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

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2015-07-27 00:00:00 Screens vs. Windows: Why Choosing a Fund Manager Requires Both by Tracy Fielder of Invesco Blog

Choosing the right fund manager is an important decision for investors, and many rely on data screens to help them sift through mountains of performance numbers. But screens alone don’t tell you the whole story. To get a clear view of how a fund might fit into your portfolio, you also need a window into the mind of the manager.

2015-07-23 00:00:00 Mid-Year Outlook: Global Economy Likely to Withstand China, Greece by John Calamos, Sr. of Calamos Investments

The global markets and economy should be able to move higher for the remainder of the year, with accommodative monetary policy and well-contained inflation providing tailwinds. The U.S. looks set to extend its not-too-hot, not-too-cold recovery, while Japan is benefiting from stimulus and pro-market reforms. Although economic conditions in Europe remain fragile and uneven, growth looks to be accelerating overall, and we believe the European Union has the tools to prevent a broader Europe contagion should the Greek bailout resolution fall apart.

2015-07-14 00:00:00 Innovation – Too Much, or Too Little of a Good Thing? by Michael Lebowitz (Article)

New innovations save us a lot of time and effort but, believe it or not, they do little to generate sustainable economic growth. Sustainable economic growth depends on productivity. Despite these new innovations, domestic productivity is flat lining.

2015-07-13 00:00:00 The Black Widow Returns by Richard Bernstein of Richard Bernstein Advisors

Strategies based on stretching for yield have a long history of surprising investors with unanticipated risks.

2015-07-02 00:00:00 Looking for Income in All the Right Places by Morgan Harting, Martin Atkin of AllianceBernstein

Investors and advisors know they can’t depend solely on the old standbys—bonds, high-dividend stocks and cash—to produce income today, and they’re ready to try a new approach. But which one?

2015-06-17 00:00:00 Concentrated Funds: Benefits of a Focused Approach by Stephen Grant, Cindy Starke of Value Line Funds

Since Value Line Funds launched its first mutual fund in 1950, the investment industry has evolved considerably. To meet the needs of today’s investor, the fund family line-up has retooled in recent years, including re-branding two equity funds as concentrated portfolios of 30-50 positions. In this paper, we highlight research demonstrating the benefits of the focused approach provided by concentrated funds.

2015-05-19 00:00:00 Do Goldman Sachs' Funds Add Value for Investors? by Larry Swedroe (Article)

Over the last few years, an expanding line of mutual funds created by commercial banks such as Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase have been drawing billions of dollars from investors looking to earn a good return. While the fees these funds have generated are among the few consistent bright spots of growth on Wall Street, the question for investors is whether or not the active mutual funds managed by these banks actually have been good investment choices.

2015-03-31 00:00:00 The Final Say on Spending Rules by Laurence B. Siegel (Article)

After decades of focused research, why can't finance experts decide on a safe withdrawal rate for retirement? It is time to refocus this debate by asking a slightly different question: Is there a spending rule that retirees can use over a fixed time horizon? There is and I call it "the only spending rule you will ever need."

2015-01-20 00:00:00 What is a Deep Value Investor? by (Article)

Deep value investors have a long-term focus and are not fixated on quarterly earnings. They're looking for companies with the ability to compound wealth over time.

2014-09-09 00:00:00 How Rare are Housing Bubbles? Understanding the Case-Shiller Index and its Counterparts by Cesar A. Orosco and Laurence B. Siegel (Article)

Do house prices experience periodic bull and bear markets like the stock market? Or are they stable in real (inflation-adjusted) terms most of the time, with big disruptions once or twice in a century? Two popular house price series tell these very different stories. Knowing which is better will lead to superior investment outcomes and improved policy decisions.

2014-09-09 00:00:00 Growing Income and Wealth with High-Dividend Equities by C. Thomas Howard, PhD (Article)

High-dividend equities have significant advantages for growing income and wealth: getting sufficient yield, keeping up with inflation and outliving available funds. Such a portfolio produces higher income per dollar invested, growing income and principal over time, higher total returns, lower volatility and a reduced risk of outliving savings.

2014-08-05 00:00:00 The Wealth-Builder Model by C. Thomas Howard, PhD (Article)

While the math of compounding is straightforward, building wealth is difficult. But if you use an approach based on the principles outlined in this article, the accumulation of real wealth is within reach.

