ACTIONABLE ADVICE FOR FINANCIAL ADVISORS: Newsletters and Commentaries Focused on Investment Strategy

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Recent Articles

The Best Asset Allocation for Retirees

by David Blanchett

In this article, I determine the optimal glide path for retirees using varying initial bond yields and stock market valuations.

Should Leveraged ETFs Be Held for Long Horizons?

by C. Thomas Howard, Lambert Bunker and David Stock

There are numerous misconceptions and emotions surrounding the use of leveraged ETFs. This article provides a simple and clear explanation of how these instruments can be used to enhance portfolio returns over longer term investment horizons. We show that commonly used 2x ETFs have delivered the expected return over multi-year time horizons.

How to Attract Top Talent

by Dan Richards

How should you recruit and motivate top-performing support staff?

Success Is Within Your Control

by Daniel Solin

You may be skeptical of the expression, "The harder I work, the luckier I get." But empirical evidence says it's true. While we often look with envy at people who get a "lucky break", the reality is that the vast majority of those people worked long and hard before they achieved success.

Closing the Retirement Gender Gap

by Jeff Briskin

New research shows how a lack of "retirement readiness" puts many women at risk of financial hardship during their retirement years, especially since most will outlive their spouses.

Career Center

by Various

Find career opportunities for firms that seek to add financial advisors and planners to their staff. Read more to find out how to post opportunities at your firm.

When Lead Advisors Are Not Mentors

by Beverly Flaxington

I am working to establish a training program that would match a newer advisor with one of our more seasoned ones. So far, this has been a disaster. The lead advisors treat the newer people like administrative staff. How do I teach my lead advisors to be better mentors?

Gundlach - The Bond Market is at a Pivotal Point

by Robert Huebscher

Jeffrey Gundlach turned defensive on the U.S. bond market at the end of January, almost precisely when yields were at their lowest point. Whether his outlook changes hinges on the direction of the 30-year bond and if it retests its low yield of 2.45%.

Recent Commentaries

Stock Splitting Caused Stock Market Crash 1929

by Wim Grommen of Transfer Solutions

This article explains why the introduction of stock splitting on December 31st, 1927 eventually caused the crash of 1929. The frequent splitting of shares into very large proportions gave a massive boost to the stock market boom, making the stock market crash of 1929 equally violent.

Fair Value on the S&P 500 Has Three Digits

by John Hussman of Hussman Funds

We continue to classify market conditions among the most hostile expected return/risk profiles we identify. The current profile joins rich valuations with continued evidence of a subtle shift toward risk aversion among investors, which we infer from market internals (a variant of what we used to call “trend uniformity”), credit spreads, and other risk-sensitive measures.

The Third and Final Transformation of Monetary Policy

by John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics

My good friend Dr. Woody Brock makes the case that an unintended consequence of QE is that the Federal Reserve’s normal transmission of monetary policy through periodic changes in the fed funds rate has been vitiated. He contends that soon we will no longer care about the fed funds rate and will be focused on other sets of rates.

US Equity and Economic Review For the Week of April 20-24: Is This Another False Break-Out?, Edition

by Hale Stewart of Hale Stewart

After a series of first quarter economic disappointments, last week’s financial news provided much needed ammunition for optimism. The latest new and existing home sales numbers indicated the housing market is healing while the slight uptick in durable goods orders stopped that data series’ recent set of declines. The markets rallied as a result, printing at or close to new highs. The market’s technical picture, however, is still unconvincing; the SPYs chart looks like a short term top while the Transports and Dow’s failure to confirm the QQQ’s recent advance adds to the caution.

Why International Diversification Matters Today

by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock Investment Management

The tendency of U.S. investors to invest close to home is understandable, but it’s not optimal. Russ has three reasons why international diversification matters now more than ever for U.S. investors.

Sustaining The New Highs in Equities Might Prove Difficult

by Urban Carmel of The Fat Pitch

New price highs are usually bullish as all investors are in a profitable position and not in need of selling. We don't like to be cautionary when price is bullish, but the reality is that prior moves to new highs have failed in the past year and several measures of breadth, sentiment and volatility suggest that is likely to be the case again now.

BofA Is Confusing Liquidity Fueled And Secular Bull Markets

by Lance Roberts of Streettalk Live

Over the past couple of years, there has been a growing chorus of individuals claiming that the financial markets have finally shaken the shackles of the secular bear market that began at the turn of the century. This, of course, suggests that the markets have now begun the next long-term secular bull market.

Schwab Market Perspective: Heads, Bulls Win; Tails, Bears Lose?

by Liz Ann Sonders, Brad Sorensen & Jeffrey Kleintop of Charles Schwab

The bears can’t seem to grab hold of this market, but that doesn’t mean full-speed ahead for the bulls either. Grinding generally higher with increased volatility seems to be the course for now, but the possibility of a correction still exists. Diversification, discipline and patience is required. International equity exposure should be part of most investors’ portfolios, to a level commiserate with risk tolerance. European risks related to Greece seem to have lessened, while the Chinese stock market doesn’t appear grossly overvalued, although a pullback from the recent run is possi

Recent dshort Posts

Vehicle Miles Traveled: Our Evolving Behavior

The Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Commission has released the latest report on Traffic Volume Trends, data through February.

"Travel on all roads and streets changed by 2.8% (6.1 billion vehicle miles) for February 2015 as compared with February 2014." The less volatile 12-month moving average is up 0.20% month-over-month and 2.36% year-over-year. If we factor in population growth, the 12-month MA of the civilian population-adjusted data (age 16-and-over) is a smaller change, up 0.13% month-over-month and up only 1.23% year-over-year.

World Markets Weekend Update: The Rally Resumes

Seven of the eight indexes on our world watch list traded higher this week, with China's Shanghai Composite as the top performer, up 2.48%. India's SENSEX was the outlier to the south, with a -3.53% contraction. In fact, the average of the seven gainers was an impressive 1.52%. But the SENSEX pulls the overall average down to 0.89%.

NYSE Margin Debt Hits an All-Time High

The NYSE margin debt data is about a month old when it is published. The latest debt level is up 2.5% month-over-month and at a record high. Real (inflation-adjusted) debt rose 1.9% month-over-month and also at a record high.

S&P 500 Snapshot: A Record Close to End the Week

The pre-market economic news was the release of the March Durable Goods, which had a strong headline number, but Core Capex posted its seventh consecutive decline and is down 4.0% year-over-year. The S&P 500 vacillated in the opening minutes and then trudged higher to its 0.38% intraday record high. The index then moved sideways most of the afternoon before settling for a 0.23% closing gain -- enough for a record high close.