FOMC Divergence

The weekly Market Update is posted at Alpha Baskets and includes the following; The cryptocurrency sphere was buzzing last week as Bitcoin took the $5000. Bespoke Investment Group posted a table showing 12 different cryptocurrencies with more than $1 billion totalling $145 billion with Bitcoin far and away the leader with $89 billion. It is certainly a mania but probably doesn’t rise to the level of true bubble from the standpoint that is something catastrophic happened tomorrow it wouldn’t have much of an impact on the economy. If you scan social media you will find divergent opinions ranging from telling you this is just the beginning, all the way to run screaming from the room with your arms waving frantically. We certainly don’t know what will happen but a small investment (speculation) with the realization that it could just as easily go down 100% as go up 1000% won’t permanently impair a portfolio. Did we say small? Very small. Please click through to read the entire post. We made our (almost) annual pilgrimage to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon over the weekend and spent a little more time at the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument, it’s one we need to spend a lot more time at, other than just driving by on AZ Highway 89. It is stunning…beyond stunning really. The first picture is from House Rock Rd just off 89. This is what it looks like for miles. Looking at the Cliffs from Highway 67(the turn off to the North Rim), this area burned in 2016, before then this view didn’t exist....

Why Does FINRA Have An Investment Portfolio?

My latest post for Alpha Baskets is posted and includes the following; So here’s a weird one involving FINRA that you might have picked up in the last few days. Apparently it has a large, $1.6 billion, investment portfolio and the returns have been weak, according to the Wall Street Journal, under performing a 50/50 equity/fixed income portfolio for quite a few years. Please click through to read the entire post. El Morro National Monument Ramah, New Mexico I bought a stack of National Park postcards that I thought were WPA but weren’t. Still neat looking, this one I messed around with the...

Jobs Weak, Market Doesn’t Care

The weekly Market Update is posted and includes the following; Perhaps most interesting is that wages moved up out of its multi-month rut of 0.2/2.5 to show a gain in September of 0.5% with the year over year number at 2.9% which would appear to provide some cover for a December rate hike. Barron’s offered a counter opinion from the Liscio Report that jobs lost were lower paying jobs because of the storm thus making the wage boost an anomaly to be subsequently reversed. Please click through to read the entire update. Target Field in Minneapolis. US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. From a prescribed burn near Walker over the...

Why Does Larry Swedroe Hate Dividends?

My latest post for Alpha Baskets is published and includes the following; Here’s the problem; back in 2003, 2004 and so one when the first dividend centric funds came out, most of them were grossly overweight to financials. I wrote about practically all of them for The Street.com and made that same point in every article. I certainly wasn’t predicting the crisis but any strategy that is thought of at least partially broad based but 40-50% in one sector needs to be approached with caution. Please click through to read the entire...

2017 Enters The Home Stretch

This week’s Market Update is posted and includes the following; The GOP and the President of course announced their tax plan, or at least an outline of a tax plan. Some of the highlights included fewer tax brackets, ending the AMT, ending the death tax, a cut in the corporate tax rate. The negative for now seems to be the estimates ranging from $2-$5 trillion in reduced revenue. Now congress will set to the dirty work of hammering out the details into what could actually get passed by the House and the Senate. We obviously don’t know how much will change before a final version is passed (if it ever happens) but both sides of the aisle seem to believe that the country would benefit from reform. Included in the outline was also something of a tax holiday for cash repatriation, this has happened at least one other time (under George W. Bush) with virtually no stimulative effect. Please click through to read the entire update. Over the weekend my brothers and I went to Minneapolis for a Twins/Gophers Football/Vikings triple play. If you’ve been reading this blog for a while you might know this is something I like to do. You reading this have the things you like to do. If you’re an advisor, you are helping your clients have the financial ability to do the things they like to do which might include going to concerts like the one last night in Las Vegas. I want to offer my condolence to anyone affected by last night’s shooting be it directly or indirectly....