3rd Quarter Report – 2017

The last few years of a bull market are always a bit of a mystery to professional investors; the market rises faster than it did in the early, cautious years when nobody believed there WAS a bull market, even though there appear to be fewer fundamental or economic reasons for it. The current bull market […]

Portfolio Performance Defined

You receive portfolio performance reports every three months—a form of transparency that financial planning professionals introduced at a time when the typical brokerage statement was impossible to decipher. But it might surprise you to know that most professionals think there is actually little value to any quarterly performance information, other than to reassure you […]

Measuring the Market

Have you ever wondered what stock market professionals and equity analysts talk about in their spare time? Recently, the Bloomberg website featured a debate about something that is getting a lot of attention recently: the historically high, and still-rising U.S. stock market valuations. People have been willing to pay more, and more, and more for […]

Dump the Dow

Chances are, the market barometer you most often hear about is the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Every evening, the Dow’s ups or downs are soberly reported as if they reflect something important.

They don’t.

A recent online article noted that the 37-year-old index only reflects the performance of 30 U.S. multinational companies, and it doesn’t […]

Pound Poor, Pound Foolish

You may have read that the British pound has had a very rough couple of weeks on world markets, losing more than 4% of its value against the dollar in one week, and continuing the slide through the next, finally reaching a 31-year low against the dollar. Part of the problem was a mysterious “flash […]

Bees An Endangered Species?

You probably know that the bee population in the U.S. has been collapsing for the past several years, due to factors that are only now being partially understood. Scientists call the phenomenon “colony collapse disorder,” but the term “beemageddon” has become popular among laypersons.

Suspects for the population decline have included pesticides, disease-bearing parasites and […]

Quarter End Report: The Bull Continues

100 days after the Brexit scare, three quarters of a year after the most recent Fed rate hike, the markets once again confounded the instincts of nervous investors and went up instead of down. Last week, Fed Chairperson Janet Yellen told the world that the U.S. economy is healthy enough to weather a rise in […]

Home Ownership Rising

One economic statistic that you probably haven’t seen much of in the press is the home ownership rate. Quietly, the percentage American families who own their own home (versus rent) has fallen to 62.9% in the second quarter of 2016—the lowest figure in 51 years, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Young people are struggling […]

Low Cost, More Demand

The average investor isn’t stupid. The latest evidence comes from a look at where investors are putting their money, taken by the Morningstar mutual fund data organization.

Morningstar found that when they ranked funds by how much they cost their investors, from the top 20% to the bottom 20%, they found that the lowest […]

Under Water in the Caribbean

By all accounts, Puerto Rico is a beautiful, sunny place to visit, especially in the Winter. But it’s hard to fathom how this U.S. island territory of 3.5 million people could have racked up $70 billion in public debt—roughly $20,000 per citizen, which happens to be almost exactly the population’s average yearly income. Now that […]