The Alternative Investments Channel

Managing Volatility in Short‑term Markets: The Global Liquidity Ladder

In a storm, you want to be able to reach higher ground. Recent market volatility – sparked by concerns over interest rates, inflation, global trade, the tech sector and more – has many investors shifting toward more defensive portfolio positions.

Conference Board Leading Economic Index: Slight Increase in March

The latest Conference Board Leading Economic Index (LEI) for March increased to 109.0 from 108.7 in February. The Coincident Economic Index (CEI) came in at 103.4, up from the previous month.

Reflections on Globalization: Part II

Last week, we introduced this topic by discussing the Cold War. This week, we will continue our analysis with a reflection on markets, an examination of hegemony and a discussion of the expansion of globalization and the rise of meritocracy and its discontents.

How I Own My Gold

Those who own gold often argue how to best own it. I encourage anyone holding gold to assess the pros and cons of different choices of gold ownership to make an educated rather than emotional decision.

Creating More Efficient Portfolios & Reducing the Risk of Black Swans

Advisors will learn how using factors and alternative investments that have premiums that are unique and have evidence of persistence, pervasiveness, robustness, implementability, and intuitive risk- or behavioral-based explanations for why we should expect the premiums to persist in the future can lead to the building of more efficient portfolio that also reduce tail risks. You will learn which factors from the over 600 in the literature should be considered and which alternatives out of the many available should be used and why.

What To Do If Your Social Media Stinks Like the Cleveland Browns

For those of you who think that social media is a useless tool for financial advisors, I’m going to tell you a story about my success back when I was an advisor.

Leadership Lessons from Starbucks

Great leaders are not just willing to adapt to the changing dynamics of the marketplace – they are eager to do so. How that lesson played out for Starbucks over 20 years ago is relevant for advisors today.

The Reasons to Embrace Risk

Diversifying your investments limits risk, but too much diversification limits gains while not reducing risk any further. You need to embrace risk in both public and private companies to receive the returns you desire.

Factor Investing – What Went Wrong?

So-called “smart-beta” strategies hasn’t been all that smart lately – at least not for the last five years. This article will examine why, whether it was predictable and the likelihood it will work better going forward.

Capital Efficiency Trumps Fees in the Search for Portfolio Diversifiers

The evaluation of alternatives introduces an extra dimension into the equation that investors don’t need to think about with traditional equity funds. It’s the concept of capital efficiency.

Seeking an Antidote to Global Trade Jitters? Check Out These Buying Opportunities!

After being mostly absent in 2017, volatility has made a comeback. The S&P 500 Index closed down for the first three months of 2018—the first time it’s done so in 10 quarters. It also had its worst start to April since 1929. Gold performed as expected during the quarter, serving as a safe haven and delivering positive returns, while the price of oil surged more than 5 percent on U.S. dollar weakness and news that OPEC and Russia could be cooperating to limit output for a long period.

Spinning Wheel

Spring traditionally is a time of rebirth and renewal – the weather starts to turn, flowers begin to bloom, baseball fans start to fantasize once again, and romance is in the air. But as March slips into April in 2018, the markets decidedly are suffering from hay fever – sneezing, wheezing and, at times, crashing to the ground.

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.

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.

Why Nassim Taleb Thinks Leaders Make Poor Decisions

Why do experts, CEOs, politicians, and other apparently highly capable people make such terrible decisions so often? Is because they’re ill-intentioned? Or because, despite appearances, they’re actually stupid? Nassim Nicholas Taleb, philosopher, businessman, perpetual troublemaker, and author of, among other works, the groundbreaking Fooled by Randomness, says it’s neither.