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Hope is Not a Good Investment Strategy

According to the Bespoke Investment Group, every year, Wall Street analysts declare that the stock market will rise, and since 2000, the annual average forecast has been for a 9.5% gain.  The reality is that the market has only risen at a 3.9% rate over this time frame.  The 2008 forecast was for a market increase of 11%; the reality was -38%.  To say that Wall Street promotes the stock …Read More

The Specter of Rising Rates

Suddenly, out of the blue, August’s data came in well below expectations; the economy now appears to be sputtering as we end the third quarter.  Yet the Fed has put the markets on notice that it intends to soon raise interest rates, or at least that is what the market thinks given the hawkish speeches from some Fed officials.  Raising rates into a weakening economy is ordinarily unthinkable.  As a …Read More

Three Uncertainties Are Driving the Markets

The financial markets have been focused on three uncertainties: the strong and rising value of the dollar vis a vis other currencies, weakening U.S. economic indicators, and the timing and magnitude of Fed policy actions.  All this with a background of the ongoing Greek tragedy and continued political strife and terrorism worries. Volatility has resulted.  To show the market’s uncertainty, in the month of March, of the 19 trading days …Read More

Uncertainties driving the markets

Originally published on RGJ’s website, http://www.rgj.com/story/money/business/2015/03/20/uncertainties-driving-markets/25113763/ The financial markets have been focused on three uncertainties: the strong and rising value of the dollar vis a vis other currencies, weakening U.S. economic indicators, and the timing and magnitude of Fed policy actions. All this with a background of the ongoing Greek tragedy and continued political strife and terrorism worries. Volatility has resulted. The Strong Dollar The rising value of the dollar …Read More

Stock prices down – should you worry?

Originally published on Reno Gazette’s website http://www.rgj.com/story/money/business/2015/01/07/robert-barone-stock-prices-worry/21424791/ Intellectually, we all know that the equity markets can be volatile. It is a question of whether or not we can control our emotions, especially during market sell-offs. As of last Tuesday, the S&P had fallen for five straight sessions, something we haven’t seen for a year. Some pundits have proclaimed the end of the bull market. Take this with a grain of …Read More