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Inflation, Higher Rates, and Recession Risks Push Stocks and Bonds Lower in the Second Quarter

July 11, 2022

The S&P 500 continued to decline in the second quarter, hitting the lowest level since December 2020 as still-high inflation, sharp increases in interest rates, rising recession risks, and ongoing geopolitical unrest pressured stocks and other assets.

After a rebound in March...

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Are Stocks Pricing in an Economic Contraction (or recession)?

July 5, 2022

Calls for an economic contraction (or recession) have become louder, so as we start the second half of the year, I want to cover whether current stock market declines have priced in a material economic contraction. We believe that while markets have priced in a more difficult environment, we’re still more than 10% from a level that we could expect if a material economic slowdown materializes and lasts. Here’s why...

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Three Keys to a Bottom- Updated

June 13, 2022

A month ago, we identified three events that we believe need to happen before we can confidently say a bottom is in for stocks, and there was some progress towards two of those “keys” over the past several weeks, we saw part of that progress undone over the past week, and it’s not surprising that stocks dropped sharply as a result.


Key to a Bottom 1: Chinese Lockdowns Ease and Growth Recovers. How we’ll know: China Covid cases drop, Chinese PMIs rise back above 50 and the Yuan... 

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Why Stocks Dropped Again (It’s Not Actual News)  

May 10, 2022

Yesterday’s decline now has the S&P 500 down nearly 10% in a week and the pain inflicted by these losses is real and intense. The relentless declines are unsettling, we understand that, and we want you to know that we are invested right alongside you.


It’s times like this that you must remember your time horizon and long-term goals. Imagine you’re on a ship being tossed around in a storm. If you focus on each wave, you’ll get seasick quickly…so instead, fix your eyes on the horizon. If your time horizon is longer than the short term, it’s important to remember...

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4 Questions for the Selloff: Why Have Stocks Dropped to the March Lows, What’s Holding Up Best, What Makes This Stop, and How Bad Can It Get?

April 27, 2022

Yesterday, the Nasdaq closed at fresh YTD lows and the S&P 500 closed essentially on YTD lows, as the selling over the last several trading days has been intense. Given this steep decline and the fact that the S&P 500 is teetering on important support, I wanted to step back and clearly explain: (1) Why stocks have dropped so sharply in less than a week, (2) What’s holding up best through this rout, (3) What makes this stop and (4) How bad it could get.

Why Have Stocks Dropped to YTD Lows? The S&P 500...

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Are surging mortgage rates starting to impact the market? Are we looking at 2008 again? Let’s take a closer look.

April 21, 2022

First, mortgage rates have continued to tick higher, with the national average rising to 5.27% (and we’re seeing quotes for 6% mortgages for the first time in well over a decade) and undoubtedly that’s going to put some headwinds on demand.

 More broadly, the monthly housing stats are starting to show a loss of momentum, as Single Family Starts and Single-Family Permits (which are a three-to-six month leading indicator...

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Quarterly Insights – April 2022Inflation, Geopolitics, and Rising Rates Weigh on Markets in the First Quarter

April 13, 2022

After a somewhat calm 2021, volatility returned in the first quarter of 2022, as inflation surged to 40-year highs, the Federal Reserve promised to raise interest rates faster than previously thought, and Russia surprised the world with a full-scale military invasion of Ukraine, marking the first major military conflict in Europe in decades. Those factors fueled a rise in volatility and pushed stocks lower in the first three months of the year.

Broad market volatility...

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It’s All About Escalation (And What Can Go Wrong)

March 2, 2022

Stocks dropped Tuesday despite solid economic data and the announcement of more peace talks, but that didn’t offset the reality that the situation in Ukraine is still escalating, and that means the sanctions on Russia also are escalating.

 Russia has escalated the bombing of Ukraine as numerous videos of huge missile strikes in... 

