A Crisis Less Extraordinary

It is often said that the financial crisis that was unleashed from July 2007 to March 2009 was a once in a century event. Some investors even take comfort in this notion with the belief that any future stock bear markets will almost certainly pale in comparison. In short, if one could survive the financial crisis, one can certainly weather what may come in the future. But upon closer examination, the market shock resulting from the financial crisis was not all that extraordinary. In fact, it was rather modest in many ways when compared to other major historical bear markets. Instead, the only thing that has been truly extraordinary this time around has been the policy response. And this fact alone may be setting investors up for a far more challenging bear market experience the next time around.

Please click on the link to read more of my article on Seeking Alpha.

Euro Trashed

European stock markets have been absolutely trashed in recent weeks. This recent sharp decline has raised concerns among investors about whether such trends may soon spread to other global markets including the U.S. A closer look at the trading climate around the globe provides clues as to what we might expect in the coming days and weeks.

Please click on the link to read more of my article on Seeking Alpha.

Hunting For Bears

Stocks enjoyed a marvelous day of trading on Friday. But despite this latest notable recovery in the headline indices, trouble is increasingly brewing under the stock market surface, as a growing number of stocks are finding themselves mired in their own individual bear market. Investors should take note, for only so many individual stocks can drift into bear market territory before the broader market finally follows along. Of course, where there are meaningful corrections there is often opportunity to be found. As a result, today is a good time to get started in hunting for bears.

Please click on the link to read more of my article on Seeking Alpha.

A Surprising New Portfolio Diversifier

Portfolio diversification is a primary objective for most investors in any market environment. And it is a particular priority today for many that wish to participate in any further upside the aging bull market may provide in the coming months while also seeking to protect against downside risk. Normally for stock investors, true portfolio diversification is achieved through allocating to other vastly different and generally uncorrelated asset classes such as long-term Treasuries and gold. But in 2014, a surprising new category has emerged from within the stock market itself to become an effective portfolio diversifier in the current environment. This category is the utilities sector, and it may now be worth another look following a recent pullback.

Please click on the link to read more of my article on Seeking Alpha.

The Slow And Perilous Death Of Bull Markets

A primary worry among many stock investors today is that the long running bull market may soon come to an end. At the heart of their concern is exactly what lies beyond the bull market peak, as many worry that the subsequent decline into the next bear market could quickly become swift and severe. But history has shown that the transition from a bull market to a bear market is often a gradual and drawn out process filled with rallies and correction that plays out over an extended period of time. In short, bull markets die long slow deaths, and it is this prolonged dying process that causes so many investors to find themselves unwittingly trapped in the next bear market long before they even realize it.

Please click on the link to read more of my article on Seeking Alpha.

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