Should We Be Worried About U.S. Debt Levels?

Over the past four years, U.S. government debt held by the public has swelled from about $14 trillion to over $21 trillion. Debt as a percent of U.S. GDP now tops 100%, meaning our debt exceeds our annual output. Debt as a percent of GDP has not been this high since World War II (chart […]

Will Inflation Make a Comeback in 2021?

In the years following the 2008-2009 Financial Crisis, many analysts and pundits warned of rising inflation. Central banks around the world had expanded their balance sheets by the trillions, and it was believed that a seemingly endless amount of quantitative easing (QE) would surely result in inflationary pressures down the road. But runaway inflation never […]

Will the Bull Market Continue in 2021?

2020 was a year beset by a public health crisis, civil unrest, political dysfunction, and uncertainty across just about every facet of life. Yet the S&P 500 still posted a stout +18.4% return for the year, following a powerful +31.5% surge in 2019.1 Never mind the fact that there was a global pandemic, more political […]

Are We at the Top of this Market?

The S&P 500, Dow Jones, and Nasdaq indices all finished 2020 at or near all-time highs.1 What’s more, “risk-on” sentiment also ended the year with somewhat of a bang – investors borrowed a record $722.1 billion on margin through November 2020, and individual investors opened more than 10 million new brokerage accounts in 2020 (a […]

3 Market Trends for 2021

The stock market delivered a fairly wild ride in 2020, with a steep bear market arriving in record time followed by a strong and sustained rally that caught many investors by surprise. In my view, 2021 will represent the first full year of the new cycle, which almost always has tactical and strategic implications for […]

4 Reasons for Investors to be Hopeful in 2021

There’s no sugar coating it – 2020 was a tough year. The country confronted a once-in-a-generation pandemic, a major service-sector driven recession, a divisive and contentious election cycle, and social tensions of many different stripes. Multiple issues seemed to collide all at once. I won’t weigh-in on social or political issues here, but from an […]

Does Market Euphoria Signal a Correction Coming?

Over the Thanksgiving holiday, I’d be willing to venture that many dinner conversations included ‘investing in vaccine stocks,’ or perhaps some chatter about Tesla’s meteoric rise and inclusion into the S&P 500. Others may have discussed the flashy Airbnb and DoorDash initial public offerings (IPOs) that just took place, with some of the younger folks […]

Are We Backsliding Into a Double-Dip Recession?

Readers are probably tired of hearing about the pandemic’s effect on economic output. I get it. But with the pandemic worsening in the U.S., and with full vaccine rollout probably six months away, we’re entering a critical phase in the economic recovery. The first quarter of the new year will be a major litmus test, […]

The Dow Crosses 30,000…Are Stocks Overvalued?

News stories about the Dow Jones Industrial Average (the Dow 30) hitting 30,000 are cropping up. I’ve also seen reports that the Dow’s +12% rise in November was the index’s best month since January 1987. Most of the columns I’m reading also suggest stocks are running too hot, or that we can expect resistance at […]

3 Market Factors to Watch as We Close Out 2020

Many readers are ready for 2020 to be over. That’s understandable. In a year beset by losses for many families and businesses, and characterized by uncertainties of all stripes, it was a challenging twelve months to say the very least. I encourage readers to think of the new year as a fresh start, and a […]