Media Hype/Myths

The Curious and Fallacious Case of the All-Powerful Fed


The Fed’s powers to impact the economy are overstated and overrated, in our view

Giving Thanks for Stocks’ Resiliency


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

One Valuation Tool’s Extreme Backwards Bias, Revealed


Digging into the math underlying the cyclically adjusted price-to-earnings ratio shows its huge backward skew tied to events long since over.

The Art of Not Actually Scrapping Trade Deals


Contrary to election season fears, President Trump hasn’t unleashed a barrage of anti-trade actions since taking office.

America’s Pristine Balance Sheet


Scouring through the US’s balance sheet finds little to worry over.

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.

Calendars Help Track Time, Not Time Stocks


Don’t buy into perennial fears of poor returns in September and October.

Gold Zoom, Copper Boom!


Metals are metals, and stocks are stocks.

Trump Didn’t Make Small Cap Great Again


The Trump Trade, to the limited extent it existed, ended eight months ago.

Household Debt: In Depth


Americans are borrowing more than ever—but that doesn’t mean another financial crisis looms.

Popping Bond Bubble Fears


What should investors make of recent bond market bubble chatter?

A Prime Way to View the Latest Jobs Numbers


What labor force participation rates do—and don’t—tell investors.   

Happy Downgrade Day!


S&P downgrades US. World doesn’t end.

From the Annals of Badly Constructed Indicators


Quantifying the unquantifiable leads investors astray.

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.

Debt Ceiling Episode CXI: Return of the Revenge of the Son of the Debt Ceiling and the Temple of Doom Strikes Back, Part Deux


Congress might not repeal the debt ceiling, but they’ll almost certainly raise it for the 111th time.

Brexit: One Year Later


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

Survey Says: Media Still Dour


A recent survey says more about the dour media than the current market environment.

Technology: Coming for Your Job Since John Kay


People have feared job-destroying robots for longer than you might think.

Searching for Meaning in Bouncy Tech


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

Comey Comes to Capitol Hill


Political theater can entertain, but to stocks, it’s mostly noise.

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


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

May Is for Springtime Frolicking, Not Selling


Stay in May, ok?

Trump’s Tariff Tiff


Will a tariff on Canadian lumber lead to a broader trade war? Not in our view.

Market Insights: What Trump Rally?


In this Market Insights video, we take a closer look at the so-called Trump Rally and what it means for stocks moving forward.

A Day in the Life of a Bull Market


A brief dip ended a lengthy quiet stretch for US stocks, but it doesn’t foretell turbulence ahead.

How to Analyze Alternative Facts and Ferret Out Fake News


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

Market Insights: The January Effect


This Market Insights video explains why January is just another month for stocks.

Disregard Dow 20000


The broken gauge's new milestone is meaningless for investors.

The UK’s Brexit Wish List


What does Prime Minister Theresa May’s recent speech mean for Brexit?

There Was Never a Trump Rally to Trade


Whether up or down, stocks are not tied to whatever passes through the President’s head.

CAPE (Nothing to) Fear


Valuations are telling only at extremes; we aren’t there yet.

False Fears Roundup—2016 Edition


It’s time to look back at some of last year’s top worries—and how they failed to live up to the hype.

The Return of a Chinese Ghost Story


Worries about Chinese bond markets are all part of the same ol’ yarn.

The Only Article You Need to Read Before December’s Big Fed Meeting


Why a Fed rate hike should be fine for stocks.

On the Trumped-Up Rally


Stock moves attributed to Trump are overrated next to positive underlying fundamentals.

Black Friday's Overstated Importance


This MarketMinder Minute evaluates the overstated importance of Black Friday.

Looking for Some Retail Therapy?


Black Friday gets eyeballs, but the retail industry overall seems in fine shape. 

When Not to Trade


Election-night volatility led to wildly incorrect market forecasts, showing the folly of trading around major news events.

Are They Right About Recession?


The bevy of recent recession fears seems JUST a bit outside.

The Media’s Inflated Take on Inflation


Rising prices in September aren’t evidence of a crisis averted.

Slow Down on Slow Growth Fears


Recent fretting over slow US economic growth is—and has been—overwrought, in our view. 

Brexit Boo-Hooing Seems Like a Bust


More than two months after Brexit, the British economy marches on.

Stocks’ Rise Doesn’t Rely on Dividends


The hunt for high dividends isn’t fueling this bull market.

Sales, Not Surveys


July’s UK retail sales report is yet more evidence sentiment surveys aren’t as predictive as many think.

Five Fallacies About “Overvalued” Stocks


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

Trumped Up Unemployment Numbers?


Beware of politicians bearing statistics.

Don’t Jump to Conclusions on Brexit’s Impact


Recent UK economic data are insufficient to draw any conclusion about the impact of June 23’s vote to leave the EU.

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


False fears don’t scare stocks.

More Reasons Than Usual to Doubt UK Consumer Confidence Data


British consumer confidence plunged post-Brexit, but you should approach these data skeptically.

Low Bond Rates Don’t Yield Low Stock Returns


Historically low global bond yields don’t mean stocks are in trouble.

Book Review: Deconstructing Financial Pundits


Clash of the Financial Pundits shows why investors shouldn’t get hung up on sensational headlines. 

RIP, Manufacturing Recession


Manufacturing’s most recent soft patch may have passed. 

Low Yields Do Not Equal Low Returns


Even with bond yields near historic lows, investors needn’t flock to exotic alternatives to find a decent return.

No, Slowing Buybacks Aren’t Bearish Either


Pundits flip-flop on stock buybacks but still don’t see reality.

Brexit, and the Creative Art of Misinformation


In the heated debate over the UK's referendum on EU membership, the economic impact is commonly overstated.

Quick Hit: A Few Bullet Points to Shoot Down Lingering Eurozone Fears


The eurozone economy is on much more solid footing than is widely appreciated.

The ‘Retail Recession’ Label Doesn’t Fit


Department stores’ recent woes aren’t a sign the US economy is headed for recession.   

History Shows Election Nerves Don’t Stress Stocks


Getting closer to an election won’t automatically roil stocks. 

How to Lie With Statistics: Election-Year Stock Returns


In which we debunk three flawed “analyses” of election-year returns.

Don't Believe the Energy Hype


Energy stocks have outperformed lately, but they still face many headwinds.

Investors: Time to Pay Less Attention to Jobs


Jobs data aren’t a useful market input.

Your Annual Reminder Not to Sell in May


An antidote to markets’ mythological summertime blues.

Don’t Fret the Q1 US GDP Slowdown


While growth was slow in Q1, it isn’t a harbinger of worse to come.

The Elusive Passive Investor


That investors are flocking to passive investment products in droves doesn’t make them passive investors.

Really, the UK Unemployment Report Wasn’t Bad


Brexit risk didn’t take a bite out of UK job markets.

Living Wills Are No Way for Banks to Die


Bank living wills likely won’t prevent future bailouts or make the next crisis less severe.

Trade Trumps Protectionism


Contrary to Presidential candidates’ and pundits’ claims, a trade war likely would wreak economic havoc.

Britain Doesn’t Need Balanced Growth


Recent data reinforce the notion Britain doesn’t need booming heavy industry to grow.

