Friday, March 24, 2017

This Week's Message: Good traders and good investors have more in common than you think...

In Tuesday's video we took a look at that day's pummeling of the sectors we favor:     click any chart to enlarge



Ugh! All things cyclical took a bath, while the defensive stocks (the stocks you buy when nobody's buying cars and computers) fared just fine.

So, clearly, the market was signaling that all's not as it may appear. Right? Well, yeah, you'd have to conclude that if the stocks of companies that benefit from a growing economy, higher interest rates, a little inflation, etc., are getting creamed, we maybe have issues. Now, of course one day's action does not a trend make. However, when we're talking a 3% hit to the sector, financials, that stands to perhaps benefit the most from higher rates, etc., we simply can't ignore it. Or can we?

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

This Week's Video Commentary: How meaningful -- for you and me -- was today's selloff?

Once playing, click the icon in the lower right corner for full screen. Focus occurs after a few seconds:

Quote(s) of the Day: A thing in motion...

As is forever the case, the financial media isn't wanting these days for characters who would have us believe that they can foretell the stock market's future. Which, of course -- as markets are people -- requires that they possess some magical insight into the coming collective decisions of the world's consumers, investors, traders, politicians, etc.. Ironically, the proof that they unequivocally lack such skill is the simple fact that they claim to have such skill. That is, such skill, kept to oneself, would make one far and away the richest self who's ever lived. And, yes, while ego by itself is no doubt at play, make no mistake, these would-be seers desire to be rich.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

History likes what we've seen so far...

The following from Bespoke Investment Group speaks to the setup we've been discussing here on the blog:

Knowing yourself can be tough...

Of all of the painstaking research and analysis we do here at PWA, there's an area of interest that holds huge sway over our approach to individual client portfolio management. An "area" that we believe has major implications in terms of the prospects for favorable long-term results on a client-specific basis. Call it risk tolerance, or perhaps behavioral finance, if you like; I think of it in terms of client predilections, preconceptions and degrees of impressionability.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Quote of the Day -- AND -- The Budget Cut/Border Tax Contradiction...

Here's Don Boudreaux responding to a reader who can't see through the understandably-presumed negative effects of a government budget cut on certain groups to the positive effects on others:
When budgets are cut, it’s easy to see the likes of government employees who lose jobs, farmers who get smaller subsidy checks, arts exhibitions that must now survive exclusively on private contributions, and poor people whose welfare payments fall.  But the analysis and conversation nearly always stop there.  If cutting funding for some government-funded activity is found to cause some hardship (and which such activity isn’t so found?), cutting government funding of that activity is typically deemed cruel and wrong.  But what is too-seldom asked is: As compared to what?  What will those who now keep more of their incomes spend this money on?  In what ways will the money now left in the private sector be invested?  What new products, businesses, and economic opportunities might be created now that the state no longer seizes these resources from those who create or earn them?  And how will system-wide incentives change when government reduces taxes and spending?
I know for certain that no small number of my readers sympathize, passionately, with Don. I also strongly suspect that no small number of that no small number will fail to apply the very same logic to a proposal that would levy an across-the-board tax on foreign imports.

If you believe that society is harmed when government taxes one group to subsidize another, how in the world can you believe that society benefits when government forces higher goods prices (via a border tax) on all groups to subsidize a few ginormous politically-powerful corporations?

This Week's Message: The Fed Funds Rate Reaction

On Wednesday, on cue, the Fed raised its benchmark interest rate a quarter-point. However, the members effectively signaled in their commentary -- and Yellen in her press conference -- that while things are improving, they're doing so at a pace that does not warrant what would be deemed aggressive monetary tightening.

Perfect! That allows bonds to rally, gold to rally, developed foreign markets to rally, emerging markets to rally, staples to rally, cyclicals to rally, utilities to rally and REITs to rally. Man Oh Man!