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

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

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

Anything and Everything for Russia

Today S&P announced it cut the credit rating on Russian sovereign debt to junk status.  The Russian equity market slid about 8% on that news, but the damage wasn't as bad as some may have thought. That's because the downgrade was widely expected, and of course, the Russian market is already down more than 60% … Continue reading Anything and Everything for Russia

Mid-Year Summary

Despite a surprise slowdown of US economic growth in the first quarter, the stock market has continued to climb higher. The S&P 500 is up by over 7% year-to-date. US equity REITs have been especially strong, already returning more than 17% so far in 2014. Meanwhile, the benchmark 10 year US Treasury yield has fallen … Continue reading Mid-Year Summary

Russia Looks Rich & Cheap

In the previous post, I made the long-term case for commodities. In this post, we'll consider an indirect way to get exposure to them. It's common knowledge that emerging market economies tend to be correlated with commodity prices. That's because emerging markets are often dependent on the export of natural resources, making them "banana republics," … Continue reading Russia Looks Rich & Cheap