The third quarter is officially in the books, and it ended a dicey one. Global stocks ended the quarter squarely in correction territory, the FTSE Global All Cap Index was down 10.5% for the period. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 was down 7.3%, the EAFE was down 10.1%, and emerging markets were the worst at … Continue reading Rolling the Dice
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
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
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
Despite some lingering concerns, the US economy continues to chug along in 2014. The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released it's the second estimate of third-quarter real GDP growth yesterday and it came in at 3.9% annualized. That's not a terrible number, but it's not a great one either. This persistent, weak growth continues to … Continue reading Persistence Over Weakness
After almost six years and over $4.4 trillion in asset purchases, the Federal Reserve plans to end its unprecedented monetary policy known as quantitative easing, or “QE,” in November 2014. Though the end of QE has been widely anticipated, the actual termination of the policy represents a major turning point for financial markets, a point … Continue reading The End is Near
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
While lumber doesn't get as much attention as its popular cousins oil and gold, it too is a scarce and valuable natural resource. What's more, I think the secular case for lumber is strong due to how the world is changing. As countries develop and industrialize, they typically follow a pattern of building and resource … Continue reading Yelling Timber!
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
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?