How To Retire At 30 (Part 2)

My latest post for Alpha Baskets is a follow up to a post from almost three years ago about the blogger known as Mr. Money Mustache who “retired” at 30. From the post; I don’t get it. In no way do I doubt their veracity but their idea of living below their means would be alive and well without being devoted to 4% of their accumulated assets from back in 2005. Of course, I don’t have to get it. They found their groove, that is the important thing for them and one of several great lessons they can provide to their readership. Please click through to read the entire post. Old Chevy pickup truck National Park Service Type 3 Engine at the Block Rock Interagency Fire Center near Joshua Tree National...

2016 Looks To Finish With Double Digit Gains

The weekly Market Update is posted at Alpha Baskets and includes the following. Barron’s reported that Morningstar is in the process of creating a style box for liquid alternatives (ETFs and traditional mutual funds that offer access to some sort of alternative strategy). The focus here will be correlation and volatility relative to equities. There were actually two different articles focusing on alternatives covering similar ground related to weak performance relative to equities, outflows broadly speaking and then attempted to explain proper expectations for liquid alternatives. A good example continues to be found in gold. For years we have contended that one reason to own gold is its tendency to have a low to negative correlation to domestic equities. After a long run of relatively poor returns, many pundits suggested that owning gold no longer made sense. We argued that gold was doing exactly what it was supposed to do which is to not look like equities. As 2016 started, equities sold off and gold denominated in us dollars went up double digits in short order. Fast forward to the Trump rally where equities are up 5-15% depending on the index while gold is down a little over 10%. Great for anyone nimble enough to trade around these moves but small allocations to segments and strategies with a low to negative correlation is how portfolio volatility is managed. Please click through to read the entire update. Old Chevy pickup truck from the car and motorcycle show I stumbled into a couple of weeks ago in Los Angeles. Park entrance in 29 Palms, CA We had almost a foot of...

Being Disciplined ¾ Of The Time Won’t Work

I sat down for an interview with Seeking Alpha about challenges facing investors in 2017. And by sat down for, I mean we had an email exchange. Excerpt; Think about the energy sector. President Obama was not energy-sector friendly, but I would argue that energy stocks weren’t damaged by anything Obama did, but were instead done in by cheap money flowing toward mal-investment into wells and fields that could only be profitable at very high prices, but, of course, this created more supply that drove the price down. There are many historical examples where executive branch policy did not have the expected impact. Please click through to read the entire interview. Collage of a neat, yellow Harley Davidson. From the Dodger Stadium tour. Neat Macy’s in Pasadena, almost makes me want to go in…wait, no it doesn’t. Neat lighting for LA County Patrol 99 stationed in...

Your Chance To Pay It Forward

My latest post for Alpha Baskets tries to get into the holiday spirit and includes the following; This is a great opportunity to help someone and possibly have a meaningful impact on someone’s life. We have all had people in our pasts, impart wisdom to us, even if they didn’t know it was wisdom, that then had a meaningful impact on our lives. I personally have been on the receiving end of one these for life choices, how to do my job, firefighting including how to be a better fire chief as well as diet and exercise ideas and of course personal finance. Please click through to read the entire post. As a reminder, I will be the guest on the AdvisorShares Alpha Call on December 29th at 4pm ET/1pm PT Toll Free Dial-In:  800-356-8278 Participant Code:  176071. I will be covering a lot ground but if you have any questions you’d like me to answer you can comment on this post or find me on Twitter @randomroger. Joshua Tree National Park Los Angeles County Fire Engine 99 in Malibu Collage of old car lineups at a show/rally I saw when I was in Los...

How Much Higher Will Interest Rates Go?

The weekly Market Update is posted at Alpha Baskets and includes the following; The path to normalization continued in the bond market as the yield on the Ten Year US Treasury Note spent a few hours above 2.60%, closing at 2.59%. Much of the jump in yield last week came after the FOMC announced a rate hike of 25 basis points. It is unlikely that yields jumped because of the increase as this step has been gently spoon fed to the market over the course of several months. More likely the news that FOMC members expect as many as three more rate increases in 2017 versus two previously caused the market’s reaction. This most recent leg up in bond yields started right after the election and the declines in the more popular bond ETFs have been swift. This is a drum we have been banging for years; advisors and investors need a plan for when rates move higher. That has been happening and those fund returns show exactly why investors need to seek out strategies that will help them avoid the price declines that go with rising rates. Looking at another one-way trade, our friends at Seeking Alpha noted that “gold has gotten smoked.” The large ETFs tracking gold in US dollars are down about 11% since the election. To the extent gold is a currency, the US dollar has been strong against other currencies including gold which is a point made regularly be Dennis Gartman. To the extent gold is insurance or a haven, there has been little to no perceived need for this type of protection since...