Kicking the Wheel

Traditionally, commodities were a difficult asset class for individual investors to access.  For most people, it just wasn't practical to trade futures or to take physical delivery of oil barrels.  As a result, the primary investors were the very wealthy, institutions, and companies that had commercial needs for the commodities.  This shut out the average investor from a market that could provide strong returns and low correlations with other asset … Continue reading Kicking the Wheel

Latest Client Letter

Bellwether Capital Management LLC is pleased to share its latest Investor Letter with you.  Investor Letters provide BCM's perspectives on the economy, markets, and investing. You may access a copy of the letter along with an archive of letters, and other content at BCM's website http://www.bellwethercm.com.  Thank you, and please feel free to contact BCM … Continue reading Latest Client Letter

The Other HP

Most people probably think of  Hewlett-Packard when they hear "HP."  This is almost certainly the case for investors who have followed Hewlett-Packard's struggles.  However, I'm not writing about that HP, I'm writing about another HP that many people have never heard of.  Helmerich & Payne (HP) is a $4.9 billion oil and gas company based in the US.  It provides contract drilling … Continue reading The Other HP

Second Guessing

In fifth grade, I remember the "cool kids" at my school wore Guess jeans and a lot of hairspray (I wasn't one of them).  While hair spray has lost its popularity, Guess? Inc. has grown into a $2.4 billion dollar company that sells apparel in 90 countries around the world.  Last week, Guess reported earnings that missed analyst expectations and its stock price fell by more than 21%.  The negative … Continue reading Second Guessing

Hot or Not

Bonds continue to be unpopular among professional investors.  Over the past year, many well-known investors including John Paulson and Warren Buffet have expressed their preference for stocks over bonds. It's easy to understand why. The current 2.45% yield on a 30 year Treasury is not only historically low but is practically negative when adjusted for inflation.  At least stocks have the … Continue reading Hot or Not

Working Hard?

The financial media has been pointing out that employment is steadily improving.  A cursory look at the numbers seems to support that.  For example, the unemployment rate has declined to 8.2%, down from 9.1% last year.  Some will be quick to point out the decline was due to workers leaving the labor force, and not because of improving employment.  However, it's difficult to say that no job-related measures have improved. Over the past year, the … Continue reading Working Hard?

The Best Policy

Last week JP Morgan stunned the world by announcing that it suffered over $2 billion in losses from derivative trades gone awry.  Ironically, JPMorgan was considered to be one of Wall Street's more responsible banks - one that avoided the derivative disasters of the financial crisis. Even more ironic, JP Morgan's CEO, Jamie Dimon, has been one of the most outspoken bankers fighting against increased regulation of financial services.  Unfortunately … Continue reading The Best Policy

Conflicts of Interest

BCM clients are well-aware of the many conflicts of interests that financial services firms can potentially have with their clients.  An article recently published in The New York Times (via Bloomberg) shows a perfect example of how a supposedly prestigious Wall Street firm is no exception. Conflicts can arise when a firm is being paid or compensated to … Continue reading Conflicts of Interest