Stocks are set to close on a great 2019. Year to date, global stocks are up well over 20%. US stocks have led and are making new all-time highs along the way. Fed Chair Powell has suggested no more rate hikes in 2020 and President Trump announced a "phase one" agreement in the US-China trade … Continue reading Full Circle
Heavy Shoes for the Holidays
I've been asked several times what will cause the next major bear market, what's the proverbial "next shoe to drop?" In 2018 some thought Bitcoin's collapse would be it and this year some are pointing at passive investing. While I think these issues could exacerbate market swings, that's different from saying they will be the … Continue reading Heavy Shoes for the Holidays
The Big Short, Part Deux?
An excerpt from my recent article published at SeekingAlpha.com. Passive investing has enjoyed a tremendous rise in interest and popularity from investors over the past decade. Following that rise, the number of passive investment products, like index funds and ETFs, has also taken off. So much so that some fear passive investing is the next … Continue reading The Big Short, Part Deux?
An excerpt from my recent article published at SeekingAlpha.com. Pakistan goes back some 5,000 years and has a storied history of assimilating European, Asian, and Arab influences over millennia. Today, Pakistan has an equally interesting future that should be promising, but it's also debilitated by some serious problems. In this article, we'll unpack what's right and … Continue reading Unpacking Pakistan
Reading Yield Leaves
Much ink has been spilled over the inverted US Treasury yield curve lately, and I'm guilty of adding to the mess in my previous posts. This is a topic that may seem abstract and complicated to some, but it's actually quite simple. We'll clarify the concept in this post for those puzzled by all the … Continue reading Reading Yield Leaves
Bulls running high Markets exhaled a sigh of relief following the US-China trade truce and US stocks are retesting all-time highs. Like I wrote earlier this year, the new-highs are not a surprise and there could be even more upside if Chairman Powell delivers on anticipated rate cuts. Ironically, these new highs could signal a topping … Continue reading Burning Out
Hungry For Yield
Back to 1 Last year when the 10-year Treasury yield breached 3% the markets were convinced the era of low long-term rates was over. But yields are now back down to a 2% handle. And just as quickly as some predicted 5% Treasury yields, some are now predicting 1%. 10-YEAR US TREASURY YIELDS Fixed-income investors … Continue reading Hungry For Yield
Paint, Grass, and Data
"Investing should be more like watching paint dry or grass grow. If you want excitement take $800 and take it to Las Vegas " - Paul Samuelson. Spoken like the Nobel Laureate he was, Dr. Samuelson's simple, timeless words of wisdom resound true until this day. Long-term investors should focus on fundamental data rather than … Continue reading Paint, Grass, and Data
It's the 19-year anniversary of the dot-com bust, and ironically markets are again awash in a deluge of fantastic IPOs. This time the fantasy has gone next level and involves a stampede of mythical unicorns. During the dot-com boom, it was unthinkable to value a pre-IPO company at over $1 billion (a unicorn). But as … Continue reading Chasing Unicorns
Cracks in the Wall
I wrote in December widespread market fear and pessimism in the US seemed like an overreaction based on fundamental data. To be clear, I don't think US stocks are a good bargain, and I prefer emerging markets anyway. But the YTD rally does support my view that the sell-off in Q4 was technical, and as … Continue reading Cracks in the Wall
One Country, Many Reasons
From a Western perspective, many things about China are hard to understand. For example, a communist government with a market economy, or the "one country, two systems" arrangement between Hong Kong and the mainland. The Chinese stock market is even more confounding. Quotes flash red on upticks and green on downticks. There are more share … Continue reading One Country, Many Reasons
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