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

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2015-07-17 00:00:00 Tracking the Market with Social Media by Blair Jensen of Trade Followers

I’m starting to see signs that market participants on Twitter are turning from bullish to neutral. This is the first sign of longer term weakness from the Twitter stream that I’ve seen since mid to late 2012. Before the strong rally that started in late 2012 it was common for 7 day momentum to stay below zero for extended periods of time as traders were accustom to periodic corrections. The lack of a decline greater than 10% in since then has kept 7 day momentum mostly above zero with a few small dips that quickly reverse higher. It seems that we’ve all been conditioned to buy the dip.

2015-07-16 00:00:00 Sometimes Waterfalls Aren’t Beautiful by Jerry Wagner of Flexible Plan Investments

Over 25 years ago I took my family (my wife, Pat, and two sons, Michael and David) to the big island of Hawaii. It was a dream comes true. We’d been to Honolulu, Kauai, and Maui, but not to the Big Island. Our family spent two weeks in a car circumnavigating the isle on our own. It was a joy not to be forgotten. Early on in our trip, it became apparent that the major island attractions (after the live volcano that is) were the waterfalls. We seemed to race from one waterfall to another as we circled the island.

2015-07-02 00:00:00 Home of the Free, Land of the Entrepreneur by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Where else but in America can a startup such as Uber be valued at $50 billion, higher than 80 percent of the companies in the S&P 500 Index, only six years after its founding? Where else but in America can someone reach billionaire status by inventing a new type of hosiery, as Sara Blakely did with Spanx? Before her now-ubiquitous undergarments were worn by women—and now men—all over the globe, Blakely was so broke that she had to write her own patent without the help of an attorney.

2015-06-22 00:00:00 Gasoline Volume Sales and our Changing Culture by Doug Short (Article)

The Department of Energy's Energy Information Administration (EIA) monthly data on volume sales is several weeks old when it released. The latest numbers, through mid-April, are now available. However, despite the lag, this report offers an interesting perspective on fascinating aspects of the US economy. Gasoline prices and increases in fuel efficiency are important factors, but there are also some significant demographic and cultural dynamics in this data series.

2015-06-15 00:00:00 Don’t Follow The News? More Like Don’t Overreact To The News by Roger Nusbaum of AdvisorShares

Tadas Viskanta has a great blog post up titled Make More By Doing (and listening) Less. The general tone of the article is the extent to which investors too frequently are influenced by stock market media enough that they make changes to their portfolio that end up being the wrong thing to have done.

2015-06-05 00:00:00 Tracking the Market with Social Media by Blair Jensen of Trade Followers

Last week the Twitter stream warned of a choppy market or a short term top. This week I’m starting to see signs of chasing by market participants. The daily momentum indicator that tracks sentiment for the S&P 500 index (SPX) on the Twitter stream is being whipped back and forth with fairly large prints (greater than +13 or less than -13). This is causing 7 day momentum to rise rapidly when the market climbs then fall rapidly when the market declines. This pattern usually indicates chasing by traders and adds instability to the market due to the indecision and quick flip flops in positions.

2015-05-29 00:00:00 Can China Handle Political Satire? by Patricia Huang of Matthews Asia

Comic entertainment in China is taking some turns. But exactly what topics one can poke fun at is still a bit murky in this authoritarian state. Is China ready for political satire? Asia Weekly explores.

2015-05-19 00:00:00 On the Road to Normal by Charlie Dreifus of The Royce Funds

While conflicting signs of economic strength are, for the time being, stalling a rise in rates, Portfolio Manager Charlie Dreifus continues to believe that active stock picking remains an attractive approach in the current environment.

2015-05-12 00:00:00 As Volatility Rises, Momentum Loses by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

With volatility rising, BlackRock Global Chief Investment Strategist Russ Koesterich discusses implications for the markets, especially momentum stocks.

2015-05-11 00:00:00 Tracking the Market with Social Media by Blair Jensen of Trade Followers

I’ve posted warnings of a short term top for the S&P 500 Index (SPX) over the past couple of weeks and since that time the market has been choppy. I’m now seeing evidence of sentiment from the Twitter stream that indicates SPX is due for a move higher. The evidence suggests that SPX should break out of its recent range. The first clue comes from 7 day momentum which has moved down into oversold territory.

2015-05-07 00:00:00 Be Vigilant - not Paranoid - about CyberSecurity by David Edwards of Heron Financial Group

Sony, JP Morgan Chase, Target, Home Depot attacked. Russian, Chinese, North Korean, stateless hackers blamed. Stories about identity theft, e-mail hacks, and elder abuse blanket the news. No wonder many of our clients fear it's just a matter of time before the cyber criminals attack them personally. Fortunately, with a reasonable amount of vigilance, you can avoid becoming a victim.

2015-04-30 00:00:00 Why 2015 Does Not Look Like Y2K by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

Russ explains why today’s U.S. technology rally is different from the tech bubble we experienced back in 2000. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index hit a new record last week, as a broader rally in stocks helped nudge it past its 2000 peak. At the same time, mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and initial public offering (IPO) activities continue to gather speed.

2015-04-28 00:00:00 Tracking the Market with Social Media by Blair Jensen of Trade Followers

Sentiment and momentum calculated from the Twitter stream for the S&P 500 index (SPX) is still confirming the uptrend, but has turned down as the market rises. This shows a lack of confidence by traders on Twitter that the market can move immediately to new all time highs.

2015-04-12 00:00:00 Weighing the Week Ahead: The Start of an Earnings Recession? by Jeff Miller of New Arc Investments

The year-over-year growth rate for forward earnings has once again turned positive. We can and should be on the watch for a true recession – the source of major earnings declines. The talk about an “earnings recession” should not be a source of worry.

