Is The Stock Market Too High?

I’m not sure that anyone knows the answer to this.  Every day, all day, CNBC features a wide range of market experts and pundits who, invariably, take positions that are 180 degrees divergent on each side of every issue.  At the end of the day, you will have heard from those who believe that the … Continued

Punitive Damages and Investors

Punitive damages can be defined as a court awarded sum that is considerably or greatly higher than the measurable value of the injury.  Punitive damages are meant, not to compensate the aggrieved party, but to punish the offending party for its allegedly reckless or unconscionable actions or conduct. Without attempting to resolve the differing views … Continued

Investing, Subsidies and Mandates

Investors typically seek to identify opportunities for achieving appropriate returns by assessing the outlook based on anticipated free market forces.  Government subsidies and/or mandates tend to distort free market forces with the potential for unexpected results. This phenomenon – government interference in the market process – is so wide ranging as to make it difficult … Continued

Misleading Investment Schemes that Might Cost You Money

The Wall Street Journal issue of June 28, 2014 carried an article titled, “Huge Returns at Low Risk?  Not So Fast.”  The premise focused on what is known as “back testing”, whereby an investment analyst runs a series of computer simulations to identify an optimal portfolio of stocks that would have produced the best returns … Continued

Pension Fund Investing

A recent article in The Wall Street Journal suggested that corporate pension funds and university endowments have missed out on much of the rally for stocks since 2009, instead following a push to diversify into other investments.  Candidly, these other investments have had disappointing performances. While there is a case to be made for greater … Continued

Investing Tomorrow

In the musical “Annie”, (1977), the star sings: “Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love ya tomorrow, you’re only a day away”. In the depths of a recession, as portrayed in the musical, a sunny outlook is clearly heartwarming, and suggests that things will get better soon. In the cold world of investing, tomorrow is always a day … Continued

Investment Chef

There is something about food that creates a love close to everyone’s heart.  It is not just the food alone, but the preparation of the food that makes it so special.  At its most elemental level, the art of cooking is about chemistry.  The chef develops the art form in which ordinary ingredients are combined … Continued

Investment Trend in the US Auto Market

Phil LeBeau, from CNBC, recently published an article highlighting trends in car buying.  One of the statistics mentioned in the article stood out to us.  That is, nearly 25% of new auto loans have payment terms between six and seven years.  Currently, auto loan terms have been extended to record highs due to increased vehicle … Continued

Staying the Course

As a follow-up to our blog titled “Market Peaks”, we cannot emphasize enough the implicit assumption that stocks can provide very attractive returns over the long term but to achieve those returns, investors must be committed to owning stocks, and have the stomach to hold on to their positions during periods of market weakness. Through … Continued

Market Peaks

The markets, as measured by the popular averages, are currently trading at, or near, record highs.  Now what? Perhaps the markets will continue to gradually move up, not every day, but on most days, leading to new highs. Alternatively, we may see a modest correction, possibly on the order of 10%, followed by a resumption … Continued

Investing In Bonds: Where Do We Go From Here

Admittedly, the bond market is far less exciting than the stock market.  Yet, we believe it is imperative for investors to understand basic fundamentals of fixed income investing and align their portfolios not only according to the current yield curve but given an expectation of where future rates may be headed. For perspective, the 10-year … Continued