Credit Spreads Aren’t a Reason to Alter Bond Allocations

A year ago, I wrote about why I favored corporate bonds instead of government bonds. I revisited the subject this week after doing my semiannual review of my workplace retirement savings account. One of the funds I hold in my 403(b) account is the Vanguard Intermediate-Term Investment-Grade Fund Admiral Shares (VFIDX). As the name implies, it invests…

 

Comparing the 2018 Melt Up to the 1999 Bubble

“‘Melt Up’ Rally Propels Dow Above 26,000 as Fear Turns to Greed” proclaimed The Wall Street Journal this morning. The headline comes as optimism in our weekly sentiment survey is staying at an unusually high level. Even outside of the office, more people have been bringing up the market’s run to me in conversations. The…

 

The Trump Rally: One Year Later

This week marked the one-year anniversary of what was widely considered to be the surprising election of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States. Politics aside, it is impossible to ignore the move in the U.S. stock market since the close on November 8, 2016. Through Tuesday’s close, the Dow has risen…

 

Portfolio Optimization Isn’t Necessarily Worth the Effort

A few weeks ago, I offered a list of what assets an individual investor needs to hold in their portfolio. Second in order of importance on my list—behind stocks, bonds and cash—were REITs (real estate investment trusts). These real estate investments offer a dual benefit of diversification and favorable returns. I bring this up because…

 

Second-Quarter Earnings Season Underway for SSR Portfolio

This week the second-quarter earnings season kicked off for the stocks in the SSR tracking portfolio. This marks the period when companies report their earnings for operations that fell primarily within the second calendar quarter of the year, although not all companies are reporting results for their second fiscal quarter. Only two of the 36…

 

Much Ado About Nothing

At the start of the week, market watchers were anxiously anticipating two seemingly major events: the Congressional testimony of former FBI Director James Comey and the Parliamentary election in the U.K. At least in the near term, both events turned out to be more flash than substance. In terms of Comey’s Senate testimony, there were…

 

Stock Market’s “Fear Gauge” Hits 23-Year Low

A lot was written and talked about the CBOE Volatility Index, or VIX, this week. On Monday, it closed at 9.77, its lowest level since December 1993. This followed Friday’s close by both the S&P 500 and NASDAQ Composite indexes at new all-time highs. In addition, this was the first time in over 10 years…

 

May SSR Portfolio Update

There is one portfolio deletion and one portfolio addition for the SSR tracking portfolio in May. For more information on this month’s portfolio changes, read the May SSR Monthly Report. April Market Recap Geopolitics dominated the financial headlines in April. Rising tensions between the U.S and North Korea have had world markets on edge in…

 

Bullish Sentiment of Newsletter Writers & Retail Investors at Rare Divergence

This week, Rocky White of Schaeffer’s Investment Research wrote an article discussing the divergence in bullish sentiment among investment newsletter writers and retail investors. Specifically, he looked at AAII’s Investor Sentiment Survey and the weekly Investors Intelligence (II) sentiment poll and how bullish sentiment between the two indicates very different expectations. But first, some background….