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Should the Fed Be Worried About Deflation?

Michael Farr | Posted 12.18.2014 | Business
Michael Farr

For an economy heavily dependent on consumer spending, this is not a trivial consideration.

The Squeeze of the Middle Class

Michael Farr | Posted 12.05.2014 | Business
Michael Farr

The median household income in 2013 was only slightly above that reported for 1995 (after adjusting for inflation), while costs for necessities like housing (rent), health care, and education are making it much more difficult for middle-class folks to get by. 

What Is Causing the Drag?

Michael Farr | Posted 11.21.2014 | Business
Michael Farr

Using inflation-adjusted numbers, we indexed each component of GDP to 4Q07 levels, beginning with a value of 100 for each. We graphically display the results below, followed by some commentary.

Deleveraging Has Not Yet Run Its Course

Michael Farr | Posted 11.06.2014 | Business
Michael Farr

I've argued for some time that the process of deleveraging has yet to run its course. The aggregate level of debt in our economy currently stands at a record high, even though many pundits continue to say that debt levels are much more manageable now as compared to the pre-crisis days.

5 Investments Strategies to Avoid Like the Plague

David A. Dedman | Posted 11.06.2014 | Money
David A. Dedman

Keep a balance in all things, especially your investments. Diversification will save the day.

What Oil Is Telling You

Michael Farr | Posted 10.31.2014 | Business
Michael Farr

The drop in oil (and corresponding drop in energy stocks) is causing much consternation throughout the investment world because it is inconsistent with the narrative articulated by most economists.

4 Year-end Portfolio Moves

David A. Dedman | Posted 10.24.2014 | Money
David A. Dedman

October is month when leaves are changing color, there's a nip in the air signaling the beginning of fall, and of course... stock market corrections!

Should You Sell???

Michael Farr | Posted 12.15.2014 | Business
Michael Farr

The growth of the American and global economies are the underlying drivers for most all equity investments. A clear discipline, dogged research, and dispassionate assessment are an investor's best friends.

Why Europe Is Doing the Ice Bucket Challenge With a Glass of Water

Gemma Godfrey | Posted 12.06.2014 | World
Gemma Godfrey

ECB President Mario Draghi has been highly effective with his words alone -- moving markets with speeches and little action. However, by doing so he has also set the bar high and expectations for action are becoming the norm.

The Buyback Binge

Michael Farr | Posted 12.02.2014 | Business
Michael Farr

Remember, markets go down from time to time, and it's normal. Cool heads and steady hands make money over time.

Another Flash Crash or Market Shutdown?

Michael Farr | Posted 11.11.2014 | Business
Michael Farr

Technology seems to have solved the trade execution issue, so I don't foresee an overwhelming market shutdown. Fidelity now offers an amazing 1 second trade confirmation guarantee.

Loan Me $250,000. Please!

Michael Farr | Posted 11.04.2014 | Money
Michael Farr

I want to buy a house. Would you be willing to loan me $250,000 for 30 years at 4.25 percent? Your answer is crucially important. Before you answer, keep in mind that you will be taxed on the interest you receive.

Margins Remain Suspicious

Michael Farr | Posted 10.22.2014 | Business
Michael Farr

So what are the causes for optimism with regard to future earnings power? Well, the most notable are probably the recent sharp decreases in interest rates and gas prices.

Will You Be Able To Retire?

Bradford M. Pine | Posted 10.13.2014 | Money
Bradford M. Pine

Aside from the question of whether your spouse is ready for you to be around all day, making the decision to retire requires an enormous amount of financial preparation. How do you know if you're ready?

Enough Fed! Give Free Markets a Chance!

Michael Farr | Posted 09.24.2014 | Business
Michael Farr

The widespread expansion of credit to car-buyers, especially to sub-prime borrowers, is beginning to cause some industry observers to cry "bubble." Is this economic progress?

First Half in Review: Melt Up!

Chris Wang | Posted 09.07.2014 | Money
Chris Wang

I've been in the business for almost 17 years now and I can't remember a time when virtually all assets classes went up together. Needless to say these are highly unusual times.

More of the Same

Michael Farr | Posted 08.18.2014 | Business
Michael Farr

As expected, the Federal Reserve stuck to its pattern of reducing asset purchases by another $10 billion. The monthly pace is now down to just $35 bi...

5 Strategies to Protect Yourself From Rising Interest Rates

David A. Dedman | Posted 08.12.2014 | Money
David A. Dedman

These low interest rates we've enjoyed for years will begin rising. I personally believe we still have some time before rates start upward. Since you have a little time left, I'd like to give you a few suggestions.

What's Going on With Interest Rates?

Michael Farr | Posted 07.29.2014 | Business
Michael Farr

An aggressive rally in the Treasury market this morning has resulted in the lowest 10-year Treasury yield since June of last year.  Nearly everyone is looking for an explanation as to why longer-term interest rates continue to fall in the face of reduced Fed support and better economic data.  So what is going on?

Tracking Earnings

Michael Farr | Posted 07.19.2014 | Business
Michael Farr

While the overall quality and composition of earnings in the 1Q may have improved somewhat, index earnings growth remains highly dependent on margin expansion.

Economists Are Wrong

Michael Farr | Posted 07.07.2014 | Business
Michael Farr

To boil things down, there are really only two roads we can follow in an environment of such as this. The economy will either muddle along at a sub-par rate of about 2 percent until balance is restored, or we go down the path of running up debt in an effort to produce higher growth rates in the near term.

A Risk-free Investment With High Expected Returns

Dan Solin | Posted 07.06.2014 | Business
Dan Solin

For much of the past decade, I have been on a mission to persuade you to fundamentally change the way you invest. It's my firmly held view that the ro...

My Bonds Will Do What When Interest Rates Go Up?

David A. Dedman | Posted 07.02.2014 | Money
David A. Dedman

Most investors own bonds in their portfolios. We buy them for safety and to diversify our portfolios. More and more we are starting to hear about rising interest rates.

9 Reasons to Quit Buy-and-Hold Now!

Brian Schreiner | Posted 06.24.2014 | Money
Brian Schreiner

Even a simple trend following strategy, such as buying stocks when they are above their 200-day moving average and going to cash when they are below it may be able to help you preserve your assets during the next bear market.

Market Noise and Fed Messaging

Michael Farr | Posted 06.16.2014 | Business
Michael Farr

So far this year, the mid-cap banks are outperforming their behemoth cousins, and we now may know why. The big question, though, is how detrimental have these new regulations been to the economic recovery?