Toy Wars: Mattel Vs. Hasbro

When it comes to business and investing, the toy business is no fun and games. Mattel and Hasbro are the two largest publicly traded toy companies in the U.S. Not only do these companies wage a daily battle on the product popularity front, but as publicly-traded entities, they also vie to attract potential shareholders to acquire a stake in their business. Lately, Hasbro has looked the winner while Mattel appears down and out when it comes to their respective share prices. But knowing that the toy business is a notoriously capricious enterprise, such divergences can also bring attractive investment opportunities.

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

Pangaean Rhapsody

Are investment markets living the real life today? Or is this just a fantasy? Financial markets nearly collapsed seven years ago, but here we are today with the crisis becoming an increasingly distant memory. Are we living the real life of a global economy that is truly on the mend with only a matter of time before the elusive phase of sustained economic growth finally sets in? Or has the recovery we have experienced since the crisis been nothing more than a fantasy conjured up by global policy makers and their unwavering commitment to inject stimulus no matter what the future costs? In the end, there will be no escape from reality. Global central banks are now essentially all in, and it is now only a matter of time before we begin to find out whether this has all been real or fantasy. Whether investors are eventually caught in a landslide remains to be seen, but now more than ever is the time to avoid complacency and to keep your eyes wide open when it comes to monitoring investment markets today.

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

Lessons From The Golden Bear

Gold has been a dreadful performer in recent years. Since peaking at over $1900 per ounce in September 2011, the price has fallen by nearly -40% over the four years since. But after such a deep and prolonged price decline, and given concerns about the continued sustainability of the current bull market in stocks that is already the third longest in history at over six years, it is reasonable to consider whether it may be worth considering either a new or increased allocation to gold for portfolio diversification and risk control purposes. In working to draw any such conclusions, it is worthwhile to first evaluate whether it even makes fundamental sense from a supply and demand perspective to do so.

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

Why My Nose Is Bleeding

Stocks are expensive. In fact, they are collectively about as expensive as they ever have been. And if interest rates continue to rise, as some are projecting, it threatens to bring with it a world of pain for stock investors. Valuation matters, and it is a point that investors should not overlook as we move forward in these unchartered capital markets of today.

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

Anticipation Is Worse Than Reality

We have seen this story before in the post crisis period. Bond yields start rising amid the swelling expectation that any of the following events are soon to take place: a long awaited sustained economic recovery, a sustained rise in inflationary pricing pressures, and/or a sustained rise in central bank interest rates. During each past episode, interest rate segments of capital markets struggle with the anticipation. But once the eventual reality finally sets in, these segments suddenly find themselves rallying and more than making up for any lost ground in the process. Today, investors once again find themselves experiencing the latest act in this repeated performance. And it is likely that events will play out similarly this time around too.

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

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