Has The Long-Awaited Market Crash Finally Begun?

January 22, 2016

2016: The Year of the Index Annuity Have you seen the stock market forecasts for the new year? One brokerage firm after another is citing volatility, a lack of earnings, dramatically slower growth and a probable “year to nowhere” in 2016. As this goes to press, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has been down as much as 1900 points since the first of the year. In only 13 trading days, this is a loss of 9.5%, the worst start to

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Slouching Toward a Global Recession: Growth is Either Anemic or Non-Existent

October 9, 2015

Two weeks ago, Janet Yellen and her cohorts at the Fed, in an 8-1 vote, elected to leave interest rates at record low levels for the 55th straight Fed meeting, a whopping 81 months since the last hike.  Citing “global growth concerns” as well as still-tame inflation, the Fed chose to first do no harm, lest they be blamed for the slowdown that is clearly taking place around the world. China In August, Reuters published a much-overlooked report stating that the cost of shipping

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Seven Reasons to be Skeptical of a Bull Market in 2015

January 7, 2015

It’s that time of year again, and many of you have asked us what 2015 is likely to bring in the way of economic performance and the market’s likely response to it.  The following is based on my usual exhaustive reading, and I encourage you to follow through the many hyperlinks within the piece for the sources of the summaries shared below. Market History The S&P 500 is up over 205% since the market bottom on March 9th 2009, largely

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Those “Horrible” Wonderful Fixed Index Annuities

September 12, 2014

Imagine that you and your spouse are currently in the market for a new car.  You have two large dogs and your three grandchildren several days each month, so you’re logically thinking that a minivan or SUV would be appropriate and safe.  Yet when you walk into your local car dealership to explain your needs, the salesman replies, “Oh no, those minivans and SUVs are reeeeally over-rated; what you want is simply a good pick-up truck—step right this way…”  

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The Cognitive Dissonance Market

July 22, 2014

Investors’ Staggering Indifference Amid Rising Dangers As a 25-year financial industry veteran with a broad background in managed money, market history, and risk mitigation, I have become amused—shocked really—at the cognitive dissonance being displayed by some in the investing public in this 6th year of the Federal Reserve’s “Recovery Market.”  Not since early 2000 during the heady days of a peaking tech/dot-com market, have I seen such displays of indifference, sans the enthusiasm of that euphoric run-up, for the market’s

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Analysts See Big Sell-Off, Flat Growth Through 2021

May 16, 2014

It’s mid-May, and if you haven’t taken the opportunity to “Sell in May and Stay Away” you still have some time.  Since I penned last month’s piece, we’ve seen a slew of advisors, columnists, and retired asset managers chime in with their own warnings, some of them dire, and all of them based on sound analysis and a firm grasp of market history.  Don’t take my word for it; consider the following: Writing at seekingalpha.com, Beverly Hills advisor Craig Brockie

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Ten Reasons to “Sell in May And Stay Away” This Year

April 21, 2014

Historic Indicators Point To A Significant Sell-Off Ahead After rising over 26% in 2013, the U.S. stock market remains flat three and a half months into the new year, battered by an increasing list of worries not easily brushed away.  The following are 10 compelling reasons to pare back risk exposure, especially if you’re retired or are about to retire, i.e. you can’t make up for large losses via ongoing 401(k) contributions, and/or your accounts represent monies that it’s taken

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The Six Things 2013 Should Have Taught us – But Didn’t

January 21, 2014

As we reflect on another year in the financial markets, whether you were deeply invested in equities or safely earning market-linked interest as they rose, it is once again enlightening to see who was right—and who was way off—in 2013, and what investors should have learned, but probably didn’t.  Here goes:   The Forecasters were wrong—again.  At the end of last year, CNNMoney polled 30 of the major asset managers on Wall Street, asking them where they thought the S&P

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Storm Clouds on Horizon for Markets in 2014

November 11, 2013

Jim Cramer, host of MAD Money on CNBC, has a problem. The sound-effects specialist and equal-opportunity stock mocker has noticed a compelling trend on Wall Street. It seems those stocks and sectors that tend to do well in a recovery are declining, even as those which advance amid slowdowns are attracting capital. The cantankerous Mr. Cramer has finally tripped over the tip of the iceberg. Today we have two contrasting metrics. One the one hand, a recent Forbes survey of

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The Abysmal Failure of Bernanke’s QE3

October 15, 2013

$1.05 Trillion Printed, 1.3 Million Fewer Jobs Consider the following staggering statistic: Since 2008, Ben Bernanke has increased the Fed’s balance sheet from $480 billion to $3.5 trillion, a 730 percent increase in five years.  So what did we get for all of those asset purchases? Predictably, it depends on who you ask. If you ask Wall Street, clearly they’re happy.  Since March 9, 2009, after a 57 percent sell-off of the S&P 500, that index has posted a gain

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