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

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Recent Articles

Why 'Smart Beta' Is Really Dumb

by Michael Edesess

What does smart beta mean? Does it deserve the attention it is getting from the market and academia?

The Most Important Step to Convert Prospects

by Dan Richards

Most advisors using traditional mass-marketing methods without building early credibility will see heightened struggles to get a return on their effort. Fortunately, once the will and priority is in place, there are some proven models to successfully build credibility.

The Fundamental Misunderstanding That Costs You Assets

by Daniel Solin

A recent medical event involving one of my family members poignantly demonstrated the role emotions play in driving decisions. It also illustrated a fundamental misunderstanding about the decision-making process rampant among advisors.

Disproving the Four Themes Behind Gold Bearishness

by Trey Reik

The resurgent bear thesis for gold rests on four key assumptions. Because each of these assumptions is already in the process of being disproved, Western investment demand for gold will surge dramatically in coming years.

Only the Paranoid Survive

by Martin Weil

Only the paranoid survive, said Andy Grove. The quote comes to mind whenever I am talking with advisor colleagues who believe that they have little to fear from robo-advisors and the spread of technological innovation into the financial services arena.

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.

The Best Way to Train New Employees

by Beverly Flaxington

Some of my coworkers believe we should put on a sales hat and try and "sell" our new hires on how great we are. Others think we should stick purely to the facts and just say this is what we do and how we do it. Any perspective on what's better?

Gundlach - Beware of CNBC Pundits

by Robert Huebscher

On issues as central as the effect of quantitative easing or Fed tightening on interest rates, Jeffrey Gundlach says you shouldn't trust the pundits on CNBC.

Recent Commentaries

China Surpasses America As World's Largest Economy

by Gary Halbert of Halbert Wealth Management

For the first time in history, the People’s Republic of China’s Gross Domestic Product exceeded the GDP of America, as measured by purchasing power, in 2014. According to the International Monetary Fund, China’s purchasing power GDP hit $17.6 trillion last year versus $17.4 trillion in the US.

How Is Capital Spending Trending?

by Milton Ezrati of Lord Abbett

The current pace of expenditures on property, plant, and equipment dampens the likelihood of an accelerated economic recovery.

Interest Rates Affect on Intrinsic Value

by William Smead of Smead Capital Management

We at Smead Capital Management believe in the value of compounded returns. They are the friend of the long-duration common stock investor, especially when considering the intrinsic value of a company. With so much chatter among investors, the media and analysts over when the Federal Reserve will increase interest rates, we would like to share with you how we think about and use prevailing interest rates in security analysis. Together with earnings growth estimates and longevity, the discount interest rate is a cornerstone of calculating the intrinsic value of a company.

Fun with GDP

by Scott Brown of Raymond James

The current economic expansion is rapidly approaching its six-year anniversary. Contrary to popular belief, the likelihood of entering a recession does not depend on the age of the expansion. However, there are other issues. In this recovery, average growth in the first quarter of the year has been well below the average of the other three quarters, leading to some doubts about the quality of the seasonal adjustment. Looking ahead, the government will introduce two new gauges with the annual benchmark revisions in late July.

Do Record Stock Highs Signal a Top?

by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

With the U.S. stock market hitting a new record high every week, are we close to the bull market's top? Russ and an investment strategist on his team, Kurt Reiman, weigh in.

San Francisco Real Estate Is 75% Above Housing Crisis Lows

by Team of GaveKal Capital

The latest (March) Case-Shiller Home Price Index was released this morning and there were several noteworthy data points in the report. First, our 3-month diffusion index that measures the number of cities where prices are higher now than they were three months ago increased by six cities in March to a six-month high of 18.

For Bond Investors, The Timing of Liftoff Matters

by Kristina Hooper of Allianz Global Investors

Kristina Hooper, US Investment Strategist for Allianz Global Investors, breaks down last week's FOMC minutes and public remarks from Fed Chair Janet Yellen. Find out why the path of rate hikes and the timing of tightening both matter.

The Uncorrelated

by David Kleinberg of Universal Orbit

Once deemed uncorrelated, sovereign energy policies combine infrastructure development with corporate capital investment accounting for both scalability of renewable sources over the next 25 years and commodity strip pricing in the short-term. Reflecting continued private investment in public policy, simple audit of global multinational corporate profiles features integrated wind and solar operations—a dedication of business segments operations within industrial portfolios including oil and gas.

Recent dshort Posts

Weekly Gasoline Price Update: Up Another Three Cents

It's time again for our weekly gasoline update based on data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA). Rounded to the penny, the price of Regular and premium both rose three cents. This is the sixth week of price increases after six weeks of little change. According to, California has the highest average price for Regular at $3.75, and its averaging $3.93 in Los Angeles. South Carolina has the cheapest at $2.42.

S&P 500 Snapshot: A -1.03% Post-Memorial Day Plunge

Before the market opened, the April Durable Goods presented another mixed bag of data. On a brighter note, Core Capex rose 1.0%, although it's down 1/4% YoY. The S&P 500 dropped at the open and continued downward despite improved Consumer Confidence and better-than-expected New-Home Sales. The index hit its -1.26% intraday low near the beginning of the final hour of trading, which trimmed the daily loss to -1.03%.

A Modest Improvement in Consumer Confidence

The Latest Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index was released this morning based on data collected through May 15. The headline number of 95.4 was a small increase from the revised April final reading of 94.3, a downward revision from 95.2. Today's number was slightly below the forecast of 94.9.

New Homes Sales Surprise Forecast

This morning's release of the April New Homes Sales from the Census Bureau at 517K was 7K above forecast, with the previous month an upward revision. The forecast was for 510K sales, which would have been a 5.1% increase from the revised previous month. The actual increase was 6.8%.