The Market In Pictures - Mid-Year Update

In November of 2013, I did a chart analysis of the markets at the time. Now that we have passed the halfway point in 2014 I...

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The Great American Economic Growth Myth

Yesterday, I discussed the real use of economic data when it comes to investing. However, it was extremely interesting to see the...

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Shiller's CAPE - Is It Really Just B.S.

In late stage bull market cycles, the inevitable bashing of long term valuation metrics comes to full fruition. In the late 90's...

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CNBC - Fed Won't Raise Rates For A Long Time

This morning, after quietly sneaking out of the house at an ungodly 3am, I visited with Ross Westgate on CNBC's World Wide...

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Why Market Bulls Should Hope Interest Rates Don't Rise

Yesterday, I participated in a panel discussion on CNBC about the markets and the economy.  It was during the course of that...

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FBN Willis Report: Is It Really Just The Weather

I recently sat down with Gerri Willis at Fox Business News, along with Rick Sharga to discuss the economy and whether it is...

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featured articles

Written by Lance Roberts | Jun. 16, 2014
could-stocks-melt-upOver the weekend, E.S. Browning wrote a very interesting article for The Wall Street Journal entitled: "Blast From The Past: Couple Stocks Melt Up?" "Money managers and analysts are beginning to talk about an idea that dates from the roaring...
Written by Lance Roberts | Jun. 17, 2014
5-cognitive-biases-that-are-killing-your-returnsGeorge Dvorsky once wrote that: "The human brain is capable of 1016 processes per second, which makes it far more powerful than any computer currently in existence. But that doesn't mean our brains don't have major limitations. The lowly...

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3 Things Worth Thinking About (Vol. 2)
Written by Lance Roberts | Jul. 31, 2014

SP500-Buybacks-Profits-Sales-073114 Last week, I started a new weekly series entitled "3 Things Worth Thinking About."  The focus here will be three things, ironically enough, that are worth considering with respect to your portfolio and related investments. As I have discussed many times previously, focusing only on "b...

Read more...
GDP - Pre/Post Annual Revisions In Pictures
Written by Lance Roberts | Jul. 30, 2014

GDP-FinalSales-073014 The first estimate of GDP for the second quarter of 2014 came roaring in at 4% annualized growth. The following is an initial analysis as written by Neil Irwin from the NYT: "First, here’s the overall growth number. As it shows, the 4 percent rate of economic expansion in the April-through-June...

Read more...
Misunderstandings Of The End Of Q.E.
Written by Lance Roberts | Jul. 29, 2014

Net-Corp-Debt-GDP-072914 I have discussed for some time that there are a couple of inherent misunderstandings about the Federal Reserve's ending of the current large-scale asset purchase program (LSAP), or more affectionately known as Quantitative Easing (QE). The first is "tapering is not tightening" and the second is "int...

Read more...
Are Retail Investors Signaling A Market Top?
Written by Lance Roberts | Jul. 28, 2014

Equity-Flows-Negative-072614 It is often stated that retail investors represent the "herd" mentality.  That, like lemmings, they tend always to do the opposite of what they should by "buying high and selling low."  For the most part, those statements are true and have been repeatedly shown in surveys and studies ...

Read more...
5 Things To Ponder: Gates & Houses
Written by Lance Roberts | Jul. 25, 2014

ABOOK-July-2014-New-Home-Sales-YY-6MA "The world is all gates, all opportunities, strings of tension waiting to be struck." - Ralph Waldo Emerson This past week was inundated with a variety of financial and geopolitical events that had me scrambling to say abreast of the issues. However, there was one issue in particular that was o...

Read more...
3 Things Worth Thinking About
Written by Lance Roberts | Jul. 24, 2014

Retail-Sales-ControlPurchases-072414 I spent a good deal of time yesterday going through a point-counterpoint analysis of the current bull market. However, there are a few things that have been sitting on my desk that I wanted to make some comments on, and given we are now winding up the week, this is a good day address them. 1) SEC V...

Read more...
5 Reasons Why The Market Won't Crash Or Will
Written by Lance Roberts | Jul. 23, 2014

SP500-GDP-Rates-Recessions-071714 Paul LaMonica, whom I have spoken with several times, recently wrote a piece for CNN Money entitled "5 Reasons Why The Market Won't Crash." One of the biggest mistakes that investors make is falling prey to cognitive biases that obfuscate rising investment risks. This is why I am particularly fond o...

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A Better Way To Use P/E Ratios For Investing
Written by Lance Roberts | Jul. 22, 2014

stocks-holding-period There has been an ongoing debate about market valuations and the current state of the financial markets. On one hand, the "bulls" use forward price-earnings ratios to justify current valuation levels while the the "bears" cite trailing valuations based on reported earnings per share. The problem wit...

