Quantcast
WHAT'S NEW? Our Latest Updates!

December 2014 Performance Review

Another year is in the can, and what a year it was. On the surface, 2014 was a great one: the economy ended on a high note and the U.S. stock market shook off a late-year slide to post a 13.51% 12-month return. This on top of the bond market's near 6% gain (and 2014 was supposed to be the year of the great bond collapse). How could an investor perform poorly in such an environment? All too easily, it turns out.

Commodity Collapse

We’ve learned something in 2014. Commodity investing is dead. Long live the information economy. Oh, real assets, we hardly knew ye!

November 2014 Performance Review

The U.S. stock market, fueled at least partially by (what now seems like) permanently low interest rates and a lack of investment opportunity abroad, is on to new highs again. The strange thing is that oil is plunging, non-U.S. economies are weak, and recent Black Friday sales were lackluster. You'd almost think we were in another global recession. 

Watch Out For Winners and Bill Gross Wannabes

Using past performance to pick your investments doesn’t usually work. You’ve heard this all before. It’s not a guarantee of future returns, yada, yada, yada…But what's a poor investor who still believes in the virtues of good old-fashioned stock and bond picking supposed to do? Choose funds with bad returns?

October 2014 Performance Review

And poof it was gone. So much for our stock market correction, which abruptly reversed course a mere month after its start and before it became a 10% "correction" (at least for U.S. stocks). The recovery was slightly faster than the drop, and as of now has taken the stock market a tad higher than the previous peak of September 18th. 

How We Doin' Mini-Crash Edition

Although this latest slide, which started about a month ago in mid-September, isn’t that big of a deal in percentage terms for the U.S. market, both the speed of the drop as well as bigger drops in hot growth stocks are scaring investors lulled into a false sense of security by a market with few down interruptions in recent years.

September 2014 Performance Review

September was a down month all around, except for those who are aggressively shorting. Although we are doing a little of that in our Aggressive portfolio, our modest short allocation didn't generate enough upside to make up for the dual slides in bonds and stocks. 

Trade Alert

Today we sold our two PIMCO funds in our Conservative portfolio (and the majority of our PIMCO fund holdings in our client accounts) and moved into Vanguard Mortgage-Backed Securities ETF (VMBS).

Our Short and Sweet Guide to Interest Rate Armageddon

For some reason, investor fear of rising interest rates gets more press than the brewing tech bubble. Maybe it’s the risk/reward comparison that scares investors. Sure, it won’t be good for Alibaba (BABA) investors coming in at a quarter trillion dollar market cap if earnings growth stagnates,  or Netflix (NFLX) investors buying at ~100 P/E ratios, but those companies could have more than the 3-4% annual gain longer-term investment-grade bond buyers can look forward to if things go well. 

August 2014 Performance Review

It seems the only record left to break is the old high in the NASDAQ, circa March 10th 2000. The tech-heavy benchmark finished that day at a delirious 5,048.62 — a mere 10% rise from today's level. If only Pets.com stuck around long enough to make an app with GPS tracking of your dog food order...