Halfway Between Double or Nothing

The official numbers aren't in yet but it looks like 2015 ended without a bang for US markets.  The S&P 500 managed somewhere around 1% total return and the Barclay's Aggregate ended up about .5% -- nothing worth getting excited over. Of course, across the globe and everywhere in between there were substantial divergences in … Continue reading Halfway Between Double or Nothing

Japan’s Footsteps

After improving economic prospects earlier this year, Japan has abruptly reversed course.  A third-quarter annualized GDP reading of negative -.8% puts Japan back in a technical recession (defined as two quarters of negative GDP growth). Following stimulative policies (aka "Abenomics") by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and a blossoming recovery from 2014's technical recession, many assumed … Continue reading Japan’s Footsteps

Full Swing Voting

Following a choppy third quarter, global markets have made a comeback.   Since October 1, the S&P 500 and EAFE have both rebounded over 5%, and emerging markets have bounced by more than 8%. Strangely enough, the same fears that stoked the sell-off also seem to be fueling the rally.  Investors who disliked the uncertainty … Continue reading Full Swing Voting

Never a Wrong Time

Market volatility picked up significantly in August and US stocks have been teetering in and out of correction territory ever since.  Uncertainty is pervasive and investors' nerves are rattled.  At times like these, it's more important than ever to manage expectations and maintain appropriate expectations. A market correction is generally defined as a pullback of … Continue reading Never a Wrong Time

Big Trouble in Little Athens, Revisted

It's been over five years since Greece's current financial crisis started making public headlines. Since then Greece has received more than 240 billion Euros of bailout loans from the ECB, the IMF, and the EU (aka the "Troika").  That figure doesn't include the "phantom" aid that Greece also received in the form of the debt … Continue reading Big Trouble in Little Athens, Revisted

Has Janet Lost Her Patience?

Speculation has been rampant about when Janet Yellen and the Federal Reserve will finally begin raising interest rates.  Last month all the buzz was focused on whether Yellen would drop the word "patient" (with respect to rate increases) from her scheduled Fed policy statement.   She did, and ever since strategists and traders all up … Continue reading Has Janet Lost Her Patience?

Looking Abroad

With about every major US equity index making new highs, many investors are nervous about US stocks.  I don't know if there's an impending stock market crash, but regardless at BCM we favor foreign developed market equities for the time being.  Here are a few reasons why. Western Europe appears to be trailing the US … Continue reading Looking Abroad