2014-07-01 00:00:00 Chuck Royce on 2Q14: Fundamentals Reassert Their Importance by Chuck Royce of The Royce Funds

Since the May 2013 low for the 10-year Treasury, we have seen the market shift its focus to more fundamentally and financially stronger companies with attractive long-term prospects—qualities that we have always championed at Royce.

2014-06-26 00:00:00 Economic Update by Team of Northern Trust

U.S. real gross domestic product (GDP) fell at an annual rate of 2.9% in the first quarter. However, forward economic momentum is intact.

2014-05-29 00:00:00 A Stealth Recovery by Pamela Rosenau of HighTower Advisors

In the fall of 2010, I had written that several indicators suggested the U.S. was entering “stealth economic recovery” mode. This “stealth” recovery coupled with low interest rates and changing demographics were going to usher us into “the age of the Dividend Darlings -- companies that pay sizeable, sustainable, and growing dividends.” Investors would not only replace their income exposure to lower yielding bonds, but also focus on growing income in the equity market.

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.?

2014-04-15 00:00:00 Running Backwards to Catch Up by Jerry Wagner of Flexible Plan Investments

Did you ever try to run backwards? I find walking backwards difficult enough. Running in reverse can send you tumbling.

2014-04-05 00:00:00 The Lions in the Grass, Revisited by John Mauldin of Millennium Wave Advisors

Today we explore a few things we can see and then try to foresee a few things that are not quite so obvious. The simple premise is that it is not the lions we can see lounging in plain view that are the most insidious threat, but rather that in trying to avoid those we may stumble upon lions hidden in the grass.

2014-04-04 00:00:00 Do You Think You Can Be Effective in Market Forecasting? by Robert Isbitts of Sungarden Investment Research

It is important to understand that no one can predict the future with certainty. Investors should take so-called expert forecasts with a grain of salt. Effective portfolio management is not about forecasting the future and then clinging to that forecast. It?s about continuously evaluating information and market conditions and then making adjustments when necessary to pursue the ultimate goal. To paraphrase long time market watcher Steve Leuthold, ?Predictions are for show, our decisions within the portfolio are for dough.?

2014-03-16 00:00:00 Inequality and Opportunity by John Mauldin of Millennium Wave Advisors

Today we will continue our thinking about income inequality, and I will respond to some of your letters, as they make good launching points for further discussion of the topic.

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.

2014-03-04 00:00:00 Malthus, Marx, and Modern Growth by Kenneth Rogoff of Project Syndicate

The promise that each generation will be better off than the last is a fundamental tenet of modern society. But will future generations, particularly in advanced economies, realize such expectations?

2014-02-28 00:00:00 Drug Retail On A Roll by of GaveKal Capital

While the MSCI World consumer staples sector is not the source of scorching growth, there are some decent growth opportunities. Let's start by calibrating the drug retail industry within the consumer staples sector.

2014-02-15 00:00:00 The Economic Singularity by John Mauldin of Millennium Wave Advisors

Today, let’s think about central banks and liquidity traps and see if we agree that central bankers are driving the car from the back seat based upon a fundamentally flawed theory of how the world works. That theory helped produce the wreck that was the Great Recession and will have its fingerprints all over the next one.

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.

2014-01-04 00:00:00 Forecast 2014: The Human Transformation Revolution by John Mauldin of Millennium Wave Advisors

It is that time of the year when we peer into our darkened crystal balls in hopes of seeing portents of the future in the shadowy mists. This year I see three distinct wisps of vapor coalescing in the coming years. Each deserves its own treatment, so this year the annual forecast issue will in fact be three separate weekly pieces.

2013-12-31 00:00:00 China's Policy Disharmony by Stephen Roach of Project Syndicate

China was hardly lacking in policy pronouncements in the final months of 2013. Given the likely tradeoffs between strategy and tactics - that is, between long-term reforms and short-term growth - can Chinese policymakers really accomplish all of their objectives?

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?

2013-12-07 00:00:00 Interview with Steve Forbes by John Mauldin of Millennium Wave Advisors

For whatever reason, Steve Forbes seems to bring out the passion in me. When I think about what central bank policies are doing to savers and investors, how we are screwing around with the pension system, circumventing rational market expectations because of an untested economic theory held by a relatively small number of academics, I get a little exercised. And Steve gives me the freedom to do it.

