Into Perspective

What Arcade Tokens Can Teach Us About ICOs


If you wouldn’t invest in gift cards or arcade tokens, why would you spring for an initial coin offering? 

Giving Thanks for Stocks’ Resiliency


The bull market’s ability to rise despite a cornucopia of scary headlines is something to be thankful for. 

Making Sense of Credit Spreads


Tightening credit spreads have some worried about a bubble in the bond markets, but healthy credit markets and historical perspective suggest fears are overblown.

No, IMFcoin Won’t Rule Them All


US dollars aren’t about to be replaced as the world’s reserve currency—by IMFcoin or anything else.

Lessons From the 10th Anniversary of the Last Bull Market’s Peak


It can be hard to fathom in the depths of a crisis, but bull markets follow bear markets and often erase the declines sooner than most anticipate.

The Path to Wealth Isn’t Through Homeownership


Home is where the heart is, but better long-term investment returns are in the stock market.

Chart of the Day: When Real Estate Decided to Go Solo


How has Real Estate fared ever since it became the GICS’ 11th sector? 

All the News That’s Fit for Markets


Why doesn’t some news move markets? 

Need Bonds? Here Is What to Weigh Next


If you need bonds, here are some important considerations when deciding between individual bonds and bond funds.

We Need to Talk About Harvey


Like all major hurricanes, Harvey won’t bring recession or economic stimulus. 

How to Help Houston: Some Resources to Identify Worthy Charities


Some online resources to help you identify a charity worthy of your support.

(Insert Pun About Volatility and Eclipse Here)


Stocks’ recent calm doesn’t say anything about whether a correction will strike.

Terrorism Is Tragic But Markets Are Resilient


Stocks have historically proven resilient to terror. We expect they will again after attacks in Spain and Finland.

The Profit Prophets Were Too Dour (Again!) in Q2


Earnings volatility has been a distraction. Broader markets are healthier than most think.  

Time for a New Sector?


What if some Tech companies aren’t really Tech?

The Greek Can Kick, Episode VII: Investors Awaken


This year’s Greek summertime movie is much tamer than past ones—investors have long since moved on.

GDP Underestimates Economy’s Amazingness


Economists struggle to pinpoint growth, but stocks figured it out long ago.

Sizing Up Sterling's Swoon


12 months past the Brexit vote, let's put the weak pound in perspective.  

Brexit: One Year Later


A review of what has come to pass after the UK voted to leave the EU a year ago. 

Searching for Meaning in Bouncy Tech


For all the ink spilled over Tech’s pullback, sector-specific volatility is normal.

The World Beyond Covfefe, Comey and GE2017


May PMIs are the latest data points confirming the global expansion.

United We Stand


On free people’s (and markets’) indomitable spirit in the face of terror.

Don’t Lose Sight of the Investment Forest for the Trees


Do investors need to find the next super stock to be successful? 

Into Perspective: Markets and Impeachment


For investors, history can add some valuable perspective to the firing of FBI head James Comey.

A Surprise From the Land of the Rising Sun?


Reviewing the latest—and what to look out for—from Japan.   

The ‘Passive Revolution’ That Quite Simply Isn’t


Before buying media claims that ETFs’ rising popularity suggests passive investing is taking over, consider what the “T” stands for.

Lessons From Trump's Yuan U-Turn


Forecasts of things no one can actually know aren’t to be taken literally, but form part of the sentiment backdrop that influences markets.

Chart(s) of the Day: Remember That Manufacturing Recession?


A look back at when manufacturing data spooked folks.

The Folly of Fretting Fed False Fears


The Fed has spurred many false fears throughout the bull market. 

What Investing Wisely Is—and Isn’t


In investing, wisdom is best demonstrated by behavior and decisions that match your goals and needs.

How to Analyze Alternative Facts and Ferret Out Fake News


Separating fact from fiction is an increasingly important skill for investors.

Checking in on Greece


After a brief intermission, the Grexit drama continues.

What Dividends Don’t Deliver


Should investors focus solely on high-dividend stocks?

Coal’s Trump Card a Bust


The new administration wants to save American coal—but natural gas may stand in the way.

