The Ides of…February?

The weekly Market Update is posted at Alpha Baskets and includes the following; We would take a moment to remind investors that as of Friday, the S&P 500 has traded back to where it was in mid-January and is still up on the year. As noted, it is up more than 3% in 2018. At Friday’s close it was 3.9% from its all time high. At that level it is down a little and although it has been a while since it went down at all it is worth remembering that down a little goes with the territory of engaging in markets. All advisors have some sort of strategy they implement for their clients. That strategy is less important when the market is going higher causing no emotional concern, days like Friday is when that strategy becomes crucial for clients’ long term financial success. It is unlikely that too
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Four Weeks Of Gains To Start 2018? Don’t Mind If We Do

The weekly Market Update is posted at Alpha Baskets and includes the following; Furthering the discussion on equities, @tihobrkan tweeted a table from BofAML and EPFR Global showing $33 billion flowing into US equities last week, not fund flows but equities more broadly and this, he notes is close to a record. @awealthofcs tweeted that so far in 2018 the S&P 500 has made 13 new highs which equals the number of new highs made in the entire decade of the 2000’s. It is crucial for advisors to have a detached view on the comfort with which clients might have toward equities and educate them as to how unusual this type of environment is. The good times may or may not last for a long time still but this needs to be recognized for the unusual period that it is. Please click through to read the entire update.  After
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Bitcoin Hedge Fund Proliferation

My latest post for Alpha Baskets is posted and includes the following; There is a do-gooder aspect to this that is interesting. I mentioned a while back having met someone very involved in Bitcoin who felt strongly that one of the big features of Bitcoin is that no government can debase it. This ties in with the NYT article talking about the banking system being rigged, only benefitting a few people and that Bitcoin can distribute the wealth more equitably. I am not sure how true this in terms of reports about how concentrated Bitcoin is, the article noted that 4% of Bitcoin holders might own 95% of the tokens. Please click through to read the entire post. Also, please check out my latest post at TheMaven which looks at a new multi-asset ETF that targets a 7% payout. Ruins from the Blue John Mine here in Walker. 26678145_2073263589621750_7984472295245505355_o 26685187_2073263539621755_5359888355366866779_o

Chip Off The Old Block…Chain

In case you missed, two blockchain ETFs started trading today. In today’s post at TheMaven I deconstructed both of them to explore what they own and what expectations would be reasonable for investors to have for now and how that might change. I also talk about the blockchain stock I own personally. Please click through to read the post. A recent sunrise here in Walker. IMG_20180108_073130_209

The Bond Bear Has Started…Again!

The weekly Market Update is posted at Alpha Baskets and includes the following; Bill Gross declared the start of the bond bear market…again. Barron’s made the case for the yield on the ten year rising up to 2.75%. While predicting interesting rates is a loser’s game, such a gentile lift would be surprise us, we might expect a more extreme outcome in either direction as opposed to just 20 basis points. If a bear market has truly started, we would expect higher yields. Or if something triggers a recession we would expect much lower yields. Take this as a call for volatility, not a guess of what rates will actually do. Please click through to read the entire update. And also please check out my latest thoughts about robo advisors at the Maven, I dissect a robo portfolio. 17015794_1891275087820602_3584678385008732794_o

Can The S&P 500 Really Go To 3700?

My latest post for Alpha Baskets is posted and includes the following; In reaction to Grantham, Rudolf E. Havenstein (this is a historical figure, so it is an anonymous account) jokingly Tweeted that old people should own the cryptocurrency Ripple, a Chinese internet stock, one of those companies that changed their names to include the word blockchain and then set fire to any cash left over. Please click through to read the entire post. Here’s a bonus post from my page at TheMaven about Harvard’s foray into trading volatility. 26063579_2062739500674159_5367602619283487437_o   25188756_2055236171424492_1271086369383676951_o

Blog Post Recap

The weekly Market Update I write for AdvisorShares is posted and includes the following; Interest rates have generally been moving higher since the FOMC last met and raised rates and the market seems to be taking it at its intended word for three more hikes in 2018. The yield on the US Ten Year Treasury Note closed Friday at 2.47%. The yield on the Two Year US Treasury has also been going up and doing so at a faster rate than the ten year, causing the curve to flatten some. We’ve touched on this in past updates and now the spread stands at 51 basis points. The curve flattening may or may not lead to an inversion. The trend to flatten is not problematic it is the inversion that is problematic as it impedes access to capital which is recessionary. It may never invert or it might but markets
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Random Roger Round Up

