Category Archives: Strategy

Real Data on Healthcare

One of the biggest things missing from the never ending healthcare debate is hard data.  “Man-on-the-street” interviews reveal that some people don’t realize that Obamacare, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the ACA are all one and the same.  The absence of factual data is most crucial when examining the cost of healthcare.  Read more […]

The Shutdown and The Debt Ceiling

As of the market close on Monday, Congress is still pushing bills back and forth from one house to the other and a government shutdown looks like the odds-on bet.  The S&P 500 rebounded part way from a sharp drop at the open but has done little since mid-morning.  If the Credit Default Swap market Read more […]

Commodities Crystal Ball: What do the FUTURES hold?

What strategies will be the most profitable over the next 12 months?  Which spread will have the greatest opportunity? These are just a few questions we asked the audience at our S&P Dow Jones Indices 7th Annual Commodities Seminar, and we thought you may be interested in their answers. As I mentioned in a recent CNBC interview, Read more […]

Active vs Passive Investing – Looking at 2013 Mid-Year Results

The past 12 months ending June 30 saw an impressive rally in the domestic equity markets with S&P 500, S&P MidCap 400 and S&P SmallCap 600 posting double digit gains.  During that period, the majority of active managers in all the categories except small cap growth underperformed their benchmarks.  The SPIVA 2013 mid-year report shows Read more […]

Who’s Calculating Your Index?

Most investors assume that ETFs are passive investment tools tracking independently calculated indices, that premise has arguably been one of the key factors driving the popularity of ETFs.  In the past investors and advisors could be confident about their understanding of an ETF by reviewing the rules governing the underlying index.  To a large extent Read more […]

If it ain’t broke, don’t VIX it

Within the last week, we’ve read about threats of another war in the Middle East, collapsing currencies across emerging markets, imminent rumblings of yet another Greek bailout.  As of this writing, there is one day left until the Fed’s much anticipated pronouncement on the “end” of QE.  Talk abounds of September being the worst month Read more […]

Man Bites Dog

Everyone wants to invest with the ‘smartest guys in the room’. But what do the smartest guys invest in? Well, a poll of mutual fund professionals suggests a very surprising result. As regular readers of this blog will know, while there are plenty of managers who can show attractive returns over the past few quarters Read more […]

Beta, Smart and Dumb

The idea of “smart beta” is gaining increased acceptance, although not without some controversy.  I have to confess that I really dislike the term “smart beta,” and not just because I didn’t invent it.  “Alternative beta” I can live with, or “factor” indices, or “strategy” indices — but “smart” beta leaves me cold. Which is Read more […]

Jaw-Boning at the Fed

When the FOMC minutes were released on Wednesday (August 21st) at 2:00 PM analysts and investors combed through all ten pages looking for some hint of when QE3 might be tapered or what new trigger was be watched by the Fed.  This was old news from a time capsule:  The meeting was three weeks earlier Read more […]

Fear Gauge Spikes: Let’s Play Hot Potato

For what risk does the commodity investor get paid? At what point is the fear gauge so high the risk gets passed like a hot potato? The answers to these questions will help explain why post the global financial crisis there has been a link between VIX spikes and commodity losses. Let’s address the first Read more […]