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  • Chasing Yield in a Shady Market
    Plus May Market Report

    John Gorlow | Jun 11, 2019
    Collateralized_Loans

    “Ticking time bomb.” “Marginal, non-creditworthy borrowers.” “Vulnerable to runs.” “Huge deterioration in standards.” You may have been reading the press about Collateralized Loan Obligations (CLOs) over the past few months or year. They are not a new product, but warnings about their risks are on the rise. Are you tempted to invest in these high-yield securities? If so, learn more before jumping in. Our analysis follows a review of May markets. 

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  • Misaligned Expectations
    Plus February Market Review

    John Gorlow | Mar 20, 2019
    MisalignmentYou may have seen recent news reports about financial institutions being chastised by Congress, fined by the SEC, and otherwise called out for various forms of wrongdoing and self-serving behavior. These stories collectively point to an ever-growing misalignment between financial institutions and the people they serve, who rightfully expect to be protected rather than taken advantage of. This month we demonstrate how misalignment occurs, and how Cardiff Park safeguards against it. First, a review of February markets. 

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  • An Enlightened Approach to Investing
    Plus January Market Report

    John Gorlow | Feb 22, 2019
    FamaFrenchThis month I want to remove the clutter of misassumptions, doubts, and second-guessing about investment returns. I’ll provide an analytical framework for evaluating investment performance in any given year, regardless of market direction. I’ll demonstrate the life-changing value of remaining fully committed to a proven strategy, sticking with trusted fund partners, and choosing a fiduciary advisor like Cardiff Park. My aim is to dial down the financial noise, refocus your attention on vital facts, and free up mind-space for thinking and behaving strategically in order to make more informed investment decisions. First, a look at January markets.
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  • Market Stall
    Plus 2018 Year-End Market Review

    John Gorlow | Jan 21, 2019
    weatherforecast

    After hanging onto gains and fighting back losses for three quarters of the year, the markets lost steam in Q4 and ended 2018 in a volatile stew, producing a negative return of -10.08% for the year (MSCI All Country World Index). Volatility creates fear, often feeding on itself. But don’t lose sight of positive returns for the previous three, five- and ten-year periods, 6.49%, 4.17% and 9.74% respectively for the same index. Here we offer a historical perspective on the benefits of remaining diversified and disciplined in the face of uncertainty. First, a review of 2018 markets.


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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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