The Alternative Investments Channel

It's Time for Contrarians to Get Bullish on Gold

Gold can’t seem to catch a break. The yellow metal normally acts as a safe haven in times of political and economic strife, but in the face of Turkey’s lira meltdown, investors have taken cover instead in the U.S. dollar. On Monday, the stronger greenback pushed gold to end below $1,200 an ounce for the first time since January 2017.

The Pool of Tradable Stocks Is Shrinking. Here’s What Investors Can Do

The number of publicly listed companies in the U.S. has fallen steadily since 1997. More companies have delisted, in fact, than gone public in every year of the past 20 years except one, 2013. Put another way, the pool is getting smaller even while the population and economy are expanding.

The Problem with Focusing on Expense Ratios

Most investors believe that all passively managed funds in the same asset class are virtual substitutes for one another. The result is that, when choosing a specific fund, their sole focus is on its expense ratio. That is a mistake for a wide variety of reasons. The first is that expense ratios are not a mutual fund’s only expense.

Emerging Markets—No Reward Without Risk

Emerging equities are more volatile than developed market equities. This owes little to the volatility of emerging stock markets in local terms and much more to the strong positive correlation between their local stock markets and movements in their currencies. The spring of 2018 was a classic example of this, with US dollar strength driving significant emerging weakness.

Wait Until You See the Price of Gold in Venezuela Right Now

Last month in Venezuela’s capital city of Caracas, a cup of coffee would have set you back 2 million bolivars. That’s up from only 2,300 bolivars 12 months ago, meaning the price of a cup of joe has jumped nearly 87,000 percent, according to Bloomberg’s Café Con Leche Index. And you thought Starbucks was expensive.

Questions I'd be Asking If I Owned Tesla Stock

If I were long in Tesla’s shares I’d be asking certain questions. After all, you’re paying $50 billion for a company that trades completely on the spoils of future dreams.

Market Valuation, Inflation and Treasury Yields: Clues from the Past

Our monthly market valuation updates have long had the same conclusion: US stock indexes are significantly overvalued, which suggests cautious expectations on investment returns. In a "normal" market environment -- one with conventional business cycles, Federal Reserve policy, interest rates and inflation -- current valuation levels would be a serious concern.

But these are different times.

The Danger in Private Real Estate Investments

A question I’m often asked involves the merits of investing in private real estate as an alternative to publicly available REITs. To answer that question, I will turn to the historical evidence.

Crestmont Market Valuation Update: July

Quick take: Based on the July S&P 500 average of daily closes, the Crestmont P/E is 130% above its arithmetic mean and at the 99th percentile of this fourteen-plus-decade monthly metric.

A Summer Summary of Swell Stuff

Kick back, grab a cool beverage and read on about how to strengthen your online privacy (compliments of GDPR); a Plutus Award financial publisher honor you may want to aim for; and a handy robo-advisor resource.

A Perspective on Secular Bull and Bear Markets

Was the March 2009 low the end of a secular bear market and the beginning of a secular bull? At this point, nine years later, the S&P 500 has set a series of inflation-adjusted record highs based on monthly averages of daily closes. Let's examine the past to broaden our understanding of the range of historical trends in market performance. An obvious feature of this inflation-adjusted series is the pattern of long-term alternations between up-and down-trends.

Endgame Strategizing

Last week I gave you some rules to follow with your investments. They were necessarily general because I’m writing to a broad audience. Today, I will get more specific by discussing some possible strategies for high-net-worth “accredited investors.”

Margin Debt and the Market

FINRA has released new data for margin debt, now available through June. The latest debt level is down 3.3% month-over-month. The June data gives us an additional sense of recent investor behavior.

An Open Letter to European CEOs: Work with Us, Not Against Us

This letter has been a long time coming. It’s time for us to talk. Buyout funds are at your doorstep.

Staying Focused in the Age of “The Donald”

Geopolitics dominates the news these days, over-shadowing what remains a fundamentally solid global economy. As always, Donald Trump is at the center of most of the “noise”...