This week’s recommended reading comes with an experiment. Find a coin and flip it until it lands on heads three times in a row. Go ahead, we’ll wait. It’s not easy to do. Everyone will have a different experience, but if we conducted this experiment with a large crowd we’d find that most people would require eight attempts before succeeding. We know this because the probability of flipping a coin and it landing on heads is 50%, and if we repeat that probability three times, we find that ... [Continue Reading]
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The economic policies being proposed by President -Elect Trump are not what we would traditionally expect from a Republican heading to the White House. Mr. Trump’s proposals, if enacted, would rely on increased borrowing to fund economic expansion, most notably on infrastructure and defense spending. Markets have quickly priced in the rising probability of this type of deficit spending by adjusting expectations for future growth in GDP and inflation. As such, bond prices have fallen and interest ... [Continue Reading]
As election results started to pour in on Tuesday night, the surprise outcome of a Donald Trump victory rippled throughout international markets. U.S. stock futures fell more than 5% as the uncertainty of what was happening led to a risk-off trading environment. By noon on Wednesday, not only had markets completely recovered from those losses, but they were well on their way to strong gains. While there are many uncertainties about our future, and questions to be answered regarding what type ... [Continue Reading]
As company-sponsored pension plans are replaced with self-managed 401(k) plans and IRA accounts, American families are increasingly becoming more responsible for the management of their retirement funds. While this shift has allowed for greater freedom and choice, it has also exposed investors to product salesmen who may not have the client’s best interest at heart. The Department of Labor fiduciary rule, announced earlier this year, aims to end this abuse, which the White House Council of ... [Continue Reading]
Active versus passive investment management was once a healthy theoretical debate in the world of financial academia. However, in recent years-- as the research pours in, we see that the fees, transaction costs and poor tax management by active managers simply present too many hurdles for active managers to clear and outperform. Year after year, active managers produce returns that, on average, underperform their benchmarks. As we lengthen our timeframe and look back over 10 or 15 years, active ... [Continue Reading]