Read more...
How Effective Have The Fed's QE Programs Been?
Written by Lance Roberts | Jul. 21, 2014

SP500-Chart-071914 In the most recent newsletter, I discussed this year's rise in the markets and the fact that all of the gains have occurred during some of the historically weakest months of the year.  I also noted a few interesting facts: 100% of the year-to-date returns were contained within roughly 50% of...

Read more...
5 Things To Ponder: Yellen Talk
Written by Lance Roberts | Jul. 18, 2014

Employment-16-54-vs-Population-071614 This past week, Chairwoman Janet Yellen presented the Federal Reserve's Semiannual Monetary Policy Report to the Congressional Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. While the financial markets were closely focused on clues as to the future direction of monetary policy and rate hikes (see...

Read more...
3 Things Worth Thinking About (Vol. 2)
Written by Lance Roberts | Jul. 31, 2014

SP500-Buybacks-Profits-Sales-073114 Last week, I started a new weekly series entitled "3 Things Worth Thinking About."  The focus here will be three things, ironically enough, that are worth considering with respect to your portfolio and related investments. As I have discussed many times previously, focusing only on "b...

Read more...
Misunderstandings Of The End Of Q.E.
Written by Lance Roberts | Jul. 29, 2014

Net-Corp-Debt-GDP-072914 I have discussed for some time that there are a couple of inherent misunderstandings about the Federal Reserve's ending of the current large-scale asset purchase program (LSAP), or more affectionately known as Quantitative Easing (QE). The first is "tapering is not tightening" and the second is "int...

Read more...
Are Retail Investors Signaling A Market Top?
Written by Lance Roberts | Jul. 28, 2014

Equity-Flows-Negative-072614 It is often stated that retail investors represent the "herd" mentality.  That, like lemmings, they tend always to do the opposite of what they should by "buying high and selling low."  For the most part, those statements are true and have been repeatedly shown in surveys and studies ...

Read more...
5 Things To Ponder: Gates & Houses
Written by Lance Roberts | Jul. 25, 2014

ABOOK-July-2014-New-Home-Sales-YY-6MA "The world is all gates, all opportunities, strings of tension waiting to be struck." - Ralph Waldo Emerson This past week was inundated with a variety of financial and geopolitical events that had me scrambling to say abreast of the issues. However, there was one issue in particular that was o...

Read more...
3 Things Worth Thinking About
Written by Lance Roberts | Jul. 24, 2014

Retail-Sales-ControlPurchases-072414 I spent a good deal of time yesterday going through a point-counterpoint analysis of the current bull market. However, there are a few things that have been sitting on my desk that I wanted to make some comments on, and given we are now winding up the week, this is a good day address them. 1) SEC V...

Read more...
A Better Way To Use P/E Ratios For Investing
Written by Lance Roberts | Jul. 22, 2014

stocks-holding-period There has been an ongoing debate about market valuations and the current state of the financial markets. On one hand, the "bulls" use forward price-earnings ratios to justify current valuation levels while the the "bears" cite trailing valuations based on reported earnings per share. The problem wit...

Read more...
How Effective Have The Fed's QE Programs Been?
Written by Lance Roberts | Jul. 21, 2014

SP500-Chart-071914 In the most recent newsletter, I discussed this year's rise in the markets and the fact that all of the gains have occurred during some of the historically weakest months of the year.  I also noted a few interesting facts: 100% of the year-to-date returns were contained within roughly 50% of...

Read more...
Problems In The Housing Market? Oracle Awakes To Reality
Written by Lance Roberts | May. 05, 2014

Housing-VacantHomes-050514 For the last two years, I have regularly been updating our analysis of the housing market and why the much prophesied recovery was unlikely. (See here, here and here for examples.)  Yet, despite the hard data to the contrary, the mainstream analysis continued to beat the "housing is recovering"...

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Economists Stunned By Housing Fade, Told You So
Written by Lance Roberts | Apr. 24, 2014

Household-formation Since 2012, almost every economist has predicted that the housing recovery would continue into each coming year and would be a key driver of economic growth. That was again the plan for 2014, but with the housing recovery now on the ropes those same economists are perplexed as to why. Yet, "hope" re...

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Housing: Is It Really Just The Weather?
Written by Lance Roberts | Feb. 26, 2014

Housing-New-OverUnderEst-022614 There is little argument that the economic data has been "weaker than expected" with the reason being quickly attributed to "the weather."  This has particularly been the case with regard to the recent housing data which has put a dent into the "housing recovery will drive future economic growt...

