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

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2014-07-09 00:00:00 Dealing With Red-Hot Markets by Mark Ungewitter of Charter Trust Company

This summer the streets are sizzling… and so is the stock market. To the chagrin of value investors, US equities have not experienced a normal correction since May 2013. But what is “normal” and what is “hot”? This article discusses a behavioral measure of market extremity, the put/call ratio, and offers some basic advice for dealing with the current environment.

2014-05-05 00:00:00 The 5 Commandments of Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger by William Smead of Smead Capital Management

Here you will find our review of the 2014 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Shareholder Meeting. As we consider these men pioneers of long-duration common stock investing, we wanted to share what we believe were the best nuggets of wisdom from the weekend.

2014-04-23 00:00:00 Poker Mentality?! by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James

have often stated that the rarest trait on Wall Street is ?patience.? I have also repeatedly reprised Charles Dow?s quote that, ?The successful investor/speculator needs to ignore two out of every three potential money making opportunities.?

2014-03-09 00:00:00 The Problem with Keynesianism by John Mauldin of Millennium Wave Advisors

Keynes himself would appreciate the irony that he has become the defunct economist under whose influence the academic and bureaucratic classes now toil, slaves to what has become as much a religious belief system as it is an economic theory. Men and women who display an appropriate amount of skepticism on all manner of other topics indiscriminately funnel a wide assortment of facts and data through the filter of Keynesianism without ever questioning its basic assumptions. And then some of them go on to prescribe government policies that have profound effects upon the citizens of their nations.

2014-01-31 00:00:00 Buy What You Know? Not So Fast by Russ Koesterich of iSharesBlog

Buy what you know. It’s an old admonition, and on the surface a sensible one. Focusing your investments on those companies that you’re most familiar with should help mitigate the risk of a bad investment choice. Unfortunately, like a lot of conventional wisdom, it’s wrong. Concentrating your portfolio to local investments, while comforting, is a mistake for two reasons.

2014-01-18 00:00:00 Forecast 2014: 'Mark Twain!' by John Mauldin of Millennium Wave Advisors

The surface of the market waters looks smooth, but the data above suggest caution as we proceed. Perhaps slowing the engine and taking more frequent soundings (or putting in closer stops!) might be in order. The cry should be "Mark twain!" Let’s steam ahead but take more frequent readings and know that a course correction may soon be necessary.

2013-12-21 00:00:00 What Has QE Wrought? by John Mauldin of Millennium Wave Advisors

Now that we have begun tapering, we will soon see lots of analysis about whether QE has been effective. What will the stock market do? The US economy seems to be moving in the right direction, but the Fed has forecast Nirvana (seriously) - do we dare hope they can finally get a forecast right? Or have they jinxed us?

2013-11-24 00:00:00 Game of Thrones - European Style by John Mauldin of Millennium Wave Advisors

The Eurozone crisis is not over, and it will not end quickly or soon. Even if it seems to unfold in slow motion - like the slow build-up in a Game of Thrones storyline to violent internecine clashes followed by more slow plot developments but never any resolution, the Eurozone debacle has never really gone away. The structural imbalances have still not been fixed; politicians and central bankers have still not agreed to solve major fiscal problems; the overall economy still disintegrates; unemployment is staggeringly high in some countries and still rising; and the people are growing restless.

2013-11-13 00:00:00 GameStop and Our Long-Term, Contrarian Investment Approach by Jay Kaplan of The Royce Funds

Because our contrarian approach emphasizes a long-term time horizon, we tend to invest in companies that we believe have the financial wherewithal to withstand out of favor periods. GameStop used trying times to build conviction and expand its core business rather than abandoning its discipline to meet outside expectations.

2013-10-14 00:00:00 Civilizing the Marketplace of Ideas by Niall Ferguson of Project Syndicate

Like any market, the marketplace of ideas needs regulation: in particular, its participants should be bound by norms of honesty, humility, and civility. Unfortunately, even our most influential intellectuals refuse to adhere to these principles.

2013-09-28 00:00:00 The Renminbi: Soon to Be a Reserve Currency? by John Mauldin of Millennium Wave Advisors

Contrary to the thinking of fretful dollar skeptics, my firm belief is that the US dollar is going to become even stronger and will at some point actually deserve to be the reserve currency of choice rather than merely the prettiest girl in the ugly contest the last currency standing, so to speak. But whether the Chinese RMB will become a reserve currency is an entirely different question.

2013-09-27 00:00:00 A Sensible Way to Evaluate Your Investment Performance by Robert Isbitts of Sungarden Investment Research

I recommend using at least two benchmarks for each portfolio or portfolio strategy: One based on the portion of the S&P 500’s volatility that the client is prepared to endure over time. The other is the S&P 500 Total Return Index as this has become, over time, a very common and recognizable indicator of performance of “the market.”

