This Week with J. Mark Nickell & Co. – August 6, 2014

U.S. economy returns to growth after winter downturn.  The U.S. economy grew at a seasonally adjusted 4% in the second quarter, according to numbers released last week from the Commerce Department, topping most economists’ forecasts.  This was a nice rebound from the first quarter’s steep contraction of 2.1%--the worst single quarter downturn in five years.

This Week with J. Mark Nickell & Co. – June 25, 2014

In our world of investment management and financial planning, uncertainty begets questions: sometimes the best reply to any of them is It Depends. This week we examine several current issues where It Depends.  When will the Fed hike rates?  It depends.  What will the conflict in Iraq mean for the economy and investors—it depends.  Will

This Week with J. Mark Nickell & Co. – May 14, 2014

The prospect of interest rates remaining low for longer has become clearer in the first 100 days of Janet Yellen’s leadership at the Federal Reserve.  At the same time the threat of new asset bubbles forming may have become more pronounced.  These are views expressed by faculty at the Wharton Business School.  While tapering of

This Week with J. Mark Nickell & Co. – March 26, 2014

What is an investor to do in the face of mounting evidence of an overvalued market? This question was posed by a handful of clients this week in response to last week’s blog highlighting that investors currently are downplaying risk; that several valuation measures are flashing caution warnings; and that investors should be prepared for

This Week with J. Mark Nickell & Co. – February 12, 2014

Just as one cold wave follows another this winter, waves of market volatility have become the norm in 2014.  Do the waves of volatility forecast a change in the investment climate, or is it just a naturally recurring market rhythm?  Based on our readings, seasonal volatility does not appear to be a precursor of a

This Week with J. Mark Nickell & Co. – February 5, 2014

Markets have been choppy since the page turned to another year.  Uncertainty about the withdrawal of economic stimulus by the Federal Reserve, the pace of economic growth, and the potential for contagion spreading from emerging markets have been leading causes. This week we examine these issues as they relate to one another.  We believe reasons

This Week with J. Mark Nickell & Co. – January 8, 2014

In a much anticipated statement, the Federal Reserve on December 18 announced a change in monetary policy—that it will begin to taper its large scale asset purchase program.  The statement was coupled with additional guidance that interest rates will stay low for a considerable period.   The statement’s impact is more a tweak than a decisive

This Week with J. Mark Nickell & Co. – November 6, 2013

The Federal Reserve met last week and it made no changes to its large scale asset purchase program.  The late spring/early summer experience, where its communications about tapering the program were bungled, drove up interest rates, in expectation that stimulus would be withdrawn in the near future. As markets reacted, the Fed backtracked, and since