Where Are The Jobs?

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal suggested that some of the relatively weak recovery in jobs can be attributed to low interest rates and their affect on corporate investment decisions.  While it is true that many companies are currently flush with cash and very low interest rates further encourage capital investment to increase … Continued

This Time it’s Different

There are few comments in the lexicon of investment advice that are more likely to cause investment professionals to roll their eyes and cringe.  However, just because most investment strategies have stood the test of time and the proponents of “this time it’s different” are usually proven to be wrong, does not mean that every move … Continued

Politics and Investing

We are probably all subject to becoming excessively overheated or dismayed at the antics of our elected officials.  Politics can lead to highly emotional reactions, and that’s probably OK, for the most part. Investing is a very different story.  Successful investing requires an analytical approach and an unemotional assessment of the potential investment’s value proposition. … Continued

Selling books can be a tough business.

Michael Lewis is famous for his books about the financial industry such as Liar’s Poker and The Big Short as well beautifully written stories like The Blind Side and Moneyball. He is an engaging person who has proven time and again he has great insights into human nature and the world of finance. This time … Continued

Hey, Check Out Our New Website – www.sigmainvestments.com

Yesterday we launched our new website.  Please take a look and tell us how you like it. Special thanks to Tamika Hall for spearheading this effort and to Chris Frayne and Marisa Lenhard for their countless hours devoted to content.  Finally, it is never ready until compliance weighs in – thank you Shari Bilkie! Bob Bilkie, … Continued

The Devil is in the Details

Through years of working with individual investors I often heard comments such as “Oh, my broker doesn’t charge a fee for managing my assets.” It sounds like a bargain at first, but if you dig deeper, you will discover that brokers are being compensated through various fees (some obvious, some not) including commissions from trading … Continued

The PIMCO Dilemma

In early February a high level departure of the CEO of PIMCO Investment Management, Mohamed El-Erian, was announced. As some may know, PIMCO is one of the largest managers of fixed income mutual funds in the world, with $2 trillion under advisement. The story of El-Erian’s departure revealed a very peculiar – maybe more aptly … Continued

Five Years and Ten Thousand Points

Five years ago this week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average retreated to its low of 6,547.05. Think about that. Undeniably, the economic outlook at the time was perilous. Concerns persisted long after that dark day in March of 2009. One year later, I was speaking at the MENSA annual gathering and my presentation was titled, … Continued

The Path of Least Resistance

Wikipedia defines “the path of least resistance” as the physical or metaphorical pathway that provides the least resistance to forward motion. This can also be used to describe certain human behaviors and is often used as a metaphor for avoiding personal effort or confrontation. We see this every day. For example, in the criminal justice … Continued

What Is Insurance, and What Is Not

The Affordable Healthcare Act (ACA) has triggered a significant increase in discourse on the issue of “health insurance”. This may be something of a misnomer. Wikipedia defines insurance as ”the equitable transfer of the risk of loss, from one entity to another in exchange for payment”. Let’s look at some familiar examples, auto, home and … Continued

Natural Gas, Jobs and the Stock Market

Energy is a key cost consideration for many businesses. Natural gas is generally considered to be the least worst of the widely available fossil fuels. Thanks to new technologies, the U. S. has an abundance of natural gas at very attractive prices. Natural gas can be easily and economically transported by pipeline. However, ocean transport … Continued