The Investment Strategies Channel

Weekly Market Summary

All of the US equity indices made new all-time highs again this week. Treasuries were the biggest winner. A drawdown of at least 5-8% in SPX is odds-on before year year end, but there are a number of compelling studies suggesting that 2017 will probably continue to be a good year for US equities.

Trending

The term “trend” now has a broader use. Trending is a term used in reference to the buildup of posts on social media. And we find ourselves in a day and age when the leader of the free world is posting using stream of consciousness—annoyingly against a department store that no longer supports his daughter’s line of clothing or worse, tweeting against judges who disagree with his policies. This is a trend we shouldn’t miss.

Weighing the Week Ahead: Will Trump Policies Extend the Business Cycle?

We have another holiday-shortened week with little fresh data. While there are some Fed speakers on tap, it is not enough to feed the avaricious punditry.

Trump V. Yellen Round One

I expect to see little change in Fed policy. The new President will wind up appointing people with traditional credentials, but perhaps with different policy viewpoints. He will not reappoint Yellen, although people forget that the Fed Chair is often appointed by Presidents of both parties.

NewsLetter - February 2017

I’m so proud that I’m bursting at the seams, and have to share it far and wide. On March 8, Deena, my partner, wife, best friend, and besherta, will be honored with the Alexandra Armstrong Award that “celebrates pioneers in the field of financial planning.

Today's ESG Investing Is Not Your Father's SRI

Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) is much broader than the Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) of the past.

The Bromance that Turned Economics Upside Down

Who would guess that the modern sciences of behavioral economics and the psychology of decision-making owe their origin to a love affair (no, not sexual) between two men born early in the last century and so different that one could barely imagine them speaking to each other? Yet that is the story chronicled by the extraordinary nonfiction writer Michael Lewis in The Undoing Project: A Friendship that Changed our Minds, which, despite some quirks, is a compelling and worthwhile read.

Weighing the Week Ahead: Is Market Optimism Justified?

We have a rather light week for economic data. The biggest reports came last week. Earnings season continues. Everyone is keeping a close eye on President Trump, wondering what might happen next. Meanwhile, stocks are at all-time highs and interest rates have stabilized.

Market Cap to GDP: An Updated Look at the Buffett Valuation Indicator

With the GDP Q4 Advance Estimate, we now have an updated look at the popular "Buffett Indicator" -- the ratio of corporate equities to GDP. The current reading is 122.5%, up from 121.2% the previous quarter. It is off its 129.7% interim high in Q1 of 2105.

Moving Averages: January Month-End Update

Valid until the market close on February 28, 2017

The S&P 500 closed January with a monthly gain of 1.79% after a gain of 1.82% in December. All three S&P 500 MAs are signaling "invested" and three of the five Ivy Portfolio ETF MAs — Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF (VTI), Vanguard FTSE All-World ex-US ETF (VEU), and PowerShares DB (DBC) — are signaling "invested". In the table, monthly closes that are within 2% of a signal are highlighted in yellow.

Asian Fixed Income Can Ride the Trump Effect

Donald Trump’s policies appear almost certain to contribute to volatility in Asian markets during 2017. For active fixed-income investors who understand the dynamics of bonds and currencies in the region, this creates opportunities.

Weighing the Week Ahead: Will Policy Uncertainty Increase Stock Volatility?

We have a normal calendar for economic data. There will be important news will come from corporate earnings reports. Since this earnings season is part of an inflection point – the end of the earnings recession– it is special.

Will Q4 Earnings Confirm Recent Economic Strength?

My scorecard for earnings season will look for the following company characteristics: Confidence. I expect most to have a murky outlook, with no reason to set the future bar very high. Important trade relationships – imports or exports. Comments on these fears may create some buying opportunities. Concern about a stronger dollar. Everyone is teed up to watch for this, and we should as well.

2017 Global Market Outlook

The search for investment portfolio returns is not going to get any easier in 2017 against a backdrop of record U.S. equity prices, narrow credit spreads and low bond yields.

What May Be in Store for Alternatives in 2017?

As we enter 2017, there is a long list of issues that could affect alternative investments: policy changes in the US, elections in Europe, rising rate expectations and more. Given this changing landscape, I would like to highlight some alternative investments that I believe have the potential to benefit investors in the new year.