11 Reasons to Be Grateful This Thanksgiving


For investors, scoop a healthy portion of these positive tidbits to go along with your turkey this Thanksgiving.

Don’t Chase Heat: Defensive Sector Edition


Many who flocked into Utilities, Telecom and Staples stocks earlier in 2016 have paid a price for chasing heat.

A Post-Election Economic Palate Cleanser


In case you missed it, there was some economics news, too.

Beltway Politics Don’t Always Trump Local


National elections get the most headlines, but local races and ballot measures have just as much impact on everyday life and commerce.

An Election Palate Cleanser


October’s PMIs show businesses globally are growing just fine.

The Next Debt Fear?


A few Fed officials fretted Corporate America's debt at September's meeting, which has some media types wondering if we all should be worried.

Vote No Against Hypothetical Post-Election Returns


Take post-election market projections with a grain of salt.

September Is Still Just a Month


As far as stocks are concerned, September isn’t special.

Two Charts and Some Thoughts on Manufacturing


Don’t overrate any one month of data, good or bad.

Book Review: The Reflexive Properties of European Discombobulation


Investing lessons from an interesting little book about the euro crisis.

Searching for Meaning in ‘Quiet’ Times


Should stocks’ recent “boring” streak worry investors?

A Stock Selection Lesson in Red Flag Avoidance


A firm’s heavy reliance on government money is a red flag, especially in an election year.

Five Fallacies About “Overvalued” Stocks


P/E ratios and other valuations are overrated, not overvalued.

A More Productive Way to Look at Productivity


Should slumping labor productivity worry investors?

Japan Goes Back to the Stimulus Well


Japanese policymakers’ strategy: If at first your stimulus doesn’t succeed, stimulate, stimulate again.

8.15 Bits of Bad News That Haven’t Broken Markets in 2016 (But Were Supposed to)


False fears don’t scare stocks.

Stocks Don’t Suffer From the Summertime Blues


Amid myriad worrisome headlines, stocks have plowed higher this year.

Some Sunshine From Services Surveys


While headlines cry the sky is falling, services sectors globally continue growing.

A Story About Assets That Weren’t Toxic


A refresher on a toxic accounting rule that precipitated the Financial Crisis.

A Deep Dive Into Brexit Polls


Hype over recent polls showing more momentum for the Leave campaign seems a bit misplaced.

Don’t Let the Yield Curve Flatten Your Spirits


A flatter yield curve doesn’t mean recession is around the corner.

Greek Debt Talks Start With a Shocking Twist


Everyone left “emergency” talks happy and optimistic, but don’t hold your breath just yet.

Investors: Time to Pay Less Attention to Jobs


Jobs data aren’t a useful market input.

Flat Past Returns Don’t Foretell Future Flatness


It is a behavioral mistake to let the last year’s market action influence your view of the future.

What Most Miss About Steel


As the UK’s steel industry takes another body blow, a look at why tariffs won’t help. 

Drilling Down On Energy’s GDP Impact


State-level GDP data provide more evidence Energy’s woes bear the most responsibility for any apparent US economic weakness.

Terrorism Still Won’t Succeed


Free people and free markets will overcome the horrific attacks in Brussels.  

Some Things Are Happening in Brazil


With political intrigue and a putrid economy, why are Brazilian stocks up in 2016? 

Negative Rates With a Small Positive Twist


The ECB offers an antidote to negative rate fears.

Seven Years Ago Today


A bull market was born.

Japan Staggers Back Into Contraction


Japan’s economic struggles aren’t surprising.

About Those European Banks


European bank stocks took a pounding, but Lehman comparisons miss the mark.

Are Markets Retesting Your Mettle?


Some tips on outsmarting your emotions when markets get rocky.

Survey Says … Growth!


You might not know it from the media coverage, but January PMI surveys show the US and UK services sector grew.

Did the US Economy Have a Case of the Mondays?


Never judge a book by its cover, or an economy by headline data.

Don’t Be Afraid of Rating Agency Downgrades


Credit rating agencies’ moves reflect what markets already know.

Industry Isn’t Producing a Recession


Industrial production’s recent contractions don’t mean recession is nigh.  

