2016 U.S. Economy – Bumpy Road or Smooth Sailing?

According to the advance estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the U.S. economy stuttered in Q4 – growing a mere +0.7% from +2.0% growth in Q3. Although this flattish growth was in-line with expectations, it has still created some worries. Major impediments to growth were declining personal consumption expenditures, decreased local and state […]

4 Ways Monetary Policy Could Boost the Global Economy

The largest central banks around the world are making moves – just not necessarily in the same direction. While the U.S. Federal Reserve is tightening credit, the European Central Bank (ECB) and the Bank of Japan (BOJ) are easing their monetary policies to stimulate their economies. With policymakers desperate to bolster their respective domestic economies, […]

Should Dividend Cuts Spell Doom or Offer Hope?

Many investors dread dividend cuts as a sign of a company’s flagging financials. It follows that recent reports indicating that 2015’s count of dividend cuts exceeded that of 2008’s could spook shareholders. On the forefront of the dividend cutting trend is, not surprisingly, the oil industry. Crushed by a steep decline in prices, oil producers […]

Being “Greedy” When Others are Fearful

  Being “Greedy” When Others are Fearful – it’s one of the oldest adages in investing and some of the world’s biggest investors are putting it to work. In Q4 2015, Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway opened a new 26.5 million stake in pipeline operator Kinder Morgan (ticker KMI), whose master limited partnerships and stock prices have […]

Is China Spawning Global Deflation?

  Is China Spawning Global Deflation? Maybe not intentionally, but some of China’s recent actions are putting deflationary pressures on global prices. A weaker yuan is allowing China to offload excess output in steel aluminum, refined petro-products and will likely spread to basic materials and manufacturing goods. Additionally, China has been shrinking cash reserves at […]

2008 Financial Crisis Redux?

It started with concerns over U.S. bank exposure to energy loans and now it has spread like wildfire to Europe. The issue – falling commodities prices. Concern has escalated as investors start to price-in the possibility, or likelihood, that a v-shaped recovery in oil prices is not likely in the foreseeable future. This means that […]

Market Volatility and the Economy – What’s Going On?

Market volatility has been ruthless of late and I fully understand the toll it can take on the investor psyche. Even veteran investors will scratch their heads wondering if, maybe, it’s different this time. Ah, but wait! Don’t forget that old John Templeton quote about the four most expensive words in the English language: “This […]

Beware the Perils of Market Timing

Chicago, Illinois writes… I’m hearing some pundits say “the Bear is here, get out of the market.” I’m worried. What is your advice? Many thanks for asking Chicago – we’re getting this question multiple times a day now.  What the above suggests is that you become a ‘market timer.’ Beware the perils of market timing […]

Who’s Really Getting Crushed by Lower Oil?

Crude oil’s continuing downward spiral has left many puzzled, some unemployed and others bankrupt. As the WTI (oil pricing benchmark) plunges to below $30 per barrel, concerns about the Energy sector intensify, especially as there appears to be no clear indication of a rebound in the near term. Fluctuating profit margins are par for the […]