Finally Growing into “The New Normal”

A few years ago, while deeply entrenched in the financial crisis, the very smart folks at Pimco coined the phrase “The New Normal”. It essentially meant that over a 3-5 year time frame the developed world economies were in for a subpar period of growth due to the inevitable increase in financial regulation, an end to…

Tail Risks

We are beginning to field a higher volume of questions than usual from clients who are worried about the debt ceiling debate. And why not? We all remember the conversation leading up to the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy, which went something like, “they can’t be so stupid as to let Lehman go under.” Or perhaps clients…

The Hathaway Effect

When over 70% of daily stock trades are being executed by robotraders – supercomputers using complex algorithms, often unintelligible even for the very same whiz who programmed them – strange things can happen. Some can be painful, like the May 6, 2010 flash crash, when the DJIA lost and recovered roughly 9% of its value…

As the Government Turns…

Or, maybe All My Congressmen is a better fit. I guess since so many long running daytime soap operas have recently been cancelled (including CBS’ As the World Turns and ABC’s All My Children), our federal government has decided to fill the daytime TV void. At least that’s the way it seems with the over-the-top…

Was It Ever In Doubt?

The Federal Reserve released the minutes from their June 21-22 meeting today and market participants immediately reacted to one sentence, “A few members noted that, depending on how economic conditions evolve, the committee might have to consider providing additional monetary stimulus…” Ah, QE3 officially back on the table and this time the market only had…

Earth to Jobs, Where Are You?

Yesterday the ADP survey reported that more jobs were created than forecast, and investors rejoiced in jubilation on a bet that the soft patch was already ebbing. Fast forward one day and the euphoria is gone. Today’s job report was miserable – just 18K. After yesterday, the whisper number of the street exceeded 140K with the estimate being about…

Big Week but We Need Bigger

Last week the S&P 500 gained 5.6% en route to the biggest weekly gain in two years, and the 29th biggest weekly gain ever. I think we can now debate this kicking of the European can or the 9.58 second 100 meter dash as the greatest sports feat this decade. The bailout package is in…

$200 Billion in the Room

Last week I had the privilege of traveling to Bachelor’s Gulf in Colorado to network with some of Charles Schwab’s largest institutional clients. I’m guessing about 100 firms from around the country attended the Explore conference and the total assets under management represented by everyone who attended was more than $200 billion. As is usually…

New Holding: Aerospace and Defense ETF

On 6/9/2011 we initiated a new position in the Aerospace and Defense industry in all of our models with the exception of Dynamic Conservative. The specific security we bought was the Powershares Aerospace and Defense ETF (symbol: PPA), and the top holdings are large companies like Honeywell, United Technologies, and Boeing. This was an intra-sector trade…

Can China Achieve a Soft Landing?

In a June 23rd Op-Ed in the Financial Times, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao attempted to boost global confidence in China’s economy, boasting about their “steady and fast growth” and their “flexible and prudent economic policies.” We wish we shared Premier Wen’s conviction.