Rational Thoughts for Irrational Times


Volatility can mess with your mind—always remember to focus on the big picture when things get rocky.

Some Friendly Facts on Wednesday’s Wild Ride


Beware the sensationalist coverage of foreign indexes—it should come with some asterisks for global investors using their home currencies.

The Correction Returns


Global markets have renewed their correction, but we believe this isn’t a time to sell.

China’s Wild and Crazy Week


Volatility in China is rekindling hard landing fears, but we’d suggest too much is being made of the swings.

New Year, Same Old Volatility


Stocks opened 2016 on a rocky note, but one day’s volatility doesn’t predict the year.

Four Investment Lessons From 2015


Learn from some of the year’s biggest misperceptions.

Around the World in Five Stories


As 2015 wraps up, here are some interesting stories that caught our attention.

Happy Birthday, Internet!


Investment lessons from the Internet’s first quarter century.

Are Credit Markets Sending a Distress Signal?


Trouble at a few junk bond funds renewed long-running bond market liquidity and contagion fears, but there are some mitigating factors.



Some high-profile dividend cuts illustrate the danger of chasing yield.

Gleaning Investment Wisdom From a Magician Turned Skeptic


How one man’s conversion to skepticism can inform your approach to due diligence.

Understanding MLPs


Though pitched as stable, high-yielding investments, master limited partnerships face tough sledding as oil tumbles.

The Fed Can Still Do Its Job


The Fed’s new limits on emergency funding shouldn’t prevent it from acting as lender of last resort in a crisis.

Autumn Statement Ends Age of Alleged Austerity


Pundits greeted the UK Autumn Statement like it signals a radical shift in plans, but it actually extends long running trends.

Terror Will Never Succeed


Free societies and markets are too resilient for terrorism to materially impact them.

Choose Your Own Manufacturing Adventure


US manufacturing was a tale of two surveys in October.

The ECB’s Punch Bowl Has No Punch


More quantitative easing would sedate the eurozone, not stimulate it.

The Business World’s View of China


An unfiltered look at US and European corporate executives’ comments on China’s economy in recent conference calls.

The Fed’s Fascinating Footnotes


What Janet Yellen didn’t say was more interesting than what she did. 

Two “Don’ts” and One “Do” for Market Volatility


Some tips on how to prevent hasty moves as stocks retest August’s lows.

Economic Data Checkup


A look at the latest and greatest in economic data!

Midweek Potpourri: Fund Flows, Tax Cuts and Budget Brinksmanship


Some highlights from Wednesday’s financial headlines.

Beyond China


Folks preoccupied with China headlines may have overlooked several other interesting stories from this week.  

Seeing Through the China-Slowdown Smog


Despite some widely reported weakness in China and elsewhere in Asia, global manufacturing remains in the black.

Stocks Don’t Need More QE


Bringing back quantitative easing (QE) would be more harmful than beneficial.

Income and Wealth Distribution: Overlooked Basics


Our guest columnist provides an in-depth look at income inequality.

Corporate America’s View of China


A roundup of unfiltered US corporate leaders’ comments on China from earnings conference calls in the last week.

Reflections on Corrections and China


Corrections are trying, but markets usually reward patience. 

Greece Is Having a Good Week


Greece got its bailout money, but plenty of hurdles remain.

Flat Year Yields Flat Fear


Don’t fret flat returns—they aren’t predictive.

Don’t Sweat Sideways Stocks


Sideways markets are often frustrating, but stocks can move quickly—make sure you’re ready.

Serving Up Growth


The global economy keeps growing.

Greek Stocks Take a Dive, Teach a Lesson


Markets already knew Greece had a rough five weeks.

Plan B or B-Movie?


Just when you thought Greece’s predicament couldn’t get weirder, it did—but market risks remain minimal.

Greece Gets Some Euros


Greece got an EU bridge loan Friday, affording Athens time to negotiate bailout number three.

China Hits the Target


Chinese GDP growth matched the official target in Q2, but some fear struggling mainland stocks will soon take an economic toll.

Assessing the Iran Deal’s Investment Impact


The Iran nuclear deal doesn’t diminish Energy stocks’ many headwinds.

