Memorial Day Reflections

May 22, 2015

“In Flanders fields the poppies blow / Between the crosses, row on row . . .” — John McCrae

I was in London late last year and had the chance to see the poppy exhibition at the Tower of London. A red ceramic poppy stood for every one of 888,246 soldiers of the British Commonwealth who died in World War I, filling the fields around the Tower.

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The Book of Jobs

May 21, 2015

I’ve been away speaking at Commonwealth conferences for the past 10 days, which were (as usual) a tremendous amount of fun. I even had the chance to take my parents to the last one, in Naples, Florida. They found—and I rediscovered—that there’s no nicer group of people than Commonwealth advisors and staff. I’m tremendously grateful for the opportunity to hang out with these folks, and to show my parents my world.

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What Happens When Interest Rates Rise? Part 3

May 20, 2015

In this last post on rising interest rates, let's talk about what everyone really wants to know: What do rising rates mean for our investments? As we discussed yesterday, a rate hike probably isn’t imminent, but it’s certainly worth thinking about to get ahead of the risk.

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What Happens When Interest Rates Rise? Part 2

May 19, 2015

Yesterday, we discussed what the natural interest rate should be, arriving at about 5 percent on a nominal basis, assuming 2-percent inflation. That seems like a reasonable number over time, given that the Federal Reserve has committed to an inflation target of 2 percent. But with interest rates currently far below 3 percent, there’s clearly a gap between what the rate should be and where it is now.

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What Happens When Interest Rates Rise? Part 1: The Natural Interest Rate

May 18, 2015

With stocks hitting new highs today, even as the pace of economic growth seems to be slowing, much of the market’s strength appears to be coming from the continued low interest rates provided by the Federal Reserve. Although we don’t know when rates will rise, the general consensus seems to be that it will happen sometime this year.

With that in mind, it’s time to take another look at what happens when rates start to rise, a topic I originally addressed last year.

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Is Free Trade Really Good for Everyone?

May 15, 2015

As I noted yesterday, President Obama and Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, are working to move a new free trade agreement through Congress, based on a shared conviction that it is good for the country. Many Democrats, who do not share that conviction, are fighting it.

To understand what the stakes are here, and what the different sides are fighting for, let’s take a deeper look at how free trade works and how its benefits are distributed.

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Free Trade and American Politics

May 14, 2015

For the first time in a while, the U.S. has a major free trade agreement on the agenda. Trade is an interesting intersection of economics and politics, as we’ve seen in today’s news, which features President Obama and the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, working together for the first time in, well, ever, to overcome Democrats’ objections.

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Upcoming Appearances

Tune in to The Opening Bell on Fox Business Network Tuesday, May 26th, at 9:30 A.M. E.T. to watch Brad disucss his latest market commentary and economic outlook. Check your local listings for availability.

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Certain sections of this commentary contain forward-looking statements that are based on our reasonable expectations, estimates, projections, and assumptions. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve certain risks and uncertainties, which are difficult to predict. Past performance is not indicative of future results. Diversification does not assure a profit or protect against loss in declining markets. All indices are unmanaged and investors cannot invest directly into an index.

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