2015-04-08 00:00:00 Creative Self-Disruption by Mohamed El-Erian of Project Syndicate

Companies like Uber, Apple, and Airbnb have succeeded by exploiting a fundamental trend affecting nearly all industries: individual empowerment through the Internet, app technology, digitalization, and social media. If traditional firms hope to remain competitive, they must follow suit.

2015-04-07 00:00:00 Tracking the Market with Social Media by Blair Jensen of Trade Followers

Over the past week the market worked off the overbought condition created in the Trade Followers momentum indicator calculated from the Twitter stream for the S&P 500 index (SPX). The daily prints have been mostly positive even though the market was declining. This indicates market participants on Twitter believe that healthy consolidation is occurring rather than the start of a new down trend. 7 day momentum continues to hold its up trend line which confirms the move higher out of the January lows as well.

2015-04-02 00:00:00 How should we think about risk today in an investment world that has largely rewarded it? by Francis Gannon of The Royce Funds

The removal of "patience" from the Federal Reserve's vernacular might be as close as investors get to a more concrete timeframe for an increase in interest rates, at least for now.

2015-04-01 00:00:00 That’s So Overrated: How Credit Ratings Do Damage by Jeff Skoglund of AllianceBernstein

Credit rating agencies are a capital-markets fixture; the ratings they assign to the debt of corporations and governments are widely used by investors as a standard measure of credit risk. But agency credit ratings aren’t perfect—and shouldn’t be a substitute for investors doing their own analysis.

2015-03-25 00:00:00 Signs of a Normalizing Market by Chris Clark of The Royce Funds

In the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, the Fed's monetary stimulus programs had the unintended effect of suspending the historically typical functioning of capital markets in terms of the productive and destructive uses of capital. Today, the fiscal climate is beginning to change. President and Co-Chief Investment Officer Chris Clark takes a look at what's happening in the current market and talks about why our discipline could be rewarded in the foreseeable future.

2015-03-23 00:00:00 Tracking the Market with Social Media by Blair Jensen of Trade Followers

The Trade Followers 7 Day momentum indicator for the S&P 500 index (SPX) has confirmed the new uptrend and is indicating that it will most likely have staying power. One kink in the works is that momentum is overbought. This indicates that the market will need to digest recent gains before it can break to all time highs.

2015-03-21 00:00:00 Optimism, Pessimism and Opportunity by Ed Perks of Franklin Templeton

Given that the S&P 500 has been on a tear since 2008, logging double-digit returns in five of the past six years, and US Treasury rates remain near historical low levels, many investors are questioning their prospects for long-term total return. Ed Perks, chief investment officer and portfolio manager, Franklin Equity Group®, offers his views on why he remains optimistic about the US market’s prospects, and where he’s looking for investment opportunities today.

2015-03-10 00:00:00 The 6th Anniversary of 676 by David Edwards of Heron Financial Group

On March 9th, 2009, the S&P 500 made an intra-day and 20 year low at 676.53. Millions of Americans drew a straight line from the mid-September 2008 failure of Lehman Brothers through that March low and projected that the S&P 500 would be zero by June. Armed with that projection, average investors liquidated hundreds of billions of dollars in stock investments, never to return. Those investors will never be able to retire.

2015-03-09 00:00:00 Tracking the Market with Social Media by Blair Jensen of Trade Followers

Last week we highlighted several signs coming from Twitter that a short term top was in the making. One of them was Twitter momentum for the S&P 500 Index (SPX) turning down from over bought levels and at the same time creating a negative divergence. This week momentum is warning that the selling we saw last week will most likely continue. After painting a negative divergence, 7 day momentum has broken its newly formed uptrend line. This suggests that investors and traders are not committed and were quick to exit positions established during the February rally.

2015-03-02 00:00:00 Tracking the Market with Social Media by Blair Jensen of Trade Followers

Over the past week we got several signals from the Twitter stream that a short term top is likely. At the very least we should see a choppy market rather than a strong rally higher.

2015-02-19 00:00:00 Great Expectations for Small-Cap Active Management by Chuck Royce, Chris Clark, and Francis Gannon of The Royce Funds

Widening credit spreads, increasing volatility, and decreasing stock correlation should allow stock pickers the chance to emerge as performance leaders. We continue to see good times ahead for active managers who focus on business fundamentals.

2015-02-17 00:00:00 Tracking the Market with Social Media by Blair Jensen of Trade Followers

As the S&P 500 Index (SPX) made a new closing high this week momentum and sentiment from both Twitter and StockTwits confirmed the move by making a print above their prior peaks. 7 Day momentum from Twitter also has a higher low which indicates a new uptrend is most likely under way.

2015-02-10 00:00:00 Evensky & Katz Newsletter by Harold Evensky of Evensky & Katz

Harold Evensky presents his quarterly newsletter.

2015-02-09 00:00:00 Tracking the Market with Social Media by Blair Jensen of Trade Followers

Traders on Twitter and StockTwits are still waiting for a break of the current range before making any commitment to the market. As the S&P 500 Index (SPX) has oscillated in a range between 1990 and 2065 the Trade Followers momentum and sentiment indicators have continued to fall. The StockTwits community is getting more bearish as the range continues. The new up trend line from StockTwits has been broken to the downside which indicates there was no enthusiasm for last week’s rally.

2015-02-04 00:00:00 Is It Time for Our Industry To Embrace Mass Personalization? by Patty Quinn McAuley of Clark Capital Management Group

Nike. Coca-Cola. Oakley. They are all top brands in the global marketplace and they have all led the charge towards mass customization and personalization. You can build a custom pair of Nike Free Run sneakers online, incorporating your favorite designs and colors. You can put your name on a virtual Coke bottle and “share” it on social media. You can even custom-build your own shades on Oakley.com, creating your own unique pair of sunglasses.