Greece Kicks the Can, Now Comes the Hard Part


Greece and the eurozone agreed in principle to a three-year rescue deal, but several obstacles remain.

Moore’s Law Gets a New Lease on Life


Chipmakers announced a huge breakthrough Thursday, adding years to one of the most powerful technological trends in history.

Greece Plays ‘Let’s Make a Deal’


Greece proposed a new bailout deal late Thursday that includes many of the measures Greek voters shot down days earlier.

About China …


Domestic Chinese stocks’ wild ride should hold little risk for global investors.

Puerto Rico Can’t Afford Its Debt


Puerto Rico’s troubles don’t presage trouble for broader markets.

Greek Voters Say No, Yanis Varoufakis Says Bye—What Next?


Sunday’s referendum didn’t change much for Greece: It is still in limbo, and it is still too small to upend the bull market.

Some Thoughts on Greece’s Don’t-Call-It-a-Default


Things got even weirder the day after.

On Greek Tweets, Capital Controls, Chaos and Volatility


Has the endgame finally arrived?

Divestment and Rational Expectations


What happens when sociological issues and investment intersect?

User’s Guide to a Critical Week for the Euro(TM)


Everything you need to know about Greece this week.

Greece Is the Word, Not the World


In the 99.8% of global GDP that isn’t Greece, evidence suggests economic expansion continues.

While Greece Was Reeling


What else is going on in the world besides Greece?

Greece Is Still the Word


Volatility is spiking as Greece’s latest deadline approaches, but the longer-term risks for global markets likely remain small.

Thank Some Angry English Barons for Your Portfolio


Happy birthday to the Magna Carta, the rule of law, and property rights!

Real Estate’s Impact on the Economy Is Really Overstated


Housing is no more of an economic headwind today than it was when housing fears perked earlier in this expansion.

Greece Has Some Loans to Repay


“Greece goes all Zambian,” and other misadventures as leaders try to hash out a deal with creditors by month’s end.

Surveys and Numbers and Charts! Oh My!


Global economic growth is alive and well.

Not All Soft GDP Reports Are the Same


We have to dig beneath the surface to see what weak GDP reports really mean.

Why Greece Isn’t the Bull Market’s Achilles Heel—in Pictures!


Here are 10 graphs and charts showing why we don’t believe Greece is a threat to the bull market.

The SEC’s Shot Heard ‘Round the World Turns 40


Reforms enacted 40 years ago today ushered in a golden age for individual investors’ market access, but they didn’t make investing any easier.

No Asterisks Required


Stock indexes that aren’t adjusted for inflation don’t need asterisks.

Not Synonyms: ‘Record High’ and ‘Peak’


Stocks are back to record highs, but are they actually high, or low?

Happy Birthday, Moore’s Law—Pearls of Wisdom for Investors


As Moore’s Law turns 50, we reflect on technology’s incredible history and limitless potential.

3 Reasons the Dollar’s Reserve Currency Status Shouldn’t Worry You—in Charts!


Let’s reassess longstanding fears the dollar will lose its status as the world’s primary reserve currency.

British Gridlock Isn’t Bearish


Those warning a hung Parliament in Britain risks repeating 1974’s UK stock market plunge overlook several key points. 

Three Backward-Looking, Not-So-Predictive Valuations Are High


The US Treasury makes a market forecast.

Unfunded Liabilities, the Lockbox, and Other Social Security Myths


How Saturday Night Live contributed to an economic freak-out.

Book Review: The Shifts and the Shocks Obsesses Over Equilibrium


Perennial economic stability is impossible in the real world. 

A Winning Standard?


Would a broader application of the fiduciary standard benefit investors?

Congressmen Attempt to Invite Monetary Error, Fail


Has the Fed become politicized?

Big British Debt Saves the World, and Other Century-Old Stories


The story of three centuries' worth of UK debt shows why today's occasional debt doom-mongering is pretty far-fetched.

Six Years On, the Bull Stays Strong


Six years into the bull, stocks look set to keep clocking all-time highs.

All George Strait’s Exes Live in Texas, but America’s Jobs Don’t


The oil & gas industry is in a rough patch, but job layoffs there aren't a threat to the bull market or US expansion. 

