Tag Archives: Stocks

Bad Barometer

Chances are, the market barometer you most often hear about is the Dow Jones Industrial Average.  Every evening, the Dow’s ups or downs are soberly reported as if they reflect something important.

They don’t.

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Measuring the Market

Have you ever wondered what stock market professionals and equity analysts talk about in their spare time?  Recently, the Bloomberg website featured a debate about something that is getting a lot of attention recently: the historically high, and still-rising U.S. stock market valuations.  People have been willing to pay more, and more, and more for a dollar of corporate earnings.  What does that mean about future returns?

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Vanishing Equities

A recent Wall Street Journal article, citing a study by the Center for Research in Security Prices, tells us something remarkable about the times we are investing in: the number of stocks on the U.S. market has quietly diminished by more than half over the last 20 years.  In November 1997, investors could choose from 7,355 U.S. stocks.  Today, there are fewer than 3,600.

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Interest Rate Hike

The U.S. Federal Reserve Board’s Open Market Committee just raised the Fed Funds rate from 0.75% to 1.00%—the second rate hike in three months.  So what should you do with your investment portfolio in light of this change?

Nothing.

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How to Reset Your Portfolio (Regardless of What You Think of the Markets)

Over the last few weeks, professional financial planners have been fielding calls from clients who are asking the kinds of questions that every professional investor hates to hear.  The Dow has reached (and then fallen back below) 20,000.  Should I take money off the table?

My preferred candidate didn’t win the election, and I think the world is going to hell in a handbasket.  Don’t you think I should sell my stocks now before it’s too late?

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Brexit Update

Brexit

Remember Brexit?  Of course you do.  Many short-term traders thought the sky was falling when British voters unexpectedly decided to opt their country out of the European Union.  But the process of extricating the British economy from the complexities of European membership has been deliberate and thoughtful—on both sides.

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Riding the Coaster

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With the benefit of hindsight, we can see that it would have been a bad idea to sell your stock holdings after the Brexit vote; you would have locked in a 5% to 10% loss in a market that eventually trended upward to new record highs.  The same is true of the aftermath of the World Court decision that slapped China in the face by declaring that man-made islands don’t transform an ocean into territorial waters, the attempted coup in Turkey, or, really, any other alarming headline which doesn’t materially affect a company’s ability to run its operations.

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