2013-09-07 00:00:00 Unrealistic Expectations by John Mauldin of Millennium Wave Advisors

Two well-respected analysts of pension funds have produced reports this summer suggesting that pensions are now underfunded by more than $4 trillion and possibly more than $5 trillion. I would like to tell you that the underfunding is all the bad news, but when you probe deeper into the problems facing pension funds, it just gets worse.

2013-08-24 00:00:00 US Equities: Secular Bull Market? by Mark Ungewitter of Charter Trust Company

The Dow’s 10-year moving average currently near 11,500 provides one measure of risk in today’s uncertain environment. Though impossible to predict, a reversion to (or through) this long-term average would be entirely normal from a behavioral perspective.

2013-08-10 00:00:00 We Can't Take the Chance by John Mauldin of Millennium Wave Advisors

What would it have been like to be a central banker in the midst of the crisis in 2008-09? You’d know that you won’t have the luxury of going back and making better decisions five years later. Instead, you have to act on the torrent of information that’s coming at you, and none of it is good. Major banks are literally collapsing, the interbank market is nonexistent and there is panic in the air. Perhaps you feel that panic in the pit of your stomach. This week we’ll perform a little thought experiment to see if we can extrapolate what is likely to happen in when the nex

2013-08-06 00:00:00 Weekly Market Commentary by Scotty George of du Pasquier Asset Management

Every investor is unique. Similarly, every investment opportunity is unique. Despite our desires to see otherwise, each situation must be measured on a paradigm of possibilities rather than being pigeon-holed into a structured definition.

2013-07-27 00:00:00 A Lost Generation by John Mauldin of Millennium Wave Advisors

This week we will briefly look at why weak consumer spending is going to become an even greater problem in the coming years, and we will continue to look at some disturbing trends in employment.

2013-07-10 00:00:00 Employer Mandate: A Pharma Bump in the Road by Bill Smead of Smead Capital Management

As long-duration value investors, we at Smead Capital Management have been very attracted to the conservative accounting, shareholder friendly dividends/buybacks and bright pipeline futures of major pharmaceutical/biotech companies like Merck (MRK), Pfizer (PFE) and Amgen (AMGN). Lately, there has been weakness in these shares and we’d like to review our best theory for recent fears and price weakness, while reviewing the merit of these high quality shares.

2013-04-24 00:00:00 The Road To Omaha by Bill Smead of Smead Capital Management

We have been discussing keys to the investment success of Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway as we approach the 2013 annual meeting. In this week’s edition, we are considering a company which might make a good “elephant” for Berkshire to buy.

2013-04-20 00:00:00 Austerity is a Consequence, not a Punishment by John Mauldin of Millennium Wave Advisors

Austerity is a consequence, not a punishment. A country loses access to cheap borrowed money as a consequence of running up too much debt and losing the confidence of lenders that the debt can be repaid. Lenders don’t sit around in clubs and discuss how to “punish” a country by requiring austerity; they simply decide not to lend. Austerity is a result of a country’s trying to entice lenders into believing that the country will change and make an effort to restore confidence.

2013-03-12 00:00:00 Weekly Market Commentary by Scotty George of du Pasquier Asset Management

Although ecstasy reigned supreme last Tuesday as the Dow crossed into record territory, not everyone felt as if they shared in the bounty. It's at times like these that we must be mindful of the distinction between economic recovery and market recovery. Two phenomena which fly in tandem, on parallel tracks, are not always inextricably linked, and in this case the parallel disconnect is wide and obvious.

2010-03-31 00:00:00 days of dreck by tom brakke of the research puzzle

For whatever reason, it seems that hype is in full bloom right now. While evidence supports the view that post-crisis, the average investor has become more cautious, the claims of easily available riches seem to get wilder by the day. What is common among these schemes is that they all use some movement in price to grab the attention of the electronic village, and then the game is on. 'Some movement in price' can be remarkably easy to come by. The really sad part is that these promotional tactics are common and have been adopted to a degree throughout the investment industry.

2010-02-19 00:00:00 best in show by Tom Brakke of the research puzzle

Picking a fund manager can be like choosing the winner of the Westminster Dog Show. Choices can come down to small things noticed at the last minute, or may have been in the cards for months, with the process just existing for show. The stock-by-stock choices of the individual investor can also be similar in that they require us to carefully and objectively examine the reasons for the choices we make.

2010-01-20 00:00:00 Liars Who Believe Their Own Lies? by Dan Ariely of Predictably Irrational

What do Williams Gehris, America?s most decorated war hero, and Walter Williams, our last Civil War veteran to pass away, have in common? Both were frauds: they spun tales of military heroism, duped


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