America, the Liberated


It's fashionable to say America's economic system needs fixing if we want faster growth, but some simple facts don't support this. 

A Second Glance at Growth


Data confirm growth around the world.  

Around the World in All-Time Highs


Are recent all-time highs a warning sign the bull’s end is nigh?  

The DOL Gets a Homework Assignment


The skinny on the White House's plans to apply the fiduciary standard to any investment professional advising on a retirement account.

Random Stock Market Factoids 35 Days Into 2015


A check-in beyond the headlines at 2015 to date. 

Book Review: The Martian’s Hard Sci-fi Is Also Hard Economics


A fast-paced and erudite sci-fi tale about an astronaut's struggle to survive on Mars is among the best microeconomics books you can buy.

Book Review: The Lesson of the Snowball


Many mimic his investing style (or try), but the average investor only has a snowball's chance of repeating Warren Buffett's discipline. 

Cloudy, With a Chance of Rate Cuts?


Trying to guess what central bankers will do next is a fruitless endeavor. 

Upside Risks Are the Riskiest


For long-term investors, upside market risk has forever been the most dangerous risk.

Upside Risks Are the Riskiest


For long-term investors, upside market risk has forever been the most dangerous risk. 

How Wearable Gadgets Describe Economic Data


A crop of new products promise data about your body and fitness level, but they’re far less accurate than touted. The same holds true for economic data.


FINRA Makes a 17-Page New Year’s Resolution


FINRA’s 2015 regulatory to-do list might help investors make more informed decisions, but it doesn’t guarantee clients come first always.

Five Charts on Wage Growth


Friday’s wage numbers looked dim, but other income growth figures tell a different story.

Clearing Up Bond Trading


How far do regulators’ rule proposals go for improving transparency for bond investors?

All Aboard the Through Train?


China's long-awaited "through train" finally leaves the station Monday, giving foreign investors broader access to mainland stocks. Here are some things you should keep in mind if you're deciding whether to climb aboard.

Regulatory Vagary’s Real Life Impact


Regulatory uncertainty has real costs.  

Taking Stock of That Great October Buying Opportunity


With the S&P 500 back at all-time highs, we look back at sentiment surrounding October's dip.

Falling Oil Prices: Consumers’ Boon, Producers’ Bust?


Working through some misperceptions surrounding lower oil prices.  

ECB Says 25 Banks Were Undercapitalized 10 Months Ago


We dissect the ECB’s stress test results so you don’t have to.

Fun With Mark and Janet


The punditry has taken to diagramming central bank chiefs’ sentences to figure out their next move. We do the same to show you why it’s all poppycock.

Hey La, Hey La, Volatility Is Back?


Volatility can be pretty volatile sometimes, but at the moment, this is not one of those times.

Seven Charts to Free You From Skepticism’s Shackles


Gauges of tangible activity in the US economy show this expansion is driven by more than just the Fed’s attempted financial engineering.

The Li Keqiang Put


What does China’s latest monetary policy move mean for investors?

Shinzo Abe Walks Into a Bar


Some investing lessons from a pub master and a Prime Minister.

Gauging the Global Economy in August


A slew of global economic data alludes to growth continuing nicely as the summer wound down.

The SEC Adds 60 More Bullet Points on Credit-Ratings Agencies


Will the new regulations targeting credit-ratings agencies accomplish much?

The Joy of All-Time Highs


How we learned to stop worrying and love the acrophobia.

Banks Fail Vague Test, Blame Vagary


Is the Fed about to cut off a traditional lifeline for banks?

The Eurozone’s Not-So-Flashy ‘Flash’ GDP


Does eurozone GDP’s Q2 stall portend a protracted slump?

Can Korea Tax Its Way to Business Investment?


Korea’s plans to goose business spending by taxing the cash on corporate balance sheets probably won’t work out so well.

Trying to Predict the Unpredictable


Folks have a dismal record timing corrections, but in our view, it’s a fruitless endeavor.

Banco Espírito Santo Gets a Bail-in


The EU’s new banking union dealt with its first teetering bank on Sunday, and so far, all is going according to the plans outlined last year.

