30 results found.
The "Uncle Drew" Stock Market
Headline stock indexes (S&P 500, Dow, Nasdaq) continue to trade near all-time highs, and sport gaudy 5-year returns. These indexes have averaged more than 15% a year each since this time in 2010. The problem is, some investors think this is a reflection of the entire investment universe. Far from it.
The Fed will Strike Out
It has been said that the most difficult thing to do in sports is to hit a Major League fastball. A small object coming toward you at 95 miles per hour, with the potential to dart down, sideways or toward your skull is certainly a skill that few can master. And many excellent athletes train all their lives, reach the Major Leagues and find out even they can’t do it. And as that sport gets more scientific, strikeout rates are rising at an alarming rate. More complexity is being thrown toward hitters and even the best in the business find it more difficult than their predecessors.
Two Job Markets
We have written in the past about U-6, which in addition to being a very large shrimp (it’s a code that means 6 shrimp to a pound), is one of the government’s measures of unemployment. Specifically, it includes not only the traditional definition of unemployed (which the government calls U-3) but also those who are working but “under-employed." These may be people who are working multiple jobs, taking jobs that are below their level of experience, or those who have been unemployed for a long time. None of these people are included in the “headline” employment figures you hear about o
Stuck in Neutral
We see emphasis on “neutrality” in outlook in several of the indicators we follow at Sungarden, including our Sungarden® Stock Scoring System. From a fundamental and technical standpoint, we see fewer screaming long-term buys than we have in some time, yet we also don’t see too many situations that signal pending disaster.
We're Having "Flation"
We decided to look back at the last four years and get a sense of what is happening with prices. And, like so many investment discussions these days, our conclusions are not uniform. In the case of consumer prices, we are having inflation, disinflation depending on which major component of the CPI you watch. Conclusion: just as the broad stock market can have many underlying sub-trends within it, so too can that be the case for consumer prices. “Flation” – it is everywhere and of all three types in today’s consumer world.
Anatomy of a Down Market
As with all professional investors, we have an opinion about where the market is going, over the next few months and years, and even longer. Such forecasts do not contribute meaningfully to the investment decisions we make at Sungarden. Rather, our investment committee tries to focus on what is right in front of us. Instead of investing for a specific outcome, we gauge the possibilities, evaluate the tradeoff between reward and risk, and plan for anything.
Thoughts at Age 50
Today, I reach the half-century mark on this earth. I have spent over half of that time working in the investment management business. Over my more than 90,000 hours in the industry of managing money and caring for investors, I have met thousands of people, read a seemingly infinite amount of research and developed more than a few opinions about both investing (in bold) and life.
Financial Television: Five Things You Need to Know
Whether you are new to the retirement investing mindset, you go back to the days of Rukeyser and Kangas, or are somewhere in between, here is my list of things you will often see when watching financial TV ... and how to separate the reality from the hype and sales pitch.
Risk Tolerance: Defining a Misunderstood Term
First, lets be clear: "Risk" is the possibility that you will need money but dont have it, either because your portfolios value plunged, because your investments dont have near-term liquidity, or both. What freaks investors out in the here-and-now, is VOLATILITY. Yet many traditional approaches to building a portfolio dont really take this into account, other than a token survey question or two when the client is first starting to invest.
Are You Being Advised or Sold To?
Independent advisors come in all shapes and sizes the ones who get it treat the client as a teammate, not an opponent, and see their role as being the clients advocate, representative, and interpreter, within an increasingly complex investment world. Shortcuts and overkill by Wall Street ?rms increase the chance of the clients later feeling fooled, and feeling like a fool. Independent ?rms will continue to be the winners in that battle for the clients affections because they are far less likely to allow that to happen.
The Two-Minute Portfolio Manager
Its a short attention span world, and while we often wax poetic about investment topics we feel passionate about, today we will summarize our world markets view in less than the time it takes to heat up the dinner your family ate two hours ago (a scenario most familiar to this writer).
Schwab Impact Conference 2013 - Finally! Some Good News from D.C.
Earlier this week my wife (who doubles as Sungardens Director of Operations) joined me for three days in Washington D.C. at the Schwab IMPACT conference for investment advisors. To me, this is the biggest show of the year in our industry and the Capital edition continued the traditional mix of new ideas, networking and a feeling at the end once described by David Letterman as Im tiredbut its a nice kind of tired. Here are some brief highlights and what I think the implications are (if any) for what we are doing for our clients now and in the times ahead.
When markets get tied in a knot over an issue like the debt ceiling, its helpful to break down investors decisions about how to handle it in their portfolios. Whether it is an investment in foreign currencies, shorting the stock market, selling everything or some other investment strategy that comes complete with a perceived safety net, its tough for investors to manage their emotions and the mixed messages they get from the media.
Investment Reality as Told Through the Most Interesting Man in Baseball
You probably havent heard of Greg Dobbs. If you have, you are either a big Major League baseball fan, a casual fan of the Miami Marlins baseball team, or you know Greg Dobbs personally. He is a solid Major League player, but will not be mentioned alongside Ruth, Mays and Ripken. He is a great team player, a great media interview and was briefly featured on a national TV program last year as the most interesting man in baseball, a moniker given to him by one of his teammates.
