Investment Planning Insights

How Long Does It Take To Say For Certain Your Investment Manager’s Performance Isn’t Just Luck?

I find it interesting that consultants and advisors in our industry tend to talk about a manager's skill after a period of outperformance.  After several years of outperformance, consultants conclude that this manager is not merely lucky but skillful.

The Dirty Little Secret About Index Funds

If you read this blog regularly, you know that we advocate a passive, low-cost, diversified investment portfolio.  Most people equate that to index funds.  For the majority of investors, index funds are a great alternative to their actively managed counterparts.

Stock Market Predictions Are Worthless

I am not sure what our fascination with predictions is all about.  Whether it is political elections, sports, or the financial markets, everyone seems to be willing to stop and listen to someone willing to make a prediction.  Rarely do we ever go back to evaluate how those predictions pan out?

You Are Not A Contrarian

It seems like every investor (amateur or professional) bills themselves as a contrarian.  They will tell you that they tend to buy unloved or unwanted companies when they are trading for a great bargain.  The simple fact is that this is very hard.  The Motley Fool has a great article on this very topic.

They’re Back: Revisiting Interest Rates

It has been a couple of months since we’ve addressed interest rates, and today we find that the 10-year Treasury bond (often considered the benchmark of bond yields) has hit 3% again.  With the recent economic data surprising to the upside, there is a possibility for rates to rise.

The Stock Market Does Not Equal The Economy

The economic data coming out these last few weeks have been spectacular.  Whether it be employment, manufacturing, or consumer spending, the economy really seems to be on a roll.  Before you buy some stocks as an early Christmas present, it is important to remember that the economy is not the stock market.

The Predictive Power (Or Lack Thereof) Of Stock Market Indicators

There is really no indicator that we know of that can predict stock market performance.  If there ever were, it would very quickly be arbitraged away since markets tend to be fairly efficient.  Merrill Lynch uses a metric they call the “Sell Side Indicator” to determine future stock performance.

Fleecing Investors, When Will They Learn?

Several days ago, Bloomberg wrote a scathing article on Managed Futures Funds. These funds started to gain much more popularity after 2008. They tend to be non-correlated to the overall market, appealing to investors after losing over half their money in the stock market.

Revisiting Gold

The number of calls we have received about gold has certainly diminished over the past several months as the yellow metal has lost over 25% of its value from the peak.  Here is a chart of the last few years.