This is a stock market blog about portfolio management,foreign stocks, exchange traded funds and the occasional musing about my firefighting experiences. The point here is to share process

Wait, How Much In Commodities?

My latest post for Alpha Baskets looks at some interesting comments in the annual Barron’s Roundtable.

From the post;

He believes rates will head higher and that inflation is coming back after a long deflationary run. Before the financial crisis, commodities were a good hold for much of the 2000’s. Not so after the crisis until just a few months ago as industrial commodities have rallied hard. Commodities tend to not do well in deflationary environments but there is an argument for gold as a deflation hedge from the context of gold being a currency that goes up against deflating currencies. Gold of course did very well in the early days after the crisis into its peak in 2011 but has mostly struggled since. Arguably gold as a deflation hedge wasn’t put to the test as we did not have any sort of catastrophic, deflationary outcome, more like heavier deflationary pressure than we’d had in a long, long time.

Please click through to read the entire post.

Capitol Reef National Park


Monument Valley


Tweets & Press Conferences

The weekly Market Update is posted at Alpha Baskets and includes the following;

The financial sector garnered a lot of attention on Friday as several of the mega cap banks reported earnings that were generally favorable with the idea being that higher interest rates will help profitability. Financials are important in this regard as being the second largest sector in the S&P 500 and if the FOMC follows through with three rate hikes this year (a big if) then this could be a source of increasing earnings for the index. Ycharts currently reports an estimate of $122.60 for 2017 versus $105.83 in 2016. We mentioned last week the potential boost that the energy sector could get if oil stays close to $50. There are always bullish and bearish data points, the potential earnings boost would obviously be a potential positive.

Please click through to read the entire update.

1938 Chevy Master Deluxe


A sort of ratrod motorcycle


1960 Thunderbird


Investors Say No To GMOs?

The title is a play on words for my latest post which looks at the large drop in AUM at Grantham Mayo Van Otterloo & Co which is commonly referred to as GMO.

From the post;

The way I have worded this before is that I think they draw the wrong conclusion about what markets might do. Markets have a tendency to go up more often than they don’t and while that could change at some point it has proven true up to this point. Unique to the last ten years has been the desperate measures by the Treasury Department (at least at the start of the crisis) and the Federal Reserve to stimulate the economy since the crisis. The results with respect to the economy were not so great but appeared to send equity prices much higher, defying economic theory along the way.

Please click through to read the entire post.

We’ve been having some amazing sunrises here lately. This one lit up the inside of our house like an Instagram filter.


Beach houses in Malibu


Harley Davidson from our LA trip last month.


Dow 20,000! Not Yet!

The weekly Market Update is posted at Alpha Baskets and includes the following;

It has been a while since we last checked in on the Mexican peso. The dollar has continued to work its way higher against the peso. There was a huge jump in USDMXN (dollar up against the peso) immediately after the election which leveled off for a time before jumping more than 2% last week in the face of several corporate announcements of bringing jobs back from Mexico or not sending them there in the first place. Currency volatility has ramped up in recent months in a way markets have not seen in quite some time. This has the potential to impact other markets as we saw with struggling US multinationals’ earnings reports in 2016 and it also creates a headwind for US investors looking for foreign equity exposure as they are also buying the currency when they buy the foreign stocks.

Please click through to read the entire update.

Old San Francisco Engine 39 parked at an auction house in Palm Springs.


An old Chevy at a car show in Los Angeles


Lifeguard Tower at Zuma Beach in Malibu


The Beginning Of The End Of Hedge Funds As We’ve Known Them?

My latest post for Alpha Baskets looks at the recent troubles that hedge funds have been having.

From the post;

Now is not the end of hedge funds as we know them. The fees have been going down for a while, assets may have flowed out in 2016 but at some point hedge funds will have a run of doing relatively well and money will flow back in. In past blog posts we’ve chronicled pensions allocating to, and then away from hedge funds. It is at least in part the behavior of chasing returns and it is a good bet that the behavior will repeat.

Please click through to read the entire post.


Taken by my wife as we drove along side


Taken in Los Angeles at the beginning of December