Final Random Thoughts

I have resigned from AdvisorShares effective April 30th. This is my last regular blog post at Alpha Baskets, although I will be writing one more weekly Market Update next Monday. I will of course still be posting at TheMaven, Seeking Alpha and of course here at randomroger.com. From the post; This will be my final post here at Alpha Baskets, I am moving on from AdvisorShares after a little over four years. For my parting shot I wanted to try to summarize some of the bigger picture ideas that we’ve discussed here and tie them together on my way out the door. And from my page at TheMaven; Has a bear market started? Is active management dead?...

Markets Don’t Close 4/20 On A High

The weekly Market Update is posted at Alpha Baskets and includes the following; Barron’s devoted a lot of pixels to the latest goings on with the slope of the yield curve. Earlier in the week the 2-10 treasury spread got close to 40 basis points before widening out to 49 basis points at the end of the week. This is something we have been closely following here for months. It is important to understand at a basic level why yield curve dynamics are so important. When the curve is positively sloped, which is the normal relationship, then access to capital is easier from the standpoint that lending money is a profitable endeavor for the banks. Accessing capital is crucial for growth, plant expansion, capacity expansion and so on. When the yield curve inverts, borrowing money as a means of accessing capital becomes harder to do thus it can be contractionary for the economy. And from my page at TheMaven; Can means testing fix Social Security? Why I volunteer. Retirees who regret...

When Knowing What Will Happen Isn’t Enough

My latest post at Alpha Baskets is up and includes the following; As I write this post on Monday afternoon Bitcoin is just under $6800. At that figure Yahoo Finance has it down 60% from its early January high. Obviously, people were buying at/near the highs. How many of those folks are looking back at merely a bad trade and how many have been crushed by over allocating to something that is down 60%? And from my page at TheMaven; Ben Carlson takes down the 200 DMA; I respond. Speaking of TheMaven, I am up in British Columbia for a conference with TheMaven. We landed in Vancouver last night, up to Whistler now until Friday and then back to Vancouver until Sunday. The view from our Airbnb last night in Vancouver. Deep Cove...

Tariffs Throw A Cat Amongst The Pigeons

The weekly Market Update is up at Alpha Baskets and includes the following; Bitcoin had a bit of a tumble last week down as much as 10%, trading in the $6500’s for a time on Friday before snapping back to $7000 over the weekend. The cryptocurrencies continue to be fascinating on several levels including what seems like compressed bull and bear market cycles, it was up over 1000% in about a year, YTD in 2018 it is down more than 50%. If it turns out to go poof (not a prediction on our part) then the hindsight bias will come from all corners pointing out it was never backed by anything, never tied to anything, it was simply created and started trading. Despite the large YTD decline though it is tough to finds signs of panic. Depending on your Twitter feed, the people who were skeptical at $19,000 are probably still skeptical today and there is still plenty of bullishness to be found, at least on our Twitter feed. Against that backdrop, there would be nothing surprising about another 50% move in the price in short order, regardless of direction. And from my page at TheMaven; The downside of falling in love with a stock. Do you struggle with...

Don’t Let Big Tech Ruin You

My latest post for Alpha Baskets is published and includes the following; There was one sentence that made me laugh out loud; “Passive investors who want to avoid the overconcentration risk from cap-weighted indexes can buy funds that own equal proportions of each stock in an index …” The idea may be perfectly valid but it is clear to me that the person who decides to switch to an index fund that uses an alternative weighting process is not a passive investor, they are making a very active decision, using what might be a passive vehicle to do it. And from my page at TheMaven; A two part dissection of the S&P 500’s current flirtation with its 200 DMA and what I am doing about it. Part 1 and Part...

Did Anyone Get The License Plate?

The weekly Market Update is posted at Alpha Baskets and includes the following; Tech was also seen a driver of volatility after leading the market higher in January. While you might think that tech had a relatively bad quarter that was not the case. Looking at the more heavily traded, broad tech sector funds they were actually higher on the quarter as were narrower tech-themed niche funds. While there were some very loud news stories and painful declines in select names, the gains in tech broadly might serve as a reminder that most investors would be better off not trying to trade fast, short term moves. And a couple of recent posts from my page at TheMaven; There’s a lot of morons giving out investment advice. Is it over for the cryptos? Age related steps to take for retirement planning. On Friday I hiked with a couple of buddies to the Granite Mountain Hotshots Memorial State Park. The hike is 7.2 miles round trip starting from Highway 89 a mile or two south of Yarnell going to the deployment site. During the Yarnell Hill Fire on June 30th, 2013, 19 of the Granite Mountain Hotshots perished. I will have more to say at the 5th anniversary but for now some pictures from the hike. The scenery is epic and the shrines are very touching....