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January 22, 2013 - Vol 7 No 4

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Prudential Annuities

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Dylan Grice: Witch Hunts, Inflation Fears, and Why I'm Bearish in 2013

by Michael Skocpol

For someone who started his remarks proposing to 'kill all the economists,' Dylan Grice can wax surprisingly sentimental, with a fresh, human take on monetary policy that leads him to some worrisome conclusions. Making a case for gold, cash, and other safe havens, Grice said the biggest threat to investors today is a problem that has plagued societies throughout history - mistrust.



Sunglasses and Cockroaches - Six Rules for Surviving in a Bear Market

by Michael Skocpol

After more than three decades investing in Japanese securities, Peter Tasker has little patience for other investors' self-pity - and he doesn't want to hear your horror stories from 2008. Overcoming the challenges posed by bear markets requires the adaptive instincts of a cockroach, and Tasker identified six lessons investors can take away from those lowly insects.



Wally Weitz on Value Investing in the Post-Crisis Era

by Robert Huebscher

As the president and founder of Weitz Funds, Wally Weitz has spent nearly three decades putting his instinct for opportunity to work for shareholders. Influenced by the value-investing model of Benjamin Graham and Warren Buffett, Wally manages the Partners III Opportunity Fund (WPOPX), which has had an annual return of 10.85%, versus 6.23% for the S&P 500. In this interview, he discusses his investment methodology and how it has evolved since the financial crisis.



How Being Efficient Makes You Less Effective

by Dan Richards

While today's methods of communication are efficient, they aren't necessarily effective. The challenge is to meld efficient communication with personal touches that stand out and set you apart.



The Political Cliff

by Lawrence Grossman

Cliff-dwelling politicians are sending our country toward insolvency. Averting this crisis requires unconventional yet bold thinking. I propose such a plan.



Venerated Voices

Ranks Economic and Market Commentaries Most Read by Financial Advisors

Here are the winners of our 2012 Venerated Voices awards: the top commentaries, authors and firms for the past year, based on readership.



Overcoming a Lazy Coworker

by Beverly Flaxington

One of my co-workers is lazy. He doesn't come in on time, he never does the work he is asked to do and he won't answer the phone. The rest of us take care of everything. It frustrates me that the owners do not see how hard we work and how he never helps out. Is there some way I can let them know about the inequities without coming across as a tattler?



Shoulder Pads and Supply Chains

by Mariko Gordon

As an investor, it's essential that you keep your eyes on the ever-swinging pendulum of "best practices," whether these relate to business models, client service, or something else entirely. Here's an example of a company whose "80s style" approach to vendor relations keeps it ahead of the profitability pack in the 21st century.



Career Opportunities 


We are posting career opportunities for firms that seek to add financial advisors and planners to their staff. Read more to find out how to post opportunities at your firm.  We have posted one new opportunity since last week. 




Letter to the Editor

A reader responds to Paul Franchi's article, Demographics and the Decline of Equity Mutual Funds, which appeared last week.




Highlights from Market Commentaries.


 Here are the top three commentaries from last week: 


A Conversation With Warren Buffett


Clearly, the stock market "thinks" something good can happen given the action so far this year. To wit, we ushered in the New Year with a 90% Upside Volume Day on December 31st followed by another 90% Upside Volume Day on January 2nd (90% of total volume traded came in on the upside). Such back-to-back Upside Days are pretty rare, especially at the beginning of the year.


A Conversation With Warren Buffett by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James

3 Reasons the Stock Market Rally Could Falter


Enjoy the US stock market rally while it lasts. Russ Koesterich has three reasons why investors should remain cautious in the near term.


3 Reasons the Stock Market Rally Could Falter by Russ Koesterich of iShares Blog

Declaring Victory at Halftime


Present overvalued, overbought, overbullish, rising-yield conditions fall within a tiny percentage of market history that is associated with dismal market outcomes, on average. Its true that we've observed extreme conditions since about March 2012 with little resolution aside from short-term declines. But the S&P 500 remains only a few percent from its March 2012 high, and if history is any guide, the extension of these unfavorable conditions is not likely to reduce the depth of the market loss that can be expected to resolve them.


Declaring Victory at Halftime by John Hussman of Hussman Funds

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