Category: Investments

Don’t Fight the Fed

“The monetary climate – primarily the trend in interest rates and Federal Reserve policy – is the dominant factor in determining the stock market’s major direction.” — Martin Zweig   In his 1986 book, “Winning on Wall Street,” Marty Zweig told us not to fight the Fed. He...

Climbing the Wall of Worry

“If you want to test your memory, try to recall what you were worrying about one year ago today.” – E. Joseph Cossma About this time last year, the S&P 500 plummeted over 10% in only four trading days.  On the worst of those four days, the Dow...

Seatbelts, Please

A few years ago I was on a flight when the captain announced that there could be rough air ahead. Shortly thereafter, a very quick command came from the cockpit with a simple message… “Seatbelts, please.” For most people on the flight, this was a nonevent, as frequent...

Smart Investors…Dumb Mistakes

Forbes recently included me in an article entitled “Here’s Why Smart Investors Make Dumb Mistakes.” The article discusses the habits investors allow to affect their judgment. Because we feel the pain of a loss more significantly than the joy of a gain, as evidenced in research completed by...

The 3 C’s

Perhaps you have heard of the “Three C’s” of effective communication…the sender’s message should be clear, concise and consistent.  For the better part of the past two years, the primary investment themes could be boiled down to the “Three Cs”, China, Commodities and Central Banks.  Fears of a...

Show Me The Money

I don’t like to fear-monger.  So in the past when a plan sponsor or advisor tells me “only the big plans are being sued over investments,” I nod my head and say, “Yes, today that is true” and add there is a higher likelihood of a DOL/IRS audit...

Of Robos and Retirement

I recently attended a wealth management conference in Phoenix at which the rise of robo-advisors was a hot topic. The conference theme was “Where Disruption Meets Opportunity.” Robo-advisors, as you may already know, are online wealth management services that provide automated, algorithm-based investment advice, generally without the aid...

The Dilemma of Innovative Investment Strategies (Part 2)

The Dilemma of Innovative Investment Strategies:  The Intel 401(k) Litigation What fiduciary steps must be in place to prudently investigate and monitor such investments? The responsible fiduciaries managing innovative investments must follow the following best practices: “Solely in the interest of the participants and beneficiaries” The first step...

The Dilemma of Innovative Investment Strategies (Part I)

The Intel 401(k) Litigation Do ERISA plans have the authority to innovate? The plaintiff’s claim in the Intel litigation seems to indicate that ERISA investments, particularly participant directed investments, must stringently follow mainstream strategies and that deviation from such strategies is, per se, imprudent. But, many innovative investment...