by the MSCI EAFE EM index. That’s pretty amazing because three months ago, the index was basically flat for the year – the entire return occurred almost exclusively since the Brexit (not that they are related – I… Read More

15 Jul 2016

Earnings Season is Upon Us

As you can see in the chart below, earnings season is upon us.  While 31 companies have already reported, a full 421 companies report in the next three weeks, leaving the last 48 companies to report during the rest of August and September. Analysts aren’t expecting much out of earnings season and think that earnings will decline by -5.6 percent. According to FactSet, it will be the first time that the S&P… Read More

27 Jun 2016

Friday Could Have Been Worse

While markets were obviously down, one piece of good news is that they weren’t chaotic.  You may think I’m grasping at straws here for a silver lining, but wild macro events can cause markets to get sloppy and that didn’t happen Friday. Last August, when markets were selling off, the heavy trading volume caused a number of stocks and ETFs to behave erratically in what some people described as a… Read More

24 Jun 2016

Britain to Leave EU: Keep Calm and Carry On

I stayed up later than usual last night to see how the vote would turn out and by the time I turned out the lights, it looked like the Leave camp was going to win. Personally, I thought that they would vote to Remain, partly because of the polls, partly because I thought it was in their best economic interests and partly because voters in Scotland and Quebec stayed in their… Read More

25 Aug 2015

Dealing with the Market Rout

Despite the frenetic trading in the markets yesterday, I was heartened as I talked and emailed with clients who seemed largely unfazed by the steep selloff over the last week. Not only was no one panicking, a handful of clients (not just mine, but for the firm), sent in new money to capitalize on lower prices while a number simply wanted to rebalance their existing assets, which at this point… Read More

24 Aug 2015

This is Investing, So Stick With It

Part of what made last week’s market selloff particularly unsettling was the speed of the decline.  So far this year, stocks had been relatively quiet. For example, the S&P 500 had stayed within a range of minus three percent back in January to plus four percent in July.  Then, all of a sudden, stocks fell from the top of that range to the bottom over the course of four days… Read More

8 Apr 2015

Are Markets Getting More Volatile?

I’ve had the feeling recently that stocks were more volatile than usual.  As funny as this may sound, I don’t trust my own gut at all.  Despite its size, my gut is no better than anyone else’s at creating hunches that are worth a darn, so I turn to data frequently. To address my intuition, I did a quick check of the average volatility for the first quarter compared to… Read More

11 Nov 2014

WSJ: One Story, Two Bad Headlines

When it comes to reading the newspaper online, I was an early adopter. While I miss the physical paper sometimes, I don’t miss the massive recycling effort and I appreciate getting up to the minute news throughout the day. I don’t like some of the tricks that they play online, though. Yesterday, I was looking at the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) online and saw the headline, ‘Small Cap Stocks Especially… Read More