For Financial Advisors – The Future is Now

February 16, 2017

A FURTHER LOOK For Financial Advisors – The Future is Now February 15, 2017 / By David Root, Founder and CEO This week, we are holding a strategic planning summit for our entire team. It is a follow-up session to our September event held in Gettysburg where we set the stage for many of our…

Growth is accelerating. Time to enjoy the ride?

February 6, 2017

A FURTHER LOOK Growth is accelerating. Time to enjoy the ride? February 7, 2017 / By David Root, Founder and CEO Change is inevitable. Growth is optional. – John C. Maxwell We’ve had quite a ride over the last 60 days. Change is coming at break-neck speed in the economy, the markets and in Washington….

“We must think big and dream even bigger.”

February 2, 2017

A FURTHER LOOK “We must think big and dream even bigger.” February 1, 2017 / By David Root, Founder and CEO Just a few months ago when I sat down to write A Further Look; there wasn’t much optimism to write about. That has been a challenge for me because I am not a fundamentally…

Turning over the U.S. Economy

January 26, 2017

A FURTHER LOOK Turning over the U.S. Economy January 25, 2017 / By David Root, Founder and CEO I spoke recently about demographics and specifically, the possible economic tailwinds resulting from Millennials coming of age.  I described a demographic shift as Baby Boomers retire and Generation X moves toward Middle Age clearing the path for…

Embrace the uncertainty – follow the process

January 18, 2017

A FURTHER LOOK Embrace the uncertainty – follow the process January 18, 2017 / By David Root, Founder and CEO “There has never been a better time to have a view that is data driven.” – Keith McCullough, CEO, Hedgeye Risk Management, LLC Nirvana (noun: a state of perfect happiness; an ideal or idyllic place)…

To investors in 2017: Don’t get lost in the transition.

January 10, 2017

A FURTHER LOOK To investors in 2017: Don’t get lost in the transition. January 11, 2017 / By David Root, Founder and CEO “Knee-jerk contrarianism is highly underrated”      – Jared Dillian, The 10th Man It was just a few months ago that the important economic data was pointing toward a looming recession, perhaps…

The future looks bright for the ‘Emerging Wealth’ generation

January 5, 2017

A FURTHER LOOK The future looks bright for the ‘Emerging Wealth’ generation January 4, 2017 / By David Root, Founder and CEO Each time a new year begins, we focus on the hope and the promise of what the future holds. For one generation in particular whom we at D.B. Root refer to as the…

A Further Look ahead to 2017

December 28, 2016

A FURTHER LOOK A Further Look ahead to 2017 December 28, 2016 / By David Root, Founder and CEO I’m not much for predictions. But recently I was asked by Financial Planning Magazine to share my predictions for the coming year. I have to admit, such exercises can make me a little nervous, because at…

Wall Street Bulls, the American Giant and the Russian Bear

December 22, 2016

A FURTHER LOOK Wall Street Bulls, the American Giant and the Russian Bear December 21, 2016 / By David Root, Founder and CEO We’re glad to be able to talk in positive terms again. In our firm, we’re agnostic about the way we ”feel” about things regarding our economy.  We call it the way we…

The post election rally: Are we too late?

December 15, 2016

A FURTHER LOOK The post election rally: Are we too late? December 15, 2016 / By David Root, Founder and CEO Our industry is going through a remarkable time. Leading up to the presidential election on November 8, the consensus was that a Trump election win would lead to a major correction in the market….

Short-term thinking can still lose the game for investors

December 7, 2016

A FURTHER LOOK Short-term thinking can still lose the game for investors December 7, 2016 / By David Root, Founder and CEO On Sunday, as I was watching my favorite football team, the Pittsburgh Steelers, jump out to a comfortable lead on the New York Giants, I found myself tensing up.  I feared they might…

USD! USD! Does a stronger Dollar indicate a stronger America?