Reality GAAP


Different corporate earnings measures don’t tell wildly different stories.

Listen to Markets' Signals


Markets often send distress signals long before the bad outcomes materialize.

There Won’t Be an All-Clear Signal


It’s almost impossible to call market lows, and it’s not necessary to do so to reap stocks’ growth over time.

Disappearing Bonds and the Perils of Chasing Yield


There is no such thing as safe yield or risk-free return.

About Those European Banks


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

Behind the Baltic Drop


A widely watched gauge of global shipping costs hit a record low Monday. Here is some quick-hitting perspective.

Survey Says … Growth!


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

That Raucous Iowa Caucus


Some candidates won, the polls lost, and it’s still too early to handicap November’s race. 

Drilling Deep: How Did Energy Influence US Q4 GDP’s Slowdown?


Digging into US Q4 2015 GDP growth.

Industry Isn’t Producing a Recession


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

The Folly of Dissecting Fedspeak


The Fed never really penciled in four rate hikes this year.

Oil and Stocks, Hand in Hand?


How meaningful is oil and stocks’ recently high correlation?

The Debt Mountain and Other Chinese Ghost Stories


The current spate of China fears are the same as the past ones. 

What Did JPMorgan’s Dimon Say About the US Economy?


Analyzing media for you to add in crucial missing context.

Rounding Up Start-of-Year Fears


A look at the various factors most pundits allege are behind this week’s volatility.

Four Investment Lessons From 2015


Learn from some of the year’s biggest misperceptions.

Global Growth: The Underappreciated Gift That Keeps on Giving


The global economy is in better shape than many figure. 

Does Kris Kringle Make Stocks Jingle?


Whether or not stocks rise around the holidays isn’t important or predictive.

Fed Rate Hike: Emerging Markets Edition


Rumors of the Fed’s impact on Emerging Markets are greatly exaggerated.

Infatuated With Inflation


There is no mystery behind persistently low inflation readings.

Do Rate Hikes Spell Trouble for Bonds?


Assessing the impact of rate hike cycles on fixed income investments.

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.

MarketMinder Minute - Don’t Fear the Rate Hike


This MarketMinder Minute examines the impact of initial Fed rate hikes on stocks.

Junk Bonds’ Funk Does Not Mean Stocks Are Sunk


Recent weakness in high-yield bonds doesn’t necessarily mean stocks are destined for a fall.

Manufactured Worries About the Future


Data reinforcing one sector’s well-known struggles don’t mean trouble for the broader economy. 

How to Approach the Season of S&P 500 Forecasts


Answer: With Caution.

Black Friday Is No Barometer


Black Friday’s economic importance is overstated.

Dr. Copper’s Dubious Diagnoses


Dr. Copper’s price is no more predictive of the economy’s direction than Dr. Pepper’s.

One Very Bad Reason to Hold Gold


Gold isn’t a reliable buffer during times of uncertainty. 

The Next Big Fed Fear


First folks feared the end of quantitative easing, then the first rate hike. Up next: the shrinking of the Fed’s balance sheet.

The Yuan’s Symbolic Ascent


The IMF adding the yuan to the SDR will not dethrone the dollar as the world’s preferred reserve currency.

On “Currency Manipulation,” US Trade and Stocks


Currency moves just don’t have much influence on trade. 

Will the Fed Hike the Dollar Higher?


An initial Fed rate hike doesn’t automatically mean a stronger dollar.

Presidential Politics and America’s Economic Relationship With China


Political rhetoric on China doesn’t overlap much with reality.

Valuations—and Valuation Fears—Rebound


Are stocks really overvalued?

Will Britain Leave Europe?


It is far too early to start gaming the ramifications of a potential “Brexit.”

Will Britain Leave Europe?


It is far too early to start gaming the ramifications of a potential “Brexit.”

Defanging Debt-Ceiling Doom


Like a bad movie sequel, we suggest paying little heed to the latest debt ceiling chatter.

To Gauge the Global Economy’s Health, Strip Out Commodities


Falling commodity prices are skewing global economic data downward, but they are not actually a net negative economically.

Prophet Margins?


A projected downtick in S&P 500 profit margins is not a prophecy of doom.

Resist the Urge to Call Bottom


Attempting to find the correction’s bottom is a futile endeavor, whether you use technical indicators or not.

Global Economy: Look Beyond Manufacturing


There is more to an economy than just building stuff.

Fire the Unemployment Rate


The unemployment rate is a terrible indicator of where the economy and stocks are headed.

The US Can Afford Its Debt


US deficits and debt are not problematic for the economy.

Fisher Investments Research on China and US Debt


China dumping our debt is a ghost story, not a market risk.

Midweek Potpourri: Fund Flows, Tax Cuts and Budget Brinksmanship


Some highlights from Wednesday’s financial headlines.

The Fruitless Folly of Forecasting the Fed


Forecasting Fed moves is an exercise in futility, as two financial writers illustrated Thursday.

Parsing Profits


Stagnating headline earnings aren’t the full story.

Stocks Don’t Need More QE


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

Reflections on Corrections and China


Corrections are trying, but markets usually reward patience. 

Navigating a Choppy Stock Market


While it isn’t easy, we’d suggest the best thing for investors to do amid recent volatility is tune out the noise and remain calm.

Are Recession Rescuers Tapped Out?


Many unnecessarily fret the government is out of ammunition to fight the next recession, whenever it arrives.

Flat Year Yields Flat Fear


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

MarketMinder Minute - Assessing the Greek Debt Crisis


This MarketMinder Minute evaluates the pending Greek bailout and what it means for global stocks.

China Devalues the Yuan


The yuan’s depreciation doesn’t spell doom for the world.

Silicon Bubbly?


Whether or not private tech firms are partying like it’s 1999, their high valuations shouldn’t imperil the global bull market.

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.

People Are Not Leaving the Workforce


Don’t let the falling labor force participation rate fool you.

On Greek Tweets, Capital Controls, Chaos and Volatility


Has the endgame finally arrived?

How Not to Use Valuations


While market valuations do not predict forward returns, they are a useful gauge of sentiment.

Down With the Dow


Price-weighted market indexes like the Dow Jones Industrial Average are too flawed to describe the stock market.

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


Everything you need to know about Greece this week.

Efficient, Not Complacent


Markets are not ignoring supposed negatives—they are weighing them against vast positives.

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.

Searching for Meaning in Tame Times


A flattish start to 2015 has some pundits wondering where US stocks go from here.

Today’s M&A Is No Mania


Corporations aren’t masking weakness with flashy mergers.

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.

Rational Optimism, Not Irrational Exuberance


Investors are not yet euphoric, suggesting the bull market likely has room to run.

The Yuan’s Rise Doesn’t Doom the Dollar


The dollar’s status as the world’s primary reserve currency is neither in jeopardy nor is it the benefit many folks think.

OPEC Still Won’t Support Energy Sector Returns


Diving into Energy stocks still seems premature.

Big Theories, Small Moves


Pundits offer plenty of explanations for bond market volatility, but bond markets aren’t very volatile by historical standards.

Pushing Back the Buyback Flak


Contrary to conventional griping, stock buybacks don’t detract from long-term investment in research and development.

