Friday, June 30, 2017

Quote of the Day: Know the difference between the wind and the tide!

In an interview for Jack Schwager's Market Wizards series, uber-successful money manager Colm O'shea offers the perfect analogy for why -- as we continue to illustrate herein -- we focus on prevailing long-term trends and the fundamental backdrop:

Thursday, June 29, 2017

This Week's Message: How's the present look compared to what we presented in our 2016 year-end letter?

Well, we're halfway through 2017, and so far so good. In this week's message we're going to take a look back at our 2016 year-end commentary and compare the signals we illustrated then against the progress 6 months hence.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Quote of the Day: The Key to U.S. Business, and Investor, Success in the Years to Come!

Sticking with this morning's theme (globalization), here are a few excerpts from yesterday's Bloomberg Economics Asia brief:     emphasis mine...
China's transformation from rags to riches isn't over quite yet.
... the China miracle is set to continue with its per capita GDP seen rising to 64th out of 166 countries by 2022, up from being the 133rd-poorest in 1992 — on par with Haiti and with over half its population living on less than $2 a day. The current $16,676 per capita GDP level is already higher than Brazil's when adjusted for purchasing power, according to a Bloomberg analysis of International Monetary Fund data.

This Week's Video: Investing Globally

One point we've made consistently herein over the past year+ is our view that the rest of the world, particularly Europe, lags the U.S. in terms of the economic cycle. We've also noted via video(s) that global equities (again, particularly Europe's) have underperformed the U.S. for an unusually long stretch. Hence, our persistent optimism over European equities.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Friday, June 23, 2017

Is The Eurozone's 'Recent' Underperformance Something to Sweat?

While our core Eurozone ETF (FEZ) has produced a substantially higher year-to-date return versus the U.S. market (5.9% better as of this morning), the past few weeks have been an altogether different story (FEZ was better by a whopping 11.4% on 5/19).

Click to enlarge...

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Stat of the Day: Abnormal Volatility

While the headlines have indeed been volatile thus far in 2017, the U.S. stock market has been anything but. The S&P 500's largest drawdown year-to-date has been a measly 2.8%! While applying that percentage to the Dow would be -600+ points, in the historic scheme of things, make no mistake, that's measly!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

This Week's Message: Eeyore Would Be a Star!

In two recent blog posts I touched on the seemingly popular notion that a market at all-time highs is doomed to collapse under the weight of its all-time-highness, and on the dire prognostications of a gentleman who -- despite his dismal track record -- receives a visionary's welcome by the mainstream financial media.

As regular readers/viewers know, we prefer to let the somewhat slow-moving, generally boring and often redundant data do the talking. No wonder CNBC never calls us for an interview!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Charts of the Day: Embracing (as an investor) Globalization!

In my June 3rd blog post I suggested that Western investors would be ill-advised to ignore China's Belt and Road Initiative.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Quotes of the Day: Stockman Strikes Again -- Or, Perhaps -- Stockman Strikes Out Again (time will tell)

David Stockman -- a man who has leveraged his tenure with the Reagan administration to the absolute hilt -- has a warning for all investors:
"This is one of the most dangerous market environments we've ever been in. It's the calm before a gigantic, horrendous storm that I don't think is too far down the road."

Friday, June 16, 2017

Chart of the Day: Financial Sector Breadth

The financial sector -- our presently highest target weighting -- seems to be finding its legs.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

This Week's Message: The Fed's Green Light -- And Its Implications

In last week's message I shared an email conversation where I suggested that despite present yield spreads denoting a low financial risk environment (essentially paving the road to higher interest rates), folks were nonetheless willing to buy bonds. Here's that part:

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

How to Sleep Well Amid Uncertainty

As the market traverses present-day domestic politics, geopolitics, central bankers, corporate earnings and economics, it's incumbent upon you (the investor) and us (the investment counselors) to keep our thinking above the fray.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

That the-market's-gotta-come-down-because-it's-at-an-all-time-high attitude...

Last year, when the S&P 500 moved into all-time high territory with momentum, a trader friend or two asked for my view on what to short. It wasn't "if" to short, it was literally "what" to short. The sentiment there was that the market surely couldn't sustain that level and, therefore, virtually had to come crashing down. Since the data we track suggested otherwise, I had nothing to offer in response.

Monday, June 12, 2017

This Week's Video: Putting Recent Volatility Into Context

Once playing, click the icon in the lower right corner for full screen. Focus should occur after a few seconds; if not, click the wheel to the left of the YouTube icon to adjust:

Saturday, June 10, 2017

What the &$#! Happened Yesterday?

Really rough day for tech stocks yesterday:    click charts to enlarge...

Quote of the Day

The great challenge as a market participant is of essentially the same mental character that has us interpreting the world around us in a manner that fits what we desire, and/or supports our personal biases.

Friday, June 9, 2017

This Week's Message: The Age of the Machine Has NOT Risen -- OR -- The Effects of Little League Games and Piano Recitals

I need to preface the following with the acknowledgement that, as with virtually everything else in life, future market prices are undeniably uncertain. Stocks can fall out of bed at anytime for any reason -- whether they've enjoyed an uptrend lasting 8 years, 8 months, 8 weeks, 8 days or 8 minutes. They can fall from what some construe as great heights, they can fall from any number above zero... 5,000 was considered a great height when the Dow reached that milestone back in November 1995:

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

This Week's Video: Sectors Sending Mixed Signals

Once playing, click the icon in the lower right corner for full screen. Focus should occur after a few seconds; if not, click the wheel to the left of the YouTube icon to adjust:

Saturday, June 3, 2017

While Western Leadership May (or may not) Resist Belt and Road, Western Investors Absolutely Should Not!

From Bloomberg's May 12, 2017 Economic Brief:
China is one of the few countries in the world today with money to spend, and Xi Jinping is ready to write some checks.
Those checks would be written to fund China's "Belt and Road Initiative".

Friday, June 2, 2017

Quote of the Day: Really? Tax reform in the face of such perverse incentives??

All in favor of tax simplification say "aye". AYE!!! All opposed say "nay". ..................

I know that all of you, umm, well....., we do have a client/subscriber or three in the tax-planning business (each of whom I respect and admire [sincerely!])..... so let's say most of you sympathize with my AYE!!

Thursday, June 1, 2017

This Week's Message: Are Stocks Dangerously Expensive? -- AND -- Highlights of our in-house study on the financial sector

Here's a look at our tracking of current-year price to earnings ratios for the S&P 500 (spx), major U.S. sectors, and much of the rest of the world -- along with our target allocation percentages:   click charts to enlarge