November 30, 2016

A FURTHER LOOK USD! USD! Does a stronger Dollar indicate a stronger America? November 30, 2016 / By David Root, Founder and CEO We are now three weeks into what has been described as the ‘Trump rally’ on Wall Street. It has carried the small-cap Russell 2000 index and Dow Jones Industrial Average to new…

Some notes on the reasons for investor optimism

November 23, 2016

A FURTHER LOOK Some notes on the reasons for investor optimism November 23, 2016 / By David Root, Founder and CEO Last week, I joined dozens of advisors from around the country in attending our research partner Hedgeye Risk Management’s Macrocosm 2016 conference. It was an opportunity to hear top-level talks from a range of…

Is it time for investors to leave the swamp?

November 16, 2016

A FURTHER LOOK Is it time for investors to leave the swamp? November 16, 2016 / By David Root, Founder and CEO Last week on CNBC, billionaire investor and Hedge Fund legend Stanley Druckenmiller said he was “quite, quite optimistic” about the economy following the election of Donald Trump. In his view, we are finally…

Advice to keep investors from losing it this season

November 9, 2016

A FURTHER LOOK Advice to keep investors from losing it this season November 9, 2016 / By David Root, Founder and CEO We’ve all been doing a lot of watching and waiting lately. Wall Street has been locked in on every word coming from the Fed to try to guess right on whether interest rates…

For Registered Investment Advisors, it’s all about the client.

November 2, 2016

A FURTHER LOOK For Registered Investment Advisors, it’s all about the client. November 2, 2016 / By David Root, Founder and CEO Last week, I had the opportunity to attend the annual Charles Schwab Impact conference in San Diego. As the first to reach out to the independent advisor in 1987, it is the industry’s…

The path to independence starts with Financial Planning

October 26, 2016

A FURTHER LOOK The path to independence starts with Financial Planning October 26, 2016 / By David Root, Founder and CEO Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree. – Martin Luther If you’ve seen our firm’s logo, it features an image of a…

Time to get real with Financial Planning.

October 18, 2016

A FURTHER LOOK Time to get real with Financial Planning. October 19, 2016 / By David Root, Founder and CEO Maybe it’s the political season or maybe it’s the ‘Old Wall’ hanging on for dear life, but recently there has been excessive peddling of fiction when it comes to the U.S. economic outlook. If you…

Fourth Quarter 2016: A cautionary tale for investors?

October 11, 2016

A FURTHER LOOK Fourth Quarter 2016: A cautionary tale for investors? October 12, 2016 / By David Root, Founder and CEO There are three essential parts to a cautionary tale. First, some act, location, or thing said to be dangerous is stated. Then, the narrative itself is told: someone disregarded the warning and performed the…

Ready for the next American renewal?

October 5, 2016

A FURTHER LOOK Ready for the next American renewal? October 5, 2016 / By David Root, Founder and CEO Last week, our firm held its annual leadership summit in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Using the historic site as a backdrop, we learned that even during three of the darkest days in US history, the battle of Gettysburg…

Is this a historic time for Financial Planning?

September 27, 2016

A FURTHER LOOK Is this a historic time for Financial Planning? September 28, 2016 / By David Root, Founder and CEO In his book, ‘Lessons in History’ American writer, historian and philosopher Will Durant defined history as “the events or record of the past. Human history is a brief spot in space, and its first…

Embracing Millennial investors and their technology

September 21, 2016

A FURTHER LOOK Embracing Millennial investors and their technology September 21, 2016 / By David Root, Founder and CEO The sleeping giant that is the Millennial Generation has begun to stir. Representing those born between 1980 and 2000, it is now the largest generation in the U.S. workforce. Now one-third of all employees, they are…

Is Wall Street’s magic show over?

September 13, 2016

A FURTHER LOOK Is Wall Street’s magic show over? September 13, 2016 / By David Root, Founder and CEO “To be or not to be? That is the question…” From Hamlet, William Shakespeare Last Friday, was a bad day for investors who have been following Wall Street’s narrative of growth accelerating. Those enamored with the…

Should we make the Dollar great again?

September 7, 2016

A FURTHER LOOK Should we make the Dollar great again? September 7, 2016 / By David Root, Founder and CEO Last week’s disappointing jobs report tempered the Fed’s rhetoric for a possible rate hike as soon as September or December of this year. The government reported on Friday that employers expanded their payrolls by 151,000…

Chasing dividend yields? Proceed cautiously.

