2015: Did You Screw Anything Up Beyond Repair?

My latest for Alpha Baskets looks at the most important question for any year as indicated in the title above. As we’ve talked about many times, investors don’t even need mediocre results if they save properly and avoid catastrophic mistakes. From the post; In 2015 a major screw up could have come from chasing yield with too much exposure to MLPs. The space has obviously been decimated in 2015. Someone who had 3-5% in MLPs all the way down had a meaningful portfolio drag but with a properly diversified portfolio could easily be pretty close to the market and pretty close can get the job done. The person who heeded one of the countless articles from a couple of years ago suggesting 15-25% in MLPs has a much bigger problem. Please click through to read the entire post. The first picture is self explanatory but was the only house we saw that was still plantation style architecture.   The next one is of Big Beach.   And picture number 3 is obviously Ladder 3 which is housed in Lahaina. This was the only truck I saw with the Hawaiian flag in the grill. Some sort of detail like this in the front grill is not an everyday thing but not unheard of...

Santa Claus Checks In

The weekly Market Update is posted at Alpha Baskets and includes the following; You may have heard or read that the top performing global stock market for the year has been in Jamaica which has a total market cap of $5 billion after its 80% gain in 2015. Shares listed include Margaritaville Limited, Montego Ice and the exchange itself. Please click through to read the entire update. Engine 11 stationed in Napili.   Lifeguard Tower an Kamaole Beach at twilight.     Baldwin Beach panoramic. It was not easy getting everyone to clear out for this picture....

There Is Nothing That Must Be Traded

My latest post for Alpha Baskets looks at some advice dispensed in Barron’s that was incredibly misguided for just about everyone. From the post; Last week, the week of the FOMC announcement, the S&P 500 Index had a very volatile ride to a decline of just 27 basis points. Thinking back to proper asset allocation, a disciplined strategy and a time horizon suitable to their investment objective is there any scenario where financial plan success hinders on that one week? Please click through to read the entire post. The first picture is the lifeguard tower at Big Beach.   The next one is the lifeguard rig under a couple of palm trees at Baldwin Beach.     The last one is the record store (remember those?) in...

The FOMC Awakens

This week’s Market Update is posted at Alpha Baskets and includes the following; The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) raised rates for the first time in nine years as was widely telegraphed by Fed governors if not overtly stated yet somehow markets reacted on Thursday and Friday as if they’d been hit in the face with a frying pan. Wednesday, both equity prices and treasury yields moved higher but then Thursday and Friday equity prices tumbled lower perhaps questioning growth prospects while treasury yields moved lower too giving fuel to the deflationary argument that exists and includes the dramatic and ongoing decline in West Texas Intermediate Crude which was down 2.68% this past week after a 10% drop the week before. Please click through for the entire update. The first picture is from Baldwin Beach which is near Paia.   The next picture is the volleyball court at Kamaole Beach Park.   The final picture for now is one of many fire truck/firehouse pictures my wife waited patiently for me to take. This one is the panel of the Type 1 engine (structure fire) stationed in...

Wasn’t Cheaper Crude Supposed To Be A Good Thing?

This week’s Market Update is posted at Alpha Baskets and includes the following; One front burner issue of the last few weeks has been the unraveling of the MLP space as well as the companies run by Richard Kinder which of course used to be the largest MLP and which endured a massive dividend cut. The big MLP ETFs are down on the order of 40% this year. There was a time a few years ago where it was popular to think about having very large allocations to the MLP space because of the generous yields and the “fact” that because they only move energy from place to place, they would be immune to a decline in energy prices. That was true until it wasn’t which is a reminder that there will be future market niches where pundits suggest 20-25% allocations and those suggestions will be just as bad as 20-25% into MLPs. Please click through to read the entire update. We were in Maui last week so some pictures from that trip for the next few posts. The first picture obviously a lifeguard tower, it is from DT Fleming Beach near Kapalua   The second one is from hike up the Waihee Trail to an amazing view.     The final one for now is this fence in Kuau which is near Paia....