The Truth About May—It Is a Month


Selling in May is a not a recipe for boosting returns.

Tall Tales Your Broker Told You


This bull market holds some valuable lessons for investors who base investment decisions on P/Es or dividends alone.

Yesterday’s False Fears Are Still Here


False fears still run rampant in this bull market.

Yesterday’s False Fears Are Still Here


False fears still run rampant in this bull market.

Earnings 1, Strong Dollar Doom Mongers 0


Q1 earnings defied the strong-dollar doomsayers.

How to (Actually) Shield Your Retirement From the Threat of Low Yields


Worried about funding your retirement in an era of low yields? The solution is changed thinking. 

The Fed Isn’t Fueling This Typical Bull Market


This typical bull market isn’t brought to you by the Fed.

Resistance Is Futile


Stocks have plenty of ammo to pierce an arbitrary line on a chart.

Pundits Search For Meaning in Bumpy Bond Yields


We would suggest patience before you buy into the theory a bond bear looms.

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.

A Stock Market Correction Is Never “Due”


Corrections do not operate on schedules, so they are never “due” or “overdue.”

The Mysterious Evaporating Bond Liquidity?


Is the bond market drying up?

Britain’s Balance


The UK economy doesn’t need its politicians’ help.

Not Synonyms: ‘Record High’ and ‘Peak’


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

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.

QuitE Wrong


The eurozone has been doing fine without the ECB’s QE.

Dollar Up, Costs Down?


While most attention paid to the rising dollar frets its potential impact on multinationals’ revenues, there is a benefit most aren’t noticing.

A Greece-y State of Affairs


Is the eurozone at risk of a Greek contagion?

Theories Miss the Mark on March’s Jobs Miss


Whether caused by the dollar or not, March’s weak job gains hold little insight into the US economy and stocks’ future.

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


The US Treasury makes a market forecast.

Pundits Already Lowering Expectations Bar for Q1


Q4 GDP was revised again Friday, but the real story here is analysts' low expectations for Q1.

Pundits Forecast Fed, Prove Forecasting Fed Is Folly


The media's mixed message on the Fed's deletion of patience illustrates the folly of Fed timing.

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. 

Fed People Write Words, Draw Dots


Once again, headlines read way too much into Fed communications. 

The Wealth After-Effect


All-time-high household net worth doesn't mean much for stocks.  

When Cheap Doesn’t Mean Value


Should investors steer clear of regions that look pricey?

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.

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. 

Aversion to the Mean


Stocks’ gangbusters February doesn’t mean March must be a stinker.

1,896 Days Ago, Greece Was a Mess


If Greece fears haven't derailed the bull market yet, the likelihood they do the enxt time they pop up is teensy. 

Random Stock Market Factoids 35 Days Into 2015


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

Braking Down Subprime Auto Loan Concerns


Are subprime auto loans going to drive the next financial crisis?  

Gumby, Greek Politicians and Other Bendy Things


Greek and eurozone leaders said some things and made some plans.

Safe Haven, Found! It’s in the Fiction Aisle


The hunt for a new safe haven to replace those just proven unsafe is on again.  

One-Two-Three-Four, Who Declares a Currency War?


Are we in a currency war today? 

Three Myths About Friday’s Jobs Report


What January’s jobs report does and doesn’t mean.

Does a Strong Dollar Favor Smaller?


We investigate the claim that a strong dollar will kill large-cap US stocks.

What to Glean From Contradictory Coverage


When all news is bad, it's a sign stocks have more wall of worry to climb. 

Economic Growth Seems Plenty Durable


Do recent US and UK economic data show weakening growth?  

The ECB Will Buy Some Bonds


ECB QE is a thing and we expect similar results as the US, UK and Japanese versions: Misperceptions galore and little economic stimulus.

China's Great Miss?


Is a missed growth target a troubling sign for the world’s second largest economy?   

The Swiss Miss: Media’s Take on the Franc’s Fallout


We sift through the latest on Switzerland so you don’t have to.

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.


Data-Dependent Forward Guidance


How central bankers say they’ll act on economic data won’t tell you when the next rate hike is coming.   

Five Charts on Wage Growth


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

Read Past the Headline


December’s eurozone prices posted their first annual decline since 2009. But this deflation doesn’t look like bad deflation when you look beneath the surface.

Buried Growth


Contrary to fears otherwise, the global economy is growing just fine.  

The Often-Rumored, But Rarely Seen Grexit


Politicking over a Greek exit from the euro resumes.

Volatility on 34th Street?


Neither we, nor anyone else, can possibly know whether Santa will bring investors treats, a lump of coal or more volatility in 2015.   

Dissecting Three Media Themes on Oil


Here is your user guide for oil-related hyperbolic news stories.

Vexing Volatility


What can investors take away from December's swings? 

The Red Scare


What should investors make of the Russian ruble’s recent plunge?  

Considerable Wrangling Over Considerable Time


Did the Fed just tell you when short-term rates will rise?

Now What?


Did economic reform in Japan just become more likely?

Debunking the Junk Funk


Is the high yield bond market giving clues about stocks' future?

The Greek Gambit, Redux


Does Greek political turmoil mean the euro crisis has returned? 

Some Solace From a Quantum of Fear


Some say the stronger dollar will cause big problems for Emerging Markets. Are they right?

No, China Is Not Number One.


What to make of recent IMF estimates that show, by one measure, China’s economy will be larger than America’s this year.  

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


Working through some misperceptions surrounding lower oil prices.  

The Great Global Disconnect: Headlines Versus Data


The global economy continues to grow against a backdrop of fears it won’t. 

About Those Falling Commodity Prices


Some say falling oil and metals prices are a sign global demand is sinking, but a closer look suggests the truth is much brighter.

Did a Fed Waffle Cause Thursday’s Rebound?


Sentiment can swing on some pretty crazy factors, as Thursday’s action illustrated.

Why We Don’t Fear Deflationary Doom Is Here


Fears of deflation doom seem like typical correction ghost stories. 

Return of the Euro Crisis’ Ghosts


Should investors be concerned about the recent spate of scary eurozone headlines?  

Putting Stocks’ Zigzags in Broader Perspective


It has been a bouncy start to October, but equity investors must focus on longer time periods than seven trading sessions.

Eight Charts to Show Why the Strong Dollar Won’t Knock Earnings


Headlines holler about the dollar, but for investors, it’s all just noise.

A Fun Fight With the Fed


Contrary to the old Wall Street saying, the Fed’s interest rate moves often mean little for stocks.

Hey La, Hey La, Volatility Is Back?


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

Ken Fisher: “Nothing Is Better—Stocks Are Stocks.” Even Small Caps.


A check-in on market leadership by size.

Some Ken Fisher Wisdom on the Eurozone


As our boss, Ken Fisher, once wrote, “The older an argument is, the less power it has.”

G-20 Minus One Country Plus 900 Bullet Points = 2 Percentage Points of Extra Growth?


For investors, the G-20’s super-secret plan to make the world grow faster is more a sideshow than a reason to be bullish.

The FOMC’s Rorschach Test


It was a Fed-filled week, here’s a look back.

Words, Words, Words


Don’t waste your time overthinking Fed forward guidance—it is merely marketing spin. 