August 30, 2016

A FURTHER LOOK Chasing dividend yields? Proceed cautiously. August 30, 2016 / By David Root, Founder and CEO The recent rush toward dividend paying stocks by investors searching for yield has played an unusually large role in the stock market’s run toward record highs. In fact there’s a correlation worth noting here. As the S&P…

Get off to a good start with Financial Planning

August 23, 2016

A FURTHER LOOK Get off to a good start with Financial Planning August 23, 2016 / By David Root, Founder and CEO As we’ve discussed in previous issues of A Further Look, investors find themselves in constant search for yield, capital appreciation and income – often with unpredictable results. Outside factors that are out of…

Mr. Bond, we’ve been expecting you

August 16, 2016

A FURTHER LOOK Mr. Bond, we’ve been expecting you August 16, 2016 / By David Root, Founder and CEO “You forgot the first rule of media. Give the people what they want!”  – James Bond, ‘Tomorrow Never Dies’ (1997) 2016 has been the year of anti-establishment thinking. I am talking of course, about the compelling…

How to survive the Dog Days of Wall Street

August 10, 2016

A FURTHER LOOK How to survive the Dog Days of Wall Street August 10, 2016 / By David Root, Founder and CEO “Out of the clutter find simplicity.” – Marc Benioff, Founder Salesforce.com We are mid-way through the proverbial dog days of summer. Super hot weather is starting to get old, everyone you know seems…

Maybe the Fed should stop trying so hard.

August 2, 2016

A FURTHER LOOK Maybe the Fed should stop trying so hard. August 3, 2016 / By David Root, Founder and CEO “Yesterday, I did absolutely nothing. And it was everything I thought it could be.” – Peter Gibbons character, the movie ‘Office Space’ Last Friday’s Q2 GDP number of 1.2% growth was a huge disappointment…

Wall Street’s partying… like it’s 1929?

July 26, 2016

A FURTHER LOOK Wall Street’s partying… like it’s 1929? July 27, 2016 / By David Root, Founder and CEO In the midst of another earnings season deluge this week, many on Wall Street are still applauding Friday’s newest all-time high (2175) for the S&P 500. Great! But let’s not ignore the fact that this happened…

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves

July 19, 2016

A FURTHER LOOK Let’s not get ahead of ourselves July 19, 2016 / By David Root, Founder and CEO “When the market changes from its historical trends, it eventually reverts back to the mean” Richard Thaler Sure, we’ve had a nice run after Brexit. The recent run-up in global stocks has added more than $4…

The growing opportunity for fiscal reform

July 13, 2016

A FURTHER LOOK The growing opportunity for fiscal reform July 13, 2016 / By David Root, Founder and CEO “Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth” – John F. Kennedy In a nation born of a new idea for government brought forward in the Declaration of Independence, The United States has…

The Standard of Freedom – the US Dollar

July 6, 2016

A FURTHER LOOK The Standard of Freedom – the US Dollar July 6, 2016 / By David Root, Founder and CEO Fresh from a long holiday weekend, I am feeling optimistic. Because of our frank analysis in A Further Look, I want to re-assure (especially those of you who haven’t met me) that I am…

Can we take the next Brexit?

June 29, 2016

A FURTHER LOOK Can we take the next Brexit? June 29, 2016 / By David Root, Founder and CEO “We’ve long felt that the only value of stock forecasters is to make fortune tellers look good.” – Warren Buffet While the world continues to focus on last week’s Brexit vote, there are other issues –…

Time to stop ignoring threats from overseas.

June 22, 2016

A FURTHER LOOK Time to stop ignoring threats from overseas. June 22, 2016 / By David Root, Founder and CEO Sweet like candy to my soul Sweet you rock And sweet you roll Lost for you I’m so lost for you You come crash into me ‘Crash Into Me’ – Dave Matthews Band Why do…

Why can’t we have the Government of Champions?

June 15, 2016

A FURTHER LOOK Why can’t we have the Government of Champions? June 15, 2016 / By David Root, Founder and CEO “To me, the tune of ‘Let’s Get Fiscal’ should be our leaders’ overwhelming policy goal, aimed at targeting secular stagnation. But political partisanship likely precludes any major fiscal moves, especially as we move towards…

Taking stock in lessons of leadership

June 8, 2016

A FURTHER LOOK Taking stock in lessons of leadership. June 8, 2016 / By David Root, Founder and CEO “I am astonished by the extent and depth of the Northern determination to fight to the last. They will fight on as long as they have men, muskets, powder…and would fight on, if the grass were…

The Fed should talk less, say more.

