312, 2018

Bit[coin]s and Pieces

By | December 3rd, 2018|Advisor Insights, News|0 Comments

By William Davis  Like Texas football, SpongeBob cartoons, and Super Trooper movies, some things just grab your attention. Such, regrettably, is the case with crypto-currencies. While we’re proud to claim near [...]

1311, 2018

Still Robin After All These Years

By | November 13th, 2018|Advisor Insights, News|0 Comments

By William Davis  The story of Robin Hood has been told, illustrated, rhymed, and acted, often badly, for five or six hundred years. Traditionally depicted in Lincoln green tights, Robin, along [...]

3110, 2018


By | October 31st, 2018|Advisor Insights, News|0 Comments

By William Davis  Back in 1880s, the great Thomas Edison had business interests in more than a few electricity-related companies. In the day, his informal conglomerate included Edison Lamp Company, a [...]

1510, 2018

The Roebuck Stops Here

By | October 15th, 2018|Advisor Insights, News|0 Comments

By William Davis  Forgotten, perhaps, in all the sturm and drang surrounding last week’s market meltdown, the great American economy continued to chug along. Companies made things. Customers bought things. Big [...]

310, 2018

The Seller’s Dilemma

By | October 3rd, 2018|Advisor Insights, News|0 Comments

By William Davis  Story goes that in 1901, Andrew Carnegie sold at once his entire steel empire to J.P. Morgan Jr. (his friends called him Jack, by the way) for a [...]

1709, 2018

O Brothers, Where Art Thou?

By | September 17th, 2018|Advisor Insights, News|0 Comments

By William Davis  Or “DAMN! WE'RE IN A TIGHT SPOT!” On an epic Monday morning ten years ago, Lehman Brothers, until the moment one of Wall Street’s most intrepid investment banks, [...]

409, 2018

It Takes a Village

By | September 4th, 2018|Advisor Insights, News|0 Comments

By William Davis  According to a loose consensus, and by loose we mean a Thesaurus-full of synonyms for arbitrary, bull markets are ongoing rallies that run to a cumulative 20 percent [...]

2308, 2018

No Jack, All Beanstalk

By | August 23rd, 2018|Advisor Insights, News|0 Comments

By William Davis  In the capital markets, “price discovery” is, by definition, the process of setting the proper value of a security. Around the exchanges, investors most times consider factors [...]

908, 2018

A Number Like 10 to the 12th Power

By | August 9th, 2018|Advisor Insights, News|0 Comments

By William Davis  In the world of big mathematics, “googol” was conceived as a way to represent the large number 10 100, or 10 to the 100th power. In decimal [...]

2407, 2018

Be Afraid

By | July 24th, 2018|Advisor Insights, News|0 Comments

By William Davis  It’s been a while – a little over 30 years actually – since Ronald Reagan gave us this one: “The nine most terrifying words in the English [...]

1007, 2018

(Another) Great Moment in ETF History

By | July 10th, 2018|Advisor Insights, News|0 Comments

By William Davis  The best-recognized and oldest ETF in the universe tracks, simply enough, the massively popular S&P 500. The fund’s AUM, we hear, hovers around a million bazillion dollars. [...]

307, 2018

Not-So-Special Effects

By | July 3rd, 2018|Advisor Insights, News|0 Comments

Losses Influence A Portfolio Disproportionately More Than Gains William Davis and Daniel Snover Successful investors will tell you they probably think more about losing money than they do making [...]

2806, 2018

All Point, No Power

By | June 28th, 2018|Advisor Insights, News|0 Comments

All Point, No Power By William Davis   Story goes that Jeffrey Immelt, the longtime boss at General Electric, was a particularly polished presenter. Why, just last year the world’s most successful lightbulb salesman [...]

506, 2018

The Italian Job

By | June 5th, 2018|Advisor Insights, News|0 Comments

By William Davis   THE ITALIAN JOB   Handsome Rob: “Where do we want it to go? We can't have a shoot up without guns. We'd lose.” Charlie Croker: “We do it [...]

2205, 2018

To Boldly Go…

By | May 22nd, 2018|Advisor Insights, News|0 Comments

By William Davis   To Boldly Go… By definition, “frontier” capital markets drift somewhere along the far edge of the investment universe -- a veritable Kuiper belt of political instability, corruption, and [...]

