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  • How Investing is Like Tennis
    Plus May Market Report

    John Gorlow | Jun 16, 2018

    Roland Garos  I was a competitive tennis player in high school. For that I can thank my father, who learned to play on the red clay courts in Brooklyn and taught me what he knew. I watched him parlay above-average skills into quite an extraordinary game by learning the fundamentals and playing regular doubles matches with skilled competitors. My own game evolved from his example. So did my approach to investing. More on that after a quick look at May markets.

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  • Dazzled and Duped: Our Morningstar Report
    April 2018 Market Report

    John Gorlow | May 08, 2018
    mutual fund ratings smallIt’s human nature to compare products, especially when money is involved. We’ll spend hours and even days poring over ratings for cars, washing machines, restaurants and vacations. How about picking a mutual fund? For that, millions of investors and their advisors rely on Morningstar’s five-star rating system. Does it work? Yes, but not the way you might think. This month we offer our own rating of the Morningstar juggernaut. First, a review of the April numbers.

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  • Swing Time
    Plus Q1 2018 Market Report

    John Gorlow | Apr 17, 2018
    Volatility

    After a remarkable climb in 2017, the market turned volatile in the first quarter of the new year. The swings were dramatic, including a drop in the Dow of 1,175 points on February 5. The U.S. stock market suffered one of the swiftest 10% slumps in history, and global equities lost $4.2 trillion that week. In terms of dollars, that’s more than the total losses suffered by the Nasdaq when the dotcom bubble burst. What’s next? Nervous investors are looking for signs and signals. Of particular interest will be Q1 profits. Other areas of concern include slower growth in China, tightening monetary policy, trade wars, a spike in wage growth and interest rate hikes. But despite a mountain of forecasting data, the market is unpredictable. A proven investment strategy is still your best defense. More about that after a look at Q1 numbers.

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  • Rising Rates Shadow a Strong Economy
    February Market Report

    John Gorlow | Mar 14, 2018
    Volatility is BackVolatility roiled the markets in February. As the dust settled, the February employment report came out and it was golden: 313,000 new jobs were added to US payrolls, the greatest single-month gain since July 2016. So why is the market nervous? Many investors are eyeballing interest rates as the culprit. (Not to discount the unpredictable antics of the White House.) This month we look at the impact of rising rates on REITs, a particularly vulnerable sector. First, the February numbers. 

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  • Thrills and Chills
    January 2018 Market Report

    John Gorlow | Feb 10, 2018
    VolatiletimesJanuary markets continued a year-long winning streak, racking up 10 record-breaking closings in just 13 trading days. Everything looked rosy as the year began: the US economy and global economy were picking up nicely, spurred by low interest rates and big corporate tax breaks. Then February arrived with a jarring 10% correction in just the first nine days of the month. Hold on to your seat. Volatility is back in both stocks and bonds.

     
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  • 2017 Market Report: A Year Beyond Expectations

    John Gorlow | Jan 15, 2018
    bullmarketIt’s January again, which means a fresh round of investment advice from publications, pundits and prognosticators who want to help you make a fortune, or at least entice you to follow them on social media. Last year was extraordinary for investors in both US and global markets. The S&P 500 posted its third best year in the index’s history with a gain of 21.83%—and that was middle of the pack.


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  • Back in Balance
    November 2017 Market Report and Commentary

    John Gorlow | Dec 12, 2017
    rebalsmallShould I stay or should I go? Lyrics from an iconic ‘80s song by The Clash capture the tangled emotions of investors as 2017 draws to a close. The markets have been booming; should you stay all in, pull back, get out? Fortunately, your strategy is unaffected by emotions or sentiment. More about what to do now, after a look at November numbers. 

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  • LEARN FROM THE LOSERS
    October 2017 Market Report

    John Gorlow | Nov 08, 2017
    SurvorshipBiasSmallDo you suffer from rearview-mirror syndrome, imagining how a top-performing fund might have boosted your portfolio? If looking at the winners makes you question your investment strategy, you’ll feel better after reading this month’s feature about survivorship bias. Things are not always what they seem. We start with a look at the October numbers.

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  • CATs Meet the Real World
    Plus Q3 2017 Market Report

    John Gorlow | Oct 13, 2017
    CatStormFrom the vantage point of October, our July 2017 blog about the perils of CAT bonds seems downright prescient. Over the past three months we’ve witnessed three record-smashing hurricanes, two massive earthquakes in Mexico, and raging wildfires that so far have destroyed over 50,000 acres in California’s prime wine-growing country. Each disaster has left untold human misery and property damage, while ratcheting up losses in the insurance and reinsurance markets. Will CAT bond investors be left holding the bag? Then we'll take a look at last quarter’s numbers.

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  • A DECADE OF PAIN AND GAIN
    And August Market Report

    John Gorlow | Sep 13, 2017
    bubble SmallThere’s a big anniversary coming up, and the financial press won’t let you forget it. It’s the tenth anniversary of October 9, 2007, the beginning of a ferocious two-year global bear market. It was a treacherous time for investors: Lehman Brothers collapsed, the S&P 500 lost half its value, and governments around the world rushed to prop up failing banks and markets. There was nowhere to hide. What would you have done differently?
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