June 1, 2016

A FURTHER LOOK The Fed should talk less, say more. June 1, 2016 / By David Root, Founder and CEO When it comes to the Fed raising interest rates, talk is cheap. In a recent statement, Janet Yellen framed it this way: “It’s appropriate, and I’ve said this in the past I think, for the…

The Fed’s Rate Hike Gamesmanship

May 25, 2016

A FURTHER LOOK The Fed’s Rate Hike Gamesmanship May 25, 2016 / By David Root, Founder and CEO “Part of me thinks this current spate of hawkish commentary is all part of a sinister plan to float hawkish trial balloons into the market, just so that they can be counteracted via dovish rhetoric.” Darius Dale…

Spinning is all the rage in 2016

May 17, 2016

A FURTHER LOOK Spinning is all the rage in 2016 May 18, 2016 / By David Root, Founder and CEO “The bike remains stationary. You go to hell and back.” As I walked past a fitness center where a spinning class was taking place, I thought about the description above, and how it seems appropriate…

This game separates winners and whiners

May 11, 2016

A FURTHER LOOK This game separates winners and whiners May 11, 2016 / By David Root, Founder and CEO If you’ve been caught up in the perpetual guessing game that the consensus crowd is peddling on Wall Street, you may need to find a new way to win the reality game that’s in front of…

Breaking news, or a breaking belief system?

May 3, 2016

A FURTHER LOOK Breaking news, or a breaking belief system? May 3, 2016 / By David Root, Founder and CEO “It’s as if we all reside in Alice in Wonderland:  The White Knight’s walking backwards and the Red Queen’s off her head.  We ignore it mostly.  What can we do about it anyway?  We have…

Is integrity in need of a rule? The D.O.L. says yes.

April 27, 2016

A FURTHER LOOK Is integrity in need of a rule? The D.O.L. says yes. April 27, 2016 / By David Root, Founder and CEO Last week, the Department of Labor issued a landmark Fiduciary Rule that says intermediaries giving investment advice in accounts such as 401(k) plans and IRAs must adhere to a “fiduciary” standard…

Peddling in a bi-cycle economy

April 20, 2016

A FURTHER LOOK Peddling in a bi-cycle economy April 20, 2016 / By David Root, Founder and CEO “Many of us who have made our living using natural price discovery on the long side and exploiting frauds and questionable accounting practices on the short side are growing more and more uncomfortable.” Doug Kass – RealMoney…

Bulls, Bears and Chicken Little?

April 13, 2016

A FURTHER LOOK Bulls, Bears and Chicken Little? April 13, 2016 / By David Root, Founder and CEO “Sometimes, when I hear all of the doom and gloom forecasts, I am totally perplexed. My experience with both the Chapel Street Long Term Value Program and Chapel Street Dividend Yield Program has reinforced my belief that…

The Fed, the Old Wall and the Ceiling

April 5, 2016

A FURTHER LOOK The Fed, the Old Wall and the Ceiling April 6, 2016 / By David Root, Founder and CEO As hard as the Fed tries to be the market, we may finally be moving from a market pulled by the Fed’s actions to one that is pulled by fundamentals. The market had been…

Heading Back to the Future with Stagflation?

March 29, 2016

A FURTHER LOOK Heading Back to the Future with Stagflation? March 30, 2016 / By David Root, Founder and CEO In several issues of A Further Look, we’ve talked about the impact of deflation on the slowing US economy. We’ve also touched on the Fed’s decision-making on interest rates based on future inflation expectations. Recently,…

The Fed: Changing the play after the huddle

March 23, 2016

A FURTHER LOOK The Fed: Changing the play after the huddle March 23, 2016 / By David Root, Founder and CEO During their meeting last week, the Fed called an audible on their plans to raise interest rates in 2016, taking out two of the four hikes they previously called for. In doing so, they…