2015-02-02 00:00:00 Tracking the Market with Social Media by Blair Jensen of Trade Followers

Last week the Trade Followers social media indicators for the S&P 500 Index (SPX) suggested that the market wasn’t out of the woods yet due to several factors. Chief among them was a warning from our sector sentiment readings. They indicated that market participants were rotating to safety as the market rallied. Every time all sectors were positive since we’ve been tracking them has resulted in a short term top within two weeks.

2015-01-12 00:00:00 Tracking the Market with Social Media by Blair Jensen of Trade Followers

The Trade Followers Momentum indicator for the S&P 500 Index (SPX) continues to show chasing by market participants. Traders are jumping quickly from one side of the market to the other as price moves in large daily swings. The chasing increases instability because traders are not committed to positions. This shows up as Twitter and StockTwits 7 day momentum painting a pattern that mirrors price. This indicator is suggesting caution is warranted.

2015-01-09 00:00:00 Shades of APEC Blue by Raymond Deng of Matthews Asia

During last year's Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, Beijing revealed stunning blue skies to replace its normally smog-choked atmosphere?a result of intentional government closings of factories and roads. Producing "APEC blue" as it came to be called was a complicated and expensive task. Asia Weekly explores such initiatives in China.

2015-01-07 00:00:00 Economic Optimism Abounds As Crude Oil Plunges by Gary Halbert of Halbert Wealth Management

Each year at this time, we see a plethora of fresh forecasts for the New Year, and this year is certainly no exception, especially with the recent implosion in oil prices. There is widespread agreement that sharply lower energy prices will provide a boost to the global economy this year, especially for oil-importing nations including the US.

2014-12-29 00:00:00 The Coming Crash in 2015: Why there will be no Happy New Year before we see QE Reloaded by Franz Lischka of Franz Lischka

In September 2013 in my post How QE Alters Bond Yields (Or Rather How It Does Not) I wrote that historically the end of QE was associated with the following 4 events, which I expected to show up again after the end of the latest QE-programs (which in some cases was completely against the market consensus of that time).

2014-12-10 00:00:00 2015 Year Ahead: Continuing to Deflate the Global Credit Bubble by Richard Bernstein of Richard Bernstein Advisors

Stock market leadership virtually always changes when volatility significantly spikes, and the 2008 bear market was no exception. Credit-related asset classes led the markets for the decade prior to 2008 as the global credit bubble inflated. Since 2008?s bear market, however, leadership has significantly changed and credit-related asset classes have generally underperformed plain, old-fashioned stocks.

2014-11-17 00:00:00 Tracking the Market with Social Media by Blair Jensen of Trade Followers

The Trade Followers Twitter Momentum indicator for the S&P 500 Index (SPX) continued to drift this week as the market posted a small gain. It is attempting to turn down, but lack of confidence from the bears on Twitter is holding 7 day momentum up. The StockTwits indicator moved up into what is normally an overbought condition that has caused the market to pause in the past. Both streams are indicating that we should see some consolidation or sideways movement over the next week.

2014-11-10 00:00:00 Tracking the Market with Social Media by Blair Jensen of Trade Followers

The Trade Followers Momentum indicator for the S&P 500 Index (SPX) has been drifting sideways over the past few weeks. This drift comes near levels that have often meant some consolidation in price is warranted. However, traders on Twitter are now tweeting higher price targets. This gives the market a chance to drift to the 2040 or 2050 area while 7 day Twitter and StockTwits momentum move up into overbought readings.

2014-10-31 00:00:00 Trick or Treat? Slow Global Growth Hits Cyclical Sectors Hardest by Francis Gannon of The Royce Funds

As of October 13, the small-cap Russell 2000 Index was down 12.9% from its 2014 high on July 3a double-digit correction not seen in more than three years. With the U.S. economy slowly improving and Fed tapering winding down as scheduled, what is driving this pullback? Co-Chief Investment Officer Francis Gannon talks about economic growth beyond our borders and how it has been playing a role in shifting investor sentiment.

2014-10-30 00:00:00 Newsletter by Harold Evensky of Evensky & Katz

Harold Evensky presents his quarterly newsletter.

2014-10-23 00:00:00 When Will Rates Potentially Rise? by Team of Osterweis Capital Management

When 2014 started, some Wall Street strategists predicted a continuing rise in interest rates as U.S. economic growth accelerated and the Federal Reserve (the Fed) reduced its monthly stimulus. Instead, it has been a one-way street in government bond markets as they continued to deliver low yields at higher prices. In August, the yield on the benchmark U.S. 10-year Note fell to 2.3%, back down to June 2013 levels.

2014-10-14 00:00:00 Tracking the Market with Social Media by Blair Jensen of Downside Hedge

The Trade Followers Momentum indicators for the S&P 500 Index (SPX) continue to confirm lower prices with a series of lower highs. After trying to bounce, SPX broke through the 1955 support level that has been important on the Twitter stream for several weeks. It closed Friday near the next major support level of 1905 with 7 day momentum painting a small positive divergence with price.

2014-09-18 00:00:00 Then and Now by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James

Dallas-based Greenbrier Partners is captained by my friend Frederick E. Rowe, who is fondly referred to as Shad. Now anyone from Virginia is familiar with the fish known as a shad, and are probably familiar with the political event known as the Shad Planking.

2014-09-05 00:00:00 Tennis star Li Na exemplifies China's newfound entrepreneurial spirit. by Patricia Huang of Matthews Asia

After advancing to her first grand slam semifinals, Peng Shuai is China's newest late-career surprise at the U.S. Open. Her compatriot, tennis star Li Na, was the first Chinese player to claim a grand slam singles title, and her success has bolstered the sport's popularity back home in recent years. Both players were among the handful of pioneers to break from the country's state-sponsored teams to take greater control of their futures. This week Patricia Huang writes about China's newfound entrepreneurial spirit.