More Bulls to Come


Contrary to what some believe, today’s bull shouldn’t detract from future stock returns.

The SEC Does Some Things to Money Market Funds


Inside the long-awaited reform of money market funds.

Economic Patriotism or Protectionism?


What does the Obama administration’s recent push to ban certain M&A deals mean for investors?

Searching for Meaning in Uppy Times


We obsess over the media’s obsession with market movement so you don’t have to.

Class Dismissed?


Are securities class action lawsuits about to go the way of the dodo?

Draghi’s Deleveraging Dilemma


Monetary gimmicks can’t fix one of the Eurozone’s primary headwinds: banks’ shrinking balance sheets.

The Mythical Third Arrow


Will Prime Minister Shinzo Abe ever get around to firing that “third arrow”?  

Musings on Volatility


Markets haven’t moved a ton lately, but that doesn’t mean we’re witnessing “the death of volatility.”

Bubble Hunting With Sweden’s Wild and Crazy Riksbank


What could happen when a country goes bubble-hunting before the boiling point? Sweden likely finds out.

That (Wonderful) Wall of Worry


We’re not out of the woods yet, and that’s bullish.

Stay in May


Pundits agree: “Sell in May and Go Away” will be a winning tactic this year—but how sound is their reasoning?

Free to Fail


Markets have never been more democratic, for good and ill. 

High Frequency Trade-Offs


High frequency trading is back in the spotlight—how do its pros and cons really weigh?

Too Big to Fail: Money Management Edition


Can mutual funds and money managers be too big to fail?

Qualitative Squeezing


The Fed’s feeling innovative again—this time with their measurement of Financials’ health instead of monetary policy.

No Win, No Fee, No Free Lunch


Paying for performance isn’t as great as it sounds.

China’s Great Wall of Worry


Fears of a Chinese hard landing have circulated for years—do recent data suggest they’re merited?

No Easy Bull


What should investors make of recent chatter that the “easy money” days of the bull market are done?

Crimea River of Natural Gas


What does Ukraine have to do with a 1938 US natural gas law?

Bitcoin Goes Boom


Is Bitcoin a viable currency?

You Get What You Pay For


Index funds have many fine features, but they can’t help investors fight the biggest stumbling block to long-term success: emotion.

More Growth, At Your Service(s)


The cure to manufacturing slowdown fears? Services!

Charting the Future


With all the recent market volatility, can the charts tell us what to expect next?

A Consuming Recovery


The UK’s consumption-led growth has some questioning the sustainability of its recovery—but are concerns warranted?

Giving Credit Where It’s Due


China’s private manufacturing gauge contracted in January, but it wasn’t the only number that’s crunched recently.

Evaluating Valuations


An uptick in stock valuations doesn’t mean the bull market’s end is nigh.

A New Head for the Fed


Trying to predict what new Fed Chair Janet Yellen will do is a fool’s errand.

Chinese Cud and Manufacturing Moguls


That markets started 2014 down and China’s manufacturing slowed seemed more than coincidence to some—but neither necessarily signal global softening ahead.

Demand’s Unsung Partner


Fears that stocks lack sufficient buyers to support prices ignore a potentially powerful offsetting factor: supply changes.

The Volcker Games


The Volcker Rule’s first unintended consequence—over 275 community banks could take a roughly $600 million capital hit.

Introducing the Volcker Rule


The long-awaited Volcker Rule has debuted with no big surprises.

Vexed by the Volcker Rule?


The Volcker Rule might soon see the light of day. What should investors expect?

The Misadventures of Bazooka Ben


Are the world’s central banks running out of ammo?

Data for Your Doldrums


Reviewing global fundamentals suggests recent political pageantry’s main impact for investors is distracting them from ongoing growth.

Taking Stock of the Affordable Care Act


The Affordable Care Act has been a point of contention among Congress—but what about for stocks?  

The Real War on Coal


What should investors make of proposed emission standards for coal-fired power plants?

The Fed’s Sequestered Logic


The Fed seems to think slow growth justifies continuing QE—we think that’s exactly why they should stop.

Banking on the ECB?


The ECB is closer to being the eurozone banking regulator, though we wouldn’t bank on the benefits of a European banking union just yet.

