Be Careful What You Ask For – China Edition

A recent article in The New York Times addressed China’s declining population.  The article noted that a fertility rate of approximately 2.1 children per woman is the minimum, without immigration, needed for the population to remain stable.  Recent data suggests that China’s fertility rate has dropped to 1.2, among the lowest in the world.  China … Continued

Sigma Signals

Week of February 20, 2023 The art and science of investing is always a contest between long-term goals and short-term events. It is easy to lose sight of the long-term when encountering particularly fear-provoking issues. A focus on historical returns often helps to control one’s emotions and the ability to adhere to strategy. No changes … Continued

Sigma Signals

Week of February 13, 2023 Last week we suggested a tilt into international stock ETF’s. The Wall Street Journal published an article this week titled “Investors Flee U.S. Stock Funds” and too noted the interest in non-U.S. equities. The trend might have short term “legs” but it would be appropriate to monitor underlying economic and … Continued

ESG, Meet Fiduciary

ESG (environmental, social, and corporate governance) is a framework designed to be embedded into an organization’s strategy that considers the needs and ways in which to generate value for all of the organizational stakeholders, including, employees, customers, suppliers and investors.  A fiduciary is a person or organization that holds a legal or ethical relationship that … Continued

Sigma Signals

Week of February 6, 2023 Given the myriad concerns that enveloped global capital markets during the past 12 months – Russian invasion of Ukraine, US midterm elections, China intimidation of Taiwan, a restive Fed committed to fight inflation – it is not unusual that volatility pervades. However, after touching an interim low last October, the … Continued

The Population Problem

According to recently reported data for the year ended June 30, 2022, the US population is continuing a recent trend of slow growth, with an increase of just 0.4%, or 1.3 million, only marginally better than 2021’s 0.1% gain.  Key factors include 245,000 more births than deaths and approximately 1.0 million net immigrants. Economic growth … Continued

Sigma Signals

Week of January 30, 2023 It has been observed in tracking investment data by geographic sector and market capitalization over long periods of time that returns tend to converge (8%- 10%). When returns deviate in the short term, it is reasonable to expect that a regression to the mean will follow. For the last several … Continued

Sigma Signals

Week of January 23, 2023 Treasury yields across the maturity spectrum spiked to levels not seen in a decade or more. Interest rates appear poised to plateau, and therefore we are moving our US Treasury signal from green to yellow. With commodity prices softening, we believe inflationary pressures might moderate. Certain Federal Reserve Board governors … Continued

It’s Going to Take a Lot of Green to go Green

It is becoming increasingly clear that there is a major effort to accelerate the development of renewable energy.  Unfortunately, what was already likely to be expensive, is now facing unexpected cost increases.  For example, there have been recent reports that offshore wind developers are facing financial challenges that may impede several East Coast projects.  Supply … Continued

Sigma Signals

Week of January 16, 2023 Notwithstanding positive developments on inflation from CPI data released last week, comments from varying Federal Reserve Board Governors suggests an unwavering stance towards subduing the inflation beast. In the short term, this can be construed as a negative (although equity prices have largely advanced in 2023 as intermediate term interest … Continued

A Focus on Management

We have always believed that management was important, as noted in our blogs of July 18, 2013, “Does Management Matter?” and October 12, 2015, “Management Matters.”  Recently, management seems to have become, more than ever, headline news.  Consider Bob Iger’s return to Disney and the antics of Elon Musk and his unfathomable purchase of Twitter.  … Continued

Sigma Signals

Week of January 9, 2023 “Stair-Climbing Wheelchairs, Closed-Caption Glasses: Assistive Tech Gains at CES in Las Vegas” reads the headline in the Wall Street Journal article of January 6, 2023. With the Fed fighting inflation, and the Russians attacking the Ukrainians, it is easy to lose sight of developments that cumulate to advance the cause … Continued