2013-12-05 00:00:00 US Corporate Profit Margins Increase Again In The 3Q by Team of GaveKal Capital

US corporate profit margins are at their second highest level ever at 10.14%. The highest level was reached in the 4Q11 when profit margins spiked to 10.27%.

2013-12-04 00:00:00 US Economic Data Round-Up by Team of GaveKal Capital

ADP payroll data surprised to the upside today (215k vs 185k expected). It was the highest reading so far this year. Perhaps most encouragingly the gain was lead by small businesses.

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.

2013-11-17 00:00:00 The Unintended Consequences of ZIRP by John Mauldin of Millennium Wave Advisors

Two recently released papers make an intellectual and theoretical case for an extended period of very low interest rates and, in combination with other papers from both inside and outside the Fed from heavyweight economists, make a strong case for beginning to taper sooner rather than later, but for accompanying that tapering with a commitment to an even more protracted period of ZIRP. We are going analyze these papers, as they are critical to understanding the future direction of Federal Reserve policy. Secondly, we’ll look at some of the unintended consequences of long-term ZIRP.

2013-11-11 00:00:00 The Uncertain Future of Central Bank Supremacy by Mohamed El-Erian of Project Syndicate

Advanced countries’ central banks were among the first to warn that their ability to compensate for other policymakers’ inaction is neither endless nor risk-free. The trouble is that few outsiders seem to be listening, much less preparing to confront the limits of monetary policy’s effectiveness.

2013-10-17 00:00:00 The U.S. Budget Deal: Peace, for a Time by Team of Northern Trust

Less than 24 hours before the U.S. Treasury Department ran out of room to borrow, Congress arrived at an agreement to reopen the government and steer away from debt default. This news came as a great relief, but that feeling may only last a few months. Following are some highlights and an initial analysis of the accord.

2013-10-12 00:00:00 Sometimes They Ring a Bell by John Mauldin of Millennium Wave Advisors

Three items have come across my screen in the past month that, taken together, truly do signal a major turning point in how energy is discovered, transported, and transformed. And while we’ll start with a story that most of us are somewhat aware of, there is an even larger transformation happening that I think argues against the negative research that has come out in the last few years about the reduced potential for growth in the world economy.

2013-10-07 00:00:00 Goose Bump Stuff... by Michael Kayes of Willingdon Wealth Management

Scientific research and discovery has always been an important aspect of American life. This, in itself, should make us hopeful.

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.

2013-09-25 00:00:00 Muni Market Resurgent by Andrew Clinton of Clinton Investment Management

In light of the recent recovery in fixed income markets and the outperformance of the municipal bond market in particular, I thought I would send a note to provide a brief update since we last sent our market observations in July and August. As you may recall, we stated in the clearest terms that we felt the recent rise in interest rates provided an attractive entry point for municipal bond investors.

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.

2013-08-31 00:00:00 How Do I Hate Thee? by John Mauldin of Millennium Wave Advisors

I will list a number of reasons why I hate this market and then suggest a few reasons why that should get you excited. We will look at some charts, and I’ll briefly comment on them. No deep dives this week, just a survey of the general landscape.

2013-08-25 00:00:00 France: On the Edge of the Periphery by John Mauldin of Millennium Wave Advisors

Charles de Gaulle said that "France cannot be France without greatness." The current path that France is on will not take it to renewed greatness but rather to insolvency and turmoil. Is France destined to be grouped with its Mediterranean peripheral cousins, or to be seen as part of the solid North Atlantic core? The world is far better off with a great France, but France can achieve greatness only by its own actions.

2013-08-17 00:00:00 Signs of the Top by John Mauldin of Millennium Wave Advisors

The investment media seems obsessed with the question of whether the Fed will taper. The real question should be not about "tapering" but about credibility. What happens when fundamentals become the narrative as opposed to what the central bank is doing? What happens if the Federal Reserve throws a liquidity party and nobody comes? Today we look at some of the fundamentals. The market is in fact overvalued, but that doesn’t mean it can’t become more overvalued. Is this August 1987 or August 1999?

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

2013-07-29 00:00:00 Misreading Chinese Rebalancing by Stephen Roach of Project Syndicate

China’s economic slowdown has caused Western pundits to succumb, once again, to the “China Crash” syndrome. But, though the composition of Chinese GDP growth appears disconcerting, the rebalancing of any economy a major structural transformation in the sources of output growth can hardly be expected to occur overnight.

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.

