Not As Quiet As It Seems

This week’s Market Update is posted at Alpha Baskets and includes the following; West Texas Intermediate Crude moved up 2.73% last week to $41.71 (there was a change in the front month to January). This has translated to gas at the pump being less than $2 for many parts of the country which while a positive for plenty of people is a deflationary influence on the economy and not necessarily welcome news for the roughly 10 million energy sector workers in the country (as of 2011). Some of the decline has come from creative destruction (shale formations) but so too has some of the decline come from supply growing faster than demand. This week’s Barron’s Commodity Corner column discussed the extent to which oil sitting in tankers. Please click through to read the entire...

Not Every Holding Should Go Up

My latest post for Alpha Baskets looks using diversification to counteract the types of behaviors that tend to derail financial/retirement plans. From the post; A recent post looked at myopic loss aversion which is acting out based on short term emotion at the expense of long term well being. It can’t be stressed enough that the short term does not matter for most post people. At 65 or 70 or some other desired retirement age an investor either has enough or they don’t. Lagging by 5% one year for having too much small cap or lagging by 6% another year for not enough emerging market exposure is not a difference maker to having enough money when it is needed. Please click through to read the entire post. Thanksgiving week of course means the Maui Invitational is underway. This picture is from...

Strongest Week Of The Year?

The weekly Market Update is posted at Alpha Baskets and includes the following; Equities likely got a boost from a couple of successful tech IPOs, Match Group and Square, which both rallied very strongly when they hit the market on Thursday. The success came as a surprise after Square priced below its expected range. In previous market cycles, signs of a weary IPO market have been a warning sign but this bull market has been a little different as the strength of the IPO market on this go around has ebbed and flowed and based on last week appears to again be strong. Please click through to read the entire update. Walker Fire took delivery of a new (to us) water tender. It is a 1999 International and should greatly enhance our response to...

Major League Baseball & Your Financial Future

My latest for Alpha Baskets looks at the road back from injury for a major league pitcher and ties it to the work needed to build and successfully implement a financial plan. From the post; Social Security certainly has issues and while there is plenty of debate about the magnitude of those issues I think it makes sense to be prepared for a worse outcome than what you expect to happen. Great for anyone who gets the payout they expect but I believe in being ready for not getting the full expected amount. Imagine a scenario where you’re off by one year such that the way it turns out everyone born one year before you gets their FRA as promised and starting your year there will be reductions and means testing. Not a prediction so much as a Murphy’s Law type of thing. Please click through to read the entire post. Fenway is mentioned in the post so below is a picture from a trip there in 2008. That is the Sox’ dugout after beating the Arizona...

Wait, What Happened To The Rally?

This week’s Market Update is posted and includes the following; The earnings season may have saved the most interesting for last as there was carnage for two different mature retail chains in the wake of their earnings news. While neither stock actually has a large weighting in SPDR’s retail focused ETF their respective mid-teen percentage drops appear to have contributed to the ETF’s more than 7% decline. Another problem for the group was that retail sales were up 0.1% which was below expectations. Bespoke Investment Group reported that nine of the eleven retail sales reports this year were below expectations while the other two were in line with expectations. Please click through for the entire update. The picture is from yesterday’s hike. We see these guys every fall....