A worrisome vulnerability

This week we examine some worrisome characteristics of the U.S. market.  According to Liz An Sonders of Charles Schwab, global monetary conditions remain equity market friendly, but pending U.S. rate hikes may change perception about market valuation.  Gavyn Davis, columnist for the Financial Times, notes increasing grounds to worry about the sustainability of the market’s

Where are the gains from international diversification?

2015 may be a year when global diversification is appreciated once again.  The world’s economies and central bank policies are diverging, creating conditions for widely varying results.  Relative valuations among countries may be a reliable guide to future results. Global Diversification Could be 2015’s Winner.  2015 is likely to be a year when global diversification

What lies ahead?

The new year has just begun, but analysts are already forecasting a period of higher market volatility in 2015. Ed Easterling of Crestmont Research graphs the present situation and shows what investors can expect in the coming months.  At the same time, Research Affiliates advises investors to use the structural “building blocks” approach to better anticipate real returns.  And,

Preparing to retire in a low-return environment

Intriguing subject matter relating to retirement was the topic of several sessions at the AICPA Advanced Personal Financial Planning Conference held January 19-21, 2015.  This week we share some of the conference’s golden nuggets and more. Retiring in a Low-Return Environment.   Investment returns and retirement spending have been based on information drawn from the past. 

Time to play defense

As football season is upon us it is appropriate to borrow a sports metaphor and suggest it is time to play defense.  At least that is what several thoughtful commentators suggest. Risk Revisited.  “Memos from the Chairman”—penned by Howard Marks of Oaktree Capital—never fail to deliver thoughtful commentary.  His latest memo cautions that investor behavior

This Week with J. Mark Nickell & Co. – September 3, 2014

The Napa earthquake reminded us this week of our restless earth, about the unpredictability of external shocks to the market, and how we don’t need to be lulled to sleep when volatility is relatively low. Three Investing Lessons from the Napa Earthquake.  Stocks and other risky assets have been doing particularly well the last few

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. – March 19, 2014

March 9th  marked the five year anniversary of the current bull market.  Memory of the previous bear market is a distant recollection to some.  2013 saw the S&P 500 jump 32 percent and the Nasdaq jump 40 percent while corporate earnings barely increased.  U.S. equity indices recently hit record highs.  This week we examine reasons