The Mutual Funds Channel

US Tech Sector: Continued Run-Up or Correction Coming?

Since the infamous “dot com” meltdown nearly two decades ago, people have tended to question any sort of extended run-up in technology-sector stocks.

Seven Reasons Why Advisors Should Use Bond Ladders

I often hear criticisms about the use of bond ladders. Whenever the criticism comes from professional advisors, however, I’ve noticed it generally involves firms that use only bond mutual funds or ETFs instead of individual, tailored bond portfolios, whether in the form of a bond ladder or not. Unfortunately, much – if not all – of this criticism is based on falsehoods and the conflicts that can arise when advisors employ only mutual funds and ETFs.

Gold Was Chemically Destined to Be Money All Along

I think most of you reading this right now are aware that gold is unlike any other metal, certainly any other element. It doesn’t play by the same rules as iron or tin or aluminum, and its value has nothing to do with its utility—or lack thereof.

Foregone Conclusions Become Well Known Facts

We’ve heard Warren Buffett continue to repeat an important phrase, “what the wise man does in the beginning, the fool does in the end.” This begs the question, when does a foregone conclusion become what we call “a well-known fact”?

It's the End of the World as We Know It (and I Feel Fine)

Right now, we don’t know if we can put this North Korea news in the same category of past market shocks, but looking back at history, major market collapses generally occur because of economic and financial deterioration, not geopolitics.

“Death by Amazon” a Real, Though Not Indiscriminate Threat

Stocks of some innovative companies with differentiated business models may be unfairly punished along with those genuinely vulnerable to Amazon’s disruption.

Is this the Start of a Hot New Metals Bull Market?

Dalio’s not the only one recommending gold right now. Speaking to CNBC this week, commodities expert Dennis Gartman, editor and publisher of the widely-read Gartman Letter, said that he believed “gold is about to break out on the upside strongly” in response to geopolitical risks and inflationary pressures. Gartman thinks investors should have between 10 and 15 percent of their portfolio in gold.

Are Low Vol ETFs as Smart as They Sound?

“Smart Beta” ETFs and their low-volatility ETF progeny may deliver a lower beta against their relevant benchmarks, but they’re not immune to bouts of volatility, and their returns frequently come up short.

On Value in the Emerging Markets

This paper seeks to understand if a value investing approach could be viable in emerging markets and identifies the specific drivers of value in these markets.

The Ambergris Factor

Ladies and gentlemen, investing is a lot like whaling. Investors are constantly searching for that whale of a stock with the “right stuff” . . . aka the “ambergris factor.” Indeed, there have been many such “whales” on the Street of Dreams since the Royal Bank of Scotland’s “sell everything” advice at the January/February of 2016 stock market lows.

Munis in Focus: Credit Risk or Opportunity? Analyzing Munis Today

The muni backdrop looks benign, but be mindful of potential credit risks.

Quarterly Letter

In our last quarterly letter, we discussed seven transactions from early 2017: two buys and five sells. We also provided an update on our then largest position, Express Scripts. There was zero analysis of the economy, asset classes, and central banks. We have been relatively quiet on the transaction front since then.

On Chaos, Butterflies, and Robustness

Robust portfolios that have the greatest probability of performing across various macro outcomes can effectively mitigate and navigate the unpredictable twists and turns of dynamic markets and economies.

Painful Ups and Downs

One hour after beginning a new job which involved moving a pile of bricks from the top of a two story house to the ground, a construction worker in Peterborough, Ontario suffered an accident which hospitalized him. He was instructed by his employer to fill out an accident report.

2nd Quarterly Review

The second quarter performance for the stock market was very much like the first quarter performance. Large stocks performed well and growth stocks outperformed value stocks. The table below details the performance for large stocks and small stocks for both the second quarter and year-to-date.