2014-08-20 00:00:00 What's Your Exit? by Axel Merk of Merk Investments

Are you prepared for an Exit? If the Fed pursues an exit from ultra low interest rate policy, are you be prepared for an exit from the stock market should things turn South? We discuss how investors prepare, noting the most common mistakes investors make along the way.

2014-07-28 00:00:00 How High is High? (To Whom?) by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James

I have a number of friends who succeeded as investors in the late 1960s, and they are succeeding now. The key to their success more than 20 years ago was that they managed to get out with most of their capital when the market turned down. Most investors were not so astute.

2014-07-24 00:00:00 Small Caps in Focus Following Fed Comments by Jeremy Schwartz of WisdomTree

In conjunction with Janet Yellens testimony before Congress on July 15, the Federal Reserve produced a Monetary PolicyReport1 that provides an update on monetary policy, economic conditions and financial markets.

2014-07-24 00:00:00 More Volatility Ahead? by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

Despite recent market swings, volatility is still very low by historic standards, suggesting that markets arent taking into account the prospect of bad news and that investors should prepare for more turbulence ahead.

2014-07-22 00:00:00 Anatomy of a Moat by Kenneth Lowe of Matthews Asia

At Matthews, we often talk about investing in quality companies with economic moats. We believe that these are the entities best placed to succeed over the long term in Asia. As Warren Buffett has noted, investors should seek businesses with economic castles protected by unbreachable moats. It is these moats that enable a company to survive and thrive as decades pass, creating economic value along the way by generating returns on capital ahead of their cost of capital. But what exactly is an economic moat?

2014-07-17 00:00:00 Quick Thoughts by Doug MacKay of Broadleaf Partners

We made a final trip to Latvia to complete an adoption, had a graduation party for my high school senior, and attended orientation weekend at The Ohio State University. In between all that, we squeezed in no fewer than sixty baseball games for our three boys. I think I have a daughter too, but Im not entirely sure if she lives with us or her girlfriends. As much as I love summer ball, the season ends this weekend and Im hoping life will settle down to a more sustainable pace and not one reminiscent of a minor leaguer with four kids, a mortgage, and a full time business.

2014-07-15 00:00:00 2Q 2014 Newsletter: Avoiding Your Portfolios Enemies by William Smead of Smead Capital Management

Investors should remember that excitement and expenses are their enemies. And if they insist on trying to time their participation in equities, they should try to be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful. We often hear the last part of this wonderful quote from Warren Buffett, but here at Smead Capital, we find the beginning just as instructive. We thought we would unpack the entirety of his thoughts and dissect it for our faithful investors.

2014-06-27 00:00:00 Timing Low Volatility Investments by Feifei Li of Research Affiliates

If a secular bear market is coming, a low-volatility strategy might serve well. The five-year return of a simulated low-vol portfolio beat cap-weighting 75% of the time when the market P/E exceeded 20.

2014-06-20 00:00:00 Attractions of a "Walled Garden" by Vivek Tanneeru of Matthews Asia

Developments in free trade and a nurturing of open policies with relatively few barriers have helped Asia prosper for several decades now. But a restrictive walled garden environment, with tightly regulated market access, has nurtured Chinas Internet sector and helped its firms dominate in such areas as online search, games, news, e-commerce, social networking and videos. This week Vivek Tanneeru explores a study in contrasts between the Internet sectors of China and India, the worlds two most populous nations.

2014-06-18 00:00:00 Outlook on the US Dollar, Currencies & Markets: Look Out Below! by Axel Merk of Merk Investments

The FIFA World Cup and market predictions have in common that we are tempted to create a world of make-believe when it comes to predicting outcomes. While others ponder about the meaning of a round ball, well focus on the implications of a make-believe world comprised of ever-higher asset prices. Our caution: look out below!

2014-06-17 00:00:00 Boko Haram by Kaisa Stucke and Bill O'Grady of Confluence Investment Management

On April 14, the Nigerian terrorist group Boko Haram kidnapped 276 girls from their school in the town of Chibok, Nigeria. Investor interest in African economies has been increasing over recent years, piquing an interest in the continents rising economic and demographic power, Nigeria. This week, we will take a look at the country of Nigeria, including its history and economy. We will then describe the evolution of the terrorist group Boko Haram and its strategic goals and leadership. We will conclude with items of importance when investing in Africa, in general, and Nigeria, specifical

2014-06-05 00:00:00 Is Your Portfolio a House of Cards? by Axel Merk of Merk Investments

Politics and financial markets may both be resting on an increasingly unstable house of cards. The S&P 500 continues to hit new all time highs, while central banks try to enforce low volatility and financial stability and politicians demagogue in their quest for higher office. The one thing politicians throughout the world have in common is that they rarely ever blame themselves. They tend to diffuse responsibility or place blame on groups such as political opponents, the wealthy, or foreigners.

2014-06-03 00:00:00 Beware of the Theme and a Dream by Brian Demain of Janus Capital Group

Mid-cap equities generally remain attractive, but momentum has driven up stocks tied to several hyper-growth industries. The bubble around these stocks began to pop in March, and we believe limiting exposure to those areas of the market will be critical to maximizing returns going forward.

2014-06-02 00:00:00 June Swoon Ahead? Maybe, But Not Because of Valuations by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

Given the recent extraordinary performance of most equity markets, many investors are wondering whether the bull market has run its course. Russ explains why valuation alone doesn't signal an imminent correction.

2014-05-31 00:00:00 The Great Backlash by Nouriel Roubini of Project Syndicate

In the aftermath of the 2008 global financial crisis, policymakers success in preventing the Great Recession from turning into Great Depression II held in check demands for protectionist measures. But now the backlash against globalization has arrived, and we know from bitter experience what could come next.