2013-07-16 00:00:00 Deficit? What Deficit? by Brian Wesbury, Bob Stein of First Trust Advisors

Hope that title caught your attention, but, you should know, we are only half joking. In June, the federal government recorded a $116.5 billion surplus! Yep, you read that right surplus! the largest surplus for any June ever. Government spending fell to $170 billion for June, 47% below last year.

2013-07-13 00:00:00 The Bang! Moment Shock by John Mauldin of Millennium Wave Advisors

This week we resume our musings about Cyprus, to see what that tiny island can teach us about our own personal need to engage in ongoing critical analysis of our lives and investment portfolios. Cyprus is not Greece or France or Spain or Japan or the US or (pick a country). I get that. No two situations are the same, but there may be a rhyme or two here that is instructive.

2013-07-10 00:00:00 Stocks v. Bonds: What Happens When Prices Decouple? by Mark Ungewitter of Charter Trust Company

Are today’s falling bond prices a sign of confidence in economic growth and earnings power? Or might higher bond yields derail the current equity bull market? While the answer is far from clear, history teaches us to be cautious when bond prices decline sharply during an extended equity rally.

2013-07-01 00:00:00 "This Country is Different" by John Mauldin of Millennium Wave Advisors

Cyprus is a very small country, some 800,000 people. Among the leadership, everyone knows everyone. There is much to admire, as we will see. But Cyprus has had a gut-wrenching crisis, proportionately more dire than any in other European countries recently; and precedents are being established here for how future problems will be dealt with in the Eurozone and elsewhere.

2013-06-17 00:00:00 Sector Distortions Can Be Costly in Passive Investing by Joseph Paul, Kevin Simms of AllianceBernstein

Passive investing strategies that emulate an index have become increasingly popular. But passive investing can go awry when sector concentrations leave investors exposed to unintended risks.

2013-06-15 00:00:00 Economists Are (Still) Clueless by John Mauldin of Millennium Wave Advisors

The economic forecasts of mainstream economists are quite positive, if not enirely optimistic, reflecting the current data. Should we not take heart from that? Alas, no. This week we look at some of our recent musings on that topic, triggered by a letter from a very serious economist who took umbrage when I wrote disparagingly about economists and forecasting a couple months ago.

2013-06-08 00:00:00 Banzai! Banzai! Banzai! by John Mauldin of Millennium Wave Advisors

In practice it may be harder for Japan to grow and generate inflation than it might be for other major nations. Today we’ll focus on Japanese demographics. While the letter is full of graphs and charts, it does not paint a pretty picture. The forces of deflation will not go gently into that good night.

2013-06-01 00:00:00 Central Bankers Gone Wild by John Mauldin of Millennium Wave Advisors

For the last two weeks we have focused on the problems facing Japan, and such is the importance of Japan to the world economy that this week we will once again turn to the Land of the Rising Sun. I will try to summarize the situation facing the Japanese. This is critical to understand, because they are determined to share their problems with the world, and we will have no choice but to deal with them. Japan is going to affect your economy and your investments, no matter where you live; Japan is that important.

2013-05-25 00:00:00 The Mother of All Painted-In Corners by John Mauldin of Millennium Wave Advisors

Japan has painted itself into the mother all corners. There will be no clean or easy exit. There is going to be massive economic pain as they the Japanese try and find a way out of their problems, and sadly, the pain will not be confined to Japan. This will be the true test of the theories of neo-Keynesianism writ large. Japan is going to print and monetize and spend more than almost any observer can currently imagine. You like what Paul Krugman prescribes? You think he makes sense? You (we all!) are going to be participants in a real-world experiment on how that works out.

2013-04-30 00:00:00 Implementing Behavioral Portfolio Management by C. Thomas Howard, PhD (Article)

Behavioral portfolio management is based on the notion that if the advisor can redirect his or her emotions and mitigate the impact of client emotions, it is possible to build superior portfolios by harnessing market emotions. This article describes how this can be done and presents evidence of the superiority of focusing on investor behavior when constructing and managing portfolios.

2013-04-29 00:00:00 Long Live China's Slowdown by Stephen Roach of Project Syndicate

China doubters around the world have been quick to pounce on slower-than-expected GDP growth in the first quarter of this year. But slower growth is actually good for China provided that it reflects the long-awaited shift to an economic structure that draws greater support from domestic private consumption.

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.

