A Santa Clause Rally?

The S&P 500 is up more than 3% this week, leading the talking heads on TV to once again declare that a “Santa Clause Rally” is unfolding. It may seem kind of silly to hear professional investors talk in such terms, but December has historically been the best month for stocks.

Our Journal of Financial Planning Study, Translated into English

Readers who visit the Pinnacle Advisory Group website (pagmain.wpengine.com) will note that a paper by Solow, Kitces, and Locatelli, entitled “Improving Risk Adjusted Returns Using Market-Valuation-Based Tactical Asset Allocation Strategies,” was published in the December issue of the Journal of Financial Planning (JFP) – the most distinguished journal in the profession. The paper itself is…

The Great Decoupling Myth

Recently U.S. data has taken a more positive tone as international data continues to get softer. Thursday’s U.S. data brought a very strong number on jobless claims, along with two regional manufacturing surveys that were better than expected. Industrial production numbers were weak, but on balance more data beat estimates than missed, and that’s been…

The Real Clowns

I was recently quoted in a Diana Britton article in Registered Rep. magazine entitled, “Is Tactical Investing Wall Street’s Next Clown Act?” As you might guess from the unfortunate title, the writer trots out the familiar and tired arguments for buy and hold investing. In a nutshell, you should buy and hold because:

Will They Deliver This Time?

It’s come down to this — the latest summit of European leaders to try to tackle their worsening financial crisis concludes today. The market’s rally of the past two weeks seems to imply that investors are betting they’ll get it right this time. The definition of “getting it right” apparently consists of a credible framework…

Don’t Try This At Home

When I was a young man, about the time that man discovered fire, it was considered something of a rite of passage to work on your own car. Father and son would pop the hood and pull spark plugs, change the oil, and do other ‘manly’ work on the automobile. My first car happened to…