Market sell-off creates opportunity – what we are doing now

Main points: We use the current market volatility to makes some adjustments to our recommended asset allocation. We modestly reduce our pro-cyclical bias by lowering the allocation to equities. To offset this reduction, we recommend adding to liquid alternative ETFs, […]

Why Stocks Are A Better Choice Than Bonds Right Now

Main points: Stocks are attractive given that bond yields are barely beating the inflation rate. The S&P 500, after a 9.9% correction since September 19th, is now trading at fair value. A buy signal was triggered Wednesday when 10-year Treasury […]

Does Your Skill Set Justify Stock Picking?

Robert Shiller is one of my heros. (Yes, there are people in the industry that I look up to – especially the ones who have made great contributions to the investment management profession.) And he recently warned amateur stock pickers […]

Investing Best Practices: A 3-Step Portfolio Checkup

It’s time. Haloween decorations are going up, football season is in full swing, and your portfolio is due for a routine inspection. Use this quick-and-dirty checklist to make end-of-quarter rebalancing easy. It’s important to know if your portfolio’s allocations are […]

Why Beating The Market Is A Zero-Sum Game

Beating the market is tough. Especially when you consider that 90% of the trading that takes place is done by institutions, not individuals. These big investors are all trying to beat the market, or at the very least not lose […]

How To Be A Proper Internet Troll

Tip of the hat to Cullen Roche at PragmaticCapitalism for this handy guide to Trolling. He was responding to a persistent guest on his discussion boards when I caught this retort: “Also, nice use of big words and a fancy […]

Here’s What Advisers & Planners Are Doing About Shrinking Fees

In a June article titled “What to Do About Fee Compression” which was directed to advisers and planners, Wayne Badorf of Wells Fargo Asset Management offered some interesting ideas. “Last year, the average fee for new accounts was 1.02%, down […]

How Much Cash Are You Sitting On Right Now? (odds are it’s too much)

The market has had such a great run, not just this year but over the past 5 years, that it’s easy to get seduced by the bearish mantra of “we’re overdue for a crash.” Don’t fall for it. Smart investors […]

Volatility Weekly Chart

Chart of the volatility of the stock market, as measured by the VIX index. VIX is often called the “fear guage” for stock market investors, because it tends to spike higher when there is bad news about the economy, or geopolitical events, or anything of significance that may cause stock markets to fall.

S&P 500 10 Year Chart

Long-term chart of the S&P 500 index. Monthly closing prices going back 10 years. Although this index is trading at an all-time high, when you adjust for inflation the market still has a lot of ground to make up.