805, 2018


By | May 8th, 2018|Advisor Insights, News|0 Comments

By William Davis   There’s a lot that goes on in the investment industry we don’t get. Like, why did Wall Street outfits known for years as “brokerage firms” suddenly become “banks”? [...]

2404, 2018

Too Big to Be Too Big

By | April 24th, 2018|Advisor Insights, News|0 Comments

By William Davis   “A billion here, a billion there, pretty soon, you're talking real money.” We were reminded of the famous quote – long mis-attributed to Everett Dirksen – with yet [...]

1004, 2018

Cash, It’s a Hit

By | April 10th, 2018|Advisor Insights, News|0 Comments

By William Davis   Hard to believe, but it’s been nearly a decade since Lehman Brothers, at the time the fourth-largest investment bank in the U.S., filed for bankruptcy. You might recall [...]

2703, 2018

Flash Geeks

By | March 27th, 2018|Advisor Insights, News|0 Comments

By William Davis   So, there’s a Wall Street project called ‘Go West’ that’s nearing completion. Intended to invoke the spirit of Horace Greely, the plan is to link Chicago, the [...]

1303, 2018

Love Isn’t All You Need

By | March 13th, 2018|Advisor Insights, News|0 Comments

By William Davis   There's nothing you can do that can't be done. Nothing you can sing that can't be sung. Nothing you can say, but you can learn how to play [...]

2702, 2018

Amazon Ain’t Just A River In Brazil

By | February 27th, 2018|Advisor Insights, News|0 Comments

By William Davis Remember when Amazon.com only sold books? No? Well, then, here’s a quick refresher: Way back in 1994, a computer scientist named Jeff Bezos launched what is now the world’s [...]

1302, 2018

Eve of (Self) Destruction

By | February 13th, 2018|Advisor Insights, News|0 Comments

By William Davis   “But you tell me over and over and over again my friend, Ah, you don't believe we're on the eve of destruction.”             Barry McGuire, singer and songwriter [...]

2901, 2018

Party Crashers

By | January 29th, 2018|Advisor Insights, News|0 Comments

By William Davis   So, guess who’s responsible for this month’s outsized inflow of cash into global stock funds and ETFs? According to information from the industry’s largest discount brokerages, the answer [...]

1601, 2018

Exchange Traitor Fund

By | January 16th, 2018|Advisor Insights, News|0 Comments

By William Davis   Story’s going ‘round Wall Street about the alleged “theft” of a billion-dollar fund, ironically enough a cybersecurity exchange-traded fund with the ticker symbol HACK. It’s a mystery, they [...]

301, 2018

Predictable Predictions

By | January 3rd, 2018|Advisor Insights, News|0 Comments

It’s been said, allegedly by a great Yankee catcher, that “It's tough to make predictions, especially about the future." We’ve no clue whether #8 said it or not, but whoever did was [...]

1212, 2017

A Story About Gravity

By | December 12th, 2017|Advisor Insights, News|0 Comments

By William Davis By William Davis   Isaac Newton is known to all as one of the world’s greatest scientists, the greatest perhaps. What’s lesser known to us modern-day folks is that [...]

2811, 2017

Predictably Unpredictable

By | November 28th, 2017|Advisor Insights, News|0 Comments

By William Davis   So, a few traders traded Friday and, in a holiday-shortened session, managed to negotiate the S&P 500 past 2600 for the first time ever. For those keeping score, [...]

1411, 2017

Opposite Sides Of The Coin

By | November 14th, 2017|Advisor Insights|0 Comments

By William Davis   Quick cryptocurrency quiz. Virtually circle a correct answer. Only one, or maybe four, choices can be right. Mark your answer to eight decimal places. Bitcoin is: A currency [...]

2510, 2017

Guess Who Put The “E” In “ETF”

By | October 25th, 2017|Advisor Insights|0 Comments

By William Davis   Since October is the only time of the year when each of the "Big Four" professional sports leagues schedule games, you may have missed the trigentennial anniversary of [...]

910, 2017

Regulator, Don’t Manage Thyself

By | October 9th, 2017|Advisor Insights|0 Comments

By William Davis   By way of background, the National Association of Securities Dealers – the NASD – was founded in 1939 to oversee the behavior of brokerage firms under the SEC’s [...]

2609, 2017

When Hacks Get Hacked

By | September 26th, 2017|Advisor Insights|0 Comments

By William Davis   According to Merriam-Webster, “schadenfreude” is an unintentional pleasure that comes from seeing or hearing about another person's troubles or failures. Etymologically, the word is taken from German – [...]

