Stay the Course

The Wall Street Journal carries a headline today titled “Growls Keep Coming From the Bear’s Den”. This article, which touts warnings from investment strategists about bad things to come for common stock investors, arrives on the heels of one of the best periods for investing in stocks (the four years and also the three months … Continued


Google partly defines alchemy as “a form of chemistry and speculative philosophy practiced in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance and concerned primarily with discovering methods for transmuting baser metals into gold”. Today, investors and their advisors are faced with historically low yields on fixed income securities. Many investors have generally assumed that their fixed … Continued


No, this doesn’t refer to a sign of affection or to the musical band, but rather to another phrase that I will share in few moments. During my 20+ years at Sigma, I have been involved in two very unique situations that have produced the same results. One situation was a lottery winner and the … Continued

The Importance of Predictability or, Just Tell Us What the Rules Are

Long-term objectives typically require long-term solutions, which in turn, require a degree of predictability. Here at Sigma, we are primarily concerned with providing long-term investment results that are consistent with our clients’ long-term financial goals. We do not attempt to achieve investment objectives through short-term market maneuvering. We seek to provide a degree of certainty, … Continued

Understanding the ‘Bond Bubble’

Perhaps the most often question that I am asked of late is how does one protect him/herself from the pending burst of the bond bubble? It is a difficult question to answer as it depends on one’s perspective and what they are really trying to protect themselves from. Moreover, I am not even sure that … Continued

Surprise! Surprise!

Nearly every trading day, some company announces operating results or other news that seem to differ markedly from consensus estimates or market expectations. This generally results in a sharp, virtually instantaneous swing in share prices. If the news is disappointing, there is often an immediate 5-10% drop in prices and if the news is good, … Continued

Again, ”It’s the economy, stupid.”

In intellectually preparing for a meeting with a prospective new client today, I was silently rehearsing my discussion points. I noted that clients must understand our “investment process” in order to support our efforts on their behalf. In that regard, I determined that it is best to reverse engineer the algorithm for our process and … Continued

This is Why

I recently received a call from a client expressing concern about the outcome of the recent United States presidential election. And the fiscal cliff. And the problems in Europe. Etc. He feared that the outlook may have dimmed for investors in common stocks. As is often the case during emotionally charged periods, his suggestion was … Continued

After the Dust has Settled

President Obama has been re-elected. Whether you voted for him or not, I don’t know a single person who is going to miss the political commercials, emails, and robo-calls. (Except maybe the actors and agencies hired to produce them.) The day after the election, equity markets traded down on continued bad news from Europe and … Continued

When is the Hardest Time to Invest?

NOW! As the song from “Annie” says, tomorrow is only a day away. In the invest world, tomorrow is always a day away. It is so tempting to wait for just one more data point or event. Should I wait until after the election, which is coming in just a few days? Then, should I … Continued

Know What You Own

The Wall Street Journal (WJS) recently published an article highlighting the fact that many bond fund managers have been beating their respective benchmarks in recent times. In fact, Morningstar has identified at least 187 bond funds that are posting positive relative performance. Included among this list are some of the largest bond fund managers in … Continued