Deflation where credit is due

March 15, 2016

A FURTHER LOOK Deflation where credit is due March 16, 2016 / By David Root, Founder and CEO As market uncertainty continues in the face of anemic growth worldwide, deflation has remained an ongoing thread in any narrative on the U.S. economy. In recent editions of A Further Look, we’ve discussed one very important causal…

Drilling deep for an Oil comeback

March 8, 2016

A FURTHER LOOK Drilling deep for an Oil comeback March 9, 2016 / By David Root, Founder and CEO In 1862, Andrew Carnegie made the journey from Pittsburgh to Oil City, Pennsylvania to learn more about the newly emerging oil industry. On one rig with its puffy engine chugging away was a sign announcing the…

Deflation feeds the Bear

March 2, 2016

A FURTHER LOOK Deflation feeds the Bear March 2, 2016 / By David Root, Founder and CEO Last week we shared our thoughts on whether we are currently in a Bear Market and how the rate of change of growth and inflation is affecting market expectations – as US Growth slowed from 3% to 2% to…

How to survive in Bear territory

February 25, 2016

A FURTHER LOOK How to survive in Bear territory February 24, 2016 / By David Root, Founder and CEO After sitting through the much talked about bear attack scene in Leonardo DiCaprio’s new film, The Revenant – It made me realize what a bear market looks like. You think it’s over – but it comes…

Let’s not get crazy

February 17, 2016

A FURTHER LOOK Let’s not get crazy February 17, 2016 / By David Root, Founder and CEO If the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results – then many on Wall Street are in danger of going mad. Everyone who is bullish about stocks these days is…

What’s your plan?

February 10, 2016

A FURTHER LOOK What’s your plan? February 10, 2016 / By David Root, Founder and CEO “The beginning is the most important part of the work” Plato (420 BC – 328 BC), Greek philosopher Let’s face it; increased volatility in the stock market can bring about an unhealthy amount of market-induced stress on investors. As we’ve…

The broader search for Alpha

February 3, 2016

A FURTHER LOOK The broader search for Alpha February 3, 2016 / By David Root, Founder and CEO You may have heard of a hockey player named John Scott? John is one of the better feel-good stories coming out of an industry in search of better returns for its paying customers – or its own…

Time to get over the ‘Old Wall’

January 27, 2016

A FURTHER LOOK Time to get over the ‘Old Wall’ January 27, 2016 / By David Root, Founder and CEO Markets don’t trade on where bull marketers and optimists think they should be. They rise or fall as the rates of change in growth and inflation expectations do – i.e. data going from good to…

Don’t slip on cheaper oil

January 20, 2016

A FURTHER LOOK Don’t slip on cheaper oil January 20, 2016 / By David Root, Founder and CEO Like most Pittsburghers, I relished the thought of having another Steelers playoff game this weekend. However, before we knew it we had a heartbreaking loss on our hands. For me, it was a triumphant season given the…

Cover all of your bases in 2016

January 12, 2016

A FURTHER LOOK Cover all of your bases in 2016 January 12, 2016 / By David Root, Founder and CEO Since we started writing A Further Look last year, we’ve addressed late cycle growth slowing in many of our commentaries. Our intent has been to give you an honest assessment of what we see happening…

Wading into 2016

January 6, 2016

A FURTHER LOOK Wading into 2016 January 6, 2016 / By David Root, Founder and CEO It’s the time of year when many of our peers like to make market predictions for the coming year. That tends to be pointless, as most of these predictions are linear and we have learned that the market is…

Flipping the calendar. Is the cycle far behind?

December 29, 2015

A FURTHER LOOK Flipping the calendar. Is the cycle far behind? December 29, 2015 / By David Root, Founder and CEO As 2015 comes to a close, I look back on our thoughts during the course of the year, which were dominated by acknowledgement of global growth slowing and deflationary trends. It has been a…

Is the Fed pleading transitory insanity?