1209, 2017

Don’t Bank On It

By | September 12th, 2017|Advisor Insights|0 Comments

By William Davis   Unless you serve on the Fargo Historical Society, you probably don’t know that North Dakota’s largest city is named after a fine fellow named William Fargo. We’re not [...]

2908, 2017

Resigned to Resignation?

By | August 29th, 2017|Advisor Insights|0 Comments

By William Davis   So, as any money junkie will tell you, the latest “Economic Symposium” sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City took place last week. Better known these [...]

1408, 2017

False Sense of Securities

By | August 14th, 2017|Advisor Insights|0 Comments

By William Davis   Remember Bear Stearns? How about Lehman Brothers? If you don’t, you should. We all should. Both were classic American success stories with roots tracing back to Wall Street’s [...]

108, 2017

So, Who Put the Lie In Libor?

By | August 1st, 2017|Advisor Insights|0 Comments

By William Davis   It’s been said that finance is a set of social conventions, and much of the financial industry is an arena for battling over those conventions. In that sense, [...]

1707, 2017

A Quick Buck

By | July 17th, 2017|Advisor Insights|0 Comments

By William Davis   New take on an old joke: How do you make less than a dollar in the stock market? Answer: Start with 220,000 dollars. Ha ha. Not-so-funny “small fortune” [...]

307, 2017

Greedman Sachs

By | July 3rd, 2017|Advisor Insights|0 Comments

By William Davis   “The point is, ladies and gentlemen, that greed — for lack of a better word — is good.” We got to thinking about the mythical Gordon Gecko last [...]

2006, 2017

In To The Shadows

By | June 20th, 2017|Advisor Insights|0 Comments

By William Davis   According to the Orwellian-sounding Financial Stability Board, “shadow banking” is credit inter-mediation involving entities and activities outside the regular banking system – lending, in other words, done by [...]

3105, 2017

Hit The Road, Show

By | May 31st, 2017|Advisor Insights|0 Comments

By William Davis   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 [...]

1505, 2017

Running Out of Options

By | May 15th, 2017|Advisor Insights|0 Comments

By William Davis   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 [...]

2504, 2017

The Grass Is Always Greener, Dude

By | April 25th, 2017|Advisor Insights|0 Comments

By William Davis   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 [...]

1104, 2017

Beep Beep’m Beep Beep Yeah

By | April 11th, 2017|Advisor Insights|0 Comments

By William Davis   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 [...]

2803, 2017

Flash In The Pan

By | March 28th, 2017|Advisor Insights|0 Comments

By William Davis 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, [...]

1403, 2017

Snap, Pop, No Crackle

By | March 14th, 2017|Advisor Insights|0 Comments

By William Davis 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. [...]

2702, 2017

Face Value

By | February 27th, 2017|Advisor Insights|0 Comments

By William Davis   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 [...]

1302, 2017

All That Twitters Is Not Gold

By | February 13th, 2017|Advisor Insights|0 Comments

By William Davis   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 [...]

3101, 2017

Defying Gravity

By | January 31st, 2017|Advisor Insights|0 Comments

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 [...]

1701, 2017

A Bit Too Much

By | January 17th, 2017|Advisor Insights|0 Comments

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 [...]

401, 2017

Happy Old Year

By | January 4th, 2017|Advisor Insights|0 Comments

“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 [...]

2012, 2016

How Things Work

By | December 20th, 2016|Advisor Insights|0 Comments

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 — [...]

612, 2016

Still Crazy After All These Years

By | December 6th, 2016|Advisor Insights|0 Comments

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 [...]

2111, 2016

To Bespoke Or Not To Bespoke

By | November 21st, 2016|Advisor Insights|0 Comments

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 [...]

811, 2016

Can’t Hardly Weight

By | November 8th, 2016|Advisor Insights|0 Comments

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 – [...]

2610, 2016

Closed Minded

By | October 26th, 2016|Advisor Insights|0 Comments

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 [...]

1210, 2016

Forced Retirement

By | October 12th, 2016|Advisor Insights|0 Comments

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 [...]

2709, 2016

Catch A Falling Star…

By | September 27th, 2016|Advisor Insights|0 Comments

And put it in your pocket You’ll remember Tom Marsico. He earned a good degree of fame for his stock-picking prowess at Janus Capital back in the 90s. Fame was so bright, in fact, he [...]

