You Only Live Thrice

Today’s stock market has given investors three lives over the last two decades. These lives have been born out of extraordinary policy actions intended to beckon investors toward the dream that all is well and good when in fact it is not. But just like any creature that is given multiple lives, each reincarnation brings about greater distortions from what was once reality. It also places increasing strains on those that are charged with overseeing the economy and markets to keep the corpse alive. We are now well along in our third life for capital markets, and with its next demise it is likely that policy makers will be forced to finally lay this body to rest and let the cleansing process wash over us. Such would be a most positive development, however, for with death comes a much more sustainability and healthy rebirth as a fresh market form is born anew. And for those with a plan, such a transformation offers great opportunity along the way.

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

The Excitement Of Playing It Safe

The stock market is currently operating in rarely traveled territory. We recently entered the seventh year of what has been the third longest bull market in history. And given that we are doing so in what has continued to be a generally lackluster economic recovery with corporate earnings growth now slowing and the Federal Reserve threatening to raise rates, many investors are understandably concerned as to whether the good times for the market will soon come to an end. Of course, one could have easily made this same argument over the last several years only to be frustrated by the stock market’s persistent rise in spite of it all. This has left some investors feeling conflicted. For while they would like to continue to participate if indeed we see today’s bull market rise to become the second longest in history by this time next year, they also do not wish to get caught in the maelstrom of the next bear market that could arrive at any time. What is such an investor to do? Fortunately, the market has a select group of companies that have shown the ability to perform well during the good times while also weathering the storm during the bad times. In short, investors can realize a great deal of excitement over the long term by playing it safe.

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

Keeping Perspective

The U.S. stock market rally during the post crisis period seemingly will never end. It is already the third longest bull market in history, and what is particularly remarkable is that it has come in the immediate aftermath of what has been the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. Of course, the U.S. stock market owes much of its gains over the last many years to the very remedies provided by policy makers to try and fix the global economy from the crisis, so perhaps these gains are less remarkable than they are artificial and ultimately unsustainable. As a result, you may be among the group of investors whether you are currently allocated to the market or not that believes in your heart and mind that all of this will end badly, yet in the meantime you are watching the stock market rise day after day. What is such an investor to do? Hold your nose and dive fully back into stocks, thus exposing oneself to the risk of buying at the top? Or continue to stand back and watch the stock market endlessly rise for what could be a few more years?

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

The Naked Truth

A steady barrage of economic and market news clogs both our airwaves and our minds on a continuous basis. This information is dissected and examined in a variety of different ways with no shortage of expert opinions about what is taking place today in investment markets and what is likely to happen next come tomorrow. As a result, it can become very easy for even the most expert market participant to become so twisted around in the details of their own views and biases that they lose sight of the more basic bigger picture. For it is these simple naked truths that remain most important in recognizing what has brought us to this point as well as what is likely to come.

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

Monitoring Global Market Hot Zones

The world is not without risk as we enter 2015. While the solvency of the global financial system is generally in better shape than it was just a few years ago, a growing number of countries are increasingly grappling with debt problems that have the potential to eventually lead to default. Although probabilities associated to any such future incidents remain generally low, it is worthwhile to monitor developments within these at risk countries in order to help protect against not only direct exposure but also potential negative spillover effects across broader global capital markets in the event that conditions begin to deteriorate in a disruptive way.

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

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