Posts filed under “Asset Allocation”

Is the Bull Dead?

Is the bull market, which started after the lows of early 2009, coming to an end? Let’s have a look at some data, as well as the arguments pro and con, to see if we can find any insight. In particular, I want to look at the latest economic, corporate and market issues to see what we might learn.

First, the U.S. economy. As we have observed, it has been a long slog out of the depths of the financial crisis. Gross domestic product growth has never really taken off; wage growth is weak; and retail sales, except where cheap credit flows freely, have disappointed. Many people have little or negative equity in their homes. I have explained — or if you prefer, rationalized — that this is typical of other post-credit-crisis recoveries.

The primary upside to the U.S. economy has been job creation, housing and demand for capital.

Start with the recovery in the labor market. Unemployment now is 5.3 percent, almost half of what it was in the aftermath of the crisis; 11 million jobs have been created since the Great Recession ended. Job openings continue to increase, and there are signs that wages may finally begin to move higher. This is significantly better than it has been at any time since 2007.

Second, housing has improved. It is still below where it should be under normal circumstances, but as we have noted, these are not normal circumstances. Aided by low inventory (courtesy of the aforementioned equity issues) and cheap mortgage rates (courtesy of the Federal Reserve), prices are rebounding. We are also seeing building permits rise, and bidding wars for both buyers and renters are not uncommon. In select coastal and urban areas, there are definite supply shortages. Despite this lumpy and unevenly distributed improvement, the housing recovery is occurring.

Last, and perhaps most meaningful . . .


Continues here: Is the Bull Market Over?





Category: Asset Allocation, Commodities, Cycles, Economy, Markets

What’s Your Investing Philosophy?

    My Sunday Washington Post Business Section column is out. This morning, we look at two competing investment philosophies, Alpha & Beta. The print version had the sort of misleading headline Be the guy with the calm and collected investing strategy – I much prefer the online version’s The best investment strategy for you? It’s the…Read More

Category: Analysts, Asset Allocation, Financial Press, Investing, Philosophy

The University Endowment Sweet Sixteen Bracket

Via Chief Investment Officer, we see this amusing comparison of major university endowments. I am not sure how the winners are determined, other than where a small subset of asset managers would like to one day work. Based on the recent performance data I have seen, there seem to be lots of under-performers. Well, at…Read More

Category: Asset Allocation, Hedge Funds, Investing, Venture Capital

Curse of the Macro Tourist

How’s your macro? Not too good? Terrible? Unsure what that even means? Let’s start here: Macro refers to the large geopolitical moments, and the natural and man-made disasters, that some investors track as potential market moving events. Large economic trends or reversals, diplomatic breakthroughs, political crises and even war are all macro events. Think: a…Read More

Category: Apprenticed Investor, Asset Allocation, Financial Press, Really, really bad calls

Travails of the Modern Macro Tourist

      My Sunday Washington Post Business Section column is out. This morning, we look at travels and travails of the macro tourist. That was the name of the online version; in print edition of the paper, it was Is your money subject to the travails of a macro tourist?. Here’s an excerpt from the…Read More

Category: Apprenticed Investor, Asset Allocation, Really, really bad calls

Last August, we called out the San Diego County retirement fund for paying way too much in fees to Salient Partners, its outside pension-fund manager. Based on reporting by Dan McSwain, the San Diego Union-Tribune alerted readers to a dramatic increase in the use of leverage once Salient took the reins. On July 16, the county fired Houston-based Salient, according…Read More

Category: Asset Allocation, Hedge Funds, Really, really bad calls

Asset Class Performance, 1H 2015

One of my favorite — and most instructive charts — is the asset allocation quilt: Click for ginormous graphic Source: Novel Investor  

Category: Asset Allocation, Digital Media, Markets

You’re Only Human: Here’s How it Hurts Your Portfolio

I recently had the privilege of sitting down for a chat with Richard Thaler, professor of the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago. Thaler is widely recognized as the father of behavioral economics. He is perennially on the short list for a Nobel Prize in economics. His observations about how people behave in the…Read More

Category: Apprenticed Investor, Asset Allocation, Cognitive Foibles, Investing

Topics for the RWM Client Conference Call

On June 30th, our investment firm will be holding its Q2 client conference call. Because we’ve got a clientele that spans the entire country, we’ve found that holding a call during which we address important topics and take questions from our investors is a really effective way to communicate. In the weeks leading up to…Read More

Category: Asset Allocation, Investing

The Big Disconnect Between Investing and Human Behavior

    My Sunday Washington Post Business Section column is out. This morning, we look at the work of Richard Thaler, the father of Behavioral Economics. His findings are very applicable to investors. The print version had the full headline You’re only human: How it hurts your investments; online its You’re only human: An economist explains how…Read More

Category: Asset Allocation, Cognitive Foibles, Investing