Looking Ahead to the Second Quarter

Recently the Pinnacle investment team met to discuss the state of the world, the views of the independent analysts we follow, our market expectations, and what it all means to the asset allocation of Pinnacle portfolios. As always, it was a lively discussion that swung between business cycle dynamics, technical condition of markets, valuation, and…

Why We’re Buying Oil

Pinnacle has various defenses built into to how we manage our portfolios. We live by the two unbreakable rules of keeping diversified and avoiding overvalued assets. In addition, we also look to keep various hedges in our portfolio to defend against adverse conditions that have the potential to rattle financial markets. Over the last few…

Three Ways to Evaluate Portfolio Returns

Consumers of investment management might consider three different methods to analyze investment returns. The first method is to look at absolute returns in the context of your financial plan. If the portfolio return was 7% annualized for ten years, was that return high enough for you to achieve your financial goals? What about 3% annualized…

Fixed Income 101 (or maybe 201)

The duration of a bond portfolio tells you how much the price of your bonds will change for each percentage change in interest rates. A high duration means more sensitivity or price volatility as interest rates change. Duration tells you virtually everything you want to know about the price sensitivity of U.S. government bonds, which…

Going Hollywood

Early this week I appeared on a panel discussing gold at the world’s largest exchange traded fund (ETF) conference, which took place in Hollywood, Florida. Given that the conference was being held in a picturesque setting on the beach, there were plenty of opportunities to be distracted by sun, surf, and sand. (Full Disclosure: My…

Exploiting Logical Errors of Inference

In my book, Buy and Hold is Dead (Again), I discuss in some detail Woody Brock’s views on the logical justification for active portfolio management. Brock lays out three ways active managers can outperform. First, they can better forecast structural changes in the economy. Second, they can better forecast how investors will react to changes…

The Oh-So-Sweet Sleep of the Certain

Recently I had the opportunity to review the investment results of two different money managers who had correctly called the market top in 2007 and by January of 2008 had safely invested 100% of their investment capital in cash. The resulting investment results are, as you can imagine, spectacular. Both firms are quantitative in nature,…