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

Gundlach to the Fed: "Dont Raise Rates"

by Robert Huebscher

The Fed should reject its inclination to raise rates, according to Jeffrey Gundlach. It's rare that he agrees with Larry Summers, but in this case the two believe that the fundamentals in the U.S. economy do not justify higher interest rates.

An In-Depth Look at the Sequoia Fund

by Larry Swedroe

Looking at its 35-year track record, some now consider the Sequoia Fund (SEQUX) an anomaly; it is an actively managed fund that has persistently generated positive risk-adjusted returns, outperforming its peers and its benchmark. Should investors expect this outperformance to persist?

The Big Threat to Your Reputation

by Dan Richards

Yelp and other "advisor-ratings" sites give a new platform to former clients who bear grudges. Fortunately, you don't have to be a powerless victim. There are some simple, proactive measures that can help you protect your reputation against unfair reviews.

The Power of Mimicry

by Daniel Solin

You are in a meeting with a prospect. You want to do everything you can to convert that prospect into a client. What actions can you take to maximize the possibility of success?

A Lesson from Little League

by Martin Weil

I tip my hat to Little League for the courage of their convictions in how they dealt with the transgressions by Chicago's Jackie Robinson West team. I only wish that the same justice might have been meted out to those firms who gamed the system throughout the 1990s and 2000s.

A Fresh Look at Life Settlements in 2015

by Stephen Terrell

Rather than let unneeded term policies expire, clients may be able to sell them to a life insurance settlement provider. Life settlements were historically limited to whole-life policies, but new developments offer advisors greater flexibility to access cash for a variety of insurance products.

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.

How to Tell Your "Story" Effectively

by Beverly Flaxington

We have been very successful when we sit down with a prospect to tell our story. However, our newest advisors find this more challenging. Our story is clear to them, but it isn't distinct from what they have heard at other firms. How can we reinforce our story or build a new one incorporating ideas from our staff?

Recent Commentaries

Rate Hike Rally

by Scott Minerd of Guggenheim Partners

The lead-up to the first rate hike by the Federal Reserve is historically a favorable environment for U.S. equities and credit.

Hedge Funds on the Comeback?

by Roger Nusbaum of AdvisorShares

A few days ago I stumbled across a post from CIO titled Reports Of My Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated that chronicles the outflows from hedge funds last year and posits whether a comeback might be around the corner but with generally lower fees. The lower fee angle of the article seemed to focus on negotiating a lower fee with the manager. Of course lower fees are available through the various exchange traded products that one way or another replicate the exposure but doing so without the so called ‘2 and 20’ fee structure.

Viewer Discretion Advised

by Dan Walker of Heartland Advisors

Rich valuations for Utility stocks and current low bond yields point to a dim future for the sector.

Investing in Volatility: Is Asian Volatility Poised to Rise?

by David Jubb of Invesco Blog

Volatility is cheap these days. That may sound strange at first. But, the Invesco Multi Asset team views volatility as an investable asset type that can be included in our investment strategy. Why might this make sense? We believe volatility can provide additional diversification and return benefits when combined with our portfolio’s other asset exposures. For example, when volatility is low, markets may benefit. But when it rises, markets can come under pressure.

Obama Steps Up

by Simon Johnson of Project Syndicate

For the past six years, Barack Obama's administration has, more often than not, sided with the interests of big banks on financial-sector policy. But this week, announcing a new proposal to prevent conflicts of interest in financial advising, Obama seemed to turn an important corner.

Rise in Spanish CDS Outpaces Greece

by Team of GaveKal Capital

Unsurprisingly, the cost of insurance against Greek default (as evidenced by 10-year credit default swaps) has risen since the beginning of the year. It is interesting to note, however, that the monthly rate at which Spanish CDS are rising is actually higher, increasing more than 20% according to the most recent data point.

Equity Valuations, Recessions and Stock Market Declines

by Doug Short of Advisor Perspectives (dshort.com)

When I initiated the dshort web page in late 2005, one of my routine topics was equity valuations, initially inspired by Nobel laureate Robert Shiller's book, Irrational Exuberance, the second edition of which was published earlier that year. I gradually expanded my focus from his cyclically adjusted price-to-earnings ratio (CAPE) to include Ed Easterling's Crestmont P/E, Nobel laureate James Tobin's Q Ratio and my own monthly regression analysis of the S&P 500.

Yellen’s Trip to the Hill, a Preview…

by Scott Brown of Raymond James

Fed Chair Janet Yellen will testify on monetary policy on Tuesday and Wednesday. These appearances are less traumatic for the financial markets than they used to be. The Fed releases minutes of the policy meetings on a timelier basis and the Fed chair holds press conferences after every other meeting. Hence, it’s unlikely that we’ll see Yellen signal a major change in the policy outlook. Still, the financial markets will pay attention.

Recent dshort Posts

March 4th Webinar: The Myth of the Most Efficient Market

Presenter: Jim O'Shaughnessy
Wednesday, March 4, 2015 at 4:15 p.m. EST


Assets in index funds and ETFs are reaching all-time highs, driven in part by the belief that stock selection strategies have become a fool's errand for investors who are trying to outperform the market. In this webinar, Jim O'Shaughnessy will share empirical research conducted over 80 years to debunk this myth and identify time-tested principles that allow investors to consistently beat the market. He will:

A Long-Term Look at Inflation

The Consumer Price Index for Urban Consumers (CPI-U) released this morning puts the January year-over-year inflation rate at -0.9%, the lowest since the eight-month deflationary period that ended in October 2009. It is substantially below the 3.85% average since the end of the Second World War and its 10-year moving average.

Inflation: A Six-Month X-Ray View

Here is a table showing the annualized change in Headline and Core CPI, not seasonally adjusted, for each of the past six months. I've also included each of the eight components of Headline CPI and a separate entry for Energy, which is a collection of sub-indexes in Housing and Transportation. We can make some inferences about how inflation is impacting our personal expenses depending on our relative exposure to the individual components.

The "Real" Goods on the Latest Durable Goods Data

Earlier today I posted an update on the February Advance Report on January Durable Goods New Orders. This Census Bureau series dates from 1992 and is not adjusted for either population growth or inflation.

Let's now review Durable Goods data with two adjustments. In the charts below the red line shows the goods orders divided by the Census Bureau's monthly population data, giving us durable goods orders per capita.