Tag Archives: 2015

Energy: Fueling a Race to the Bottom

While consumers may enjoy the additional purchasing power provided by a decline in energy prices, Energy sector investors would prefer that they had a little more pain at the pump. The Energy sector of the S&P 500 is having a year to forget. The index is down 20% year to date on a total return Read more […]

Concentration Consternation

“There are 3 kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.”- Mark Twain Earlier this week, The Wall Street Journal pointed out that a mere six stocks (Amazon, Google, Apple, Facebook, Gilead, and Disney) had accounted for more than 100% of the S&P 500’s year-to-date gains.  This degree of concentration (reminding some of the peak Read more […]

ETFs and Hedge Funds: At What Price Performance?

With the final numbers for the second quarter of 2015 now available, the research firm ETFGI today brought some long-anticipated news: the size of the exchange traded funds market has finally exceeded that of its older, more well-to-do cousins.  It may have taken a little longer than we expected, but ETFs are now a bigger Read more […]

The Smarter Investor

Investors have spoken: There is a world outside of traditional indexing, and they want in. “Smart beta” or factor indices bridge the gap between active and passive management by allowing investors to tilt toward specific investment attributes – for example, low volatility or high dividend yield.  These indices use factors in a rules-based, transparent manner Read more […]

Will Greece Default, And Does It Matter?

Once again, Europe’s banking and finance chiefs are hunkered around the negotiating table. The Greek prime minister is optimistic a deal can be reached, the German finance minister dismissive. A debt payment is due; it is two minutes to midnight.  The markets are hanging by a thread on the outcome. Writing the news is getting Read more […]

When Did Everyone Get so Sick?

While the government squabbles over the future of healthcare, healthcare company executives can just sit back and smile.  Their investors can too. In the U.S., the healthcare sector significantly outperformed broad parent indices in the first quarter 2015, across capitalization ranges.  On a total return basis, the S&P 500® Health Care sector index gained 6.5% Read more […]

Consistency is Bliss

Following three consecutive weeks of declines for the S&P 500®, pundits are asserting that investors have more to fear than simply the Ides of March.  As of the market close on Friday the 13th, the S&P 500 had declined 3% in March on a total return basis. Defensive strategies can provide some protection from market Read more […]

European Equities Ripping Into 2015: Is It Just The ECB?

If there is one thing that the large stimulus programs enacted by central banks in the U.S., U.K. and Japan over the past few years have taught us, it is that they provide a whopping boost to equity markets in the short term.  Is that the only reason Europe is doing so well? The European Read more […]

Currency Wars: Pandering to Debase

So far this year, we have seen a ravenous interest from U.S. investors in currency-hedged equity exposure.  Currency risks have increased; currency volatility is on the up: The reasons behind these trends can be understood in part via the nature of human psychology and power, and the reality of politics. Consider yourself, for a brief Read more […]

2015 Resolution: Diversification

Most bond markets ended on a positive note in 2014. Some of the outperformers are the S&P Eurozone Developed Sovereign Bond Index (up 11.98%), the S&P U.S. Issued Investment Grade Corporate Bond Index (up 7.71%) and the S&P China Government Bond Index (up 10.35%). Yet the global yields remained low, i.e. the yield-to-worst of the Read more […]