There Is Nothing About Terror to Fear But Fear Itself


As we remember the events of September 11, 2001, we take a look back at how terrorism has historically impacted stocks.

And Now for Something Completely Different


Was any of Monday’s big news really big?

The Myth of September's Siren


Don't believe the hype surrounding the so-called “September Swoon.”

Passive Investing’s Primary Error: It’s (Mostly) Imaginary


The number of passive investment products vastly exceeds the ranks of actually passive investors.

Should the ECB Go Big?


Is the ECB sleepwalking its way into a deflationary spiral?

Trying to Predict the Unpredictable


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

What a Real Bubble Looks Like


To see what real euphoria looks like, we journey back to 2000.

More Bulls to Come


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

New Challenge for Investors: Navigating Noise in Uppy Times


All-time highs aren’t a good enough reason to avoid stocks.

A Slightly Refined, But Still Crude Export Ban


Do recent rulings allowing US oil producers to export lightly refined crude mean the ban on US crude oil exports is about to go bye-bye?

The Myth of Small Cap’s Superiority


Small cap’s historical long-term returns don’t tell the full story.

Is Volatility Crashing?


Can investors predict future volatility just by looking at “volatility” and “stress” gauges?

About That Wibbly Wobbly Market


Will stocks keep bouncing sideways?

Economies and Spaceships


Some say the US has to achieve “escape velocity” for the expansion and bull market to continue, but laws of astrophysics don’t apply to the economy (or stocks).

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?

When the Growing Gets Tough


China’s recent trade data sparked hard-landing fears among investors. But is fundamental weakness really to blame?

Beating the Earnings Blahs


Headlines warn of a gloomy Q1 earnings season, but we don’t see much reason for investors to get the blues.

Three Down. Nine to Go.


What does a flattish first quarter mean for the rest of the year?

The Early Bird Scares the Worm


New Fed Head Janet Yellen has the whole media crowing about when the next Fed Funds rate hike will be—will her announcement ruffle markets’ feathers, too?

Bitcoin Goes Boom


Is Bitcoin a viable currency?

On GDP, Fed Forecasts and Tapering Tapering


The downward revision to Q4 US GDP growth had a big silver lining, but how will the Fed see it?

Grabbing the Third Rail: Income Inequality and Stocks


Is growing income inequality an economic and stock market risk, as some say?

Five Reasons a Scary, Viral Chart Is Misleading—and One Reason It’s Bullish


A misleading chart concluding a 1929-style crash looms has gone viral—a sign there is likely much more bull market to come.

Weathering the Storm


Nasty weather can impact the economy, but the effect is usually fleeting.

‘More’ Charts on Unemployment


Another lower-than-estimated jobs report seems to have stirred the ire of some in the punditry. But a broader view suggests this isn’t a major factor for investors, period.

Volatility and Manufacturing


Headlines about US and Chinese manufacturing reports seemed to rankle investors Monday, but the actual data reports were benign.

Q(E) the Contagion? I Think Not


Did the Fed cause an Emerging Markets currency contagion?

Is Santa Coming to Town?


Does the Santa Claus Rally matter much for long-term investors?

Pricking the Stock Market Bubble Debate


There’s been a lot of chatter about a stock market bubble—is investor concern warranted?    

Momentum and Other Fake Market Forces


When headlines predict big short-term moves, long-term investors should stay cool.

Uncertain About the Costs of Uncertainty


How do you measure that which is uncertain?    

Tick Tick Boom?


Don’t sweat Congress’s latest shenanigans—we still won’t default.

Part-Time Employment Part Deux: The Affordable Care Act


Many fear the ACA will contribute to turning the US into a part-time nation—but is this more media hype, or is it a trend to contend with?

Nix the VIX


A common indicator of market volatility is the VIX, but investors needn’t give it much weight.

High-Frequency Fallacies


While high-frequency trading continues to be a popular topic of debate, some of the opposing views are a teensy bit flawed, in my view.

Part-Time Reasoning on Part-Time Employment


Many in the media fret employment is improving primarily due to an increase in part-time jobs—but do the data bear that out?

“Non-Essential” Data


With some federal agencies’ closures this week, new (and some historical) US economic data are offline—some fear the lack of official statistics may eventually shutdown markets, too.



It’s widely held ending QE will have global repercussions—we agree! But in our view, taper contagion likely has more positive implications than many fear.

Popping Housing Bubbles’ Bubbles


Housing fears are bubbling up, but data broadly show the sector is doing better than many realize.

Investing in the Age of Ages


How should you invest in the Age of Austerity/Stimulus/Uncertainty/Bernanke/Bubbles?

September Is Just a Month


September gets a bad rap, but history shows it isn’t inherently bad for stocks.

Skepticism About a Simmering Economy


Many doubt the strength of the US economy—are those concerns justified?

Squirrelly Computers?


In our view, investors needn’t pay much attention to recent outages at exchanges—they happen more often than you’d think. And sometimes, the causes are pretty innocuous.

Smokin’ Hot!


Economic growth has been smokin’ lately, yet some still fear there is a fire to put out.

Thug Island Dreamin’


Historically, geopolitical tensions move stocks less than you might think.

Don’t Fret the Debt


Should investors be concerned about the size of US debt?

Much Ado About Bonds


Some headlines say a bond bear market is in the offing. What should long-term investors do?

Chinese Trade Chatter


Chinese July trade data pleasantly surprised many investors by trouncing expectations and June’s figures—but is there more to the story?

Trading Up?


June’s trade report is getting applause, but not for the reasons it should.

Defying Gravity


The S&P 500 hit a new all-time high Thursday, but in our view, that says nothing about what lies ahead for stocks.

GOoooo, Bonds!


Detroit is bankrupt, and investors and officials alike have been questioning the future of general obligation bonds.

The Student-Loan Crisis That Wasn’t


In June, headlines decrying the student-loan rate’s upcoming July 1 rise seemed par for the course—so was politicians’ late-to-game solution this week.

Thinking About Bonds


As the Fed eyes QE tapering, how should investors think about bonds?

Opinions Make Poor Standards


S&P thinks the US economy is doing fine, but we didn’t need an outlook upgrade to tell us that.

Led Zeppelin


The dreaded Hindenburg Omen flashed Friday, but evidence shows little reason to fear this technical indicator.

Excess Fed Fears


Theories presuming assured stock market doom when the Fed dials back on QE are missing a few important considerations.

The Return of the Debt Ceiling


If no calamity or even remotely negative consequence ensued from suspending the debt ceiling for three months, why should it return?

Market May I?


Markets don’t move on Mayan calendars, astronomy or folklore—so we have a hard time seeing why they should move just because it’s May.

Fitch’s ‘Fiscal Space’


Fitch seemingly Xeroxed Moody’s arbitrary rationale in downgrading the UK’s credit rating Friday.

The Employment Twitch


The reaction to Friday’s US Employment Situation report was far from exuberant.

No Foolin’


Lately, we’ve seen claims stocks’ rally is a Fed-fueled bubble—but strong earnings and other fundamentals show that’s not the case.

Up, Dow


Wall Street saw another record Tuesday, but is it all Dow from here?

Comic: Coining Currency War Confusion


Inside the UK Downgrade


The UK’s downgrade isn’t great news, but it shouldn’t much impact one of the world’s healthiest debt markets.

