Market Drops, but It’s Not Time to Panic

March 26, 2015

Yesterday was a bad one for the markets, with the S&P 500 falling almost 1.5 percent. With this morning’s additional drop, we’ve broken the 100-day moving average.

Time to worry?

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Looking for Things to Worry About

March 25, 2015

Rereading yesterday’s post, I’m reminded of our tendency to look for things to worry about. To me, fretting about the systemic problems of low energy prices and high savings rates is a stretch, a sign that we’ve run out of real concerns.

Eeyore to the rescue! Although I’ve been saying for the past couple of years that the recovery is real and strengthening, I’ve also made a point to keep an eye out for risks.

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Is the Economy Under the Weather?

March 24, 2015

This will be a short-ish post, as I find myself battling a cold that’s getting worse. The weather, fortunately, seems to be getting better, so hopefully I will too at some point.

Like my health, the economy took a hit this winter. There’s a reasonable chance we’ll see some sort of “snowdown” in the data; indeed, we already have for many data points. The question is whether this represents a meaningful slowdown or, like last year, is simply the result of terrible winter weather.

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Warning Signs for the Stock Market

March 23, 2015

In my monthly post on the economy, I look at five different indicators that, in the past, have warned of a recession coming in the next 12 to 18 months. The idea is that, even if one indicator is wrong, looking at several will give us a much better idea of what to expect.

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How to Capitalize on a Reversal of Trends

March 20, 2015

I’m reading a very good book by investor Howard Marks titled The Most Important Thing. I’ll write a full review later, but today I want to focus on one of the book’s key points: the importance of second-order thinking.

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A Return to a More Mysterious Fed

March 19, 2015

As expected, today’s economic headlines revolve around the Fed’s meeting and news conference—specifically, the conspicuous absence of the word “patient” from the minutes. Chairwoman Janet Yellen was at pains to point out that removing “patient” didn’t mean the Fed would be impatient. Stirring stuff.

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Book Review: The Checklist Manifesto

March 18, 2015

One of my particular interests in investing is how to make better decisions. I’ve written before about biases and problems we face, and much of the current research is in fields such as behavioral finance, with a focus on how to avoid mistakes that seem to be hardwired into our brains.

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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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