1309, 2016

A Thought For Your Pennies

By | September 13th, 2016|Advisor Insights|0 Comments

Ever wonder why Congress has an approval rating of 13%? Don’t. By all appearance the number is between 12 and 14 points too high. To wit: The U.S. House actually passed a bill last Thursday [...]

3108, 2016

Calm Before the Storm?

By | August 31st, 2016|Advisor Insights|0 Comments

Any idea what the “Greenspan Put” might be? No? Well here are a couple of hints: Greenspan refers to a rather loquacious former Fed Chief named Alan; "put" refers to contractual obligation giving its holder [...]

1708, 2016

No Legg to Stand On

By | August 17th, 2016|Advisor Insights|0 Comments

There’s not that many long-running relationships on Wall Street to begin with, and now there’s one less. Last week, Bill Miller, the Legg Mason manager made famous by beating the S&P 500 from 1991 to [...]

308, 2016

Rhymes With Utopian

By | August 3rd, 2016|Advisor Insights|0 Comments

So, what do you do when you’ve made a billion dollars trading other people’s money and the regulators have barred you from trading other people’s money? Here’s an idea: Start trading other people’s ideas. Quantitative [...]

1907, 2016

You Bet Your (Herba)Life!

By | July 19th, 2016|Advisor Insights|0 Comments

On Friday, the FTC announced it had reached a settlement with Herbalife Ltd. that will allow the “nutritional-products” company to avoid being classified as a pyramid scheme. In return, the Los Angeles-based outfit will have [...]

507, 2016

Unsentimental Journey

By | July 5th, 2016|Advisor Insights|0 Comments

By way of reminder, it was June 23 when voters in Great Britain decided to go on permanent vacation from the European Union. Here we are nearly two week later, and the markets are still [...]

2006, 2016

Exchange Traded Fun

By | June 20th, 2016|Advisor Insights|0 Comments

So, in today’s bizarre trading world, where a “speed bump” can be defined as a delay of 350-millionths of a second, the SEC voted Friday to certify the IEX Group Inc as the U.S.’s 13th [...]

606, 2016

Dude, You’re Getting a Dell

By | June 6th, 2016|Advisor Insights|0 Comments

Thomas Rowe Price, Jr. was 40 years old when he bolted from his position as the head of investment for MacKubin, Legg and Co. in 1937. That year, he and three of his Baltimore buddies [...]

2605, 2016

Out of Bounds

By | May 26th, 2016|Advisor Insights|0 Comments

Fore! Welcome to the 2016 Dean Foods Tournament of Whatever’s the Opposite of Champions. In what’s hoped to be the first and last of this classless classic, the nation's largest processor of fluid milk [...]

1305, 2016

Caribbean Coriolis

By | May 13th, 2016|Advisor Insights|0 Comments

Somewhat disappointingly, the little nugget about how the hemispheres affect which way water rotates in a toilet is a myth. Fact is, the configuration of drains is responsible for the direction of spin to a [...]

2504, 2016

Bits and Pieces

By | April 25th, 2016|Advisor Insights|0 Comments

Did you know that bitcoin was launched in a paper published October 31, 2008 by some form of higher intelligence calling itself Satoshi Nakamoto? We didn’t either. The still mysterious pseudonym’s detailed workings of the [...]

3003, 2016

Board to Tears

By | March 30th, 2016|Advisor Insights|0 Comments

Remember Yahoo! Inc.? If not, here’s a clue: The struggling company with the exclamation point in its corporate name was an Internet search engine pioneer. It’s true…you can look it up on Google. In 1994, [...]

1403, 2016

Sweetheart Deal

By | March 14th, 2016|Advisor Insights|0 Comments

They say that patriotism is the last refuge to which a scoundrel clings. If you missed it, Moody’s just agreed to a $130 million settlement with a California pension fund. The agreement resolved one of [...]

2902, 2016

Illusive Public Offerings

By | February 29th, 2016|Advisor Insights|0 Comments

Since nothing says “risk-on” like the IPO market, it’s no surprise that current “risk-off” conditions are crushing the market’s newest companies. This hostile environment will doubtlessly have far-reaching effects on Wall Street, which has been [...]

1502, 2016

Chaos Theories

By | February 15th, 2016|Advisor Insights|0 Comments

Exponentially rising volatility in stocks, bonds, currencies, and commodities has left market pundits around the world scrambling to figure out what’s going on. As analysts search for reasons for the global volatility, what seems plausible [...]

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