The CBO’s Ballpark Precision


The nonpartisan CBO’s projections seem to be most useful to very partisan politicians.

The Sequester A-Cometh


The sequester debate will be massive but the actual fallout vastly smaller.

Look the Other Way


There are plenty of reasons to be bullish for 2013—but they aren’t the “good news” you often find in the headlines.

Seven Things That Didn’t Happen in 2012


With 2012 in the rearview, a look back at widely prognosticated things that didn’t happen.

Wishing Upon Eurozone Stars


There’s a rather long wish-list for the eurozone—from lots of parties, too. But some seem less likely than others, particularly by year-end. Here’s why—and also why that’s not such a bad thing as some might presume.

(Still) No Chinese Hard Landing


Recent data suggest those fearing a “hard landing” in China should pause for reconsideration.

US Debt: Made in China?


A popular headline is the US’s (over-)indebtedness to China—a story that just doesn’t much square with the facts, particularly as it seems China decreases its US Treasury holdings.

Scaling the Fiscal Cliff


As the election nears and the year winds down, fiscal cliff rhetoric is heating up. So how to read between the hype’s lines?

Known Unknowns and Unknown Unknowns


Investing in stocks requires a keen eye for what to fret and what not to—and at times, an iron stomach.

Predictable Politicking


The latest on Greek budget negotiations and Germany’s upcoming court ruling on the ESM.

September to Remember?


Neither market history nor current events should give investors an automatic reason to fear September.

Brazil’s Unique Take on Stimulus


Brazil announced new stimulus measures Wednesday—but they’re strikingly reminiscent of measures being deployed in the eurozone under a far different name.

Minding the Media


Headlines today are dominated by negative news—but that’s fairly normal and not indicative of trouble.

A Bailout for Spain?


There’s been much talk recently of a bailout for Spain (and possibly Italy, too)—but is that truly likely and why or why not? 

Dousing the Flame?


Has the UK’s Olympic torch been put out before the games officially commence? By some media accounts, yes—but Wednesday’s GDP print merits further examination.

China—Choking or Choking Up?


China’s GDP release Friday caused consternation among some the global growth powerhouse is choking in the clutch—but what if it’s just choking up in advance of an accelerating second half?

Reconciling Reporting


Headline news covering economic results Thursday was a bit mixed in our view. Here’s a look at the stories that caught our eyes.

Deflating Chinese Inflation Concerns


Chinese inflation notched a 29-month low in June, renewing hard-landing jitters—but officials’ pro-growth efforts should keep the economy afloat.  

A Dearth of Demand?


As common economic concerns drag on, some in the media worry we haven’t done enough to goose demand—but do their arguments hold economic water?

Repositioning Ratings Agencies


The actual economic and market impact of ratings agencies’ opinion changes doesn’t match their influence on the media’s rhetoric.

Resilience and Resolve


Markets have undoubtedly challenged investors’ patience recently—but in our view, such markets require resolve, particularly considering extant underlying economic resilience.

A Mediterranean Smorgasbord


A brief round-up of European news dominating Wednesday’s headlines and some thoughts on how to potentially frame the latest developments.

The Facebook Dogpile


In the rush to pile on a hyped IPO, there are some serious lessons.

Déjà Vu All Over Again?


Decelerating growth rates aren’t necessarily indicative of a looming correction. In fact, they’re more likely a sign of pattern recognition.

May Madness


Ill-defined aphorisms like “sell in May” lack credible supporting evidence.

Consistently Taxing


A look at some historical facts in honor of 2012’s tax day.

More Gas in the Tank


Some have fretted rising gas prices are likely to derail the economy—but is there an actual connection to economic activity?

Quarterly Questions


As Q1 comes to an end, a review of some highlights and what to expect moving forward.

The Forecasting Abacus’ Flaws


What should one take from mathematical attempts at forecasting?

Oil Prices' Other Signal


While many focus on oil prices’ potential demand-side effects, there is another side to this story.

Manufacturing on the Mind


Upon closer inspection, fears of manufacturing’s long-term decline are unfounded.

Leaping to Conclusions


Investors should beware allowing popular misconceptions and common media assessments to blindside them when it comes to assessing the economy’s and markets’ overall status.

As Oil Prices Rise, So Do Theories


Oil prices have risen lately, resurrecting some old theories regarding their impact.

How Now, Dow


The Dow touched 13,000 Tuesday—an interesting but insignificant signpost.

Slow Eurozone—No Surprise


Eurozone GDP for Q4 2011 came out Wednesday but probably surprised very few—thereby lessening the likelihood it surprises markets much either.

Same Greek Dance, Different Italian Song


Eurozone officials continue to show ample willingness to forestall a sudden and disorderly euro breakup.

Tick Tock Goes the Clock


Greek debt talks are down to the wire. But what does that mean?

A Case of the (Unemployment) Mondays


Despite recent improvements in unemployment data, many still argue government isn’t doing or hasn’t done enough in that area—an argument which largely ignores several positives at work.

These PIIGS Went to Market


A look at falling Italian and Spanish debt yields.

A Web of Misperceptions


A look at some misperceptions we came across in our regular internet perusal Tuesday.

January Jonesing


With January’s returns positive thus far, the “January effect” seems to have vanished from consciousness.

Manufacturing’s Manifest March


While fears of US manufacturing’s decline remain prevalent in the media, data paint a markedly different picture.

S&P’s Shifting Opinion


Standard and Poor’s (S&P) was busy Friday, downgrading nine eurozone nations—including previously AAA France and Austria. But these actions seem far less material than many presume.

The Golden Cross


Bullish or bearish, technical indicators have some serious, deep-rooted flaws.

Five Things That Didn't Happen in 2011


As 2011 comes to a close, here’s our look at the top things that didn’t happen.

Financial Alchemy


Gold prices have been rocky lately to the bewilderment of many whose views hinge on mythological views of the yellow metal.

Unemployment, Overall and on Average


Is a still-high unemployment rate that unusual?

Midweek Mash-up


Euro politics dominated headlines again Tuesday, but eurozone musical chairs wasn’t the only story. Here’s a look at what news caught our eye.

Mediterranean Musical Chairs


The latest on Greece and Italy.

Counting Candy (and Earnings)


US companies are on track for eight straight quarters of earnings growth.

A Halloween Headline Tour


A Halloween tour of the financial press.

Don’t Bank on the Big Bang


Germany tempered the world’s expectations for an overnight eurozone fix, keeping with the gradual approach we’ve seen thus far.

Mutterings and Musings on Media


Assessing current media headlines helps illuminate the good and bad of media coverage.

When the Reality Is Mostly Fear


Friday concluded a choppy quarter for stocks, with some fearing a new recession as a result. But do economic data support the thesis?

What Matters in Greek Chatter?


We survey the latest Greek headlines and sift between those stories with substance…and those without.

Differentiating Europe’s Periphery


While peripheral Europe is often referred to collectively, this obscures the fact the issues confronted are different in magnitude, severity, potential resolutions and progress.

Italy and the IMF


S&P downgraded Italy’s credit rating Monday and the IMF lowered its estimate of global growth Tuesday. But are these changes as negative as they seem?

