The Media’s Incomplete Coverage of the Active/Passive Debate

My latest for Alpha Baskets is titled The Media’s Incomplete Coverage of the Active/Passive Debate. Basically, media coverage of this topic doesn’t circle back what different types of clients need. For example, for some folks (quite a few actually) managing volatility is a bigger priority and that is not typically part of the passive equation. From the post; All advisory firms have clients that cannot emotionally endure the normal ups and downs of the stock market cycle. Holding on to market cap weighted index funds no matter what may not be ideal for these clients. Please click through to read the rest. The picture is from Yellowstone National...

The Minefields of Stock Market Content

My latest for Alpha Baskets is a bit of a departure; titled The Minefields of Stock Market Content. Lately there has been bit of a dust-up about anonymous content on Seeking Alpha and paid content on some more traditional stock market websites involving micro/small cap biotech stocks or as I have referred to them before; lottery ticket biotechs.. From the post; A reader’s odds of stumbling across a bad actor or two probably increases dramatically if they read a lot of articles about lottery ticket-biotech stocks written by anonymous authors. Please click through for the rest of the post. The first picture is from the ghost town of Lowell, AZ which is essentially a one block town about a half mile from Bisbee. Specifically this is the one of the couple of store fronts with anything going on–it is a motorcycle repair shop. Much of the block is motorcycle themed as quite a few of the other store fronts have old bikes in the windows as shown...

A Properly Diversified Portfolio is Only Part of the Solution

My latest post at Alpha Baskets is titled A Properly Diversified Portfolio is Only Part of the Solution and brings together some real world examples of two concepts that we’ve explored before. One is the extent to which you, reading this blog, are likely the go-to person in your various circles for financial advice and also an example of monetizing a hobby. From the post; The first two conversations were along the lines the most basic elements of portfolio construction in terms of equity exposure versus fixed income and how an emergency cash balance fits in. I discussed the extent to which every so often the stock market goes down a lot scaring the hell out of a lot of people but that it always comes back–the variable being how long it takes to come back. I also talked about how certain bond funds will likely get crushed if interest rates ever go back to normal levels. Please click through to read the rest. The picture is from the road to Hana on Maui. There is what amounts to a shopping center a mile or two before town. There are three or four shacks with stores including this little espresso...

What If Grantham is Right?

My latest post at Alpha Baskets looks at a couple of dour expectations for US equity returns, not so much whether to agree or disagree but think about what to do if these expectations turn out to be correct. It is easy to dismiss diversifiers after a truly epic rally but they will matter again at some point…and then after that there will be another truly epic rally. From the post; No matter what markets end up doing, advisory clients and do-it-yourselfers still have financial plans that likely require some amount of growth over time in order to have a chance of succeeding without something, such as desired lifestyle or working longer than hoped for, having to give. Please click through for the entire post. Wacker Drive (I...

Barron’s ETF Roundtable

This week’s Alpha Baskets Market Update includes a look at the Barron’s ETF Roundtable including the following great quote; This is Amazon versus Barnes & Noble. The mutual fund companies are brick-and-mortar Barnes & Noble, trying to figure out how to compete with Amazon. This is just the continued death rattle of mutual funds. While “death rattle” probably isn’t quite right it is a funny quote. Please click through to read the rest. The picture is of the Gardner, MT entrance to Yellowstone National...