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  • Protective Instincts
    Plus November Market Report

    John Gorlow | Dec 16, 2018
    Financial Unicorns

    The disgraced Wall Street investment manager Bernie Madoff wrote the playbook on how to defraud investors. Make investments sound exclusive and special, make the club difficult to join, mingle with the rich and meet their closest friends. Before Madoff’s house of cards collapsed, he stole tens of billions of dollars, escaping SEC attention despite many red flags. Madoff was a fraud, pure and simple. But what about those high-rolling hedge fund managers who lose millions through completely legal means? This month we look at important safeguards that every investor should understand before chasing high-stakes returns. First, a quick review of November markets.

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  • Benefits of International Diversification
    Plus Third Quarter Market Report

    John Gorlow | Oct 17, 2018
    Global Investing

    Lifted by a strong US economy, it was a profitable quarter for global markets, which returned a rewarding 4.28% as measured by the MSCI All Country World Index. But the gap between US stock returns and everywhere else was wide. Absent the 7.08% US return, global markets returned a meager 0.71% against a backdrop of lackluster growth, rising US interest rates, and a stronger dollar. International developed markets returned 1.31%, while emerging markets remained in the red at negative -1.09%. These performance measures may make some investors want to chase higher returns through portfolio reallocation. That’s not a good idea. Sooner or later, the tide will turn, and investors diversifying overseas will be rewarded. We’ll share more about why it’s important to remain diversified after a look at Q3 results.

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  • A Looming Matter of Interest
    Plus August Market Report

    John Gorlow | Sep 13, 2018
    Yield Curve Flattening 192x128

    As the spread between long and short-term Treasuries flattens, three words are stirring fear on Wall Street: inverted yield curve. Is the long economic expansion that began in 2009 nearing its inevitable end? More to the point, how should you respond to worrisome noise about recessions and sinking stock prices? We’ll offer our perspective after a quick look at August market performance. 


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  • Should You Rethink How You Diversify?
    Plus July Market Report

    John Gorlow | Aug 17, 2018
    Rethinking Diversification 192x128Occasionally a cornerstone of one’s investment strategy is called into question. Recently, some pundits have claimed that adequate diversification is no longer possible due to a diminishing number of publicly traded US stocks. Join us for a closer look at this issue—and the hype and fear that surround it—following our July market review.  



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  • How to Think about Benchmarks
    Plus Q2 Market Report

    John Gorlow | Jul 17, 2018
    measuring tape smallIt’s our nature to compare our performance to others. Clothes, cars, homes, vacations, athletic skill, personal wealth, even our kids—it’s all part of a complex mental calculation that tells us how we stack up. But is there any such thing as a reliable benchmark? In life, certainly not. In investing, the answer also is “no,” as evidenced by substantial tracking error in classic benchmark indices. What’s an investor to do? We’ll share our advice after a review of Q2 markets.

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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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  • Storm Warning: The Perils of Reinsurance
    Plus Q2 2017 Market Report

    John Gorlow | Jul 10, 2017
    catbonds192x128

    Insurers are on the hook when a hurricane slams into the coast of Florida, a tsunami hits Japan, a drought-stoked fire consumes large swaths of Northern California, or a Malaysian airline goes missing. Backing the insurers is a nearly $600 billion reinsurance juggernaut that’s also on the hook. As new investment money pours into this sector, some industry analysts worry that a storm is brewing with potentially devastating consequences. Could this be the next banking meltdown? After a review of Q2 2017 market data, we take a closer look at the reinsurance market. 

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  • A WAKE-UP CALL FOR THE EU

    John Gorlow | Jun 24, 2016
    BrexitWhat A Difference A Day Makes. 
     
    “Explosive shock” is how one Reuters headline described the reaction to yesterday’s vote that severed UK ties with the European Union.

    Markets around the world plunged as analysts and pundits struggled to understand long-term implications. Investors were stunned, wondering where the unraveling of the EU will end. 
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  • New Fiduciary Rule for Brokers

    John Gorlow | Apr 17, 2016
    FiduciaryA Win for Consumers

    In any other industry, requiring professionals to act in the best interests of their clients might seem like a no-brainer. But this is the financial industry we’re talking about.

    In early April, the Department of Labor announced new rules requiring financial professionals to adopt a fiduciary standard, placing client interests ahead of their own. This could be a game-changer
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