The Hard Work Of Portfolio Protection

My latest for Alpha Baskets looks at funds that can act as diversifiers in the face of a large equity decline. Where these funds are designed to not look like the stock market, it is likely that the results in nominal terms have been lousy as the market has rocketed higher over the last five and a half years. From the post; The chart tracks an unnamed alternative-strategy mutual fund in blue and the S&P 500 Index in red. One of the intended attributes of this fund is that it should not look like the stock market. Based on the chart I would say mission accomplished; it does not look like the stock market but the result in nominal terms has not been good for the last few years. The market is up a ton and the fund down kind of a lot. Please click through to read the entire post.   From the North Rim of the Grand Canyon in...

Is This Bull Market Real?

In my latest post for Alpha Baskets we ponder whether the current bull market is “real” or not. From the post; How much risk are you taking in the income portion of your portfolio? The answer to that question is less important than whether or not you know how much risk you are taking. There’s nothing wrong with loading up on volatility and risk as long as you know you’re doing it. Please click through to read the entire...

Markets to Yellen; Meh

This week’s Market Update is posted at Alpha Baskets and includes a look at Chair Yellen’s speech in Jackson Hole. …market participants expected to finally have some questions answered. When will the Fed raise rates being chief among them. So naturally there was no new information to be had. Equities reaction? An eight point trading range on the day for the S&P 500… Please click through to read the entire update. Since we’re talking about Wyoming; grizzlyversus wolf from Yellowstone in...

Weekly Market Update

This week’s market update has been posted at Alpha Baskets. In this week’s update I cover what is going on in Europe and the bond market as well as a look at AirStream Travel Trailers. From the post; The Washington Post noted that the eurozone GDP is still 1.9% below where it was when the great recession started in an article that makes the argument that Europe is actually in a depression. France’s unemployment rate is 10.4% and Italy’s is 12.6% which both look fantastic when compared to 25% in Spain. Please click through for the entire update.   In honor of this week’s Fed shindig at the Jackson Lake Lodge, this picture is of the Grand Tetons from our trip in...

Overcoming Secular Stagnation

My latest for Alpha Baskets is titled Overcoming Secular Stagnation which is the name of a theory that tries articulately describe the current macro environment. From the post; The market is up 150-whatever percent from its low but this gain has come against a backdrop of unprecedented central bank stimulus. The economy has grown relatively slowly and although jobs have come back there has been a sort of evolutionary step in the US jobs market that has left many people underemployed which leads to all those stats we read about being under saved, not having it better than our parents and so on. A few years ago there was a popular meme that it would have been cheaper to just give everyone $100,000 than try to stimulate jobs growth the way that we did. At the same time the wealth gap has widened. Please click through to read the entire post. Jimi Hendrix’ guitar from the Rock and Roll Hall of...