The “curse of the seventh year” refers to how, in recent decades, Octobers in years ending with seven (1987, 1997, and 2007) have been negative for markets. The pre-financial crisis bull market ended this month 10 years ago, while the Dow dropped more than 12% over October 1997. “Black Monday,” which still stands as the biggest single-day percentage decline on record, occurred in October 1987.

Members of the American libertarian movement, particularly extremist preppers, are often associated with a belief that a complete breakdown in society is the only outcome from government economic policies and will lead to complete social disintegration. At the centre of their concerns is monetary destruction, with other issues, such as the erosion of personal freedom and the right to bear arms, important but peripheral. They cite history, particularly the hyperinflationary collapses, from Rome to Zimbabwe, and now Venezuela. They draw on Austrian economic theory, which fans their dislike of government and their expectation of total chaos. Read More
With the FANG stocks faltering lately investors are starting to become concerned about their impact on the broader market. And there is certainly something to this. Statistically speaking, these market generals have become increasingly important to the broad market indexes recently so it only stands to reason that an important reversal here could make for a more difficult equity environment in general. Read More
Jim:      The depression of 1920–21 was a brutal one. Macroeconomic data were not so available then, so we can’t exactly measure it as we do measure things now. But unemployment was certainly in the teens. There was a vicious liquidation of stocks and bonds. Bond prices fell as stock prices fell. The real rate of interest on money markets was certainly in the teens.
David and Maribel Maldonado seem the very definition of making it in America. David arrived in the U.S. from Mexico as a small child. His father supported the family by working long hours as a mechanic while his mother raised their 10 children. By the time David had a family of his own, his career as a salesman was flourishing. His wife Maribel, whose family is also from Mexico, worked as a hairstylist while caring for the couple’s two children. David’s annual salary reached about $113,000 by the time the children were in their teens. It was more than enough to live in a pretty suburban house outside Dallas, take family vacations, go to restaurants and splurge at the nearby mall. And to afford health insurance.
This situation is the result of decades of stagnant wage growth. Since 1979, real (inflation-adjusted) hourly wages for the bottom quintile of earners fell by 1%. Worse, the inflation adjustment is based on the CPI, which as I’ve said many times, understates the real cost of living for most people. But wages haven’t stagnated for everybody. As the below chart shows, real hourly wages for the top quintile of earners have increased by over 27% in the same period.
But… with so many stocks that were overvalued at the start of the year… it’s understandable that many were selling to take some profit. But the last couple weeks have been an over reaction (as with Amazon, FB, etc…along with the uncertainty with China…fyi: China is well aware that they’ve been trading on our market and paying way too little of their fair share of tariffs for way too long. So… I’m certain there will be some sort of compromise to continue trade). But… all this has caused the amateur investor to panic lately and resulted in a greater sell off than what many companies deserve. A logical investor/trader will research and understand the fundamentals of the companies he/she is invested in and know their worth (yes… some companies are still overvalued… ) but the pajama trader should never sell in a panic. If they do, then they should sell and stay out of the Market altogether. Because this has been just a vicious Market Correction as of late… but it’s not a Bear Market. The unemployment rate is too low and the economy is gaining strength overall…and the stock market is far from euphoric. If you’re young you always have time on your side for recovering on any losses. If you’re over 60 consider buying some well valued companies who pay good dividends (but, be careful, don’t fall for those ridiculously high dividend stocks like 7% and higher… they’re often paying a high dividend to entice people to invest in what is probably a failing company.) A 3% dividend can really be a nice way to earn income while waiting for a company to rebound in the stock market.
5. Historically, housing has generally kept up with inflation (whereas stocks have generally performed negatively in real terms—which takes into account inflation). For example, look at the negative real returns on stocks during the 70’s; compare that to real value of housing that stayed flat during the 70’s (housing prices moved up in line with inflation).
The rise of protectionism has serious implications for investors. We have become used to companies being able to break into new markets and the idea of “multinational corporations.” This may not be the case going forward. Investors will have to pay a lot more attention to where the companies they choose to invest in operate, and where their sales come from. In short, protectionism is on the rise and investors must prepare accordingly.
It’s just amazing what is happening in China. And I think that it represents a clear and present danger to everyone with money at risk. Not just the Chinese. Not just the real estate markets in countries favored by the Chinese, such as Australia. Not just in the industrial metals markets – China has been kind of 100% of the demand for the margin for steel and the like. But this debt thing is a very, very important low-hanging dark cloud over the world, and we have all gotten used to it.
Purchasers of municipal bonds should be aware that not all municipal bonds are tax-exempt, and not all tax-exempt bonds are exempt from all federal and state taxes. The laws governing the taxability of municipal bond income are complex. At the federal level they are contained in the IRS Code (Sections 103, 141-150), and rules promulgated thereunder. Additionally, special rules apply to certain types of investors (e.g., financial institution and property and casualty insurance companies) or in certain situations. For example, there is no IRS Code exemption for capital or other gains received from the sale of a municipal bonds and special rules apply for secondary market discount and original issue discount on municipal bonds. Each state will have its own laws governing what bonds, if any, are exempt from state taxes. For publicly offered bonds and most private placements, at the time of issuance a legal opinion will be provided indicating that the interest bonds are tax-exempt; these opinions do not customarily address collateral tax treatment. Offering documents, such as an official statement or placement memorandum, will contain further information regarding tax treatment of interest on the bonds. Investors should be aware that there are also post-issuance compliance requirements that must be met to ensure that the bonds remain tax-exempt. The IRS has a specific section of their website,, devoted to tax exempt bonds and compliance with federal requirements.

Unfortunately today’s markets have evolved to the point where the latest political decree can significantly impact what happens. And along those lines, there’s been ample speculation that the powers that be may be planning a financial reset. With many feeling that gold and silver will be reset higher, while perhaps much of the global debt is somehow cancelled out (keep in mind U.S. president Donald Trump does have extensive experience with the bankruptcy code). Read More

If there doesn't seem to be many viable investments in uptrends, other options for more growth-oriented investors might include inverse Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs).  The way these generally work is, when you invest in them and the market in question is declining, they actually make money.  Now, you'd rarely make +10% if the market is down -10% becuase there are fees and other complicated variables in these funds.
Monetary policy also continues to support economic growth because the real federal funds rate (after inflation) is zero, points out Darrell Riley, a strategist at T. Rowe Price. “The economy has a lot of momentum going into next year and monetary policy is still stimulative,” he says. “The economic cycle may go longer than we think. And a lot longer than we think.”

Yes, first-quarter gross domestic product projections have fallen after weak readings on retail sales and other key data, but the Fed is confident that any slowdown will be temporary, stating simply that "the economic outlook has strengthened recently". With that, the Fed is acknowledging the strength of the prior three quarters, as well as the likely benefits from the recently enacted tax reform and massive deficit spending.