The Greek Shuffle


Greece was in the news—again—last week. Some still await a dramatic end, but is that a likely conclusion?

Dawn After Darkness


Thursday marks the anniversary of Lehman Brothers’ collapse. Three years on, are we facing a repeat of the 2008 financial panic and ensuing bear market?

A Solution In Search of a Problem


The idea of protecting manufacturing has grown in media popularity lately. Let’s examine the issue—and some proposed remedies.

From Whispers to Murmurs


Amid heightened rumors of a Greek debt default, a look at Monday’s flurry of Greece-centric headlines.

Market-Moving Myopia


Markets seemed to cheer Germany’s Wednesday court ruling supporting recent eurozone bailouts—but what does that tell you about stocks’ longer-term outlook?

Flipping Through the (Web) Pages


A collection of stories making headlines around the web Tuesday.

Incremental Positives


Though most recent news has a negative slant, there are incremental positives out there—even if they’re largely overlooked.

Resetting Expectations


There are two ways to think about recent market negativity—forward or backward. Let’s consider both.

The High-Frequency Debate


Is the blame often heaped on high-frequency trading for stoking volatility proven beyond a reasonable doubt?

Golden Years


As the free-floating dollar turns 40, we survey the web’s reaction.

A Glance Around the Web


 A smattering of news stories from around the web. And a link.

Volatility, Continued


Stocks seesawed wildly Tuesday, finishing the day solidly in the black.

Veritable Volatility


Markets continued their roller coaster ride Friday but basically ended flat—a useful illustration of recent market action in general and one reason to avoid knee-jerk reactions to uncomfortable volatility.

Corrective Action


Understanding and separating the negatives from the positive realities can help guide your investing decisions.

The Elocution of Bond Yields


Bond markets have some interesting wisdom to share regarding current weak economy and credit ratings fears.

Ceilings and Seesaws


Even if Congress passes a debt ceiling extension, don’t expect markets to sound the “all clear.”

Exercising Caution With Cougars, Countdowns and Congress


With the abundance of news sources today, discerning what’s important and what’s not is more crucial than ever.

Confused About Credibility?


Ratings agencies are getting a lot of attention lately, but let’s look at some facts before assuming they’re all that credible.

Reading Chinese Tea Leaves


Bifurcated sentiment about China’s economic present and future speaks largely to overall sentiment in 2011—but how to read the tea leaves when truly assessing China?

Grading on a Curve


Eurozone bank stress test results were released recently to widespread criticism.

Breaking News-US Manufacturing Isn’t Dead


US manufacturing is alive and well, making government claims there’s a need for a “national strategy” dubious at best.

Fisher Investments On Debt Ceilings and Downgrades


The US was warned its debt rating is on review, tied mostly to a political debate over an arbitrary marker—something that has happened before with no ill effect.

Fisher Investments on What Casey Anthony, News of the World and Apple’s iPhone 5 Mean for Markets


Three stories dominated headlines Thursday—all of them outside financial news. What does that say for markets?

Defining Double Dip


Before understanding if a double dip is likely, it’s important to understand what one actually is.

A Rising Sun


The impact of Japan’s earthquake, which has recently dampened global growth rates, appears to be abating.

Not So Breaking News


A primary risk to investors is overemphasizing something old or wrong.

Below the Radar


If it’s risks you’re assessing, it’s a mistake to stop at headline news.

Economic Predestination


It seems the release of every economic data point brings fresh comparisons to the Great Depression—but they just don’t hold up. Nor do they tell us much about where we’re headed next.

The Great Expectations Gap


The gap between expectations and reality is a vitally important area for investors to consider.

Recycled Financial Headlines


Despite some negative headlines, the latest reports indicate expansion continues for the US economy. 

The Great Non-Depression


A recent slowdown in some economic data has the media bemoaning we’re on the verge of the next Great Depression—but the numbers just don’t support that.

Cue the Curtain for QE2?


With June’s arrival comes the last month of the Fed’s second round of quantitative easing purchases.

On Economic Calls and Data


The OECD’s biannual report Wednesday indicated global recovery’s on track, though threats remain. What should investors take from such forecasts?

Indebted Europe


News out of Europe on Monday refreshed PIIGS worries.

What Bubble Hunters Miss


Hunting bubbles is a popular pastime these days, but is it timely?

Attack of the Muni Monsters


2011 was predicted to be the year of the municipal bond default—but how has that played out so far?

Breaking the Debt Ceiling


On Monday, the US hit the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling, stressing the need for Congress to raise the debt ceiling—which will likely happen eventually.

Capital Wanted: Invest Within


Chinese investment abroad seems set to rise in the coming decade, bringing desirable capital—and undeserved fear.

WPA, Reductio Ad Absurdum


Unemployment’s continued sluggishness has some proposing rather radical government solutions—which would likely do more harm than good.

Dawn of the Not So Dead


US manufacturing, long thought dead, is actually much healthier than rumored.

Rumors and Bailouts


S&P once again downgraded Greece’s rating—but EU officials are likely to continue to provide financial support as necessary to avoid a collapse of the euro currency.

April Showers Bring May Myths


May has arrived, and along with it, the often-repeated investing  advice to sell and go away.

Not So Sterling Silver


Silver’s on a tear, but history suggests it’s both a poor inflation hedge and long-term investment.

Level 7, by Label Only


The Fukushima nuclear accident was upgraded to level 7—on par with Chernobyl—but that’s likely where the similarities end.

Stressing Over Banks?


The Fed’s latest stress test will permit select banks to increase their dividends. Hooray! But are the tests asking the right question?

It’s Not What’s Possible That Counts


Two events Friday highlight why investing based solely on what’s possible is wrong.

Greek Prologue


Greece’s credit rating took another hit Monday—but what’s really news is what’s happening in the rest of the eurozone.

A Welcome, Yet Flawed Addition


Recent comparisons of our national debt to corporations are a welcome, though flawed, addition to the debt conversation.

Muni Meltdown Myths


Fears of a US muni market meltdown are spreading, but even if defaults reached their worst levels historically, the fallout would likely be relatively limited.

Help Wanted?


Private sector employment exceeded expectations Wednesday, but what does that say about the global recovery’s direction?

Indicator Acrophobia


Investors should take a cue from stock markets and ignore when indexes hover at round number thresholds.

Fearing Foodflation


Recent food price increases have many fearing inflation. But foodflation and inflation aren't necessarily one and the same.

Egyptian Flip-Flop


Unrest in Egypt continues, but don't overestimate its potential to impact global markets.

Distribution or Inflation?


Sharp food price swings are stoking inflation in some countries, but monetary policy likely isn't the answer.

Egyptian Unrest


Tensions in Egypt escalated over the weekend as riots continued—but global economic fundamentals remain strong.

A Tale of Two Unemployment Rates

Is unemployment really the paramount economic indicator?

A Resolution Good Enough to Keep

What should investors take away from 2010?

Oil Oozing Up

Some are again concerned with the rising price of oil—but higher prices are mostly a reflection of a growing global economy.

Creativity Counts

Protectionist measures endanger prosperity—and are often based on misleading official data. 

Pain in Spain, But Gains in US

PIIGS fears remain in headlines, but US economic data are encouraging.

