Understanding how markets function is critical when making investment decisions. This is why Hendrick Bessembinder’s 2018 study of historical stock returns was so important; it revealed to investors that the vast majority of individual stocks underperform. This information is critical. It helps us better understand why active stock-picking managers underperform at such a high frequency, and it gives us a deeper understanding of the importance of portfolio diversification--not just to mitigate ... [Continue Reading]
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Research demonstrates that over the past 50 years, every U.S. recession may have been predicted ahead of time by using one simple indicator--the spread between short and long-term government bonds. Usually, long-term bonds offer higher yields than short-term bonds due to the additional risk that an investor assumes when buying bonds with longer maturities. However, every once in a while the dynamic flips, where short-term government bonds offer higher yields than long-term government bonds. This ... [Continue Reading]
The S&P 500, an index that tracks the performance of large U.S. company stocks, has delivered 9.99% average annual returns since 1926 1 . We know that this terrific performance is compensation to investors for taking on risk, and that returns weren’t achieved in a slow and steady manner. Investors don’t have to look too far back in time to remember the poor performance of the tech bubble in the early 2000s or the financial crisis of 2008. In fact, the 10-year annual return of the S&P ... [Continue Reading]
On the last day of March in 2018, President Trump raised the issue that the United States Post Office was losing $1.50 on every package it delivered for Amazon. Two days later, he stated “our fully tax paying retailers are closing stores all over the country…not a level playing field.” The insinuation was that, one way or another, Amazon’s shipping costs were about to rise, cutting into profits. On the first day of trading following these comments, Amazon’s stock lost $30 Billion in value, ... [Continue Reading]
As we all observed and experienced, the close of 2018 brought an unsettling time in the equity markets. Markets historically don’t respond favorably to uncertainty, be it financial, political or social, and recent volatility appears to be tied to a host of uncertainties. Many individual investors react to uncertainty based on emotion, even though we’ve seen throughout the history of the market how important it is that investors don’t allow emotion to influence decisions. Throughout recent market ... [Continue Reading]