2014-05-21 00:00:00 Despite the Grand Reversal, Stick With Stocks by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

In a reversal of 2013s performance, stocks are struggling to hold onto gains while bond yields are plunging, leaving many investors asking: How should I be positioning for the long term? Russ explains why he still advocates sticking with stocks.

2014-05-20 00:00:00 Bonds Rally, But Stocks Still More Attractive Long Term by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

Stocks have floundered, while bonds continue to rally. Markets are showing a sharp reversal from 2013, when stocks were up strongly while bonds struggled. We maintain our long-term preference for equities and suggest investors exercise caution before adding to positions in bonds.

2014-05-02 00:00:00 Weekly Commentary & Outlook by Tom McIntyre of McIntyre, Freedman & Flynn

Earnings have been supportive and merger activity has skyrocketed these past couple weeks. Stock markets have remained firm as a result despite money coming out of the previous hot sectors of social media (Amazon) & the biotech industry (despite great fundamentals).

2014-04-28 00:00:00 Resisting the Sirens by Mark Oelschlager of Oak Associates

There has been an interesting shift in the market over the past several weeks, as high-growth stocks (an area to which we have limited exposure, given our preference for more fairly-valued growth opportunities) have suffered a significant correction after being the darlings of the market since June of last year.

2014-04-22 00:00:00 The Democratic Disruption of Finance by Mohamed El-Erian of Project Syndicate

There seems to be no limit to the exciting possibilities that come from combining technical innovations, the Internet, and social media. What is less appreciated is the extent to which the same phenomenon is starting to play out in finance, via a democratization process that could transform the institutional landscape.

2014-04-18 00:00:00 Financial Television: Five Things You Need to Know by Rob Isbitts of Sungarden Investment Research

Whether you are new to the retirement investing mindset, you go back to the days of Rukeyser and Kangas, or are somewhere in between, here is my list of things you will often see when watching financial TV ... and how to separate the reality from the hype and sales pitch.

2014-04-16 00:00:00 Weekly Commentary & Outlook by Tom McIntyre of McIntyre, Freedman & Flynn

Stocks fell last week upset by the growth sectors of biotechnology and social media stocks. Energy issues and related infrastructure were largely unaffected. It is clear that hedge funds and others have become forced sellers as their macro bets on being long growth areas, but being short the bond market have blown up in their faces. Until this settles down the overall market is likely to continue its correction.

2014-04-10 00:00:00 Weekly Commentary & Outlook by Tom McIntyre of McIntyre, Freedman & Flynn

The Fed gave a push to stocks early in the week, but news about Washington DC investigating the so-called High Frequency Traders drove down the momentum stocks which were still suffering from the previous weeks hangover.

2014-04-03 00:00:00 Chuck Royce on 1Q14: Despite Minor Pullback, Market Still Shows Strength by Chuck Royce of The Royce Funds

Despite the market's subdued first-quarter performance, annualized total returns for the major indexes remained in double-digit territory for the one-, three-, and five-year periods ended March 31, 2014. President, Director of Investments, and Portfolio Manager Chuck Royce offers his thoughts on the market's behavior during the first quarter and why he thinks investors can expect a major correction within the next twelve months.

2014-04-03 00:00:00 Foolish Investment Ideas by Axel Merk of Merk Investments

With April Fools? Day behind us, it?s time to get serious about investing. Don?t be fooled by this week?s non-farm payroll report; nor by the assertion that the U.S. may have the cleanest of the dirty shirts. And certainly don?t be fooled into thinking the market has your interests in mind?

2014-04-03 00:00:00 Weekly Commentary & Outlook by Tom McIntyre of McIntyre, Freedman & Flynn

Last week saw a correction in many of the high-flying groups, but overall another quiet week with investors unsure of the economic outlook.

2014-04-02 00:00:00 Foolish Investment Ideas by Axel Merk of Merk Investments

With April Fools? Day behind us, it?s time to get serious about investing. Don?t be fooled by this week?s non-farm payroll report; nor by the assertion that the U.S. may have the cleanest of the dirty shirts. And certainly don?t be fooled into thinking the market has your interests in mind?

2014-03-18 00:00:00 Where's the Plane? by Jerry Wagner of Flexible Plan Investments

In another example of life duplicating the media, it seems like most people here and abroad have been consumed by watching a real life episode of Lost for the last week. The question of what happened to Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 has quickly soared to the opening spot on all of the network news shows, much as Lost and its Oceanic Airlines Flight 815 climbed quickly to the top of the ratings. At CNN it appears that the network of late can report on nothing else!

2014-03-18 00:00:00 Understanding The "Millennial Generation" by Gary Halbert of Halbert Wealth Management

As the father of two adult children who were born in the early 1990s, I have a particularly keen interest in the ?Millennial Generation? ? those 80 million or so people born in the US between 1980 and 2002, the largest generation ever ? and who will be running the country before too long.

2014-02-21 00:00:00 This Common Misconception about China May Be Hurting Your Portfolio by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

China is making headlines again, only this time the news attempts to dispel a common myth about the Asian giant.

2014-02-20 00:00:00 WhatsApp With That? by Peter Schiff of Euro Pacific Capital

Two pieces of business news announced this week provide a convenient frame through which to view our dysfunctional and distorted economy. The first (which has attracted tremendous attention), is Facebook's blockbuster $19 billion acquisition of instant messaging provider WhatsApp. The second (which few have noticed) is the horrific earnings report issued by Texas-based retail chain Conn's. While these two developments don't seem to have much in common, together they shed some very unflattering light on where we stand economically.

