Oil Price Confusion

Media commentary regarding the price of oil tends to focus on two widely quoted markets, Brent and West Texas Intermediate (WTI). The price of Brent crude reflects North Sea sourcing, whereas WTI is used as a benchmark in oil pricing.  WTI is the underlying commodity of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange’s oil futures contracts.  There are … Continued

Fundamental Investment Truths: Part Three

This is the third and final chapter in our review of Morgan Housel’s “rules for investors.” “Things change quickly – and more drastically than many think.” Fourteen years ago, Enron was on Fortune magazine’s list of the world’s most admired companies, Apple was a struggling niche company, Greece’s economy was booming, and the Congressional Budget … Continued

Fundamental Investment Truths: Part Two

Here are some more of Morgan Housel’s “Rules for Investors”. “I don’t know are three of the most underused words in investing.” No one knows what the market will do next month.  No one knows when interest rates will rise or where the price of oil is headed.  Listening to people, who say they know, … Continued

Fundamental Investment Truths

The Wall Street Journal  recently published a commentary by Morgan Housel, a columnist at The Motley Fool, titled “Sweet 16: Rules for Investors”. His basic premise was that with U. S. stocks near all time highs, it might be a good time to review some fundamental, and often overlooked, investment truths.  Over the next few … Continued

Financial Folly

Recent news reports indicate that an increasing number of home-owners, who are refinancing their mortgages, are seeking to not only reduce their interest rate, but access additional cash, either to pay down high interest rate credit-card debt or engage in additional spending.  Some lenders are currently advertising loan options that would allow certain borrowers to … Continued

Beware of the Whipsaw

Most investors recognize that markets tend to fluctuate, sometimes quite suddenly, and predicting these swings has proven to be very difficult.  Avoiding the whipsaw is usually crucial to successful, long term investing. Investopedia defines “whipsaw” as a condition where a security’s or market’s price heads in one direction, but then is followed quickly by a … Continued

Man vs. Machine

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal, “Robo Financial Advisers Can’t Coach”, discussed the evolution of robo-advisers and what they offer, and more importantly what they do not offer.  A robo-adviser is a new class of portfolio manager and financial planner that offers inexpensive management and planning services utilizing online tools. Many in our … Continued

Ebola – The Investment Implications

Ebola seems to dominate the news flow of late, and understandably so.  Deadly viruses command attention, as does the risk of pandemics.  While not minimizing the significance of the familial, social and demographic implications of rapidly spreading viruses, our expertise and focus in this brief blog, is on the economic impact. In modern history, potential … Continued

“A Look Back – Just Sayin’.”

As you may have noticed, gas prices are down about $1 over the last several months.  The price in more than half the States is now below $3. Repost from November 5, 2013. Two Dollar Gasoline? Sigma Investment Counselors November 5, 2013 This is not a prediction but may be a plausible possibility. Consider: With … Continued

Interest Rates Remain Stubborn

Friday’s Wall Street Journal carried an article titled “U.S. Bonds Continue to Defy Bears”, after 10-year U.S. government bond yields closed at 2.33% last Thursday (the lowest closing level since June 2013).  This reiterates the general tone of our most recent Sigma Summaries article, “The Risk of Waiting for Interest Rates to Rise”. All comments … Continued