December 23, 2015

A FURTHER LOOK Is the Fed pleading transitory insanity? December 23, 2015 / By David Root, Founder and CEO Last week, the Fed’s much expected and historic rate hike became reality as Janet Yellen acknowledged that after seven years, tightening was underway. Their defense: “With inflation currently still low, why is the committee raising the…

Winners play great defense

December 15, 2015

A FURTHER LOOK Winners play great defense December 16, 2015 / By David Root, Founder and CEO One of the things I learned early in life when playing hockey in my youth, was to always play defense. By doing so, you can control your level of intensity and therefore create your own opportunities. It also…

Seeking safe haven in a volatile market

December 8, 2015

A FURTHER LOOK Seeking safe haven in a volatile market December 9, 2015 / By David Root, Founder and CEO Every morning I wake up and read an encouraging passage from a booklet sent to me monthly from an organization called Unity. My grandmother introduced this to me when I was a young child. Here is…

Plan to be surprised

December 2, 2015

A FURTHER LOOK Plan to be surprised December 2, 2015 / By David Root, Founder and CEO “Society is always taken by surprise at any new example of common sense.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson As we’ve learned from the Fed, U.S. regulatory policy and global macro markets, actions and events can bring unexpected consequences. Yet…

The Millennials are coming! But when?

November 24, 2015

A FURTHER LOOK The Millennials are coming! But when? November 24, 2015 / By David Root, Founder and CEO Last week, I had the privilege of attending Hedgeye Risk Management’s invitation-only investors’ conference, Macrocosm 2015. It was a great opportunity to share insights, experiences and viewpoints on what is happening in Global Macro Markets with…

After winter, spring always comes

November 18, 2015

A FURTHER LOOK After winter, spring always comes November 17, 2015 / By David Root, Founder and CEO Like the four seasons, our cyclical economy – (Early cycle – mid-cycle – late cycle – recession) offers many opportunities to settle in to manage unnecessary risk and plan for brighter days ahead. And as investors’ personal…

The Reality of Managing Money and Expectations

November 10, 2015

The Reality of Managing Money and Expectations Don’t know about you, but I can’t get enough of the music from the ’70s. I was a teenager then. Today my radio dial is stuck on Sirius-XM’s The 70’s Channel. Funny, it feels like today’s stock market is too. Average annual returns for the S&P 500 were…

Are we getting ‘Fed’ false optimism?

November 4, 2015

Are we getting ‘Fed’ false optimism? Life is filled with beginnings and endings. Autumn leaves turn gold and crimson, then – fall from the trees. One part of the cycle comes to an end. A period of dormancy is about to begin. In the face of job gains of less than 150K for two months…

Wall Street’s Paranormal ‘Halloween Indicator’

October 28, 2015

Wall Street’s Paranormal ‘Halloween Indicator’ The Halloween Indicator refers to the stock market’s seasonal tendency to produce its best returns between Halloween and May 1st.  Some refer to this strategy as Sell in May and Go Away.” But today’s market is anything but normal. As Blackrock’s Chief Fixed Income Strategist Jeff Rosenberg puts it: “It’s…

Central Planning and the Rise of Trump

October 21, 2015

Central Planning and the Rise of Trump Things really don’t feel normal these days. I’m not just talking about the stock market. It’s the economy, the business climate and even the attitude of much of the country. It’s a feeling that is baked into the volatility on Wall Street and in attitudes toward Washington, D.C….

Starting Late Cycle, Early Bear Season?

October 14, 2015

Starting Late Cycle, Early Bear Season? Sadly, many in the financial media continue to rely on signals from the Fed, whose GDP growth forecasts have been wrong an AVERAGE of 1% per year since 2010. This during what is arguably the longest (77 months) and slowest economic expansion in a ‘Century of Cycles.’ Last week,…

The Next China Syndrome: Global Recession?

October 7, 2015

The Next China Syndrome: Global Recession? If you aren’t familiar with the 1979 thriller film, The China Syndrome, it describes a fictional worst-case result of a nuclear meltdown, where reactor components melt through their containment structures and into the underlying earth, “all the way to China.” As the market continues to reel after its worst…

Working a growth mindset

September 30, 2015

Working a growth mindset I love this business.  And to wake up and throw yourself into it everyday no matter what the market holds, you have to love it.  And one thing we all love in this business is growth. Sometimes to find that growth, we have to practice tough love. That means looking for…

