The Fed’s Next Move

The Federal Open Market Committee, the Fed’s policy makers, meet on Tuesday and Wednesday this week and will issue a statement on Wednesday afternoon around 2 PM.  As usual, both the fixed income and equity markets will be watching for some hint of things to come.  There is little doubt that the Fed will announce Read more […]

Don’t Put All Your Eggs In One Basket

It’s a little late for an Easter post but this saying is about one of the key investment principles, diversification.  Simply put, diversification happens when assets inside your portfolio move in opposite directions. The investment measure of diversification is correlation and it can range from -1.0 to +1.0. If correlation is -1.0 between two assets, Read more […]

A Glance at the Liquidity of the Sukuk Market

Despite the challenging global environment and the shrinkage in sukuk issuance in 2013, the liquidity of the sukuk market, as tracked by the Dow Jones Sukuk Index, showed a slight improvement in the same period. The Dow Jones Sukuk Index is designed as an independent benchmark to measure the performance of the U.S.-dollar-denominated, investment-grade sukuk Read more […]

Defining a fast growing investment trend: ‘Smart Beta’

If finance were high fashion, ‘smart beta ETFs’ would be the showcase of this year’s Spring collection. They are receiving a lot of press attention and surveys of institutional investors show that they plan to increase their adoption of smart beta ETFs. In this article, we answer the question: What specifically are smart beta ETFs Read more […]

An Immediate Risk Measure

Volatility and correlation are history. In fact this is a consequence of their definitions.  The calculation of volatility and correlation – the preeminent measures of risk – requires multiple observations.  Quite a few periods are needed if the resulting estimates are to be relied upon as robust.   Because of this, volatility and correlation are not Read more […]

Index of Leading Indicators Kicks-Off the Week

The yield on the 10-year Treasury as measured by the S&P/BGCantor Current 10 Year U.S. Treasury Index suddenly moved higher to 2.78% from the previous day’s 2.64%.  Thursday’s upward movement before the Good Friday Holiday was a result of negotiations over the Ukraine crisis possibly resulting in an accord to defuse the conflict. Yields in Read more […]

Housing Looking for Good Old Days

Rising Home Prices are boosting property taxes while mortgage lenders may be getting more generous. Bloomberg reports that property tax collections are rising at the fastest pace since the financial crisis with gains spread across the country. Among cities cited as enjoying renewed revenue gains were San Jose CA, Nashville TN, Houston TX and Washington Read more […]

Internet Intercedes in the Market

The last month has been marked with worries that the stock market is about to (finally) have a correction and drop some 10% or more.  While it is impossible to tell if, or when, this might happen; a few numbers may explain some of the recent action. Stocks were seized with a bit of mania Read more […]

What’s the Canadian Preferred Market Made Of?

Shift in the Makeup of the Preferred Market As we noted in an earlier post, the Canadian preferred share market has undergone a significant expansion over the past five years, approximately doubling in market size.  In addition to the growth of the market, the Canadian preferred market has seen a shift from most outstanding preferreds Read more […]

Right Conclusion (maybe), Wrong Reason (definitely)

This morning’s Wall Street Journal joined (actually, re-enlisted in) the chorus of those arguing that 2014 would be a time for stock pickers to “shine.”  The lynchpin of the Journal‘s case will be familiar to advocates of a “stock-picker’s market.”  That argument is that since correlations in the U.S. equity market are declining (perhaps as Read more […]