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Is Housing Set To Lift Off?
Written by Lance Roberts | Feb. 18, 2014

Home-New-HouseholdDebt-021814 I have read several articles as of late suggesting that the housing recovery is likely to regain its footing in 2014 supporting further economic growth.  Gene Epstein penned the following for Barron's: "Snow paralyzed the Eastern U.S. last week, but it won't put a chill on what could be the hott...

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An Update On The Housing Recovery
Written by Lance Roberts | Jan. 16, 2014

Home-Inventory-011614 In July of last year, I asked the question of whether housing was really recovering or not?  There has been much hoped placed on the "housing recovery story" over the last few years as it relates to the economy and I thought it was time to update the data to see how far we have progressed.&nb...

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If Housing Is Booming - Why Do We Need Another Fix
Written by Lance Roberts | Aug. 06, 2013

Housing-Ownership-Renters-072513 President Obama recently stopped in Phoenix to deliver his latest diatribe on how he is going to fix the economy.  Yes, that is correct, another round of "campaign speeches" that, as has been the hallmark of this Administration to date, have generally wound up mired in abyss of a broken co...

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"Housing" - Is It Really Recovering?
Written by Lance Roberts | Jul. 26, 2013

GDP-Not-Your-Fathers-Economy-072513-3 There has been much hoped placed on the "housing recovery story" over the last couple of years as it relates to the economy. With each passing month all eyes have been glued to television screens, and headlines, as the latest estimations of housing starts, completions, new and existing home sales, e...

Read more...
GDP - Pre/Post Annual Revisions In Pictures
Written by Lance Roberts | Jul. 30, 2014

GDP-FinalSales-073014 The first estimate of GDP for the second quarter of 2014 came roaring in at 4% annualized growth. The following is an initial analysis as written by Neil Irwin from the NYT: "First, here’s the overall growth number. As it shows, the 4 percent rate of economic expansion in the April-through-June...

Read more...
3 Things Worth Thinking About
Written by Lance Roberts | Jul. 24, 2014

Retail-Sales-ControlPurchases-072414 I spent a good deal of time yesterday going through a point-counterpoint analysis of the current bull market. However, there are a few things that have been sitting on my desk that I wanted to make some comments on, and given we are now winding up the week, this is a good day address them. 1) SEC V...

Read more...
5 Things To Ponder: Yellen Talk
Written by Lance Roberts | Jul. 18, 2014

Employment-16-54-vs-Population-071614 This past week, Chairwoman Janet Yellen presented the Federal Reserve's Semiannual Monetary Policy Report to the Congressional Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. While the financial markets were closely focused on clues as to the future direction of monetary policy and rate hikes (see...

Read more...
Is Yellen Being Misled By Employment Statistics?
Written by Lance Roberts | Jul. 16, 2014

Employment-FullTime-JoblessClaims-071614 Yesterday, Chairwoman Janet Yellen presented the Federal Reserve's Semiannual Monetary Policy Report to the Congressional Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. While the financial markets were closely focused on clues as to the future direction of monetary policy and rate hikes (see "Ana...

Read more...
Is The Surge In Corporate Borrowing Sowing Seeds Of Next Crisis?
Written by Lance Roberts | Jul. 10, 2014

BankLoans-Leases-071014 Since the beginning of the year there has been an ongoing hope that businesses were on the verge of a capital expenditure cycle that would boost economic growth. The primary supporting evidence of this hope was contained within the surge of corporate business loans and leases as shown in the chart b...

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TFTB - Likely Rates Will Continue To Fall
Written by Lance Roberts | Jul. 03, 2014

GDP-FinalSales-070214 As I sat on the beach this morning watching my kids play in crystal blue oceanic waters, my thoughts drifted to the ongoing confusion regarding interest rates. The central premise is as follows: “How can rates be falling when it is so evident that economic growth has finally taken hold?” I...

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TFTB - The Fed Needs You To Sell Your Bonds
Written by Lance Roberts | Jul. 01, 2014

Fed-Funds-Crisis-Inflation-063014 In yesterday’s “Thoughts From The Beach (TFTB),” I discussed the issue that the Federal Reserve may be anticipating a surge in inflationary pressures that may not present as of yet. The problem, as was seen in both in 1999 and 2007, is that when the Federal Reserve begins to raise interest rat...

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6 Money Habits Of Unhappy Couples
Written by Richard Rosso, CFP | Jul. 18, 2014

Broke-Couple We’ve all heard the horror stories of couples suffering in a toxic money mix. Married or unmarried – it doesn’t matter. Financial harmony is crucial to a couple’s long-term synergy with money. From my experience, the ones with cohesive financial strategies are the most successful. Over t...

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Supreme Court Ruling: Inherited IRA's And Bankruptcy
Written by Scott Bishop, CPA, CFP | Jul. 10, 2014

Choices Background Since the enactment of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act in 2005, individual retirement accounts (IRAs) have been protected under federal law if you declare bankruptcy. The exemption was originally capped at $1 million, but has since grown to $1,245,475 (as of A...

