Market Commentary

Could the “Amazon Effect” Change the Investment Landscape?

June 20th, 2018
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You may have heard the phrase “Retail Apocalypse” recently, in reference to the wave of store closures and bankruptcies hitting the U.S. retail sector. The names on this hitlist are familiar ones: Macy’s shuttering 100 stores and laying off 5,000 workers1; Abercrombie and Fitch shuttering 40 stores in 2017; American Apparel filing for bankruptcy and […]

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Will Turmoil in Europe Hurt the Market?

June 11th, 2018
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One could argue that the phrase “political turmoil in Europe” has been applicable in nearly every year of the last decade. For many countries in the region, it has been a constant struggle for unity and political stability in the aftermath of the 2008 Financial Crisis, culminating in Brexit and the populist wave currently engulfing […]

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Sell in June or Your Bond Portfolio May Be in Ruin

June 3rd, 2018
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You are most likely familiar with the old adage “sell in May and go away” warning investors to sell their stock holdings in May in order to avoid a seasonal decline in equity markets. I do not necessarily advise investors to follow this approach. But as June is underway, I believe this time of year […]

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What’s Next for Emerging Markets: Crisis or Opportunity?

May 28th, 2018
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Unless you have 100% of your portfolio invested in oil (which I would not recommend), it’s been a pretty shaky start to the year for many asset classes and investment portfolios. Stocks, as measured by the S&P 500, underwent what now looks like a double-dip correction to start the year, and through mid-May are barely […]

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Bullish Until Proven Otherwise

May 21st, 2018
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Being a successful long-term investor requires research, patience, discipline, smart decision-making, and maybe a little bit of luck along the way. Honing those traits and applying them to portfolio management is a solid formula for generating competitive results over time, in my view. But there’s another key trait that investors need in steady supply in […]

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How to Avoid Bad Investment Forecasts

May 13th, 2018
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At any given time, there are always several impactful events happening at once in the global economy and the capital markets. Earnings reports, inflation readings, central bank decisions, trade deals, geopolitical chess moves with weighty implications. Taken together, all of these factors hold some sway over the direction of stocks and bonds, so it makes […]

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Will Fiscal Stimulus Tip Inflation into Dangerous Territory?

May 6th, 2018
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For most of this economic expansion, inflation has essentially been a non-factor. In spite of the Federal Reserve lowering interest rates to the zero bound for several years while also engaging in quantitative easing programs designed to pump liquidity into the economy, the inflation rate has rarely touched its 2% target.1 In the early years […]

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When a Bull Market Ages, Focus on Quality

April 29th, 2018
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Let’s face it – this bull market is old. Very old. And forgive me for being harsh, but it also might die soon. While I don’t believe bull markets die of old age, I do think that the longer an economic and market growth cycle runs, the more vulnerable it becomes to fundamental breakdowns – […]

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The Market Risk No One is Talking About

April 22nd, 2018
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If your biggest concern as an investor right now is the trade war, or regulation on the technology sector, or even the threat of a new geopolitical conflict, then you might not be digging deep enough into some of the headwinds the U.S. economy currently faces. To be sure, the risks I just mentioned are […]

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The Driving Forces of Market Volatility

April 15th, 2018
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Regular readers of this column know that on several occasions over the last year, I cautioned investors that volatility was likely to rear its ugly head at some point. In my view, it was never a matter of “if” – just a matter of when. The experience in 2017 of very low volatility and robust […]

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