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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

Will the Fed Cause Another Recession?

The Fed raised the Federal Funds Rate by 25 basis points (a quarter of a percentage point) to 1.0%.  This is the anchor rate on the yield curve, and, most other rates respond to it, with shorter rates today responding more than longer rates.  It appears from their communications that they intend to hike rates several more times over the next 12-18 months. While I don’t see a recession over …Read More

In the Slow Growth World: Is “Full” Employment No Longer a National Priority?

At the end of January, we learned that the preliminary GDP growth estimate for Q4/16 was 1.9% and that labor costs and wages rose less than expected (despite the fact that the minimum wage rose in 19 states). Given the “animal spirits” so evident in the post-election markets, such data may be a shock to many.  But, if you are a reader of my columns, it shouldn’t have been a …Read More

Investors, prepare for slower growth

From an investor’s standpoint, this has surely been a summer of discontent.  All markets appear to be too high, there is no yield to be found, and there appears to be no place to hide, at least inside current investment standards as set forth by Wall Street.  While the conventional wisdom looks at cash as “trash” because it generates no return, in today’s world where there is more deflation than …Read More

OPEC’s lunacy behind market’s volatility

Market volatility was present throughout January with no calming so far in February. We saw a 565-point intraday slide on the Dow on Jan. 20; then a few days later, the market closed up nearly 400 points! As February began, the Dow gave back most of that 400-point gain only to regain nearly half of it last Wednesday after another rollercoaster ride (376 intraday points). On Friday, the jobs report …Read More

Strong employment, higher inflation means slightly higher interest rates

For some, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report that 271,000 net new jobs were created in October was a surprise. But readers of my reports should not have been surprised. For at least the last year, I have commented on the underlying strength of the consumer, the service sector, housing, and the labor markets. And in the latest employment report, we have finally witnessed the first recognition that wages, too, are …Read More