Too Much Confidence Is Bad for Your Portfolio

Higher levels of confidence about one’s ability to invest lead to worse returns. I realize that this may seem counterintuitive to some of you, but this is the conclusion of a study accepted by the Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Finance (an earlier version of the study is available on SSRN). It’s yet another example of…

 

The Incredibly Shrinking Fed Growth Forecasts

Seemingly overlooked in all of the hubbub about a possible rate hike occurring at the December Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting is the longer-term trend of falling growth forecasts. FOMC members have collectively reduced their real (“inflation-adjusted”) long-run GDP growth forecasts for at least five consecutive years. The current long-run forecast calls for 1.80%…

 

The Earnings Quality Indicator Used by ETFs

Look under the hood of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) incorporating a quality factor and you will often find accruals being used. An accrual is an accounting entry recorded at the time a transaction occurs, regardless of whether not payment has been made. Accrual accounting allows businesses to report their sales and earnings performance without being beholden…

 

Using ETFs to Identify Quality Stocks

If one were to survey investors about what traits make a stock attractive, the top of the list would include an attractive valuation, a reasonable expectation of a price increase (particularly sooner rather than later), a sound underlying business model and good fundamentals. The first two traits are easy to identify: seek out below-average valuations…

 

Retirement Can Be Long Enough for Something to Go Haywire

An interesting point was brought up at this week’s CFA Institute’s Financial Analysts Seminar: retirement is a long enough period of time for something to go haywire. The point was brought up by Barton Waring, a retired chief investor officer for Barclays (which is now BlackRock). He raised the topic during a discussion about retirement…

 

Think Twice Before Making Your Own Market (Br)exit

There is an old investing adage: “the market is always right.” Investors would be wise to question this adage in light of last week’s Brexit referendum. If the market is always right, then why were traders bidding stocks up as the British were voting to leave the European Union? For that matter, why did stocks…

 

Where Is the Bond Armageddon?

On Wednesday, The Wall Street Journal published an article headlined, “Rock-Bottom Bond Yields in Europe Hit All-Time Lows.” Thursday morning, a headline on The Financial Times’ website declared: “Relentless: Bund Yields Take Fresh Step Down.” The headlines were written in reaction to what is occurring in global bond markets. Earlier today, yields on the 10-year…

 

Notes from the CFA Conference

The CFA Institute held its annual conference in Montreal this week. The conference draws global speakers from academia, the investment industry profession and even rock ‘n roll—Sir Bob Geldof spoke yesterday. (Unfortunately, he didn’t sing, opting instead to discuss investing in Africa.) The conference also attracts a truly global audience. Yesterday, I sat down across…

 

How Impactful Are Changes in Analyst Ratings?

Before you give into any temptation to follow analysts’ recommendations, consider this conclusion from three researchers: “On average, analysts’ revisions are not highly correlated with subsequent long-run returns, indicating that analysts do not provide new information that is relevant for the long run for typical investors.” The finding is from an appropriately named paper published…

 

Planning for the Financial Impact of Alzheimer’s and Dementia

Though the impact of Alzheimer’s disease on families and friends from a lifestyle and emotional standpoint has been well-documented, little research has been done into the financial impact of caring for some afflicted by the disease. To determine the impact, the Alzheimer’s Association conducted a nationwide survey. The results are discussed in the association’s 2016…