2014-01-25 00:00:00 Five Things To Ponder: Valuations, Triggers & Inequality by Lance Roberts of Streettalk Live

I was thinking about valuations, profits and what could cause a real correction in the markets. That is the premise behind todays "Things To Ponder" for your weekend homework.

2014-01-22 00:00:00 What to Expect in 2014 (And Beyond) by Jack Rivkin of Altegris

Each year, I take Alfred Lord Tennysons advice and "ring out the old, ring in the new" by creating a list of expectations about the markets. My list involves events that the average investor thinks have only a one-in-three-chance of happening, but which I believe have more than a 50% chance of occurring. If this approach sounds familiar, it should. Its modeled after Byron Wiens annual list of "surprises." Like his, my expectations are designed to provoke thought and discussion.

2014-01-02 00:00:00 2013 in Review: Best of the "Silver Bullet" Awards by Jeff Miller of New Arc Investments

Regular readers of my "Weighing the Week Ahead" series know that I occasionally give the Silver Bullet Award. This recognizes writers who take it upon themselves to debunk dangerously misleading financial analysis. Their often thankless work reminds me of the Lone Ranger, whose adventures often upheld the notion that "...that all things change but truth, and that truth alone, lives on forever."

2013-12-24 00:00:00 A Surprising Way to Participate in Today's Tech Boom by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

If I asked you to name the biggest online shopping day of the year, what would you guess?

2013-12-20 00:00:00 A Surprising Way to Participate in Today's Tech Boom by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

China has become one of the best consumption stories out there, and looking over the next few years, local technology companies are almost certain to benefit. So while many U.S. investors are getting excited about the growing number of initial public offerings in the tech sector, they would be remiss if they didnt look beyond Silicon Valley.

2013-12-05 00:00:00 Running Out of Time by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James

Well, so far the Federal Reserve is winning out over my timing models that continue to suggest caution should be the preferred strategy in the short-term; and last week that strategy was wrong footed as the D-J Industrial Average notched another new all-time high.

2013-12-03 00:00:00 Nasdaq 4000: Stocks are Not Behaving Like It's 1999 by Russ Koesterich of iShares Blog

The Nasdaq Composite made news last week, moving past the 4,000 mark for the first time in 13 years. But, according to Russ, the current trip above the 4,000 level looks quite different from what was happening in 1999 and 2000.

2013-11-25 00:00:00 Ben's Rocket to Nowhere by Peter Schiff of Euro Pacific Capital

Herd mentality can be as frustrating as it is inexplicable. Once a crowd starts moving, momentum can be all that matters and clear signs and warnings are often totally ignored. Financial markets are currently following this pattern with respect to the unshakable belief that the Federal Reserve is ready, willing, and most importantly, able, to immediately execute a wind down of its quantitative easing program. How this notion became so deeply entrenched is a mystery, but the stampede it has sparked is getting more violent, and irrational, by the day.

2013-11-04 00:00:00 What Price for Growth? by Equity Investment Team of Janus Capital Group

Cloud computing and social media are bringing a level of disruption and innovation not seen in the technology sector since the dot-com era. The troubling aspect is that valuations for many of these companies seem just as stretched as Internet stocks were back then. We think investors may be paying too much for the growth inherent in these companies.

2013-10-29 00:00:00 Only RED That You Have Seen in October... by Blaine Rollins of 361 Capital

The markets felt a bit different this week. While equities finished with another weekly gain, it was lead to new highs by a new and interesting cast of characters: the Dow Industrials, Dividend Stocks (like Utilities & Industrials), Germany, the United Kingdom, Gold & Silver, and Long Maturity Treasuries. While everyone under invested in risk is hoping for a pullback, the rest who are equal or overweight seem to be looking to buy on any pullback.

2013-10-29 00:00:00 And That's The Week That Was by Ron Brounes of Brounes & Associates

Nice to have a week free of politico rhetoric and distractions for a change (dont get used to it). With little in the way of budget battles, investors focused on earnings and generally liked what they saw. Add in some positive economic news from China and a labor picture that should prompt the Fed to stay put (for now) and you have another record for the S&P.

2013-08-02 00:00:00 Tech-Savvy Elections in India by Sudarshan Murthy of Matthews Asia

The democratic process in India is famously complex with innumerable caste coalitions and competing interests. With poverty widespread and so many living in remote villages, voter turnout can pose unique challenges.

2013-05-13 00:00:00 Skills, Education, and Employment by John Mauldin of Millennium Wave Advisors

It is graduation time, and this morning finds me swimming in a sea of fresh young faces as a young friend graduates, along with a thousand classmates. But to what? I concluded my final formal education efforts in late 1974, in the midst of a stagflationary recession, so it was not the best of times to be looking for work. It turned out that I had a far different future ahead of me than I envisioned then. But I would trade places with any of those kids who graduated today, as my vision of the next 40 years is actually very optimistic.

2013-05-07 00:00:00 And That's the Week That Was by Ron Brounes of Brounes & Associates

The trend is your friend (and the current trend is a friend with benefits for investors). After a record-setting first quarter for stocks, analysts were skeptical that the party would continue. And yet, the Dow Jones enjoyed a fifth straight month of gains in April, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq one-upped the Blue Chips with six month winning streaks.

2013-04-30 00:00:00 The Boston Marathon Bombing by Bill O'Grady of Confluence Investment Management

In this report, given the extensive media coverage of the event, we will not go into much detail on the attack itself except to illustrate points about the origins of the act. We will discuss why we think the Boston Marathon Bombing was the work of grassroots amateurs and what that means for the nations security. We will touch on how humans become radicalized and how managing that condition challenges democracies. As always, we will examine the ramifications of this event on the financial and commodity markets.

