The Intricacies of International Investing

The Intricacies of International Investing

-+*When aiming to create a diversified portfolio, many investors assume that international exposure is a necessary component. This makes sense, considering that roughly half of global stock market value is based inside the United States while the other half is generated abroad. International investing is important for some, particularly larger investors with long time horizons… Read More


Oil, Markets, Volatility

Oil, Markets, Volatility

David R. Kotok

-+*Sharply lower oil prices have occasioned a huge discussion about their impact. We see it play out daily in newspapers, on TV and radio, at websites, on blogs, and in market letters. The range of forecasts runs from one extreme to another. On one side, pundits predict a recession resulting from a US energy sector… Read More


Parsing the Drop in the Japanese Stock Market

Geoff Considine

-+*One of the most interesting market stories in the last week is the big drop in the Japanese stock market.  Japan is the third-largest economy in the world, ranked by GDP.  The values of the Japanese stock market, as measured by the Nikkei 225 index, dropped by 7.3% on May 23rd, and then suffered another… Read More


A Thoughtful Outlook for 2013

Geoff Considine

-+*In general, I ignore the spate of market predictions that experts issue at the start of each year.  There are exceptions, and after reading Jason Hsu’s outlook for this year, I am pleased to recommend it to readers.  Dr. Hsu is the Chief Investment Officer at global money management firm, Research Affiliates.  I found his… Read More


Sector Watch: Spotlight Telecommunications Stocks

Geoff Considine

-+*The telecommunications industry is evolving quickly.  Recent data suggests, for example, that half of all adults in the United States have a tablet or smartphone.  There are many countries that have an average of more than one cell phone line per person.  In the developing economies, cell phones have allowed much broader access to voice… Read More


Emerging Market Indexing

Matthew Amster-Burton

-+*Let’s say you want to build your own stock market index fund based on the S&P 500. Easy: download a list of all the companies in the index–from 3M (MMM) to Zions Bancorp (ZION) and their market cap, and start investing. Every stock in the index will be easy to buy in whatever quantity you… Read More


Why Bond Yields Scare Me More Than Friday the 13th

Geoff Considine

-+*Stock investors generally don’t have much to fear on Friday the 13th. Historically, Friday the 13th is a relatively calm day for stocks. Jason Zweig, who writes The Wall Street Journal’s Intelligent Investor column, says it’s usually a good day for investors and says superstition about trading on this supposedly unlucky day is one of… Read More


Stocks and Shocks: What to Do?

David R. Kotok

-+*How do we avoid walking into a “left hook” in the markets? That was the discussion this week during a client review. “Can’t you see them coming and avoid them?” he asked. Well maybe some folks can, but the issue of investing with possible shocks as an outcome is a very difficult one. “Do you… Read More


Sell in May? 9 Trillion Reasons to Say “No”

David R. Kotok

-+*The old adage “Sell in May and go away” was good guidance for stock markets last year.  The market peaked on April 29 and bottomed out on October 3.  For a detailed discussion of this period and the subsequent bull-market recovery, see our new book From Bear to Bull with ETFs.  The eBook (ten bucks)… Read More


Understanding France’s Credit Rating Downgrade

Geoff Considine

-+*Standard and Poor’s downgraded France’s credit rating last week from AAA to AA+.  While this downgrade has gotten a lot of press coverage, there are a number of topics surrounding the downgrade that are worth noting. First, France now has the same credit rating from S&P as the United States.  As you’ll remember, S&P downgraded… Read More