Are You Positioned For ECB Stimulus?

The European Central Bank (ECB) brought fireworks to their latest press conference this past Thursday. Not only did ECB President Mario Draghi announce a cut of its main lending rate to the “lower bound” of 0.05%, he also revealed that the central bank’s intent to enter into its own form of quantitative easing (QE) by purchasing asset backed securities (ABS) and covered bonds at totals estimated between $500 billion to $1.3 trillion as early as October. This targeted long-term refinancing operation (TLTRO) is being done with the stated objective of trying to more directly promote lending activity to small and mid-sized businesses across the euro zone. Given that we have seen so many of these monetary stimulus programs initiated by global central banks over the past few years, it is reasonable to consider whether a portfolio strategy is well positioned for this latest ECB stimulus plan.

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

A Market That Defies All Expectations

A constant refrain over each of the last six years has been the imminent bursting of the bond market bubble. But with each passing year, the bond market continues to defy the skeptics. Despite all of the talk about the Fed ending its quantitative easing program and the threat of rising interest rates in the coming year, the bond market has not only been holding its own but also has been rallying smartly in 2014. The bull market in bonds is now in its 32nd year and remains very much intact. And the latest rally in bonds has brought with it a new and unusual cast of asset class characters this time around.

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

The Good News From A Bad Friday

Friday was another down day for stocks following the notable -2% decline on Thursday. After a few feeble pushes to the upside in the early morning trade, stocks rolled over and were solidly down once again by midday before battling back into the close. But despite the generally poor performance of stocks for a second consecutive day on Friday, several important points of good news accompanied the bad. Overall, investors could find reassurance at least as we head into the weekend that the latest stock market correction is taking on a more orderly behavior.

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

On The Fourth Of July: Bullish On America

It is a question that is often raised as we progress through the 21st century. Knowing that the 1800s is widely regarded as the British Imperial Century and the 1900s is generally seen as the American Century, what is the country that is best positioned to lead the global economy for the rest of the 21st century that lies ahead? This is a question that is not centered on anything that is happening right now or even what we can expect over the remainder of the decade. It is the ultimate long-term view question. And the possible answers are boundless. But when asked what country has the greatest potential to lead the global economy in the 21st century, my answer is simple: The United States of America.

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

Less Than Zero: The Case For Cash

Investors receive virtually no direct reward for holding cash in the current market environment. Thanks to the Fed’s zero interest rate policy that has been in place since December 2008, the interest earned for holding cash has fallen to effectively nothing even on the largest of balances. And with the stock market soaring to record highs in recent years during a time when annualized inflation has been running anywhere between +1% to +4%, the opportunity cost associated with holding cash has been dear to say the least. But despite all of these challenges, the case for holding cash may be growing stronger with each and every point that is added to the S&P 500 Index.

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

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