As I noted this past weekend, 2017 was a year for the record books. Not surprisingly, the strong advance fostered a surge in investor optimism which pushed allocations to equities to the second highest level on record.

And leveraged to boot.

Importantly, don’t mistake record margin debt levels as people borrowing against their portfolio just to make larger investment bets. In reality, they are using leverage to support their lifestyle as well, after all, as long as stocks keep rising it’s like “free money.” Right?