2013-03-26 00:00:00 Adapting the Yale Model for Clients by C. Thomas Howard, PhD and Lambert Bunker (Article)

The Yale University endowment fund is one of the most successful in the country, with a 10-year return besting the endowment universe average return by 300 basis points and the Wilshire 5000 return by 400 basis points. David Swensen is the architect of this program, and his guiding principles are widely used to manage large endowments. They are equally useful for client portfolios.

2013-03-21 00:00:00 PMI What Does It Really Tell Us? by Adam Peck of Heartland Advisors

Recently we’ve been seeing positive readings from the Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), news that may seem as though it would be good for all stocks. In fact, though, a look at the performance of the S&P 500 and the PMI since 1995 shows that this is not necessarily the case.

2013-03-07 00:00:00 Mexico Breaking Good? by Kenneth Rogoff of Project Syndicate

Mexico is enjoying a manufacturing boom that has boosted its exports to the US after a long secular decline. With China's wages soaring and rising oil prices driving up shipping costs, production in Mexico is suddenly looking much more attractive, even taking security concerns into account.

2013-02-26 00:00:00 The Postman May Not Ring at All by Paul DiGiacomo of Columbia Management

United States Postal Service is technically insolvent. Last year, the agency exhausted its borrowing capacity and failed to pay $11 billion into its retiree health plan. This year, it will not make a $6 billion contribution. While the current cash balance of $2 billion is sufficient for 10 days of operation, management forecasts a $100 million deficit by October. When payments to employees and suppliers end, so too will the mail.

2013-02-06 00:00:00 Where Will Home Prices Rise the Most? Check the Law. by Adam Artunian of John Burns Real Estate Consulting

Inventories have plummeted in Western markets over the last year, helping to spur robust price growth. Our home price index (below) shows just how much price appreciation has occurred (the index is 5+/- months more current than Case Shiller and removes the mix-shift bias).

2013-01-31 00:00:00 Investing in the Robot Revolution: Part 1 by Catherine Wood, Michael Shavel of AllianceBernstein

As robots increasingly take over processes currently performed by humans, we believe that an inflection point in manufacturing automation is imminent. Transport and healthcare will quickly follow, with enormous social, economic and hence investment implications.

2013-01-02 00:00:00 The Unstarvable Beast by Kenneth Rogoff of Project Syndicate

As US President in the 1980's, the conservative icon Ronald Reagan described his approach to fiscal policy as "starve the beast": cutting taxes will eventually force people to accept less government spending. So why has the cost of government not only in the US continued to rise inexorably?

2012-12-11 00:00:00 Fine Wine - Why it's for More than Just Drinking by Mark E. Ricardo, JD, LLM, AAMS (Article)

For many investors, an ideal asset class would combine superior long-term absolute and risk-adjusted returns with a hedge against inflation and stock market volatility. There's a way to get all of that, in an asset class you might never have thought of until now: fine wine. Investment-grade wine deserves careful consideration, particularly now that - unlike other collectibles, such as art and rare books - it can be traded on a regulated exchange.

2012-10-09 00:00:00 High-Dividend Yield Strategy under the Microscope by Michael Nairne (Article)

High-dividend yield stocks have become the favorite recommendation of a host of advisors, but an undue focus on income alone obscures the irreducible fact that long-term investment success is based on the total return of a portfolio including both income and capital growth. This raises two questions. How has the total return of a high-dividend yield strategy fared relative to the market? How does its total-return performance compare to the returns of other possible stock-selection strategies?

2011-09-22 00:00:00 More Focus on Fixed Income by Team of American Century Investments

G. David MacEwen, discusses how volatile market conditions, a population boom in the 65+ years category, and increasingly conservative investment behavior by those in that category as they approach retirement (including growing demand for more predictable outcomes) are shifting the focus of investment strategies toward fixed income. We strongly believe that the scheduled, mostly predictable payments of interest and principal from bonds are becoming progressively more attractive to a growing pool of investors and their advisors.

2011-08-19 00:00:00 Paper Currencies Finally Redeemed for Gold by John Browne of Euro Pacific Capital

The basic unwillingness of politicians to face economic and financial realities has caused the United States and European Union to face currency collapse. The politicians are content literally to paper over the problem with massive amounts of newly printed currency. This means that savvy investors, facing major real losses, are turning increasingly to gold. In essence, even though currencies are no longer on a gold standard, they are increasingly being redeemed for gold in the marketplace.

