Category Archives: Equities

5 Risks Associated With Investing in Preferreds

Due to their hybrid nature, the potential risks of preferred securities are related to the interest rate environment, issuer’s credit quality and liquidity. Interest Rate Risk: Due to their bond-like fixed dividend payments, preferreds are vulnerable to changes in interest rates.  There is an inverse relationship between preferred prices and changes in interest rates.  In Read more […]

How Much Popularity Can Low Volatility Stand?

The low volatility anomaly — i.e., the tendency for low-volatility or low-beta portfolios to outperform market averages — has been the subject of at least 40 years of academic research.  Given its challenge to what “everyone knows” about risk and return, it’s a fertile field for both professors and practitioners, some of whom recently characterized Read more […]

The Fed’s QE Dilemma

The US does not have any measurable inflation pressure now nor has it had any over the last 20 years.  The core personal consumption price index, used as the benchmark for inflation by the Federal Reserve (Fed) has been in the 1.25% to 2.5% zone since 1994, averaging about 1.75% for the last 20 years, Read more […]

3 Reasons Companies Issue Preferreds

Companies may issue preferred stocks for a variety of reasons.  The three reasons below are the most common. Preferred stock issuances give companies a relatively cheap way to acquire additional capital.  The preferred market is dominated by banks and related financial institutions, which are required by regulators to have adequate Tier 1 capital to support Read more […]

Core / Satellite Investment Strategies: Don’t Forget The Beta!

Traditional Core/Satellite investment strategies typically combine a diversified asset allocation framework with a smaller alpha-seeking segment of the portfolio.  With an increased emphasis being placed by many investment advisors on so-called “tactical” managers, as well as other “alpha-generating” trades, it’s not surprising, though somewhat disappointing, that simple beta often gets ignored.  In a year when Read more […]

Stocks and Houses

When tech stocks collapsed in 2000 and the market fell 50%, investors put their faith in houses:  maybe too much faith.  Then house prices collapsed from mid-2006 as mortgage excesses took down the economy. Stocks fell 50% again.  The subsequent recovery in the economy, houses and stocks disappointed at least two of the three: the Read more […]

Stock Picker’s Market?

This morning’s Wall Street Journal cites an adviser who opines that “the current stock market environment favors…active fund managers, who pick individual stocks in an attempt to beat broad market indices.”  This immediately raises the question of how to define a stock picker’s market, and how to determine whether today’s conditions are more auspicious for Read more […]

You Take My “Breadth” Away

An overview of the market shows that breadth, the number of issues up compared to the number down, is running very strong this year.  Year-to-date (YTD), 451 of the S&P 500 issues are up (47 down), which on an annual basis is the best since 458 issues increased in 2003.  The 2003 number is also Read more […]

A Simple Hedge Strategy

Alternative investments for high net worth investors are like the weather — everyone talks about it, but no one does anything about it.  In fairness, alternative investments — hedge funds, private equity, and the like — are often hard to access and complicated to explain.  But if they can deliver on their promise of uncorrelated Read more […]

Money Grows on THESE Trees

My parents used to tell me that money doesn’t grow on trees, but they didn’t know about the Eucalyptus trees in Australia like the one shown below. The science journal, Nature Communications, reported Eucalyptus trees in western and southern Australia absorb gold through their roots and transport it up all the way through their leaves. Read more […]