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Retirement Planning - What's Your Hurdle Rate
Written by Scott Bishop, CPA, CFP | Jun. 20, 2014

Choices After reading recent excellent StreetTalk Live blog posts by Lance Roberts on "5 Cognitive Biases that are Killing Your Returns" and by Richard Rosso on "Four Words to Better Retirement Planning", I wanted to want to continue that discussion. In over 18 years in the financial services industry, I co...

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Four Words to Better Retirement Planning
Written by Richard Rosso, CFP | Jun. 18, 2014

Brain-24bit What are the obstacles that cause you to veer off course when it comes to retirement planning? Increasing the odds of success shouldn’t be overwhelming. Effective solutions can hide in plain sight. Small changes in perspective or actions can lead to better results. Consider the following four ...

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4 Ways To Overcome Financial Inertia
Written by Richard Rosso, CFP | Jun. 09, 2014

Climbing-Stairs Five years after the financial crisis and those who cross my path tell me it feels like the recession still grips us. They are still stressed over personal finance, investing and debt management. I understand. The concerns are valid. The stock market is up close to 200% since March 2009; housing i...

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Should You File Early For Social Security
Written by Scott Bishop, CPA, CFP | Jun. 09, 2014

Choices Per the Nationwide Financial survey released last Wednesday (June 4th), 38% of retirees who claimed Social Security benefits before full retirement age now regret their decision and wish they had waited as it would have resulted in a larger monthly payment that many Baby Boomers need. This is even m...

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The Many Errors Of The "Active vs. Passive" Debate
Written by Lance Roberts | May. 20, 2014

VFINX-vs-SP500-052314 Since the mid-90's there has been an ongoing debate waged between "passive indexing" and "active management" of portfolios.  The primary point of contention is "why pay a manager a fee to actively manage a portfolio when [x%] of managers fail to beat an index fund over [x period]." On the surfa...

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S&P 500: Breakout Or Breakdown?
Written by Chris Kimble | Apr. 02, 2013

Kimble-040213 ADVISOR PERSPECTIVES / DSHORT.COM April 2, 2013 By: Chris Kimble Investors around the world are sitting on the edges of their seats, wondering if the S&P 500 will breakout or is making a giant 13-year triple top. Where should one look for answers or clues to the next big move in the broad m...

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Do You Feel Lucky? Well Do Ya?
Written by Lance Roberts | Aug. 20, 2012

80-20-portfolio-targeting-082012 Do you feel lucky?  That was the topic of this past weekend's missive as we wrote extensively on the current market environment and the technical setup behind the recent market "buy" signal.  That line from Dirty Harry (Click Here for Video) spawned many email questions, and comments, over the ...

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The Fear Gauge Goes Quiet
Written by Spencer Jakab | Aug. 17, 2012

vix-vs-sp500-081712 WALL STREET JOURNAL August 17, 2012 By: Spencer Jakab (Chart by Streettalklive.com) Wall Street's famous "fear gauge" is scraping along the bottom once again. Should that, counter-intuitively, spook investors? Not necessarily, although there probably are more fundamental reasons to wonder if...

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Gold, Dollar & Rates Say No QE
Written by Lance Roberts | Aug. 15, 2012

sp500-qe-market-081512-3 There is a consensus as of late that the Fed will launch another round of stimulative action in the form of a balance sheet expansion program (Quantitative Easing) by the next FOMC meeting in September.  Of course, this was also the consensus before the June and August meetings - yet each disappoin...

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Doug Kass: Market Top Is Near
Written by Doug Kass | Aug. 15, 2012

sp500-tripletop-081512 THESTREET.COM / REAL MONEY August 14, 2012 By: Doug Kass NEW YORK (Real Money) -- What I learned in my investment career is market participants prefer the comfort of crowds rather than the company of the remnants. Investors and traders, as demonstrated in recent years, seemingly prefer to buy st...

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Market "Hope" Rally Overbought
Written by Lance Roberts | Aug. 08, 2012

sp500-marketupdate-080812 The markets have been rising recently on "hopes" that Central Bankers around the world will unite into one big giant "funding-palooza" and resolve the Eurozone crisis conclusively.  While the reality is that world wide bailouts will not resolve what ails the Eurozone - the markets are salivating at...

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Are Investors Really That Bearish?
Written by Lance Roberts | Aug. 07, 2012

ici-equity-bond-flows-080712 I have read several articles as of late dicussing the excessive "bearishness" of investors, which from a contrarian point of view, is "bullish" for the stock market.  The general position is that investors are so bearish that they are now just hiding in bonds and stuffing cash into their mattresses...

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