As Seen On TV
For years I have been asked what I think of financial television. My typical response: reporters and entertainers are not fiduciaries. That is, they are not in the business of making you more successful. They are in the business of driving higher rates for advertising dollars for the network. Thats the game, thats it.
Your "Needy" Friend
You may have one. If you do, you know. A friend who is a joy to have in your life and you know that your world would be a bit less happy if they were not in it. But they are also one that needs a lot from you. Attention, advice, help with moving, your opinion on which dog to take home from the sheltermaybe even money.
Macro View...In Microwave Time (Part 1 of 2)
In todays sound-bite, tweet-driven world, one cant help but do all they can to keep it simple, keep it brief and resist the temptation many of us Baby Boomers have to fall prey to paralysis by analysis. With that spirit in mind, here is a quick, pointed update on the 13 key points for investors I laid out in an article in RIABiz.com on January 14 of this year. These were and are the most significant data and forces for investors to track today, to pursue long-term growth and sidestep major losses.
Macro View...In Microwave Time (Part 2 of 2)
Todays blog post picks up where last weeks left off by updating the 13 key points for investors I laid out in an article in RIABiz.com on January 14 of this year. These were and are the most significant data and forces for investors to track today, to pursue long-term growth and sidestep major losses. As I did last week, I will also note whether I think each point is a positive or negative (or other) for investors now that we are about 3/5 of the way through 2013. The six areas covered last week were generally positive. Lets see about the final seven on the list
The Retirement Income Problem
The most vital and pervasive issue investors will face in the next decade is how to wring out enough income from the savings they have amassed to maintain or enhance their lifestyle. To do so, they will need to be far more flexible in their investment approach. They also must adapt to an environment for "high quality bonds" (Treasuries, Municipals and Corporates) that does not at all resemble that which they are accustomed to.
Fiscal Cliff vs. Jimmy Cliff: How the leap may look more like Y2K or the Mayan calendar
As "Cliff" makes his way from post-election debate to complete absurdity I did some research. As it turns out, many of the potential outcomes of the Fiscal Cliff in January are in sync with the titles of popular songs from this Reggae superstar Jimmy Cliff. No, I'm not a Reggae fan, but it was pretty funny when I looked it up and I think I can get some points across while writing something that will keep advisors into the holiday spiritbefore reality returns soon.
Oh, we had heard about Cliff. We were warned about this nefarious character many months ago. We knew he was lurking and we knew he was not going to just go away. Cliff had invited himself into our lives, and unless we dealt with him, he was not going anywhere. You, the hard-working financial advisor, have probably been wondering when everyone else would notice him. That time came when the sun came up Wednesday after the election. There he was, casting his extraordinarily long and potentially costly shadow. Fiscal Cliff finally entered the national spotlight. It is time to meet him.
5 Ways for Incumbent Advisors to Get -- And Keep -- Their Clients' Vote of Confidence
Obama and Romney are asking for four years to deliver results -- ask your clients for three. First, a brief disclaimer: Nothing in this article is intended to be politically motivated. OK, with that out of the way, let's talk about a most critical issue in our industry that is easily forgotten in today's madcap, have-it-now, sensationalized world: investment evaluation horizon.
5 Counterintuitive Reasons Why the Investment Vehicle of the the Decade is ... Stocks
These days there are more varieties and combinations of investments than selections on a Starbucks menu -- but that's not necessarily a good thing. Now, you can invest in emerging markets, dividend-paying stocks, bonds from Africa and commodities that only farmers and professional speculators used to traffic in. Heck, clients can even tell an advisor they would like a double-long, midcap equity ETF.
How 5 Seriously Overworked Buzzwords Can Come Between You and Your Client
In my experience, several investing buzzwords have done more harm than good for investors. While they are important concepts, they have been so commoditized by the financial planning industry that their true meaning has been misinterpreted. All the while, Wall Street firms have reaped the benefits by mass-customizing portfolio management. What started as a concerted effort to help investors has been reduced to a marketing pitch and investors keep falling for it.
Mid-year Market Review
After one of the most trying years for investors in 2011, the first half of 2012 had a similar feel. The split-personality of optimism about a slow but visible recovery in the U.S. and weekly do-or-die drama in Europe produced the type of half-year that, frankly, we expected. Specificially, a continued pattern of news-driven, unsustainable moves in both directions landed much of the U.S. stock market in a tight price range.
Emotion in Motion
We don't normally feel compelled to discuss short-term market activity. However, once in a while a month comes along that is very different from most other months. This is one of those months. With the S&P 500 down over 12% for the month of August (as of 2:30PM on Friday, 8/19/11), and Europe's economic and banking system woes weighing on the markets again, here are our current thoughts on global markets and our current positioning.
OH, WHAT A FEELING! as were dancing on the (debt) ceiling
Most investors are risk-averse. They want to make a solid return, but they are far more emotionally influenced by losses, especially big losses. This is the emotion that rises to the surface during stressful times like this. After all, we are only about three years removed from the last major financial crisis, and Europe is putting up a good fight with the U.S. in the battle of who can implode first. If you are thinking enough already!, you have a lot of company. But are you doing anything about it? Here is what we have been doing all year, in anticipation of an eventual day of reckoning.
30 results found.