2011-08-03 00:00:00 Yellow Jerseys by Doug MacKay and Bill Hoover of Broadleaf Partners

As an investor, it is important to realize that while you can win the occasional stage race by going it on your own and betting big on a single stock or perhaps along the outcome of a singular event like the debt ceiling, more often than not, the market like the peloton will usually catch and pass you by, leaving you in the dust. Like the peloton, evidence suggests that few investment managers outperform the market year in and year out, but over time, those that understand the race they are in significantly increase their odds of emerging victorious.

2011-07-14 00:00:00 The Brightening Air by Christian Thwaites of Sentinel Investments

A casual empiricist would conclude that the US economy is troubled: weak GNP, employment, housing and slowdowns in the important ISM and Fed surveys. But a longer perspective shows this is entirely in keeping with a recovery from a deep-seated financial and borrowing crisis. There are many signs that the US is picking itself up: manufacturing productivity, private sector job creation, corporate profitability and household deleveraging. Monetary policy has saved the economy from the insidious threat of deflation. Fiscal policy is meandering. Some of the answers are right in front of us.

2011-03-29 00:00:00 Is There More Room for Growth in US Equities? by BlackRock (Article)

There are risks to not being invested in today's improving environment. Given that equity valuations are fully supported by strong earnings, BlackRock believes that fundamentals argue strongly for an allocation to growth stocks. Read more to learn why.

2011-02-24 00:00:00 Our Five Year S&P 1500 and Sector Forecast by Kendall J. Anderson of Anderson Griggs

We believe that predicting short term swings in the market is an exercise in humility. Longer-term market predictions have value, but they should be based on a form of valuation methodology of the underlying securities that make up the market of choice. A consideration of the current mood of the market participants should also be included in that short term prices are driven by emotions.

2011-02-23 00:00:00 2011 Outlook: Private Equity by NB Alternatives private equity team of Neuberger Berman

As a result of the financial crisis, for the latter part of 2008 and all of 2009, very few new private equity transactions were completed and portfolio company monetization was minimal. However, the operating performance of existing private-equity portfolio companies was better than generally expected and investment returns were superior to public equity benchmarks. Although some of this outperformance can be attributed to the resistance of some private equity firms, we believe the majority of the outperformance was the result of effective cost cutting, cash conservation and debt reduction.

2011-01-28 00:00:00 The RAFI Five-year Scorecard by Rob Arnott of Research Affiliates

When the Fundamental Index concept was introduced, it was met with fierce attacks. Critics decried its backtested results as data-mining or said the approach was just a repackaged value investment process. Five years after the first RAFI indices went live, the proof is in: The methodology has generated superior performance during a period when value has lagged growth all over the world.

2011-01-09 00:00:00 2011 Outlook: U.S. Equities Cyclical and Seasonal Trends (Part 2) by Martin J. Pring of Pring Turner Capital Group

Part II addresses the cyclical and seasonal factors that will be in force during 2011. An analysis of the seasonal aspects will give us a better feel for the expected pattern of price behavior as the year unfolds. Since we do not know when the peak will actually materialize well discuss some indicators that should be monitored from the point of view of confirming when they have taken place. First though, lets take a closer look at some of the seasonal/cyclical patterns and how they might affect 2011.

2011-01-04 00:00:00 2011 Outlook: U.S. Equities Secular Trend (Part 1) by Martin J. Pring of Pring Turner Capital Group

In December 2009 we published an article entitled Are You Prepared for Another Lost Decade that argued the U.S. stock market has been in a secular bear market since 2000. Our objective now is to bring you up- to-date on our current views. Lets begin by outlining the characteristics of secular trends and recapping the case for a secular bear. In Part II we will examine the cyclical and seasonal outlook for 2011 and how this might dovetail into the secular picture.

2010-11-29 00:00:00 A Time to Invest in Africa by Nile Capital Management of Nile Capital Management

In this report, I will summarize my answer to the often-asked question: ?Why is this a good time for investors to focus on Africa?? I also will explain why the best way to participate in African markets and manage their risks is through an actively managed fund that offers ?feet-on-the-ground? expertise in Africa.

