Take Advantage of Shift From Bonds to Stocks

For several years, investors have anticipated a “great rotation” from bonds into equities, and for several years, they were dead wrong. In fact, even as equities were quietly rising for the past years, both domestic and international money has continued to surge into bonds. At long last, that is beginning to reverse, which demands a reconsideration of strategies that seemingly have worked so well and so easily for so long. As long as bond prices were rising, pouring money into assets that had a certain return looked like a slam dunk. No longer.

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Making the Most of a ‘Placid’ Market

At long last, the presidential election of 2016 is entering its final stages. In one form or another, this election has occupied an outsized place in American life since the middle of 2015, by far the longest and most extensive political campaign we’ve ever experienced. Much of this campaign season’s noise will have little impact on markets, the economy, interest rates, economic growth, or the fate of companies. In many respects, there is an inverse relationship between the furor of this election and its clear impacts—particularly if Hillary Clinton and the Democrats win.

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Diversification Is the Winning Ticket in 2016

Recent volatility notwithstanding, what has been striking about 2016 as an investing year is how relatively good it has been. In fact, the return on a diversified portfolio this year is competitive with many major asset classes, and has restored (for now) some confidence in the age-old mantra of diversification being among the most prudent of investing strategies.

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Investors Should Focus On Hitting Singles

It is a time-honored tradition in the world of investing to use sports clichés. Yes, it’s a cop out, a failure of collective imagination, but rather than fight it just now, we are going to jump on that bandwagon. And not just sports clichés; we’re going to embrace all clichés—after all, most clichés have a real kernel of truth. 

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Why Trump, Hillary Will Not Take Down the Market

In this election cycle, will investors be winners or losers? Let’s just get this out of the way: the bulk of this year will be consumed by election noise. There is no way around that. That noise, in turn, will drive out other stories, unless there is a major disruptive event (a terrorist attack, such as the recent one in Brussels, a natural disaster, unexpected political upheaval in the world, or expectations of a possible Brexit coming to fruition). That noise also will subtly influence investors’ behavior, or at least how they view the world. There is no way to avoid that.

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Market Stresses in 2015 Can Have Good Outcome

For the past few months, financial markets have been positioning for a change in Federal Reserve policy to move from “very easy and accommodative” to “easy and accommodative.” The decision of the Fed, finally, to raise short-term lending rates by 25 basis points was met with relief that months of will-they won’t-they were finally over. At the same time, the energy and commodity complex has continued to melt down as prices plummet. The result has been both an unusual amount of turmoil in fixed income markets and a rising chorus of voices anxiously drawing parallels to 2008-2009.

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Are Robo Portfolios Ready for Black-Swan Events?

We’ve seen a significant move away from how most people invested in the 20th century—actively and with the at times costly advice and direction of advisors and brokers—towards a more digitally enhanced, passively implemented set of strategies. Some of that trend is inevitable and a useful addition to the suite of options. But as we have said, and continue to maintain, the rush toward passive investing is not without issues, and it must be balanced. There can be too much of a good thing. Today’s rush towards passive, ultra-low cost investing solutions must be tempered with questions: What is being gained? What potentially could be lost?

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The Virtues of This Boring U.S. Stock Market

So here we are, more than halfway through the year, and although there has been no dearth of daily news, it’s been remarkably static for many investments, particularly U.S. equities. Some sectors — energy and commodities above all — have been spectacularly weak as the global economy continues to adjust to massive supply and demand shifts, especially lower demand from China. A few sectors, notably technology, have done quite well, with several technology indexes up close to 10% year-to-date. But in aggregate, U.S equities have had one of their least volatile and least interesting six month periods in a very long while.

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