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

Follow us on

Exclusive Sponsorships

Most Popular This Month

Most Popular This Year

Recent Articles

Looking Back at James Montier's "Perfect" Value Investors

by Larry Swedroe

Is there such a thing as a "perfect" value investor? And if so, what does that investor's fund look like? James Montier thought he knew the answers when he penned his 2006 article "The Perfect Value Investor." Let's look back and see how that portfolio did.

Key Issues for 2015: The View from Western Asset

by Sponsored Content from Legg Mason Investor Services LLC

The U.S. represents a bright spot in a global recovery best characterized as "two steps forward, one step back." Sector and issue selection remain crucial in this environment, but so do macroeconomic strategies, which may help provide ballast when the pace of recovery slows.

Introducing the Retirement Wealth and Affordability Indices

by Wade Pfau

How can you help clients determine if they are retiring at a good time? I aim to answer that with my recently developed Retirement Accumulation Index and Retirement Affordability Index. Let me explain how those two indices work and how you should use them with clients.

The Unspoken Issue that Will Cost You Clients

by Dan Richards

Advisors spend lots of time addressing their clients' concerns about markets, interest rates and their retirement plans. But a recent conversation with a client identified an important concern that is typically ignored.

The Warren Buffett Way: High Quality Stocks in Emerging Markets

by Baijnath Ramraika, CFA® and Prashant Trivedi, CFA®

A simple three-factor quantitative process for selecting emerging-market high-quality stocks outperforms the publicly traded benchmarks and does so with lower risk.

How Monkeys and Peanuts Can Help You Gather AUM

by Daniel Solin

Monkeys love peanuts. To understand how that relates to gathering assets under management (AUM), let's revisit a study demonstrating that emotions drive decisions.

2014 Global Factor Round Up

by Michael Nairne

Factor performance can vary as a result of business cycle influences, market sentiment, interest rate changes, sector composition and other variables. Here are the returns earned by each factor globally in 2014 compared to the overall broad market.

The Characteristics of a Great Sales Culture

by Beverly Flaxington

If you don't think your sales culture is strong enough, here is a guideline for developing a more robust sales culture.

Recent Commentaries

The Greek Elections: A Gordian Knot?

by Dimitri Balatsos of Tesseract Partners

The upcoming Greek elections on Sunday, January 25 have whipped political and economic pundits into a frenzy. At the heart of the excitement is a possible win by Syriza, the left-leaning political party. This relative new comer on the political stage has promised a slew of populist programs, which include doing away with fiscal austerity, rolling back reforms, and renegotiating bailout terms with the country’s creditors.

Rate Cut a Positive Jolt for India’s Growth Dynamics

by Jack Deino of Invesco Blog

In a surprise move, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) cut its policy rate for the first time in two years on Jan. 15 by 25 basis points (bps) to 7.75%. Encouraged by multiple anti-inflationary catalysts building up over the past few months - including lower commodity prices, a stable rupee, a favorable winter wheat crop and the government’s commitment to fiscal consolidation - the RBI instituted a rare inter-meeting rate cut.

Global Economic Growth Should Gradually Begin to Improve

by Robert Doll of Nuveen Asset Management

Equity markets reacted to both positive and negative forces last week, but the positive factors won out in the end. Corporate earnings sentiment was lackluster and investors continued to focus on the negative effects of falling oil prices. However, markets experienced a significant tailwind from a more aggressive-than-expected quantitative easing announcement from the European Central Bank (ECB). For the week, the S&P 500 Index climbed 1.6%, snapping a three week losing streak.

The Fed -- Lucky or Smart?

by Paul Kasriel of Econtrarian

Given the rapid growth in total thin-air credit, i.e., the credit created by the Fed and depository institutions, during most of 2014, the Fed was correct in phasing down the amount of securities it was purchasing if it wanted to avoid creating another asset bubble and/or an acceleration in price increases of goods and services. But when the Fed ended its securities-purchase program in October 2014, it appeared as though growth in total thin-air credit would slow precipitously in 2015 without some contribution from the Fed.

The Lemmings of QE

by Stephen Roach of Project Syndicate

Predictably, the European Central Bank has joined the world’s other major monetary authorities in the greatest experiment in the history of central banking: large-scale quantitative easing. But careful analysis of QE's impact so far should give the ECB pause.

The Consumption of Davos

by Scott Minerd of Guggenheim Partners

Europe’s central bank took bold action this week, consuming the conversation at the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting, but will it be enough?

Unknown Unknowns

by Michael Kayes of Willingdon Wealth Management

How accurate are annual predictions about the market? What are the key drivers for stocks this year? Read on to find out..

And the Winner Is...

by Jerry Wagner of Flexible Plan Investments

The annual awards season for the entertainment industry has begun and will kick into high gear over the next two months. It has not been without some controversy already, as the acting and directing nominee lists for the 87th Academy Awards (to be presented on February 22nd) were criticized for a lack of diversity.

Recent dshort Posts

Real Median Household Income: A Significant December Increase

Summary: The Sentier Research monthly median household income data series is now available for December. The nominal median household income was up $537 month-over-month and $2,072 year-over-year. That's a 1.0% MoM gain and a 4.0% YoY gain. Adjusted for inflation, the numbers were up $738 MoM and $1725 YoY. The real numbers equate to a 1.4% MoM increase and a 3.3% YoY increase.

The Four Totally Bad Bear Recoveries: Where Are We Now?

Note from dshort: At the request of The Advisory Group in San Francisco, here’s updated comparison of four major cyclical bear markets. The numbers are through Friday’s close.

The chart series features an overlay of the Four Bad Bears in U.S. history since the market peak in 1929. They are: 1) the Crash of 1929, 2) the Oil Embargo of 1973, 2) The 2000 Tech bust and 4) the post-2007 Financial Crisis. The series includes nominal, real, total-return and real total-return comparisons.

World Markets Update: The Surge Accelerates

Seven of eight indexes on my world market watch list posted weekly gains, with the three European indexes topping the list, thanks to the ECB's QE. France's CAC 40 was up 5.96%, Germany's DAX rose 4.74% and the UK's FTSE 100 gained 4.31%. But the list of big winners extended beyond Europe. The three Asia-Pacific Indexes posted gains ranging from 3.10% to 4.11%. The S&P 500 was the poorest performer of the weekly winners, but its 1.60% gain snapped a three-week losing streak. China's Shanghai Composite posted the only weekly loss, down a modest -0.73%.

S&P 500 Snapshot: Four-Day Rally Snapped

Eurozone markets continued to celebrate the Draghi QE bazooka, with the Euro STOXX index 50 gaining 1.8%. But enthusiasm waned in the US. The S&P 500 spent the day in its narrowest trading range so far the year. It opened at its intraday high, 0.01% below yesterday's close and sold off to its -0.50% morning low about 75 minutes later. A sustained afternoon effort to enter the green failed, and the index sold off last two hours of trading to its -0.55% close, snapping a four-day rally. The S&P 500 is now back in the red YTD at -0.34%.