2013-03-22 00:00:00 K-Pop Culture by Soo Chang Lee of Matthews Asia

During my last trip to Seoul, I had meetings with several media companies that left me feeling more confident about the strength of Koreas popular culture as an emerging growth driver for the country. The rapid growth of South Korean pop music, or K-pop, across the media and entertainment industries has been helped not only by Koreas strong culture of social media, but also by a broader and more global breadth of production. Last years hit single Gangnam Style and accompanying video by artist PSY is one such memorable phenomenon that crossed int

2013-01-03 00:00:00 2013 Forecast: Good Economy, Challenged Markets by Douglas Cote, Karyn Cavanaugh of ING Investment Management

We enter 2013 bombarded by conflicting signals. While fundamentals have been mixed of late, longer-term themes our "tectonic shifts" like the energy revolution are gaining momentum and promising to make positive contributions sooner rather than later. And while salutary measures taken by policymakers have eased global risks and lessened fears of Armageddon, there is considerable work yet to be done.

2012-12-27 00:00:00 Reader Favorites: A Countdown by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

The days between Christmas and New Year's are ideal times to reflect on the topics that captured your interest the most over the past year. To help uncover the top commentaries that were discussed, shared and read, we went data mining across news and social media sources. Over the next few days, I'll be counting down the top 10, concluding with the Investor Alert on Friday.

2012-12-19 00:00:00 Imagine...a Better Future by Liz Ann Sonders of Charles Schwab

After a weekend of sadness and reflection, I wanted to write something more optimistic we'll go back to the future to learn and unlearn.

2012-12-07 00:00:00 Saving for Retirement: Stage 1 by Team of Franklin Templeton

Most of us have certain expectations about our retirement. We may daydream of the golden years as a time to explore exotic locales, perfect a golf swing, or just relax. The reality is often quite different, particularly for those whove done more daydreaming than planning, or who have suffered setbacks to their portfolios in 2008-2009 and feel a sense of paralysis. Knowing where to begin can be confusing, and as with most things, overcoming inertia to take that first step certainly isnt easy.

2012-10-10 00:00:00 Infectious Ideas for a Connected World by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

With a greater international exchange of ideas, goods, services, and talent today, our world has never been more wired and connected. Globalization has wholly transformed how people across continents absorb information and interact with each other. I believe it also has subtly changed how we think and act as individuals.

2012-09-17 00:00:00 The 9/11 Lessons for Terrorists by Bill O'Grady of Confluence Investment Management

In this report, we will outline potential lessons learned over the past 11 years by terrorist groups. By doing this, we hope to outline how terrorists might act in the future. As always, we will conclude with potential market ramifications.

2012-09-14 00:00:00 The Cure for Baldness by Neel Kashkari of PIMCO

Rarely does one find market commentators offering moderate, balanced investment advice these days. More likely one will find extreme headlines designed to capture maximum attention. We believe it is worthwhile to take time to craft an investment strategy that can withstand a range of market outcomes. In a lower-return world, we look to buy companies that are attractively priced and that can grow faster than the market as a whole, and we actively manage downside risks.

2012-08-24 00:00:00 Gold: First Mover Advantage by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

This week, gold bugs were rewarded with the long-awaited positive momentum in the yellow metal, and on Friday, bullion rose to about $1,670. After falling below the 200-day moving average, gold had been stuck in quicksand for several months. With the jumps in the price this week, bullion swiftly rose above this critically important long-term moving average.

2012-07-31 00:00:00 The Young General Emerges by Bill O'Grady of Confluence Investment Management

On July 16th, the official North Korean media reported that General Ri Yong Ho, the militarys Chief of the General Staff, had been dismissed of all duties. Reports suggested that the general had been removed due to illness. General Ri was a close confidant of the late Kim Jong Il and was thought to be tasked with smoothing the transition of the new leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-un, the Young General. Ri's exit, along with other events, suggests changes in the Hermit Kingdom.

2012-06-28 00:00:00 The Counterrevolution in Egypt by Bill OGrady of Confluence Investment Management

In this report we will begin with a geopolitical history of Egypt, concentrating on the unique geography that has historically shaped its governance. We will discuss the role of the military in Egyptian political life, focusing on its self-perception and its goals. We will also detail the role of the MB as an organized political group in the country. Following this analysis, we will offer our forecast for Egypt and its potential effects on the region.

2012-06-19 00:00:00 The Known Unknowns by Ronald Roge of R. W. Roge & Company

On Friday, June 1, 2012 we had an all day investment strategy meeting. The purpose of this semi-annual meeting is to review our current portfolio strategy and evaluate it against the current state of the global economy...Easier said than done.

2012-06-07 00:00:00 Companies with WORSE Valuations Than Facebook (FB) by Team of Bespoke Investment Group

We've read quite a few articles showing how far down Facebook (FB) would have to trade to have a valuation that's similar to big blue chip tech names like Apple (AAPL), Google (GOOG) and Microsoft (MSFT). This kind of analysis is done to show that Facebook shares are overvalued. But the analysis can go the other way as well. There are 34 stocks in the Russell 1,000 that have a higher forward P/E (next 4 quarters) than Facebook (FB) right now, and quite a few of them are stocks that are loved by some of the same investors that are likely dumping on Facebook.

2012-05-24 00:00:00 Reform in India: A Work in Progress by Mark Mobius of Franklin Templeton

The global investment community has been up in arms (and rightly so) about the Indian governments attempt to address possible past tax evasion through retroactive tax measures. Many investors started to express their disapproval by withdrawing their dollars, and amid the pressure, the Indian Finance Ministry decided to hold off on enacting the general anti-avoidance rule (GAAR) for a year. I believe this is a step in a positive direction, although the debate has simply been delayed and not completely resolved. And, retroactive capital gains taxes are still on the table.

