Playing the Hand You’re Dealt

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Investors, particularly those reviewing the fixed income part of their portfolios, are lamenting the current reality of relatively low interest rates.  Yes, portfolio management would be easier and more fruitful if the interest rate on the 10 year treasury was 4% instead of 2%.  But it isn’t, so work with your advisor(s) to construct an … Continued

Pick Your Poison

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I was recently having a conversation about the capital markets with an attorney friend (non-client) who is exceptionally risk averse.  Plain and simple, he intimated that he just could not stomach the constant ups and downs of stock prices and the potential for loss of principal.  He is not unusual in this respect.  Many, if not … Continued

Tax Loss Harvesting – Taking Advantage of Volatility

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Tax loss harvesting is the portfolio management practice of selling a security that has experienced a loss in order to capture tax savings.  Realized capital losses can be used to offset future realized capital gains. Any realized losses that are not utilized in any one year can be “carried forward” indefinitely.  Further, investors who don’t … Continued

Fighting the Last War

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We often criticize governments and armies for getting ready to “fight the last war.”  To some degree, they all do it.  It is inevitable and reflects a mistaken assessment of what the next war will be like.  And this is likely to continue until someone comes up with a reliable method of predicting the future. … Continued

Is it Still Safe to Invest in Stocks?

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Many investors are beginning to wonder whether the current market rally is coming to an end.   For some, the concern is that the market is cyclical and we are in the seventh year of the current market rally.  Others look to valuation and fear that the current market is trading in the upper end of … Continued

Waiting For The Big Bad Bear

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We all know that stock markets fluctuate.  Over the last 70 years, the S&P 500 has lost 20% of its value 12 times.   But over the same period, the S&P 500 was up nearly 15,000%, and, during the period 1926-2014, recorded a 10.1% average annual rate of return. More recently, the stock market took a … Continued

Avoid Undue Complexity

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I recently attended an investor conference in NYC hosted by a large money center/investment bank.  While I rarely attend such events, I was particularly interested in the topic of “alternative investments” and how they may be used to either increase the return and/or reduce the volatility in a portfolio. At the risk of over-simplification, equity … Continued

How Long Will the Federal Reserve Hold Off On Interest Rate Hikes?

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No one knows.  While conflicting opinions are rampant, just watch CNBC, history suggests that predicting future Federal Reserve moves is a good way to get your head handed to you. In trying to anticipate potential future changes in interest rates, investors might be well advised to consider the Fed’s mandate. The U. S. Congress established … Continued

Be Careful What You Ask For

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Because someone is likely to come along and promise to give you exactly what you are asking for.  If you believe that you need a 5% return on your fixed income portfolio, or a certain and consistent 12% annual increase in your equity portfolio, someone will come along and promise just that.  Often, the promise … Continued

The Basics of Investing – Getting Started

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With the plethora of events impacting the investing world (Ebola, ISIS, market volatility, Ukraine and gasoline price collapses), it is easy to lose sight of the basics of investing.  And, while the basics tend to be less newsworthy, they are much more important for a successful outcome over the long term than the crisis du … Continued

The Perils of Going Down Market

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Investors would be well advised to carefully review any company strategy that proposes to increase demand by moving to capitalize on its brand name by introducing lower priced products.  High priced and universally admired brands tend to benefit from exclusivity.  Rolex watches and Jimmy Choo shoes are far more than time pieces or footwear. Any … Continued