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.

The Way Of The Bull And The Bear

I have been struck in recent weeks by the seemingly inverse relationship between capital markets and the mood of those investors that are participating in them. For while markets including stocks have entered into a period of almost eerie placidity, the tension among investors across the philosophical spectrum appears to be rising. But whether you are following the way of the bull, the bear, or somewhere in between, it is important to remember that we are all on the same path in the end. We all wish to grow the value of our capital over time while protecting against the risk of loss. And while not all of us can dictate the direction of the market on any given day, week, month or year, we can embrace the fact that certain principles will always be true about the markets in which we participate. If one can maintain the openness to listen with patience, maintain a rich texture in our thought processes and avoid becoming overly reactive with our conclusions, we provide ourselves with the best opportunity for success and happiness in the end.

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

This Is When The Bear Growls

Some investors are understandably nervous. Following a more than five-year bull market in stocks that is already built on the shaky foundations of a sluggish economy and corporate revenue growth, some investors are bracing for the potential of a meaningful correction. They feel like it could come at any time, particularly with the Fed continuing to scale back on QE related asset purchases, coupled with the fact that valuations are also a bit rich and the stock market has not experienced even a mild correction in excess of -10% for a historically long three years and counting. But when exactly might such a swift correction, even if it were of the mild and fleeting variety, finally take place. History provides some notable clues.

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

Welcome To The Machine

If you are someone that enjoys the artistry of investing, now may not be your favorite time to participate in capital markets. For the artistry of the investment decision making process has been squelched and distorted over the last several years by the moneymaking machines of computerized algorithms and seemingly endless liquidity flows from global central banks. But whether we like it or not, we do not get to invest in the markets that we want to have; we only get to participate in the markets that are given to us. And the reality remains that investment markets continue to provide an important vehicle to generate a higher rate of return on long-term savings, which is needed by many now more than ever with the interest earned from bank CDs and savings accounts locked at virtually nil. Investors can remain dedicated to their artistry in today’s environment, but just as long as they recognize how it fits in the context of the forces that are driving capital markets.

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

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