Unemployment with a Taper Twist


Unemployment improved slightly in August, but how this impacts QE tapering plans remains to be seen.

The Long-Term Investor’s Guide to Syria


Ongoing events in Syria are a human tragedy, but the longer-term impact on global stocks should be minimal.

There Is No Bear There


Three flawed theses supporting a bearish outlook.

What to Do About Mexico’s Energy Reforms


Energy firms likely benefit from Mexico’s proposed energy reforms in the long run, but for investors in the here and now, better opportunities likely lie in other sectors.

Forward Misguidance


Forward guidance is all the rage with central banks, but investors following bankers’ words alone tread a perilous path.

¡Viva España!


As we see in the case of Spain, improving economic data from the eurozone suggest the region won’t be as big a burden as feared on global markets.

Carbon Dating Politics


As Australia’s carbon tax U-Turn shows, legislation can and does change—something investors should remember when considering portfolio moves.

Inside Glass-Steagall’s Latest Comeback Attempt


The latest attempt to reinstate Glass-Steagall wouldn’t be great for capital markets, but—thankfully—it stands little chance of passing.

Easing’s Quantitative Analytics


A quick analysis of QE’s impact on the economy throws into question the quantity of its benefits.

The Good, The Basel and The Eurozone


Manufacturing, the Fed and a couple of PIIGS provided a mix of news for investors early this week—some good, some not-so-good and some simply political.

Regulatory Finger-Pointing. Again.


Some major global Financials are in EU regulators’ crosshairs for allegedly limiting competition in credit derivatives markets, but global stocks shouldn’t feel much impact.

The EU-turn on Banks


EU finance ministers are rewriting the roadmap to bank bailouts.

The Truth About Gold and the Dollar


Pricey gold isn’t a sign of dollar devaluation.

The Dark Side of Abenomics


Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s aggressive monetary stimulus plans may have some unintended side effects.

Black Monday After a Quarter Century


The experience I gained working on the Pacific Stock Exchange during 1987’s crash went far beyond basic market ups and downs. And it’s as poignant today as it was 25 years ago.

It’s Tough to Be a Bear


Lessons for stock market investors from one college football fan’s perspective.

A Month of Anniversaries


Monday, Occupy Wall Street celebrated its first birthday—but September is actually chock full of anniversaries, several of which are arguably far more important.

Social Security Shortfall


Americans fear Social Security is insolvent and have since just about always.

A Hypothetical Housing Win–Win


The housing market’s been hard-hit the last couple years—and odd as it may seem, the Supreme Court recently passed up a chance to incrementally help it out.

What’s In a Name?


The common media chorus has been “austerity” is dooming Europe to its fiscal woes, whereas if they’d only adopt “growth” measures, they’d recover sooner. But taking that at face value requires a number of assumptions less commonly discussed. 

Investing Wisely


In investing, wisdom is best demonstrated by behavior and decisions that match your goals and needs.

For Investors, Election Years Can Be Easy


Investors focused on political brouhaha miss important fundamental drivers.

A Look at Year Four


What's in store for year four?

US Debt Perspectives


Before falling prey to media and election year rhetoric, let’s put America’s debt into perspective.

The Visible Hand in Nigeria


Nigerian gasoline subsidies stand as a poignant reminder that free markets generally allocate capital far more efficiently than governments.

A (Nuclear) Winter’s Tale


As the US approves construction of the first new nuclear power plant in three decades, Germany's policy seems tilted the other direction.

Calling Time Out on the Payroll Tax Debate


Before leaving for the holidays, Congress gave us all a two-month payroll tax cut debate reprieve. But before they return to politick anew, let’s review what’s at stake.

12 Things That Mattered Last Week


A quick look around the web at some stories that grabbed our attention recently.

The Not-So-Super Committee


We’re closing in on Thanksgiving, and political football over the deficit seems set to kickoff again.

Government’s Very Un-Invisible Hand


On average, government subsidies don’t yield the intended results—and maybe even have completely the opposite impact. What would yield results? Freer markets.

Conquering Volatility, Grandpa Dex Style


When financial markets get rocky, many investors don’t need a new investment strategy. They need one for controlling their nerves.