A Lesson In Government Math

Counterintuitively, that the US unemployment rate ticked up slightly in Friday's report isn't bad news.

Getting Hibernia Out of Hock

Ireland moved closer to a bailout Thursday—and while the media fretted, markets cheered.

Cause and Effect?

Gold and inflation may move in sympathy at times, but the relationship is more coincidental than causal.

Un-charted Territory

Forget technical indicators, patterns, signals, lines in the sand, etc.—none are consistently reliable predictors of stock market direction.

Dripping Away at the Double Dip

Double-dip recession concerns are in vogue these days—but let's stop and measure before jumping to conclusions.

A Watched Pot Still Boils

Closely watched economic data are showing signs of improvement.

Housing Tax-Credit Hangover

New and existing home sales data for May disappointed—but the expiring housing tax credit likely played a role.


"Crisis” has worked its way into our lexicon all too frequently in the recent past—so frequently that its meaning has been lost.

A Crisis of Irony

Eurozone debt concerns have led to a lot of speculation, rumor, and talk lately—some of it rather ironic hot air.

Upbeat on Unemployment

Unemployment news recently is trending more positive—but expect the unemployment rate to remain high for awhile as more people start seeking jobs.

To Burn or to Stone…

Bankers deserve their share of the blame for 2008, but why solely them?

Greece Got Your Goat?

Greece is once again making headlines, with government bond yields hitting historical highs this week.

Whose Side Are Yuan?

Is all the fuss over China's currency policy warranted?

Remind Me

Amid recent stock market volatility, it's easy to forget why this bull market will continue. Allow us to jog your memory.

Gold’s Safety Blanket Myth

Gold can be emotionally comforting when markets get volatile, but it boasts poor long-term returns compared to stocks.

A Tale of Two Surveys

Friday's employment report might seem a mixed bag, but it shows progress overall.

Flipping the January Argument on Its Head

Markets finished January in the red, but that doesn't tell investors much about the year.

Pessimism of Disbelief

Sad news is everywhere, but don't believe everything you read.

Another Brick in the Wall

December's job losses may discourage, but they're just another brick in the bull market's wall of worry.

TARP Controversy

TARP's extension Wednesday was largely irrelevant—along with other emergency programs, it's already prevented the worst-case scenario.

The Ol’ Pension Blues

The ol' pension blues are back—but they needn't rob investors of holiday cheer.

More Countries, More Problems

European worries over Greece's large deficit underscore some of the EU's structural issues and possible risks surrounding the euro.

Bedtime Stories to Scare Investors

CIT's bankruptcy filing is a story reminiscent of last year's financial horrors—one with less power to move markets.

Fall Classic

The global stock rally busted many investing myths so far this year, but don't expect universal acknowledgment any time soon.

Change Ain’t Easy in DC

Some Democrats want to expand the current stimulus—but investors needn't fear, it's unlikely any sweeping new stimulus measures will get approved anytime soon.

The Dollar’s Doom Looms?

Rumors are flying that a few countries want to stop pricing oil in US dollars, raising fears about the dollar as the world's dominant currency.

FDIC Out of Cash?

The financial crisis was a big test, but there's little need to fear the FDIC will run out of money—even as bank failures continue rising.

Stay in September

Despite investing myths to the contrary, September isn't a cursed month for investors.

Alphabet Soup Recovery

Contrary to popular belief, the stock market and the economy don't move in lockstep. Markets can recover in a V—even while the economy L's, W's, or Q's for a bit.

Bangladeshi Butter Indicator

Beware extrapolating past stock returns to predict future ones.

Attack of the Machines!

Relax, high-frequency trading isn't necessarily an enemy to everyday investors.

Misleading Milestones

Investors would do well to ignore silly, numerical milestones.

CIT’s Private Reprieve

CIT may have secured a reprieve from bankruptcy court—for now—but the bigger news is its rescue is being backed by private financing rather than the government.

A Dose of Reality

China swallowed a hard dose of reality as two recent government debt auctions failed to attract enough investors.

Out With a Thud

Bankruptcy looks inevitable for GM.

Small Potatoes

The UK risks losing its AAA sovereign credit rating due to rising public debt, but worrying over credit ratings is small potatoes next to righting the economy.

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

You can sweat the small stuff—or look at the bigger picture.

Pop Quiz, Hotshot

 Investors should ignore seasonal investing myths.

This Little Piggy

Investors reacting to swine flu fears is an example of markets trading on sentiment, not fundamentals.

Packing on the Pounds

The UK budget isn't bloated—substantial government spending is appropriate in today's economic environment.

Fool’s Errand

Focusing on today's negative data to gauge economic progress is a fool's errand.

Debt-jà Vu

Concerns foreigners will cease to finance the US's growing debt are nothing new.

Odds Are

Markets falling to previous lower levels doesn't necessarily portend poor returns ahead.

Housing Wobble

The heavy emphasis on the latest housing data belies its light GDP weight.

Made in _______

Current protectionist talk is likely no more than political huffing and puffing.

What You See May Not Be What You Get

Those seeing negative economic data today should remember the stock market prices in future expectations.

Fisher Investments MarketMinder: Shifted Balance

During crises, it's not surprising to see balance shift in favor of government over capitalism. But ultimately, capitalism, not government, drives most economic progress.

Toxic Mortgages: Act II?

Looming rate resets on various adjustable rate mortgages are causing some to fear another subprime-like fallout.

To Err Is…


The Madoff scandal is an unfortunate demonstration of Wall Street hucksterism, but red flags were aplenty. 


There Are Positive Earnings

Despite the gloomy headlines, there are plenty of companies reporting positive earnings.

The Benefit of Bad Memories

Though today's financial panic may seem Great Depression-like, the real economic consequences don't have to be.

It Could Happen to You

"Could” and "might” aren't news. Investors should be wary of opinions masquerading as journalism. 

What Now?

Investing based on how you wish you could have six months ago is typically a good way to make a larger error.

The Paradox of Pursuit

For this year's celebration of independence, it's time to ask why we feel so bad while the world keeps getting better.

Bye-Bye Bear Stearns

The approval of Bear Stearns' sale to JPMorgan turned out to be a snooze-fest, revealing the true shallowness of the so-called financial crisis.

Analyzing Analysts’ Analysis

Analysts play an important role in capital markets' evolution. However, their end result—ratings, estimates and price targets—should be taken with a grain of salt.

Everyone’s a Critic

Take criticisms of current CEOs and Fed activity with a grain of salt—especially when coming from predecessors.

The Good, the Bad, and the Not So Bad

Ben Bernanke's congressional testimony on Wednesday seemingly supports calls for recession in 2008. Scaling the problems reveals slower growth, but a recession remains unlikely.

The Trouble with Carlyle

Investors fear Carlyle Capital's troubles signal larger problems surrounding agency mortgage securities, but Carlyle's woes aren't systemic.

Never A Dull Moment

A dead cat bounce or a renewed bull? Whatever it is, investors will never escape uncertainty.

Conspiracy Theories

Today's economic headlines contain all sorts of conspiracy theories and superstitions, but don't use them to make investment decisions.

Junk Bonds and Green Skies

Predictions about rising bond default rates seem too dour and highly unlikely.

