Year: 2011

It’s the Debt, Stupid! A Supply Sider Argues Against the Payroll Tax Cut

Hi folks, let’s take a moment to to focus on the Payroll Tax Cut, which was extended for another two months.  I, for one, am just not that excited about this tax cut.  Believe me, as a “supply sider”, I am generally inclined to support the idea of lower taxes.  But when it comes down

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2011 Was Worse Than You Thought, 2012 Will Be Better Than You Think

Investors, both here and abroad, are feeling apprehensive about 2011, and for good reason.  Volatility, the European bank crisis, plenty of uncertainty.  And while things look bad, in fact, if you step back, worldwide they are worse than the U.S. stock market might suggest.  In fact, this year the U.S. stock market was the least-worst

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The Jury Is Back: Oregon’s Measures 66 & 67 Were A Disaster

Rarely can you convincingly “prove” anything to anyone about the economy.  Economics is a social science, not a natural science like physics, chemistry, and biology.  The Scientific Method doesn’t work with the social sciences.  There aren’t real-life opportunities to test economic theories in a vacuum, and cause-and-effect is virtually impossible to substantiate.   That’s what makes

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The Volatility Is Too Damn High Party

While the title of this week’s Market Message is a humorous play on The Rent Is Too Damn High Party, there is no doubt that the market’s volatility in the past 4 years has got investors skittish and uncomfortable.  What’s more, the frequency of large daily declines (2% or more) is somewhat unprecedented. This only

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Is Dividend Yield Investing Thru ETFs Worth It?

I recently received a great question from a client regarding the advisability of investing in high-dividend yielding ETFs.  With these types of ETFs being made up of stocks from the utility and financial sectors, I find that the performance of the sectors determines more of the return than the yield itself. The concept of high-dividend

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Trick or Treat? Nope, Just Increasing Beta

In watching the markets, I’ve been hinting that conditions might be right to increase a portfolio’s sensitivity to the market, also known as increasing the beta. Check in as I explain how the current market environment rhymes with historic market conditions (1962, 1987, 1998), how the panic corrections might just be over, and how risk

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“The Era of Lower” and The End of The Secular Bear Market

Markets move in long-term secular cycles…in this current day and age, which I have coined the “Era of Lower”, what will it take to move out of this secular bear market into a secular bull phase? Lower P/E’s are key, as well as the public “giving up” on equities in favor of other asset classes. 

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Three Signs That Markets May Be Improving

Over the past few days, there have been a couple of indications that markets might be improving…. cash is moving out of money market funds technical indicators have changed direction volatility has possibly broken its fever pitch as it returns to its more natural state at the low end of the spectrum. Is it time

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Trading Volatility….ETNs vs. ETFs

After revisiting the idea of a Bear market for risk assets, Bill takes a look at one of the latest volatility instruments from ProShares to hit the markets, SVXY. Similar to the XIV in performance, Bill looks at how SVXY might hold some other advantages as compared to XIV due to its structure as an

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The Pitfalls of Market Timing

  If you’re a long time follower of mine (I’ve now been writing and speaking on the topic of investing for almost 14 years, and now on Twitter) you know if there’s one thing I’ve warned against the most frequently, it’s market timing.  Market timing is the act of wholesale moves into and out of

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