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"Global Synchronized Growth" Thumbnail

"Global Synchronized Growth"

Today's post is drawn directly from the work of Dr. Ed Yardeni of Yardeni Research. Yardeni is an excellent provider of independent investment and economics research. In his most recent blog post, Yardeni highlights some of the key data points highlighting the global growth story occurring right now.

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Corporate Earnings Continue to Excel Thumbnail

Corporate Earnings Continue to Excel

Media headlines focus on the news of the day. The key word there is "day". These are typically issues that will cause a firestorm for a brief period of time, and then go off into the dustbin of history. Fine, let them cause a ruckus. Sure, sometimes the news of the day can stretch out to become news of the week. But really, most of the media attention is focused on issues that are here today and gone tomorrow.

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Small Business Optimism Thumbnail

Small Business Optimism

The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) is America's leading small business association, with more than 325,000 small businesses members throughout our great country. You have heard it said that small businesses are the lifeblood of the American economy. This is because small businesses: Represent 99% of all employer firms. Employ about half of private-sector employees. Generate 63-80% of net new jobs annually (i.e. job growth predominately flows out of small businesses). Create over half of private GDP (excluding farming).

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Global Interest Rates Thumbnail

Global Interest Rates

I have an exciting investment opportunity to tell you about. Here's how it works: Today, you will invest $13,400 to buy a $10,000 Swiss bond. [note: that is not a typo. You are paying a 34% premium over face value of the bond] I will buy you a $10,000 Swiss bond that pays you 3.25% simple interest each year ($325 of annual interest). At the end of 10 years, you will get your $10,000 back.

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More Good News on the Employment Front Thumbnail

More Good News on the Employment Front

One effective method of tracking the pulse of the US economy is initial weekly claims for unemployment. This report is a barometer for how many layoffs are taking place across the country. We monitor the trend in initial weekly claims for unemployment as part of our research into economic vitality in the US.

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Are Valuations Unreasonably High? Thumbnail

Are Valuations Unreasonably High?

The most common question we have heard from clients in 2017 is some variation on this one: "Is the stock market due for a drop?" For some clients, their concerns relate to uncertainty about policy decisions of the Trump Administration. For others, fears stem from endless media reports about the stock market making new all-time highs. For others, it's a well-placed understanding that bull markets don't go on forever (true).

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The Oracle of Omaha Thumbnail

The Oracle of Omaha

We're talking about Warren Buffett today. He's the most legendary (and arguably successful) stock market investor in US history. Buffett made headlines recently by saying he has spent about $20 billion on buying stocks. Some of those purchases took place before the presidential election and some took place after the election. With a current net worth around $79 billion, a $20 billion addition to stocks for Buffett is a very significant move. He just took 25% of his total net worth and added it to various stock investments.

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Innovation Thumbnail

Innovation

Via Credit Suisse: "At the beginning of 1900, virtually no one had driven a car, made a phone call, used an electric light, heard recorded music, or seen a movie; no one had flown in an aircraft, listened to the radio, watched TV, used a computer, sent an e-mail, or used a smartphone. There were no x-rays, body scans, DNA tests, or transplants, and no one had taken an antibiotic; as a result, many would die young."

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Beware Interest Rate Prognosticators Thumbnail

Beware Interest Rate Prognosticators

Many Baby Boomers vividly remember the 14% interest rate on their first home mortgage. It's akin to a rite of passage for some of them. They almost recall it as a fond memory, it seems. With memories of the high inflation and high interest rates of the 1970s and 1980s seared in their minds, it is not uncommon for Boomers to be fearful about another round of soaring interest rates. I have come across Baby Boomers whom look upon bonds with great skepticism, for they anticipate swiftly rising rates will lead to poor returns for bonds.

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All-Time Highs...A Cause For Concern? Thumbnail

All-Time Highs...A Cause For Concern?

The S&P 500 closed at an all-time high of 2,198.18 yesterday, November 21, 2016. As I write this post, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is trading over 19,000 for the first time in its history. In fact, the last time all the major domestic stock market indices (S&P 500; DJIA; Russell 2000; and Nasdaq) closed at all-time highs was way back in December 1999.

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Rising Corporate Earnings (A Cause for Optimism) Thumbnail

Rising Corporate Earnings (A Cause for Optimism)

One simple -- yet powerful -- measurement of stock market health is to assess whether companies are making more money today than they were one year ago. There are currently about 4,000 publicly-traded companies in the U.S. The Leuthold Group (a Minneapolis-based research and investment firm) compiles the earnings data for all 4,000 of those companies on a monthly basis. Specifically, they are reviewing the Earnings Per Share (EPS) data, which is reported quarterly by each of the 4,000 companies.

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