Time to Invest Defensively?

The title of this week’s column suggests I’ve turned bearish—I haven’t. We’ve said all year that we expect middling, but positive, returns from equities in 2016. In my view, we’re likely to see returns in the mid-single digits. Growth is slow, but it’s still growth. Also, as there are more tailwinds than headwinds occurring, we […]

Beware of Debt Skeletons in Corporate America’s Closet?

Last week, I wrote about public debt levels in America. The conclusion drawn was that, while America’s debt levels have grown swiftly relative to GDP in the last decade, it’s also true that our debt-to-GDP ratio has been higher in the past. Think post World War II era—higher debt during this period was not debilitating […]

Is US Debt Crippling the Economy?

U.S. debt has been a hotly debated topic for as long as it’s existed—which means it’s always been a hotly debated topic. The thought of knowing that our country has some $19 trillion in total debt outstanding makes many stomachs turn, especially when you consider that it’s more than our total annual GDP (estimated at […]

Retailers Getting Crushed…Is the Stock Market Next?

You’ve likely heard that consumer spending accounts for 70% of U.S economic activity. While some argue with this figure and how it is derived, there is still no denying that consumer spending has a notable impact on the economy. So, what happens when retailers take a big hit like many did in Q1? Does it […]

Time to Sell Bonds and Buy Dividend Stocks?

Following the 2008 global financial crisis, central banks around the world implemented aggressive monetary policies in an attempt to reignite the global economy. Europe and Japan are still running QE (quantitative easing) programs and even China entered the game with several interest rate cuts. The U.S. has ended QE, but interest rates are still near […]

Beware the Bear with FANGs

Could the next bear market be driven entirely by four stocks? It just might. In 2015, nearly all of the S&P 500’s meager gains were driven by FANG, what is becoming a common acronym for Facebook (ticker: FB), Amazon (ticker: AMZN), Netflix (ticker: NFLX) and Google (ticker: GOOGL). Taking this a bit further, had you […]

Will ‘Sentiment’ Turn This Bull into a Bear?

I have used this space many times to discuss how fundamentals drive stock prices over the long run. Additionally, in the midst of (sometimes severe) volatility and rising uncertainties that come with it, I’ve often made the point to stay focused on what really matters in terms of equity prices these days including: U.S. GDP […]

4 Quarters of Negative Earnings – Time to Worry?

Earnings season is on the menu now and bears everywhere are drooling. Why? Because looking at Q1 as a whole, total earnings are expected to be down -10.3% on -0.6% lower revenues versus the same period last year. This will be the 4th quarter in a row of negative earnings growth for the S&P 500, […]

Bank Stocks Plummet – Time to Unload or Load Up?

Financial stocks stumbled hard out of the gates in 2016. Some of the biggest players in the U.S. like JP Morgan (JPM), Wells Fargo (WFC) and Bank of America (BAC) got completely clobbered in the first six weeks. From January 4 to February 11, when broad domestic markets shuddered, JP Morgan declined -19.62%, Wells Fargo […]

5 Tech Products and the Changing Investing Landscape

It’s no secret that technology is woven into our lives – from how we communicate to how we receive medical care to how we purchase goods, technology is omnipresent. It’s also no secret that, often, winners and losers are borne out of technological innovation. But, that’s no newsflash – automation sometimes results in the loss […]