Evolution of Asset Classes

My latest for Alpha Baskets is titled You’re Gonna Need A Bigger Bucket and considers the idea of creating a distinct income bucket in a portfolio that differs from plain vanilla bonds and CDs. The idea is that some things that generate income do not have bond-like volatility but they don’t equity-like volatility either except on the downside. Investors likely need the yield available but need to be willing to take a more active role in monitoring these types of holdings. From the post; …an article in Barron’s over the weekend about an new income vehicle called a yieldco which is sort of like an MLP from a solar company whereby they spinoff the cash generating portion of their business. For example one yieldco highlighted is a spinoff of a solar energy-generating farm. That business has cash flow which can generate yield to shareholders. Please click through to read the entire...

Weekly Market Update

The weekly update is posted at Alpha Baskets and looks at huge ETF outflows, falling yields and the MLB trade deadline. From the update; The Equity and bond markets seem to be sending conflicting messages of what comes next. Treasury rates are on their way down and not just in the US as Barron’s noted “1.05% yields on benchmark 10-year German bunds, along with French counterparts at 1.44%, and Finland’s at 1.18%, are symptoms of a possible triple-dip recession on the Continent.”  Please click through to read the entire update. One other point, when you own a stock that has skyrocketed on a takeover announcement it is often better to sell into the...

The Journey To and Through Retirement

My latest at Alpha Baskets looks at the extent to which saving and investing for retirement is mostly a goal oriented pursuit but people need to be prepared to adapt if they come up short of their goal or their “number.” Someone who gets within 80% of what they think their number should be will probably be able to make it work but as we know from all sorts of studies, here’s another one, the vast majority of the population is nowhere close to where they need to be. From the post; If this is somewhat describing you then you have some sense of where you are in relation to your number. Are you 55, is your number $1.4 million with a time table for seven years from now? If that is you and you have $1.2 million then you have a pretty high likelihood of beating your number by a little. If that is you and you have $600,000 you probably have your work cut out for you which is ok. Please click through to read the entire blog...

Income Investing Evolves, Volatility Doesn’t

My latest for Alpha Baskets looks at the necessary evolution for income investing but also reminds that volatility doesn’t evolve the same way. Investors are going to look for yield and much of the evolution involves more volatility. That doesn’t have to be a bad thing so long as investors understand the volatility they are taking on. From the post; The extent to which some income vehicles tend to look like equities is something that can change. The portfolio that the author put together includes an ETF that owns closed end funds. While the yields tend to be pretty good for closed ends they usually don’t have a whole lot of equity-like volatility on the way up but on the way down they can flush very quickly even more than equities depending on the circumstance. Please click through to read the entire...

Weekly Market Update

The AdvisorShares weekly market update has been posted. From the post; The big news was that Argentina missed an interest payment on sovereign debt that was due this past week. This was the second time Argentina defaulted on its debt in 13 years. In a way, it is actually the same default as 13 years ago.  Please click through to read the entire update. Over the weekend I went with my brother to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland as well as a couple of Indians games. The HOF was not something I had ever thought about but it was pretty neat and Progressive Field, where the Indians play. is a beautiful stadium. The HOF let you take pictures (with no flash) of everything. It was neat for several reasons. Aside from the exhibits which themselves were neat it sparked plenty of conversation, like any HOF should, about who has not been inducted (Yes, Doobies, Steve Miller Band, America, Jethro Tull). Also, and maybe this is obvious, the exhibits are only made up of what the bands provide to the Hall. Fleetwood Mac for example is in the Hall but didn’t really give them anything, likewise Rush and Bob Dylan. There was also plenty of little documentaries and one move-like presentation. From the I forgot all about this file, check out this video of Freddie Mercury at Live Aid. The camera angle that shows him in front the Wembley crowd is incredible.  ...