2012-05-21 00:00:00 Facebook IPO Not a Flop; Underwriters Priced it Right by John Buckingham of AFAM

he social media giant ended its first day of trading up a measly 23 cents, or 0.6% from its $38 offering price, and technical difficulties at Nasdaq delayed the opening of trading and impacted market activity throughout the day, I give kudos to the underwriters for actually pricing the deal as best they could to match the relatively limited supply to the unprecedented demand. Certainly, Facebook could eventually grow into its lofty valuation, but it is eye-opening to think the disappointing first day of trading still left the company with a $100 billion+ market capitalization.

2012-05-17 00:00:00 Restoring Trust by Kendall J. Anderson of Anderson Griggs

Conflicts always exist between clients and managers. Requiring full disclosure is a step in the right direction towards minimizing these conflicts. Rules alone will not be enough to restore trust between you and those of us who considered themselves professional advisers. My suggestion is that all advisers live their life, both professional and personal under an older rule than the current body of laws. That rule is Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

2012-04-18 00:00:00 Quirky Tales and Waves of Change by Doug MacKay and Bill Hoover of Broadleaf Partners

While almost all commodities (ag, chemicals, and energy) have tended to move up and down together in price, oil has always beat to a different drummer, likely as a function of the ebb and flow of geopolitical concerns and the physical location of most known reserves. I would guess, however, if natural gas is in such abundance domestically, it could very well be the case around the globe. The prospect for $200 oil might be as remote as NASDAQ 5000.

2012-04-09 00:00:00 Pigs and Panics! by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James Equity Research

As stated, this is a key week for the equity markets and we continue to wait and see how the equity markets resolve themselves on a short-term basis, a trading stance we have been in for weeks. Meanwhile, for investors, I met with a portfolio manager last week whose investment style I think is suited for the current stock market climate. The investment style of Troy Shaver, PM of Dividend Asset Capital, sub-advisor to Goldman Sachs Rising Dividend Growth Fund (GSRAX/$15.05), is to invest in companies that increase their dividends by 10% per year on average for 10 years in a row.

2012-03-28 00:00:00 Our First Five Years by Gregory Nejmeh of HS Management Partners

As business owners, and as a long only investment manager, optimism is in our DNA. That said, we consider ourselves to be optimistic realists: optimists grounded in reality, and aware that we have to persevere through the inevitable difficult times while believing in and planning for the better days that lie ahead. In that regard, the axiom that the more things change, the more things stay the same has applicability in the investment business. The collective experiences weve had served us well during the turbulent markets we faced in 2007/8/9.

2012-02-27 00:00:00 And Thats The Week That Was by Ron Brounes of Brounes & Associates

Earning season plods along with consumer-driven companies like Walt Disney and Coca Cola highlighting the calendar. Investors get a break on the economic front as the mad rush of releases slows, allowing them time to digest this weeks data, particular the news from the labor front. (Surely consumers should be more confident after the favorable developments?)

2012-01-20 00:00:00 The Debate Over "One China" by Sherry Zhang of Matthews Asia

Taiwans recent presidential race, which saw the re-election of President Ma Ying-jeou, generated much mutual interest both in Taiwan and in mainland China, where millions reportedly used social media networks to comment on the developments. The Kuomingtang (KMT) partys control for another four years brings up the topic of One China that so often dominates headlines and online chatter.

2011-11-15 00:00:00 Occupy Yahoo by Jeffrey Bronchick of Cove Street Capital

This is the first part of a non-vampire trilogy which will explore some of our inner thinking on the juxtaposition of "business vs. value vs. people" in the investment decision making process-a process that has led us to recent investments in Yahoo, HP and News Corp in our non-small cap strategies. In this first installment, we will focus on Yahoo for no other reason than to honor the company's place within the pantheon of failed corporate governance.

2011-10-25 00:00:00 Time to Put Your Shades On by Pamela Rosenau of HighTower Advisors

The paradox of the stock market is that higher prices attract buyers, while lower prices attract sellers. This herd-like behavior is confirmed by peers and exaggerated even more now by social media outlets. The most important thing to acknowledge in these markets is to be tactical and buy on weakness. In our current yield starved environment, I have focused on growth and income (two such scarce resources these days) in both dividend paying large cap stocks and energy infrastructure MLPs.

2011-09-30 00:00:00 The Coming Euro Bail by Monty Guild and Tony Danaher of Guild Investment Management

If the optimists are to be believed, Europe will come to grips with its critical financial problems and conduct a massive restructuring of the banking system and bail out the irresponsible countries that overspent. If the pessimists are correct, the world is a mess and will stay that way. We are moving toward the optimistic side. We see that Europe is finally recognizing that the all-is-well charade is no longer working. Investors are too smart and more cynical than in the past. European banks need capital. If they get it, investors may see a sizeable stock market rally in much of the world.

2011-09-09 00:00:00 Fast and Furious in India by Sudarshan Murthy of Matthews Asia

Indian social activist Anna Hazare recently generated bipartisan debate, waging a 12-day hunger strike to pressure the government to pass stringent anti-corruption laws. It ended with a government resolution to acknowledge his key demandsmost notably, the creation of an influential anti-corruption ombudsman. Mainstream political parties have also called for such an ombudsman, however, with more limited sway due to concerns that officials may not be able to function effectively if all decisions were to fall under the purview of an intermediary.

2011-09-08 00:00:00 Teaching to the Test by Neel Kashkari of PIMCO

Many managers are focused on beating benchmarks, rather than helping clients achieve their investment objectives. Clients save and invest their money for specific reasons, such as for retirement or childrens education and managers should focus on helping them meet those goals. Many managers are really closet indexers masquerading as active managers while charging premium fees for benchmark returns. Many equity managers deviate very little from their benchmark because they are terrified of potentially underperforming it.


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