Bonfire of the Absurdities
This week’s letter will take a look at the growing number of ridiculous, inane, and otherwise nonsensical absurdities that fill the daily economic headlines. I have gone from the occasional smile to scratching my head now and then to “WTF” moments several times a week.
China's Slow Recovery from Debt Hangover Begins
Growth in the country's corporate debt load has finally leveled off this year as financial conditions and regulatory oversight tighten. That's good. But rebounding returns on incremental assets and common equity are even better.
A review of last month’s market-moving events across countries and asset classes
A Point of Parliamentary Procedure
We have always liked the clip from the movie Animal House where in the “Deltas on Trial” scene the smooth talking Eric “Otter” Stratton get up and says, “Point of parliamentary procedure.” From there Otter goes on a diatribe ending with the comment, “Isn’t this an indictment of our entire American society?
Where We Stand
John Stoltzfus, chief investment strategist at Oppenheimer Asset Management, explains his top-down view of markets, the economy and asset allocation.
Munis in Focus: Adjusting the Sails
How we’re positioning muni portfolios for turbulence – and the opportunities it may create.
The Distribution of Pain
When you write about economics, you learn very quickly that the economy doesn’t care what you say about it. The forces that drive it are beyond any one person’s comprehension, much less control. But at the same time, the economy doesn’t work like a law of nature. Unlike gravity, for instance, the economy responds to human choices and preferences. We influence it, even if we don’t understand exactly how.
The Fed’s Long Unwinding Road
In the latest edition of “Global Macro Shifts,” the Templeton Global Macro team examines the plans to start shrinking the US Federal Reserve’s (Fed’s) balance sheet and the potential impacts to financial markets.
Boring Companies, Exciting Stocks
Economic dislocations, regulatory shifts or intense competition can change the market dynamics confronting big, and at times unwieldy, conglomerates. They often force corporate restructurings that can result in more effective capital allocation and returns for investors who recognize promising new strategies amid the prevailing market pressures.
It's Late in the Market Cycle. Do You Know Where Your Portfolio Is?
Global CIO Jeff Hussey discusses why we believe having a clear view of your portfolio—with detailed, real-time knowledge down to the street level—is essential in today's market environment.
Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay
So I am sittin’ on a dock of the bay here in Boca Raton Florida watchin’ the tide roll away as I wait to speak at a conference of insurance CEOs and CFOs. I have spoken at this annual event for the past 10 years, and it is always a “gas” because the attendees are terrific people.
Year-End Tax and Financial Planning Ideas
After the 2016 presidential election, we knew that 2017 was going to mean a change in direction for the country. President Trump ran on a platform of tax and healthcare reform, which seemed to signal a new frontier for tax and financial-planning strategies. So a year later, where do we stand?
Global Stocks: When Is an Opportunity Not an Opportunity?
We’re now in the eighth year of a global bull market, and the positive effects are being felt in all regions. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development expects gross domestic product (GDP) for all of its member countries to grow in 2017 — a feat that has not occurred since 2007.
Slaughtering the High-Dividend Sacred Cow
At least for tax-advantaged investors, dividends are irrelevant: They are neither good nor bad in terms of forward-looking return expectations. Therefore, while there is no reason to exclude dividend-paying stocks, focusing solely on them leads to less diversified (less efficient) portfolios.