All That Twitters Is Not Gold

By | February 13th, 2017|Advisor Insights|

Question: What do the current Prime Minister of Australia, the former governor of California, and future federal funding for UC Berkeley have in common? Hint: messages from the White House in a limited number of characters. Yep, all three have been subjects of at least one tweet from President Trump over the last few days. [...]

Defying Gravity

By | January 31st, 2017|Advisor Insights|

Unless you’ve been on a seemingly routine spacewalk and your shuttle was destroyed, you’re probably aware that the Dow Jones Industrial Average just closed above 20000. Who on earth isn’t? That’s because the ageless index attracts an outsized level of attention whenever it clears a thousand-point hurdle. Fact is, though, there’s really nothing magical about [...]

A Bit Too Much

By | January 17th, 2017|Advisor Insights|

Other kids' games are all such a bore! They've gotta have rules and they gotta keep score! Calvinball is better by far! It's never the same! It's always bizarre! — Excerpt from the Calvinball theme song For reasons known only to Calvin and his anthropomorphic buddy Hobbes, cartoonist Bill Watterson concluded his popular cartoon strip back [...]

Happy Old Year

By | January 4th, 2017|Advisor Insights|

“Auld Lang Syne", as you might know, is an old Scots poem set to the tune of an old Scots folk song. Which means the old Scots words are incomprehensible anywhere outside of a few pubs along the Firth of Clyde. As a result, the song's title has been translated into standard not-Scots English as [...]

How Things Work

By | December 20th, 2016|Advisor Insights|

Like science, movie trivia, and hitting a curveball, investing knowledge is supposed to be cumulative. All of us, in other words, have opportunity to benefit from those who have already learned — and taught — how things work. “You must weigh not only the alluring probabilities of being right, but the dire consequences of being [...]

Still Crazy After All These Years

By | December 6th, 2016|Advisor Insights|

In case it’s not on your calendar, today marks the twentieth anniversary of Alan Greenspan’s famous “irrational exuberance” speech. Legend holds that the Fed chairman, who was thought to be around 120 years old at the time, came up with the term one morning while writing a speech in his bathtub. Good luck getting that [...]

To Bespoke Or Not To Bespoke

By | November 21st, 2016|Advisor Insights|

That, as one old market watcher might have suggested, is the question. As we contemplate the condition of today’s market, “collateralized debt obligations” must surely give us pause. Among the industry’s most mysterious inventions, CDOs are structured financial products that allow dealers to pool cash flow-generating assets and repackage them into discrete tranches with varying [...]

Can’t Hardly Weight

By | November 8th, 2016|Advisor Insights|

It was 1884 when journalist Charles Dow and his statistician buddy Edward Jones published their first stock average – what we now call the Dow Jones Transportation Average – in the Customer's Afternoon Letter – what we now know as The Wall Street Journal. Two years later, the boys calculated their first average purely of [...]

Closed Minded

By | October 26th, 2016|Advisor Insights|

A couple of things we just learned from the Closed End Fund Association: One, there’s such a thing as the Closed End Fund Association. Two, closed-end funds have been around in the U.S. since 1893 – some 30 years before open-end funds made the scene in the 1920’s bull market. Who’d have thought? Unlike traditional [...]

Forced Retirement

By | October 12th, 2016|Advisor Insights|

It was a bit hard to hear over the roar last Thursday when Merrill Lynch told its 14,000 brokers they were likely out of the retirement advice business. Indeed, whether anyone outside of the Thundering Herd heard it or not, what is now the Bank of America’s brokerage unit announced it was abandoning the traditional [...]