2010-08-23 00:00:00 Markets Are Pricing in the 'New Normal' by Charles Gave of GaveKal

Either the upcoming U.S. elections, in a repeat of 1994, will bring about a Congress able to reduce the pace of government spending, thus triggering a massive sell-off in government bonds and a significant rally in equity markets, or the expansion of the U.S. government will continue, in which case investors in U.S. government bond markets will likely thrive in a repeat of what happened in Japan over the past two decades. You can guess which outcome the biggest fixed income investment houses are rooting for.

2010-08-12 00:00:00 Asset Allocation: Volatility, Correlations and Returns in the New Environment by Tom and Rob Boeckh of Boeckh Investment Letter

Slow growth, high unemployment and weak inflation will keep interest rates very low in the short term. Rising government debt levels and heavy reliance on monetary ease from the Federal Reserve, however, suggest rising risks of price inflation later on, possibly much later. The current period of low long-term interest rates should thus be thought of as an extended base-building period for higher rates down the line. Investors should maintain a diversified portfolio, shifting equity exposure to defensive, non-cyclical sectors, and build positions in cash and safe sovereign debt.

2010-07-14 00:00:00 The Battle for Investment Survival and Our Five-Year Forecast by Kendall J. Anderson of Anderson Griggs

The S&P 500 has gained 52 percent since the March 2009 lows. Although this seems extraordinary, the current recovery is still slightly less than average compared to historical bear markets. An average recovery would have the markets appreciate more than 25 percent from this level over the next two years. Meanwhile, the potential return on equities over the next five years is just slightly above the normal returns for U.S. stock markets. All of this, combined with low interest rates, suggests that it would seem logical to remain in common stocks.

2010-05-06 00:00:00 Chipan? by Team of Emerald Asset Advisors

In this commentary, Emerald responds to a reader question about China and Japan. Emerald says that equities in both countries are overvalued, but that this is less important than the fact that buying pressure is still outweighing selling pressure. The long-term ascension of the Chinese economy is one of the most prominent secular themes in today's markets. Japan, on the other hand, like the U.S., faces an obvious mess. The ultimate ruler is price, however, and Japanese stock prices have stubbornly risen for many months without a long-overdue correction.

2010-04-21 00:00:00 Chocolate and the Mathematics of Loss by Doug Mackay and Bill Hoover of Broadleaf Partners

During the depths of the downturn a little over one year ago, many investors were quick to provide a lesson on the mathematics of loss. A 50 percent decline would require a subsequent 100 percent gain - not a 50 percent gain - to get back to even. Such truths, it seemed, were a justification for remaining bearish and a comfort perhaps to some, in making the painful decision to sell. Unfortunately, while the mathematics of loss is indeed an investing truth, it may also be an author of lies by suggesting that the only investor goal worth its salt is 'getting back to even.

2010-03-26 00:00:00 narrative power by tom brakke of the research puzzle

The investment world illustrates the power of narrative. People up and down the informational food chain use stories to enlighten and deceive. For stock investors, many stories originate with companies and their officers, who learn that crafting a narrative that puts everything in the best light is part of their leadership role. Sell side analysts sometimes reinforce those messages by making the telling of certain stories part of their brands. Investors must therefore read widely and read well, and realize that understanding comes from taking nothing for granted and questioning everything.

2010-03-12 00:00:00 Changing Seasons by Doug Mackay and Bill Hoover of Broadleaf Partners

The economy is shifting from its early recovery phase of rapid growth into a late expansion phase of moderate growth. While low interest rates were critical to market success in 2009 during the early stages of the expansion, economic growth patterns tend to have greater influence in later stages. As economic seasons change, it will be necessary for investors to weed out bad stocks, prune healthy ones and transplant names in order to maintain the vitality of their overall portfolios.

2010-02-23 00:00:00 An Analysis of the Risk and Return of Small/Mid-Cap Growth by David Vincent (Article)

In this guest contribution, David Vincent of Fred Alger says investors interested in gaining exposure to the small-capitalization growth equity style should consider the small/mid ("SMid") capitalization style as a way to capture the benefits of small-cap growth.

2010-01-29 00:00:00 GDP Rises to Highest Levels Since 2003 by Team of Bespoke Investment Group

Bespoke comments on the higher-than-expected GDP announcement. They note that earnings announcements so far this season have been strong and ?based on what we've seen so far in terms of guidance,

2010-01-15 00:00:00 Rationalizing with Big Red, Ben Bernanke and Harry Markowitz by Anderson of Anderson Griggs

2010-01-07 00:00:00 Fourth Quarter 2009 Review by MacKay of Broadleaf Partners


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