Bullish Until Proven Otherwise

Being a successful long-term investor requires research, patience, discipline, smart decision-making, and maybe a little bit of luck along the way. Honing those traits and applying them to portfolio management is a solid formula for generating competitive results over time, in my view. But there’s another key trait that investors need in steady supply in […]

How to Avoid Bad Investment Forecasts

At any given time, there are always several impactful events happening at once in the global economy and the capital markets. Earnings reports, inflation readings, central bank decisions, trade deals, geopolitical chess moves with weighty implications. Taken together, all of these factors hold some sway over the direction of stocks and bonds, so it makes […]

Will Fiscal Stimulus Tip Inflation into Dangerous Territory?

For most of this economic expansion, inflation has essentially been a non-factor. In spite of the Federal Reserve lowering interest rates to the zero bound for several years while also engaging in quantitative easing programs designed to pump liquidity into the economy, the inflation rate has rarely touched its 2% target.1 In the early years […]

When a Bull Market Ages, Focus on Quality

Let’s face it – this bull market is old. Very old. And forgive me for being harsh, but it also might die soon. While I don’t believe bull markets die of old age, I do think that the longer an economic and market growth cycle runs, the more vulnerable it becomes to fundamental breakdowns – […]

The Market Risk No One is Talking About

If your biggest concern as an investor right now is the trade war, or regulation on the technology sector, or even the threat of a new geopolitical conflict, then you might not be digging deep enough into some of the headwinds the U.S. economy currently faces. To be sure, the risks I just mentioned are […]

The Driving Forces of Market Volatility

Regular readers of this column know that on several occasions over the last year, I cautioned investors that volatility was likely to rear its ugly head at some point. In my view, it was never a matter of “if” – just a matter of when. The experience in 2017 of very low volatility and robust […]

Uphill Battle for Stocks?

Technology stocks are under mounting pressure, and the S&P 500 remains in correction mode. The threat of a trade war is growing. Investors are understandably getting more skittish by the day. Those are the headlines of the day in the financial world, and they are a source of worry for many. But I don’t actually […]

Don’t Miss These Investment Lessons from Q1 2018

The first quarter served as a wake-up call for investors and investment professionals in a few ways. We were reminded what real volatility felt like. We learned the Trump administration (or at least Trump himself) is serious about tariffs and trade. We were pleasantly surprised by how much S&P 500 corporations raised earnings estimates for […]

Bull Market’s 9th Birthday, but is it Too Soon to Celebrate?

On March 9, 2009, the S&P 500 hit its low point for the treacherous bear market of 2008, which was spurred by the global financial crisis. The index bottomed out at 676.53.1 Today, the S&P 500 trades at over 2,500, with total gains off-the-bottom approaching +250%. As I write this column, however, I cannot actually […]

The Next Bear Market Will Come Without Warning

March 9th marked the nine-year anniversary of this bull market, which now stands as the second longest bull market in history (the 1990 – 2000 bull market is the longest) according to Strategas Research. Using history as a guide, we know that bull markets do not last forever. Stocks are likely destined to decline materially […]