The current narrative from Wall Street and the media is that higher wages, better economic growth and a weaker dollar are stoking inflation. These forces are producing higher interest rates, which negatively affects corporate earnings and economic growth and thus causes concern for equity investors. We think there is a thick irony that, in our over-leveraged economy, economic growth is harming economic growth. Read More
“Furthermore, in the main, historians educated as Keynesians and monetarists do not understand the economic history of money, let alone the difference between a gold standard and a gold-exchange standard. These similar sounding monetary systems must be defined and the differences between them noted, for anyone to have the slimmest chance of understanding this vital subject, and its relevance to the situation today…

I called up the still-living co-author of it, Dick Sylla. He was a professor of financial history at NYU Stern. I said: Richard, I have read many but not every page of your magnificent narrative. Tell me, in the 5,000 year recorded history of interest rates, have there ever before been substantially negative nominal bond yields. Not Treasury bill yields, mind you, but bond yields.
In the US the thing most people think of as inflation is the consumer price index, or CPI, which is now running comfortably above the Fed’s target. But the Fed prefers the personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index, which tends to paint a less inflationary picture. And within the PCE universe, core PCE, which strips out energy and food, is the data series that actually motivates Fed action. Read More
The watchdog found that "valuations are also elevated" in bond markets. Of particular interest is the OFR's discussion on duration. Picking up where we left off in June 2016, and calculates that "at current duration levels, a 1 percentage point increase in interest rates would lead to a decline of almost $1.2 trillion in the securities underlying the index."
Very timely, thanks. And trust Monevator to have warned of this ages ago. I too have a friend who buys these but as day trades (naughty, I know). But when we met up in the pub the other night after work he seemed very pleased with himself and his returns, though he sticks to bank stocks (I know..) Having said that, bank stocks for the next 6-12 months seem quite the trend amongst bankers now, at least in the States..
This article will focus on the top four precious metals, gold, silver, platinum, and palladium.  Even though Rhodium and other metals are considered precious, the ones listed above take the lion’s share of the investment market.  Furthermore, while platinum and palladium are purchased as investments, they have a much larger industrial component than gold or silver. Read More
Kirk Spano, the winner of the first MarketWatch competition to find the world’s next great investing columnist, is a registered investment advisor and founder of Bluemound Asset Management, LLC  which seeks to provide investors with greater safety, growth, income and freedom. Kirk’s biography and various business endeavors can be found at KirkSpano.com. Follow Kirk on Twitter @KirkSpano or at the Bluemound Facebook page for his columns, company analysis, letters, trade notes and what he is reading.

The entire defense sector reports this week. At least the big guys do. Margin compression and the potential for lost contracts weigh heavy on these stocks right now. This is one area where I will be slow to withdraw amid weakness. Domestic and allied monies intended for this space will not draw down in a Cold War environment. Lockheed Martin (LMT) reports this morning. The numbers should be good. However, the firm has a number of deals in place with Saudi Arabia. My plan is to wait for the call before doing anything stupid. Boeing (BA) , General Dynamics (GD) , and Northrop Grumman (NOC) all report tomorrow morning, while Raytheon (RTN) will go to the tape on Thursday morning.
There is definitely an argument to be made for having a slight overweight to cash when you start to feel wary on both sides of market, viewing both equities and bonds from a peak down. Nine to 12 months of cash reserve, rather than just six months, is the new norm for greater security, and to take some risk off the table and wait for a better opportunity to reinvest, he said.
Niall Ferguson is a senior fellow at Stanford University, and a senior fellow of the Center for European Studies at Harvard, where he served for twelve years as a professor of history. Niall is one of the finest economic historians on the planet; but he isn’t only an academic. What many people don’t know is that he works with a small group of elite hedge fund managers and executives as the managing director of macroeconomic and geopolitical advisory firm, Greenmantle.
Quite simply, I think stock investors looked at the surfacing of real problems in their favorite FAANG stocks and, so, failed this time to find any fun in the frivolous fiction of government factoids. GDP reportage has been fake for years, and it is no less fake under Trump than under any other president. Fake is where you find it. You can find it as much on Fox as on CNN.  Read More
First, momentum stocks are not done getting hit. As psychology turns more bearish, fewer investors are willing to bet that trees will grow to the sky at uber-hot (pun intended) public companies like Tesla Motors and Netflix. Each is down roughly 22 percent from 52-week highs. So, investors trying to make quick money should avoid momentum names. Second, timing the bottom of a correction or bear market is next to impossible. Guessing that $100 is the floor for Netflix, for example, is a dicey business; there really is no way to know what other investors are thinking in real time.
One thing that turns a correction into a bear market can be investor psychology. Since much of investing, especially in the short term, is about trying to guess what other investors may be thinking and react accordingly, selling can breed more selling. That is, people who think other people are selling may try to get out of positions before they lose more value, depressing stock prices in the short term.
On this episode of Money For the Rest of Us, David Stein walks you through the complex idea of a bond bear market. He explains that a market consisting of losses of 20% or more are considered a bear market type loss and that this type of loss is possible even in the bond market. David states that “It’s important to understand what drives interest rates, how high they could get, and what the ramifications of that are.” Be sure to listen to this full episode to fully understand this idea and to hear some of David’s suggestions for investing in a rising interest rate environment.
×