In To The Shadows

By | June 20th, 2017|Advisor Insights|

According to the Orwellian-sounding Financial Stability Board, “shadow banking” is credit intermediation involving entities and activities outside the regular banking system – lending, in other words, done by anything other than a bank. Gee, what could possibly go wrong with that. “There can be no doubt that besides the regular types of the circulating medium, [...]

Hit The Road, Show

By | May 31st, 2017|Advisor Insights|

You might have heard that Spotify, the ubiquitous music-streaming service, is a Swedish company with a worldwide business. It is. And you might have heard that the still unprofitable firm – which is said to be valued somewhere around a thousand million billion dollars – is preparing to go public this year. It is. You [...]

Running Out of Options

By | May 15th, 2017|Advisor Insights|

History tells us that today’s option market can trace its notional roots back to ancient times, when one Thales of Miletus bet the farm on the season’s olive harvest. Story goes that the speculative Greek, having predicted a larger than usual crop yield, acquired the right to use a certain number of olive presses the [...]

The Grass Is Always Greener, Dude

By | April 25th, 2017|Advisor Insights|

If you missed it — and if you’re gainfully employed you probably did — last Thursday was “Weed Day,” or as cannabis aficionados like to call it, uhhh 4/20 man. The term, we’re told, was coined in 1971 by a group of California fast time high school students who would meet at 4:20 p.m. every [...]

Beep Beep’m Beep Beep Yeah

By | April 11th, 2017|Advisor Insights|

Baby you can drive my car. Last month, GM sold 256,007 cars and trucks in the U.S. while Ford moved some 234,895 vehicles off the lot, the two big Detroit jalopies representing more than 31% of total domestic auto sales. Palo Alto-based Tesla, meanwhile, pumped out a whopping 4,050 of its electric lizzies, or 0.3% [...]

Flash In The Pan

By | March 28th, 2017|Advisor Insights|

It’s likely that you first heard about high-frequency trading way back in 2014 when Michael Lewis published “Flash Boys”. In his book, the supremely talented Mr. Lewis described how high frequency traders, through the use of lightning-fast fiber optic lines, were taking advantage of investors by “front running” orders. Meaning they were buying ahead of [...]

Snap, Pop, No Crackle

By | March 14th, 2017|Advisor Insights|

Even if you’re not one of 158 million people who use Snapchat on a daily basis, you probably know that the parent company of the disappearing photo-and-video app went public last week. As it happened, Snap and its bankers priced the much-coveted IPO Wednesday night at $17 a share, only for the stock to open [...]

Face Value

By | February 27th, 2017|Advisor Insights|

Pop Quiz: Who famously said: “If you want to have a better performance than the crowd, you must do things differently from the crowd." Circle the correct answer. A: Benjamin Graham B: John Templeton C: Warren Buffett While each choice represents a great investor, a great value investor more specifically, market veterans will recall this [...]

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. [...]

Slow on the Draw(downs)

By | January 31st, 2017|Commentary|

HOW MUCH YOU MAKE DEPENDS A LOT ON HOW MUCH YOU DON’T LOSE Much has been written about the mathematics of how large losses and outsized volatility impact investment returns. Not surprisingly, there are a number of fairly complex formulas that calculate a number of fairly complex measures -- high-minded things like drawdown size, [...]