An Overview of Gold


Gold ETFs drove gold's outperformance in the last bull market. But with no such force this time around, gold appears back to its usual bull market underperformance.

An Overview of Rare Earth Metals


Rare earth metals aren't rare. We've got 1,300 years of reserves in the US alone!

Sector Flash: November Health Care Checkup


The US health care reform law is in the books, but the challenges facing our country's legislature are just beginning.

Understanding the Potential for Deflation


If you're looking for a major bout of deflation, you'd better be hoping for a monetary policy mistake.

Don’t Wait on Housing


A housing recovery would help, but we aren't lost without it.

How Strong Is Corporate America’s Balance Sheet?

Despite some claims to the contrary, the data show US corporations are liquid, well capitalized, and well positioned to fuel continued economic recovery.

Sometimes True

When does focusing on dividends really pay dividends?

This Mr. Smith Didn’t Go To Washington

As the US financial overhaul bill takes flight, I remember Adam Smith.

Depression Economics II

In case you didn't catch it the first time, Depression economics is getting an encore presentation.

Don't Stress the Tech

Global investors should rejoice in the long-term benefits of technological advancements regardless where they come from.

The Big Bang

If the market could rise through FDR's first legislative barrage, then it's likely to ride out today's less revolutionary round too.

Derivatives 101

Derivatives are getting a bad rap these days. But they're merely investment tools—not inherently good or bad—and often quite useful.

The Paper Crunch

As the debate rages over how to regulate credit derivatives, let's look back at another time when a burgeoning market (then stocks) forced Wall Street to change how it did business.

Today’s Special: Pessimistic Perception

The reality beneath today's skepticism: The US economy is recovering and stocks have risen significantly over the past year.

Attack of the Virtual Tomatoes!!!!

The US government's unemployment projections look lackluster—perhaps they're projecting growth for an economy that's no longer here.

The Fed in Focus

With plenty of proposals pending to "fix” our regulatory system to prevent future crisis, it's worthwhile to examine the origins of our current system.

IOUs That Shouldn’t Worry U or I

It's tough to go 15 minutes these days without hearing something about debt—consumer debt, sovereign debt, business debt, you name it.

Rooted in Rocky Soil

Flipping through history's pages, we find plenty of hard times, some far harder than today. But one thing rings true time and again—economic ashes grow innovation.

Trade Winds

As this recessionary storm begins to dissipate, it's likely the menacing clouds will be pushed out (at least in part) by more pleasant economic trade winds.

Freaky Like the Long Island Express...

Unexpected events spook markets from time to time—freaky stuff like the New England Hurricane of 1938. But it takes something of wider reach and deeper destruction, like world war, to derail fresh bull markets and deliver a dreaded L-shaped recovery.

Fifth-Grade Math

There's a tendency for people to think of their wealth in terms of the number of actual dollars they own, as opposed to their level of purchasing power.

The Inevitability of the Next Bull

History and a belief in capitalism tell us the most probable event following a bear market is a bull market.

Throwback to High-Waters

With stocks down considerably from their high-water mark, it's hard not to wonder how long it'll take to get back there.

Seven Reasons Stocks Are Still a Good Idea

Think stocks are too risky to hold as you contemplate retirement? Think again. Not holding stocks can turn out to be far riskier.

Binary Smoke, Encoded Scotch

So-called dark liquidity pools are changing how we trade stocks, and bringing us a step closer to more efficient markets.

Adjective Absurdity

When analysis is bolstered more by scary adjectives than data, it pays to see for yourself what's really going on.

From Tower of Greed to Wall of Worry

A child-simple tale for understanding the two stalwarts of investor sentiment.

A Passing Storm

Thousands of years after the Greek pantheon of gods was created, humans still haven't moved past the tendency to ascribe mythological causes to scary events we don't fully understand.

Deficits Gone Wild?

This past weekend I spent an afternoon with my six-year-old nephew, who, between intermittent swigs of Jolt Cola and glassy-eyed Gameboy-induced trances, detailed his fondness for the San Francisco Giants and Barry Bonds, the team's much-maligned outfielder who's closing in on Hank Aaron's all-time home run record.


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