A Further Look 28

September 24, 2015

Time to act like we’ve been here before Now that the Fed has made their decision not to raise rates – which was the right decision – it’s time to play the game that is now in front of us. That includes the reality of global growth slowing, deflation, demographic headwinds and late cycle economic…

This isn’t supposed to be easy

September 16, 2015

This isn’t supposed to be easy The recent volatility in global markets has challenged investors to asset manage under adverse conditions. And that is never an easy thing to do. However, having confidence in your process can help temper emotions – the investor’s greatest enemy – that can lead to mistakes. I thought this would…

Feeling the chill of a late cycle economy

September 10, 2015

Feeling the chill of a late cycle economy Just as Labor Day officially marks the end of summer, current market conditions globally and in the US are moving the economic cycle toward chillier conditions. When we talk about our Four Seasons Allocation Model, it is constructed to hold up under various conditions in the market,…

Seeking Shelter through Risk Management

September 3, 2015

Seeking Shelter through Risk Management After one of the biggest moves in volatility since 2008, the market continues to be a hostile environment for investment returns. We are now in a market where focusing some or even most of your investment efforts on income rather than growth can make it much easier to sleep at…

Buy Low. Sell Why?

August 26, 2015

Buy Low. Sell Why? While working on this issue – number 24, I was reminded of one of my favorite TV series ‘24’, where the hero Jack Bauer races against the clock to foil domestic and international threats. For investors this week, the sell off on Wall Street also unfolded like one of TV’s best political dramas. We…

Chinese currency devaluation: Actions of a paper tiger?

August 19, 2015

Chinese currency devaluation: Actions of a paper tiger? The Chinese shocked financial markets (and the psyche of investors) when they devalued their currency last week. The move on August 11 was the largest such move in more than twenty years – and is likely to be the first of many such moves. Although the timing…

Will September mean back to school for the Fed?

August 13, 2015

Will September mean back to school for the Fed? As the Fed seems committed to raising interest rates this year – perhaps as early as September – it may be time for the Fed to do some brushing up on their own as school starts soon. Recent Economic Cycle history may be a good place…

Fed watching: Time to see the forest for the trees

August 5, 2015

Fed watching: Time to see the forest for the trees As investors trudge through this week’s massive amount of data being released, it is important for those of us who make a living at this to remain disciplined and process driven. This is a time for patience, preparation and an understanding of the big (Macro)…

Staying active in Summer 2015

July 30, 2015

Staying active in Summer 2015 For many of us, the summer of 2015 is looking a lot like the summer of 2011. Not exactly an environment for relaxation. To refresh your memory, doing a quick Google search of ‘2011 stock market’ is accompanied by the word “correction.” Most of us remember the fiscal cliff and…

Second half 2015: Wiping the slate clean

July 22, 2015

Second half 2015: Wiping the slate clean For growth-starved investors, the first half of 2015 has been a challenge. The six- year old bull market is no longer racing ahead, and as earnings season kicks off the second half, investors find themselves conflicted once again. The recent lift off among the giants in the “new…

Note to Fed watchers: Don’t wait too long.

July 15, 2015

Note to Fed watchers: Don’t wait too long. The only thing that is weakening faster than global economic growth is the influence of central planners. If you plan to risk manage through this slower for longer economy, you’ll need to do your own work without waiting on the Fed. As the inevitable cyclical transition takes…

Deflation, volatility and oh yeah – that Greece thing

July 8, 2015

Deflation, volatility and oh yeah – that Greece thing The drama that is taking place in Greece has captured the attention of investors and the mainstream financial media for weeks. And why not? The impact of a developed country defaulting on their commitments is big news. But in terms of what we should be worried…

Ready. Set. Hike?

June 30, 2015

Ready. Set. Hike? That’s just what many investors expect to hear this fall, not on the gridiron, but from the Fed. While the consensus crowd seems to be parroting that “maybe it’s just time to raise rates”, they’ve convinced themselves that inflation and economic growth are ready for such a move. I heard much of…

Summer winds and changing seasons

June 17, 2015

Summer winds and changing seasons This week began with a big jump in volatility in the markets due in large part to the uncertainty in Greece. Other factors weighed in such as falling domestic and international bond yields, uncertainty on interest rates and mixed economic reports. So now may be a good time for me…

Plan for the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

June 10, 2015

Plan for the Good, the Bad and the Ugly If you are an optimist, the new jobs report released last Friday gives you good reason to be positive. About 280,000 jobs were added in May, the largest gain since December and well above consensus forecasts. As a result, economists largely expect the Fed will begin…

Are you playing to win?

