Voting with Their Feet

Despite superb returns for the equity markets across the developed world, 2013 was a tough year for active managers.  While the average hedge fund recorded fairly solid gains over the year, such performance paled in comparison to the rampant equity markets.  It was also a year that saw historic lows for the potential returns available Read more […]

Getting Grim For Gold Miners?

If you are worried that gold prices are falling, the prognosis could be much worse for gold miner stocks. Although many investors believe the performance of gold miners is just like the performance of gold, this is not quite the case.  If investors look at correlations alone to determine they are getting their gold exposure Read more […]

Looking Back To Look Ahead

In terms of fixed-income investing, 2013 is a year for the history books. Consequently, the question of what will 2014 bring for the fixed income investor arises. Some significant understanding of future fixed-income investing can be inferred from the recent past. The equity market had a very successful 2013 as the S&P 500 Index returned Read more […]

Easing the Fed’s Worries Over Quantitative Easing

Yesterday’s release of the December 17-18 2013 FOMC minutes by the Fed revealed concerns about the side effects of the quantitative easing.  While these don’t suggest an accelerated end to the Fed’s bond buying – the popular guess is still that it winds down by year end – members of the Fed’s key policy-making group Read more […]

Everyone Complains About the Weather

The universal complaint heard today is the “Arctic Vortex” and freezing temperatures across much of the US including financial centers in New York, Chicago and Boston. Are the cold and the weather just something to complain about or do they really affect people and the stock market?  There are various academic studies about how the Read more […]

ETFs and William Shakespeare in 2014

“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet” Juliet says to Romeo when trying to illustrate it is the essence of a something which is important, not what it’s called.  If Shakespeare were alive today, and Juliet were an investor, would he have her say the same things about an ETF?  Would she Read more […]

BACKWARDATION IS BACK!

2013 is the first year commodities have been in backwardation since 2003.  For those of you who need a refresher on the definition of backwardation, you are not alone, so here it is: “When a near-month futures contract is trading at a premium to more distant contracts, we say that a commodity futures curve is in Read more […]

The Dow Jones Industrial Average in 2013? Yeah, that went well…

A steadily improving economy and no small amount of performance-enhancing stimulus from the Fed re-enthused equity investors in 2013, leading the Dow Jones Industrial Average to finish in record territory. Let’s go to the tape: Impressive Climb – The DJIA finished the year at 16,576.66, up 3,472.52 or 26.50%.  That performance leaves us with the Read more […]

What Is The Golden Link Between $275,000, 750 Million AND -32.8%?

The hint in the title is GOLD and the answer is the year 1981.  In 1981, a Superbowl ad was $275,000, 750 MILLION people watched Prince Charles and Lady Di get married and GOLD lost 32.8%.  In 2013, the cost of a Superbowl ad was $4 million, Prince William and Kate Middleton welcomed Prince George, Read more […]

Why Bubbles Aren’t as Dangerous Today

Both the surprisingly strong 2013 US stock market performance and the surging rebound in US home prices are sparking fears of another round bursting bubbles among many investors and market pundits.  While we don’t know the chances that either stocks or home prices will plunge in 2014, the collateral damage from either will be less Read more […]