Christmas season is upon us and geez has the year flown by. Below is a reflection on the year's returns and what to expect/how to position going forward. Returns year to date have been tepid in the US and abysmal in Europe and Asia. The question is, what should investors expect moving into 2019? Growth … Continue reading Jingle Bells, Batman Smells: YTD Reflection & 2019 Positioning
Ray Dalio emphasizes credit cycles as integral to his firm's investment strategy. Watch this video on how the economy functions: While we can be sure the pattern will repeat itself in some form or another, we can only be sure how the pattern played out in the past and play the game of averages. With … Continue reading Patterns in the Numbers
Is the risk-reward trade-off broken? Historically smaller companies have higher stock price returns, but this relationship has faded since 2008. What happened and why aren't investors being compensated for taking more risk? Table 1.1 shows how small-cap stocks have performed relative to large-cap stocks since the Great Financial Crisis in 2007-08. There is more volatility … Continue reading Get Paid to Take Risk
The Fed is now shrinking its balance sheet; they are no longer buying new securities as they mature. Below is a bit of analysis on if the Fed's recent activities in shrinking its balance sheet is the cause of the recent rise in volatility. Quick note: Data is at a weekly tenor, from Jan. … Continue reading Knee Jerk Vol & the Fed
Most financial media is focused on "tweet risk" or "trade wars". To me, these seem like water under the bridge. It's in China's interest politically to retaliate to trade sanctions, but not in their interest to crash US markets. They hold a massive amount of US Treasurys, if they stop buying US bonds, rates … Continue reading Bogus Tweet Risk
Bond markets and the Fed aren't making sense. The Fed ("Yellen") rose the Federal Funds Rate (FFR) last Wednesday, June 12th to a range of 1.00% to 1.25%. The Fed has two mandates: (1) to keep prices stable (i.e. keep inflation around 2%) and (2) to minimize unemployment. In other words, stabilize the economy by cooling … Continue reading Trouble in Yellen-Land
When interest rates go up, and they will, the 50% increase across the board will topple markets, namely bond markets. Today's interest rates are unprecedented. The lowest possible bound for an interest rate USED to be 0%. In finance terms, we call it the ZLB or the zero lower bound. Today bond yields in Germany … Continue reading Who’s got the power?