It’s All Greek To Me

Equity markets have proven their penchant for volatility in August. The last few trading sessions have been mostly positive though. As the volatility temporarily fades from the radar screen and we turn our sights to other matters germane to investment decision making, we thought it notable that Greek sovereign bonds are currently trading for anywhere … Continued

Investors Who Held On Since 2008 Made Right Move

We thought this was worth sharing: “Investors Who Held On Since 2008 Made Right Move”.  This was published August, 19, 2011 on CNBC.  They report three key findings: Those that changed equity allocations to zero and stayed clear of stocks had an average balance increase of only 2%. Participants who exited after the crash and recently … Continued

Philosophy Without Sweat

Dylan Ratigan caught my attention twice within the past week. The first, during his self-admitted televised rant and the second, his follow-up article where he, after gathering his thoughts, put together a more detailed explanation of his opinions (review for yourself here). Reading this explanation three times myself, I found the undertones to be quite … Continued

Commentary on Today’s Market Volatility

The confluence of events over the past few weeks continues to rattle markets, with recent events culminating in Friday night’s downgrade of the United States credit rating from AAA to AA+. The downgrade is a source of embarrassment for our nation. While one can agree or disagree on whether the action should have been taken, … Continued

An Overlooked Piece of the Puzzle

In light of the highly charged commentary regarding recent progress made in Washington, we believe it is critical to consider all potential risks pertaining to the country’s current financial woes. While similar topics and themes continue filling up news venues, a large piece of the puzzle is being overlooked; the effect on the value of … Continued

Connecting the Dots

George Soros recently announced the closing of his hedge-fund and his plans now to focus on running his own family office. A public philanthropist, Soros has donated over $8 billion within the last 30 years, a significant portion to the nonprofit is funded solely by individuals and is recognized for its support of … Continued

When Ideology Collides With Reality

The July 21, 2011 issue of the Wall Street Journal carried an article about Canada titled “How Spending Cuts – Not Higher Taxes – Saved Canada.” The discussion focused on the problems Canada was confronting in the mid 1990’s and how those problems were solved by the Liberal Party taking a decidedly un-liberal tack – … Continued

Reckless Contrast

Amidst the lingering cloud of uncertainty hanging over the US financial sector over just who, or whom, or what caused the financial crisis of 2008-2009, I came across intriguing material in reviews of Gretchen Morgenson’s new book, Reckless Endangerment: How Outsized Ambition, Greed and Corruption Led to Economic Armageddon. Morgenson is a well respected and … Continued

Have a Great Idea? Get In Line.

A Wall Street Journal article dated July 2, 2011, titled “Did Someone Say Tech Bubble?”, indicated that entrepreneurial idea flow continues unabated in the US. Given the dour headlines dominating the newswires over Greece’s debt problems and the US’ own budget problems, it is easy to lose sight of what is going on “off of … Continued

Give and Take?

Citizens outside of Greece, specifically the Germans, are frustrated by the notion that their taxes will be used to pay for what they view as the recklessness or laziness of others. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been very vocal about her stance on the situation. Her position is quite simple – all stakeholders, no matter … Continued

Why Governments Matter!

Many of our blogs focus on government policy and actions. We may not always be as clear as we should be as to why we pay such close attention to government policy, making an assumption that this is clear to our readers – that government actions can materially affect the economy and financial assets. A … Continued

Don’t Eat The Haggis

I recently returned from Edinburgh, Scotland where I had the honor of representing the CFA Society of Detroit at the CFA Institute Annual Conference and Strategic Leadership Retreat. I was joined by my Sigma colleagues Denise Farkas, Bob Bilkie, and Shari Bilkie. While in Edinburgh, Denise was presented with the Special Service Award. This award … Continued