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

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Recent Articles

Looking Back at James Montier's "Perfect" Value Investors

by Larry Swedroe

Is there such a thing as a "perfect" value investor? And if so, what does that investor's fund look like? James Montier thought he knew the answers when he penned his 2006 article "The Perfect Value Investor." Let's look back and see how that portfolio did.

Key Issues for 2015: The View from Western Asset

by Sponsored Content from Legg Mason Investor Services LLC

The U.S. represents a bright spot in a global recovery best characterized as "two steps forward, one step back." Sector and issue selection remain crucial in this environment, but so do macroeconomic strategies, which may help provide ballast when the pace of recovery slows.

Introducing the Retirement Wealth and Affordability Indices

by Wade Pfau

How can you help clients determine if they are retiring at a good time? I aim to answer that with my recently developed Retirement Accumulation Index and Retirement Affordability Index. Let me explain how those two indices work and how you should use them with clients.

The Unspoken Issue that Will Cost You Clients

by Dan Richards

Advisors spend lots of time addressing their clients' concerns about markets, interest rates and their retirement plans. But a recent conversation with a client identified an important concern that is typically ignored.

The Warren Buffett Way: High Quality Stocks in Emerging Markets

by Baijnath Ramraika, CFA® and Prashant Trivedi, CFA®

A simple three-factor quantitative process for selecting emerging-market high-quality stocks outperforms the publicly traded benchmarks and does so with lower risk.

How Monkeys and Peanuts Can Help You Gather AUM

by Daniel Solin

Monkeys love peanuts. To understand how that relates to gathering assets under management (AUM), let's revisit a study demonstrating that emotions drive decisions.

2014 Global Factor Round Up

by Michael Nairne

Factor performance can vary as a result of business cycle influences, market sentiment, interest rate changes, sector composition and other variables. Here are the returns earned by each factor globally in 2014 compared to the overall broad market.

The Characteristics of a Great Sales Culture

by Beverly Flaxington

If you don't think your sales culture is strong enough, here is a guideline for developing a more robust sales culture.

Recent Commentaries

The Road Back, and Ahead

by Scott Brown of Raymond James

The U.S. economy data are likely to be mixed in the near term, but there is little doubt that we are gathering steam. The plunge in gasoline prices is an enormous tailwind. However, this isn?t just an energy story. The fundamentals are getting better.

Random Thoughts on a Cruise to Nowhere

by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James

We have lost our way as a people and a country when we ignore and/or fail to see the significance of history. King Abdullah and his father King Abdul Aziz al Saud were titans of the modern day middle east that so affected us all. I read about his death in the B section of the local paper after a story about our local nursing home under new management. God, Allah, Adonai ... please help us all.

Why European Euphoria Isn?t Likely to Last

by Russ Koesterich of BlackRock

The ECB took definitive action against deflation fears with a broad asset purchase program that impressed the markets. Here is a quick analysis of its impact on stocks and bonds beyond the short term.

Global Economic Perspective: January

by Christopher Molumphy, Michael Materasso, Roger Bayston, Michael Hasenstab, John Beck of Franklin Templeton Investments

After a much better-than-expected annualized growth rate of 5% in the third quarter of 2014, the stars would seem to be fairly much aligned for continued US growth in the months ahead. Job growth has continued apace, interest rates and energy prices have remained low, and consumer and business confidence has been buoyant. As we start the new year, the main areas of uncertainty would seem to be the pace of growth and the implications of recent price and employment trends for the timing of monetary tightening by the US Federal Reserve (Fed).

Is There A Case For German Equities?

by Team of GaveKal Capital

With the highest productivity in Europe, a sizeable current account surplus and rock bottom interest rates, is there a case to made for German equities? Germany's competitiveness, export performance and trade surplus should increase as the Euro weakens helping German exporters in markets outside of the Euro bloc.

European Central Bank Embraces QE, For Better Or Worse

by Gary Halbert of Halbert Wealth Management

Last Thursday, European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi announced the much-anticipated launch of a sovereign bond buying program at the rate of ?60 billion ($70 billion) per month known as ?quantitative easing.? The amount of the monthly purchases was slightly higher than had been expected.

The Benefits of Proper Risk Budgeting

by Roger Nusbaum of AdvisorShares

William J. Bernstein had an interesting op-ed in the Wall Street Journal titled How To Tell If Your Retirement Nest Egg Is Big Enough. Anytime the term nest egg pops up in a post I feel compelled to make the Lost in America reference when Julie Hagerty loses the nest egg at the tables in Las Vegas almost immediately after they hit the road and Albert Brooks tells her to never use the words nest and egg in the same sentence ever again.

Black Cypress: Ignore the Bears; The Force(s) are with Us

by Alan Hartley of Black Cypress Capital Management

The U.S. economy should continue to expand and that bodes well for stocks. The next bear market will likely start due to a recession or geo-political conflict and not from the start of Fed interest rate increases or time elapsed. The current economic landscape is favorable to growth. Stock markets are priced for low returns.

Recent dshort Posts

S&P 500 Snapshot: Down -1.35% ... No Help from Apple or the Fed

Apple's blowout numbers after yesterday's close may have triggered a positive open, but the major US indexes wobbled through the morning and rolled over in the final hour. The S&P 500 hit its 0.64% intraday high shortly after the open and sold off in two waves, a small one in the morning and a large one in the afternoon. It closed with a loss of -1.35%, fractionally off its 1.38% intraday low. Today's FOMC statement was obviously no help to the market.

Are we seeing some evidence of a flight to the safety of Treasuries?

Forecasting Q4 GDP: A Look at the WSJ Economists' Collective Crystal Ball

What do economists see in their collective crystal ball for Q4? Let's take a look at the GDP forecasts from the latest Wall Street Journal survey of economists conducted earlier this month.

Here's a snapshot of the full array of WSJ opinions about Q4 GDP. I've highlighted the values for the median (middle), mean (average) and mode (most frequent).

The "Real" Goods on the Latest Durable Goods Data

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

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

Consumer Confidence "Rose Sharply" in January

The Latest Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index was released this morning based on data collected through January 15. The headline number of 102.9 was a dramatic increase from the revised December final reading of 93.1, an upward revision from 92.6. Today's number was substantially above the forecast of 95.1.