February 2017

How ‘Bout That Market: 2/27/2017 Crisis

How ‘Bout That Market?  This is a question I hear at social gatherings often enough that it makes sense to make it a regular entry on this website. The Market The markets continue their march upwards in spite of unrelenting headline risk.  The stretch of positive performance is somewhat unnerving because of two streaks: an 11-day winning streak for the Dow and 48 days without a 1% move in the S&P 500.  This is really weird action, especially in the face of an emotion-driven news cycle.  Have we finally reached the point where reporting everything as a crisis means that nothing is a crisis?  Liz Ann Sonders remarked on a call that when there are so many voices calling for a bubble, it’s not a bubble.  I’m inclined to agree.  Even the perma-bears seem to be tiring of shouting bubble all day. News seems to have devolved into second-guessing President…


Market

How ‘Bout That Market: 2/13/2017

How ‘Bout That Market?  This is a question I hear at social gatherings often enough that it makes sense to make it a regular entry on this website. The Market How is the market doing?  Before we get to the market today, let’s look at how the market was doing a year ago.  On February 11th, 2016, the market was off to its worst start ever, down over 10%.  This was it.  This was the other shoe to drop.  Except that it wasn’t.  2016 ended up 12% in spite of significant headline risk (Brexit, Trump, Cleveland sports successes, etc). How is the market doing today?  Twelve months after the market bottom, the S&P 500 is up over 27%.  The market continues to climb the wall of worry.  I don’t know when the march upward will end.  The only thing I would take as a sure sign of a market top…


fiduciary

Cacti and Poison Ivy

You don’t have to be a botanist to know not to jog naked through a cactus grove.  Even an idiot can see the danger in that.  People like to think that identifying investment dangers is just as easy.  You’ll know when someone is taking advantage of you or a loved one, right?  Rather than a bramble of cacti, the investment landscape is a beautifully manicured garden.  There are so many plants in this garden that many people seek out a guide, but few make the distinction to search for a good guide.  They merely grab whoever’s most convenient and wind up with a case of poison ivy or worse.  The kind of guide investors need is called a fiduciary. When it comes to finance, the US is mis-regulated.  Small banks are at a disadvantage due to the costs of complying with rules meant to rein in mega-banks.  Well-meaning legislation (like FASB 157)…