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Student Loan Success

 June 19 2017     Anna Pfaehler
When I repaid my student loans, Navient asked me to share my success story. My success had little to do with me and everything to do with parents who did not let me go too deep into debt in the first place.  I realize that is of no use to those buried in debt looking for a way out. However, I do believe it is good advice for those helping children navigate paying for college. If student ...

Dogs Of The Dow Underperformance Gap Widening

 June 18 2017     David Templeton
The first six months of the year are nearly behind us so I thought it appropriate to provide an update on the performance for the 2017 Dogs of the Dow. As noted in the past, the strategy is one where investors select the ten stocks that have the highest dividend yield from the stocks in the Dow Jones Industrial Average Index (DJIA) after the close of business on the last trading day of the year. O...

Amazon: Selling And Delivering Groceries Is Not A High Margin Endeavor

 June 18 2017     David Templeton
Of course the big news last week was Amazon (AMZN) announcing it was acquiring Whole Foods Market (WFM) in a deal valued at $13.7 billion. The deal is an all cash one, but with Amazon's stock trading at a trailing price earnings multiple of 185 times one might think funding the purchase with stock might make more sense. Nonetheless, this acquisition announcement had ripple effects on many other co...

May Market Review

 June 13 2017     Matt Woebkenberg
Markets in the month of May were positive around the globe with stocks and bonds overseas outperforming US markets. The advances came in a month where economic data was mixed and political headlines became numerous. The NASDAQ 100  was once again the standout in the US as the tech-heavy index reached another all-time high. An impressive run in technology stocks amidst somewhat elevated valuations ...

Growth Style Returns Dominating Value Style Returns

 June 13 2017     David Templeton
Over a long enough period of time, value stocks tend to outperform growth stocks and this fact is causing some pain for the value oriented investor during this market cycle. In a Fidelity article that compares value versus growth performance, this has indeed been the case when going back over 25 years. The Fidelity article shows, however, that on a risk adjusted basis the growth style wins out. Th...

Investing for Cat People

 June 12 2017     Matt Woebkenberg
Factor investing has become very popular in the financial world.  It is basically rules based investing where trades are determined entirely by pre-determined factors.  For example, some value funds will buy if the P/E (Price to Earnings Ratio) drops below a certain point and sell once it rises above a certain point.  One Bloomberg columnist recently took this concept and did what the internet doe...

Friday Financial Terms: Mortgage-Backed Security (MBS)

 June 9 2017     Matt Woebkenberg
Mortgage-Backed Securities got a lot of publicity/blame in the housing crisis because they enabled the bubble to grow much larger than it otherwise would have.  It is interesting, however, to remember that they came to exist as a simple solution to a consistent problem.  While it is easy to blame the proliferation of the Mortgage-Backed Security for the financial crisis, I would rather use this bl...

Delayed Gratification

 June 8 2017     Matt Woebkenberg
Apologies to our regular readers for missing a few days of posts.  But have no fear...I'm going to make it look like I did that on purpose!  Today we are going to talk about delayed gratification.  Our regular readers who waited out the painful days with no posts exhibited a great tolerance for delayed gratification.  These readers will have better lives than those who couldn't handle the wait and...

NIPA Earnings Weakness Leads IBES S&P 500 Earnings Weakness

 June 7 2017     David Templeton
The equity market seems to know only one direction and that is up. The result of this type of pattern has been a downward trend in volatility with the VIX trading at a near single digit level. One characteristic of a low VIX reading and a higher trending market has been the absence of any significant equity market pullback. As Urban Carmel, author of The Fat Pitch blog notes,"SPX [S&P 500 Index] h...

Changes to Asset Allocation

 June 6 2017     Matt Woebkenberg
Diversification is great.  Everyone knows that.  Diversification acts as a stabilizer in your investment portfolio.  When some asset classes are suffering, others outperform.  This prevents dramatic declines in the value of your portfolio.  One of the first steps to investing is to set up a diversified strategic asset allocation that you believe will help you achieve your goals over the long run. ...
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