June 3, 2015

Are you playing to win? With the rise of the US Dollar and ongoing speculation on the Fed’s next move on interest rates, we’re left to decide whether all of this is good or bad for all of us. In this complicated global economy, nearly every action causes both a positive and negative reaction. As…

Digging in: The global currency war

May 27, 2015

Digging in: The global currency war To combat the effects of economic stagnation – little or no economic growth accompanied by high unemployment – the world’s central planners have gone on the offensive. Since the beginning of the year, more than 20 central banks around the world have eased monetary policy. We are seeing a…

Call for leadership

May 20, 2015

Call for leadership The military trains its officers using an acronym to describe general conditions and situations they will be faced with as leaders: VUCA. Its elements are: Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity. In the investors’ world of VUCA, the leadership and actions taken by central planners have a big impact on the economy. Even…

Plan well, but expect surprises

May 13, 2015

“What we know is a drop, what we don’t know is an ocean.” – Sir Isaac Newton Plan well, but expect surprises As the market still digests April’s job numbers, investor reactions are mixed. Once again, we have a scenario that could bring on further uncertainty and volatility along with more speculation on the Fed’s next…

The Fed’s Guessing Game

May 5, 2015

The Fed’s Guessing Game Last week, everyone expected the Fed to show their hand on what might influence their next call on interest rates. But when it was time for the big reveal, what their hand showed wasn’t ‘slowing economic growth’. Or a strengthening US Dollar. Not even Global Deflation. It was the upcoming April US jobs report on May…

The Fed, investors and indigestion

April 28, 2015

The Fed, investors and indigestion After the economy slowed in the first quarter, there has been an increasing belief that the Fed will be more dovish on rates leading into this month’s meeting. And the impact of lower rates for longer may have some investors reaching for antacids. Asset allocation can go from feeling balanced…

Watch out for headwinds and windshields

April 21, 2015

Watch out for headwinds and windshields The consensus folks appear satisfied that the economy is gliding along toward an even further expansion. As we’ve stated previously, we are currently in the longest expansion in our history. (71 months) And the Fed appears convinced that we can continue this expansion with their expectation of raising interest…

The lower interest rate highway: Prepare for a long trip.

April 14, 2015

The lower interest rate highway: Prepare for a long trip. Need convincing there won’t be an interest rate hike anytime soon? The recent U.S. jobs report should do the trick. We’ve been following signs of global deflation and growth slowing for months, so when we learned of the measly 126,000 jobs created in March, we saw…

Don’t worry; be happy!

April 8, 2015

Don’t worry; be happy! In today’s world of Global Macro investing, we live everyday knowing that events out of our control can change everything; especially when it comes to balancing and rebalancing allocation models. So if your process and models are working in the intermediate term, what’s wrong with being content while the consensus crowd…

In this market, you gotta be ready to hit the curve ball!

April 1, 2015

In this market, you gotta be ready to hit the curve ball! Step up to the plate in today’s global macro market, and you’ll need to prepare for more than one scenario. As the consensus crowd waited for Janet Yellen’s fastball down the middle on March 18th, (i.e. rate hike) they were ready to swing…

A Further Look #2

March 26, 2015

March 26, 2015 “If all the economists were laid end to end, they’d never reach a conclusion.” – George Bernard Shaw The Nobel Prize winning playwright and co-founder of the London School of economics wasn’t much of a capitalist, but Shaw’s words are timeless. At the very least, all the economists (and central planners) laid end-to-end should remain…

A Further Look: If the ball deflates during this market’s March Madness, what becomes of the Fed’s stimulus playbook?

March 14, 2015

If the ball deflates during this market’s March Madness, what becomes of the Fed’s stimulus playbook? Long before there was’ Deflategate’, current New York Knicks President Phil Jackson said he and some other players would deflate basketballs in the 1970s to deaden the ball for a rebounding advantage. As U.S. employment numbers appeared to rebound with…