Top Market Stories of 2007

A look back at the top market stories of 2007.

Did Nothing

2007 was a year of political rhetoric in the US where virtually nothing got done.

Feel the Flow

Investors dread decreasing home prices will translate to lower net worth and slower consumer spending. But the Federal Reserve's latest report on the US household reveals the largely unappreciated strength and vigor of the American consumer.

Super Ben, Part Deux

As the FOMC prepares to meet, the media predicts they'll drop rates again to help "save” the economy from a credit crunch. We continue to view credit crisis fears as overblown and largely psychological.

Credit Crunch II: A Box Office Flop!

A new narrative has emerged from the media hype machine: Credit Crunch Part II. Like all bad sequels, this one has even less substance than the original.

The Real Credit Story

Long-term rates have been moving lower lately, a remarkable story almost entirely ignored by the media.

Same Old Song and Dance

Two days of stock market weakness spawned resurgence in well-worn fears…and little more.

Ghost of October Past

Similarities between today and October 1987 abound. But for as many superficial similarities the media highlights, there are as many or more fundamental differences.

What a Week!

While headlines about Britney losing custody of her kids dominated front pages, few are taking note of stocks' stellar run. But it's not all good news—rising protectionist sentiment is also lurking in the background.

October Horrors

Is another Black Monday waiting for investors this October? Probably not, but expect to see endless headlines warning of coming trouble tied to the 20th anniversary.

Ask the Question

Questioning common media storylines can prevent some potentially costly investing errors. Frequently, news stories are built on hype and conjecture, not historically valid data.

Hug a Journalist

The media's sentiment hasn't improved, which is good news for a market driven by strong positive fundamentals.

The Could Headlines

With the faux credit crisis quickly becoming yesterday's news, the financial press is scrambling to find the next great fear-mongering and speculative story.

Britain Rocked

Troubled British lender Northern Rock isn't evidence of systemic woes in Britain or elsewhere.

Main Street, Bling Street?

The media's contradictory views are driven more by fear than fundamentals. Investors are better served by focusing on fundamentals over the long term.

Belaboring Labor

Today's jobs report was indeed negative, but when the hype is cleared away it doesn't amount to much.

Our Callous Economy

News about increasing foreclosures may not be as bad as you think because weakness in the housing sector isn't enough to materially hamper America's economy.

Peeling the Onion

When media gloom disengages from positive economic reality (like today), it's usually a great time to buy stocks.

Recession Risks? Inconceivable!

No matter what the media claims, recession is not in the eye of the beholder.

Partners in Debt

Think the US or UK has too much debt? Think again.

Grumpy Journos, Happy Market

When media headlines are uniformly dour, it's not proof of hard times ahead. Rather, it's likely just the opposite!

They’d Rather Be in the Casket

A recent survey shows folks fear an impending credit crunch more than the specter of terrorism. Meanwhile, T-bill rates are climbing back toward the Fed Funds rate—both very bullish signals.

Jump the Shark

Has the market jumped the shark? Tune in to find out.

Market Efficiency and the Bard

Every so often, when financial headlines become particularly histrionic, it's good to revisit MarketMinder's principles for navigating the media.

In the Meantime

As the stock markets work through jitters about a credit crunch and subprime, recent aggregate economic news has been very encouraging.

The (Credit) Party We Weren’t Invited To

For all of this week's hubbub about credit problems and their wider implications for the economy, a dearth of real facts have emerged to corroborate the notion. Corporate balance sheets are in great shape and liquidity remains plentiful.

News Update


Meaningful bullish news emerged from just about all corners of the economy today. Remember talk just six months ago about a recession? Hard landings? Soft landings? Those stories seem to be a thing of the past.

Wall of Worries

Markets climb a wall of worry, but how can investors tell worries to ignore from legitimate worries?

Anecdote Is no Antidote

We're pretty hard on the media here at MarketMinder.


The investing worry du jour is the arrival of global inflation.

Yen Carry What?

Remember Y2K? Or rather, remember the Y2K hysteria? Planes would fall out of the sky, ATMs stubbornly refuse to cough up cash, computers melt, and all of modern life's little conveniences suddenly implode in one, awesome, anarchy-inducing ball of over-digitized apocalyptic flames.

Group Dynamics

Outlined against a blue-gray October sky .

I Dream of China

Today, Chinese officials announced Chinese commercial banks will be allowed to make foreign stock investments.

Flying Off a Cliff

Just about every time the markets hit new highs the financial media dig up a veritable cornucopia of old stories from the last time it happened, change the numbers around a bit, and republish them almost verbatim.

Dead Horse. Stick.

Remember the kerfuffle over the pesticide DDT? Turns out, DDT doesn't hurt you, your pets, or anything at all, except mosquitos.

Stagflation and Lava Lamps


Jelly Bean Investing


"Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!" says Homer Simpson, one of our favorite sages. Rarely has such wisdom come from one so yellow and two-dimensional.

A Pandemic of Fear

In 1918, a few cases of the flu meandered out of a Kansas army camp, ended a war, paralyzed commerce, and slaughtered tens of millions.

A Conspiracy of Hammers

We're not much for conspiracy theories.

Retired Presidents Society

As one of the financial community's most prominent retirees, Alan Greenspan can't seem to let the spotlight go.

Fun With Numbers

  • Over 100 million Americans drink coffee every day…that's over 36.5 billion cups in a year! At about 50 beans per cup, that's over 1,825,000,000,000 beans a year! At that rate, how could we possibly hope to re-grow enough beans for the next year's brew? It's too much of a strain!

When Things Go Too Well

We've been noticing a common theme emerging in the popular press lately, one that we can't quite get our heads around.

Still In Flight

Back in November, we provided a list of worries keeping overall sentiment cautious about the economy (see our past commentary "Skyscraper of Worry" for the full list).

As Sure as the Sunrise

Some things you just don't question in life.

Ben's Doomsday Prediction

Dominating headlines today is our bearded buddy Bernanke's Congressional testimony about the dangers of a retiring baby boomer generation.

Burning Questions; Scorched Investors

The WSJ Online recently held an online survey to answer this burning question: "What proportion of your holiday gift spending did you do online this year?" The results? As of December 26th:
  • 31% of shoppers do 75% to 100% of their shopping online
  • 24% of shoppers do 50% to 75% of their shopping online
  • 15% of shoppers do 25% to 50% of their shopping online
  • 30% of shoppers do less than 25% of their shopping online
So, according to the survey, over 70% of people do some shopping online for the holidays, and well over half do more than 50% of their shopping online! Given such strong numbers, we ought to go out and buy up all the internet retailers like Amazon and ebay, right? Maybe.

Rise of the Supervillains

Remember the good old days, where every CEO was a visionary, a patriot, an innovator…a superhero! In the late 90s, triumphant executives would grace the covers of business periodicals with big smiles and statuesque poses.

Bamboozled by Bogus Bubbles

What's a bubble? A small globule, typically hollow and light? A small body of gas within a liquid? Well, technically yes.

No News is Good News

Here's a smattering of today's mass-media, front-page headlines:"Study: Ocean's edible species fading," USA Today"Wildfire Murder Charges Filed," cnn.

The Savings Rate Myth

We're a bit tired of hearing of the over-extended consumer.


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