Category Archives: economy

2016 In Review

Market Overview Markets turned up the excitement in the fourth quarter, especially with respect to US stocks and domestic interest rates. Stocks were sharply higher after the election with small cap stocks leading the way on a truly impressive run. From November 7th through the end of the year, Vanguard’s Small Cap Value ETF gained 15.05%. […]

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Now what?

It’s 10:11pm MT on election night and it would appear that despite nearly universal predictions to the contrary, Donald Trump is about to be elected to be the 45th President of the United States.  Markets are in near freefall overnight, and the last figure I saw was DJIA futures off over 800 points, more than […]

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3Q 2016 Markets In Review

Market Overview It’s almost hard to remember that a little more than 3 months ago we were all on the edge of our seats with much hand-wringing over the potential fallout of Great Britain voting to leave the EU. But, as these things tend to do, the apparent crisis faded away as the initial over-reaction […]

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Permanently bearish commentary

“May you live in interesting times.” The world is a pretty amazing place, moreso today than ever before. We have instant-on, ready access to more information that even existed 100 years ago. Better research, more powerful computing, more data, more robust data and more analysis of that data are all in my pocket (okay, plugged […]

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4Q 2015 Markets in Review

Market Overview Markets ended the year with a strong fourth quarter but that rally was only enough to bring global stocks back to breakeven for the full calendar year. Small cap US stocks struggled to keep pace with their large cap brethren and emerging markets had another very difficult year, once again posting double-digit losses […]

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Be Not Afraid

It seems all but certain that this week the Federal Reserve Board will raise the Fed Funds target rate at their December meeting. This has led to much hand wringing, fretting and scheming among many investors who own bonds or bond mutual funds.  I have been asked several times in the last month what we […]

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3Q 2015 In Review

Market Overview Markets across the board were ugly in the third quarter, particularly in September. Diversified investors likely feel there is nowhere to hide, as practically all major asset classes had significant losses for the quarter. Large cap US stocks were down, small cap stocks were down double-digits, emerging markets were crushed, down nearly 20% […]

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The fault in their stars

It pains me to type this, but it is nearly election season again.  Early contenders for the 2016 presidential election are lining up, making formal and less-than-formal announcements and warming up their campaign machines. The Republican field is littered with what seems to be a dozen candidates and the Democrats seem satisfied admitting that they’re bringing Hillary […]

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1Q 2015 In Review

Market Overview In the first quarter of 2015 we finally departed from the performance leadership of large cap US stocks. The S&P 500 squeaked out a positive return of 0.95% over the past three months which was dwarfed by strong performance in small cap US stocks and international developed markets, up 4.32% and 4.88%, respectively. […]

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Is the economy different this time?

Every time we have a release of economic data, people seem shocked by the underlying trend. Recently it’s been falling unemployment (by any measure) and upward pressure on wage growth.  We shouldn’t be surprised – this is, in fact, exactly what we should expect to see in this point of an economic cycle. Here’s where […]

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Introducing Fireside Markets

One of my favorite parts of the past two years has been becoming a part of an online community of advisors, commentators, economists and bloggers. I love the conversations, the original content, thoughtful discussions and debate. The intelligent disagreement and engagement is great. In that vein, I decided to formalize some of the conversations in the […]

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2014 In Review

Market Overview 2014 proved to be a diverse year for market returns.  Once again US stocks outpaced their global counterparts by a very healthy margin as the S&P 500 gained 13.69% and the MSCI EAFE lost -4.90%.  Small cap US stocks, after lagging most of the year, had a strong fourth quarter with gains of 9.73% to […]

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