My latest post at Alpha Baskets looks at the extent to which your “retirement number” is hokum and includes the following; For many years in these posts I have consistently said that having a goal can be useful but your number, your actual number is what you end up with, not what a website or advisor told you 30 years ago. What you end up is with your reality. If you’re 66, have $788,000 and want to retire, then can you make that work? Great if you can but if you can’t then something has to give. Either you don’t retire, you downsize your lifestyle, or you take a middle ground of working one way or another in retirement. The other day a podcast with James Altucher and Nassim Taleb started making the rounds. I did a lengthy write up on their conversation with Part I and Part II of
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What It Means to be an Advisor

My latest post is up at Alpha Baskets and includes the following; Invariably, if you’re an advisor you field all sorts of financial or market questions socially or at family functions. I had three different Bitcoin conversations at Christmas dinner at my in-laws. I’ve had conversations with half of my nieces/nephews over the years about how to get started in their 401ks. I’ve had similar 401k conversations with a couple of guys at the fire department. Friends on Facebook reach out all the time in this capacity. Blogging is itself a way to help people. There is no way for a blogger to take on every reader as a client, not even a fraction of them, assuming readers had that interest, but someone who reads your content is trying to learn something and if they are a repeat reader then chances are they have learned something from your content in
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New Cannabis ETF

Today’s post at TheMaven looks at the new cannabis focused ETF. I think this will evolve into a huge investment theme. The fund is interesting but there are some complexities. Please click through and check it out. I also hope you will register as a user at the site and follow my page, it’s free! 25626408_2059536310994478_6172793550768048220_o

Tax Bill Passed and Signed!

The weekly market update is posted and includes the following; ETF fund flows for 2017 topped $500 billion as the space continues the trend of gaining on traditional mutual funds. Despite ETFs’ structural advantages, Eric Balchunas from Bloomberg tweeted his surprise that there is still more than $10 trillion in old school funds. Some portion of that $10 trillion, unfortunately, is 401k participants not engaged with their 401ks. It is not uncommon for people to retire or otherwise leave an employer and leave their 401k behind exactly as is, under the misconception that it is being tended to by the employer. And while this scenario is better than cashing out, paying taxes and possibly a penalty (depending on the the employee’s age) it is far from ideal for the employees. Invariably this is an expensive scenario in terms of fees paid for 401k administration and of course, the account is
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Goals For 2018!

My latest post for Alpha Baskets is posted and includes the following; Everyone knows about fear and greed and the tendencies to experience both at the wrong time (buy after a large run up, sell after a large decline). As things like bitcoin, blockchain and maybe even some of the mega cap tech stocks have done well, regret can creep in and pull investors away from what they know is best for them. Please click through to read the entire post. I have a lot of new content up on my page at TheMaven that I hope you’ll check out including the following; Bitcrazy Not Retirement, Financial Independence Dissecting The Permanent Portfolio I had the opportunity on Monday to participate in the ringing of the closing bell at the NYSE on Monday. Sometime between my last visit and now that changed their policy to allow people to take pictures, they
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Good News, Bad News, News We Don’t Understand? Market Up!

Stop us if you’ve heard this one before; the stock market went up last week. We will double check but we think that is 700 weeks in a row (lame humor attempt). The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 1.30%, the S&P 500 gained 0.89%, the NASDAQ rallied 1.37% and the Russell 2000 was good for 0.56%. 25439937_2057485047866271_1805488976617556463_o At close to 20% YTD for the S&P 500 the index is likely to close out the year up a lot. The stock market has an up year almost 75% of the time but it doesn’t necessarily go up a lot like it has in 2017 all that often. Without going down an ideological path, most advisory practices probably heard from about half of their respective clienteles expressing concern about the election result and of course it has gone up under the new President, as it did under his
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A 64% Decline? Really?

My latest post for Alpha Baskets is published and includes the following; I thought of a different way to frame the swirl of indicators all saying different things at any moment in market history. There are things to be concerned about and there are things to act on. The very narrow leadership of the market this year would go on the list of things to be concerned about. Narrow leadership is an unhealthy sign but doesn’t indicate that the market has turned or offer any timing as to when it will turn. Please click through to read the entire post. I hope will also click over to my page at TheMaven for more commentary including my two latest; Generational Selling Opportunity These ETFs Go To 11 Over the weekend we went up to the slot canyons near Page, Arizona and then over to Canyon de Chelly. If you are into
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