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What the Russian Attacks on Ukraine Mean for Markets and YOU

February 24, 2022

What Happened: Overnight Russia launched an assault on Ukraine extending beyond the Donbas region, targeting military infrastructure, and landing troops and tanks throughout the country. Russian President Putin stated on Russian TV that the goal of the attacks was to “denazify” Ukraine, but that a full invasion and occupation was not the objective. Practically speaking, most analysts believe Putin’s goals are to de-stabilize the pro-western government...

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Uncertainty with Russia/Ukraine and Your Portfolio

February 23, 2022

The Russia/Ukraine saga evolved further on Tuesday and it’s looking more likely that this situation will have a binary outcome: Either Russia will continue to further invade Ukraine, or it’ll stop at Donetsk and Luhansk and the crisis will slowly abate.

 We continue to be of the opinion that the more likely outcome is the latter, namely that Russia stops the incursion into Ukraine in the (generally speaking) Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

There are numerous reasons we have this opinion....

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Is a Russian Invasion of Ukraine A Bearish Gamechanger? What you need to know!

February 18, 2022

Is a Russian Invasion of Ukraine A Bearish Gamechanger?

One of the most cited reasons stocks dropped on Thursday was because Russia accused Ukraine of shelling Russian rebels in the Ukrainian territory of Donbas, specifically in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. Those regions are disputed territories, where Russian rebels...

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The Key Questions for the Market!

February 3, 2022

The Key Questions…Will tomorrow’s job report make the Fed more hawkish and how will the Markets react?

 If the answer is “yes,” then we will see this four-day rally likely reverse, potentially hard.

 Unlike most jobs reports, the headline job adds figure won’t be the number that really determines whether this report is “Too Hot” or “Too Cold.” The financial media will focus on that number ...

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Quarterly Insights - January 2022 Markets Again Overcome Pandemic Uncertainty to Hit New Highs

January 8, 2022

Stocks overcame numerous headwinds during the past three months, including a resurgence in COVID cases, the Federal Reserve moving aggressively to end the current QE program, and a lack of additional stimulus from Washington, to hit new all-time highs.....

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Why Have Stocks Been Dropping?

December 21, 2021

The steepness of the declines in stocks over the past two days has elicited that question from clients, friends, and acquaintances, as following the Fed meeting from last Wednesday .....

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Will Politics Force a Fed Policy Error?

December 15, 2021

There is a long and well-documented history of politics influencing monetary policy, and every time it ends in some form of economic pain. We’re being reminded of that in Turkey .....

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Watch the Yield Curve, Not Just Headline Inflation 

November 15, 2021

Stocks fell modestly last week, but despite it being the most cited reason, “inflation” was not why stocks dropped. Yes, the financial media was 100% focused on inflation....

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Quarterly Insights - October 2021 Another COVID Wave Fails to Derail the Rally in Third Quarter

October 1, 2021

We hope this quarterly newsletter finds you and your family well.

The S&P 500 hit new all-time highs again in the third quarter as investors looked past a resurgence of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and instead focused on the positive combination...

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Markets Remain Resilient, But More Volatility Lies Ahead

September 27, 2021

Stocks were again impressively resilient over the past week, as the Fed generally meeting expectations for tapering helped investors look past the multiple sources of volatility emanating from China. And we think that last week’s price action fully reinforces...


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What to Make of Monday's Collapse.

September 21, 2021

Stocks dropped substantially on Monday but the out-sized declines in stocks do not mean that the Evergrande saga deteriorated (it did not, at least not from where it was on Friday), and as such our...

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A Critical Six Weeks for Markets - Volatility is here!

September 20, 2021

The S&P 500 declined modestly last week but despite the declines, the market demonstrated impressive resilience as markets encountered numerous headwinds...

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Market Update- The Four Pillars of the Rally Updated

July 17, 2021

The broad stock market performance last week was worse than the S&P 500’s modest decline would imply. The reason for the weakness was clear: More erosion of our “Four Pillars” of the rally. But while further erosion is occurring, and this market is vulnerable to a pullback (especially if we get a new incremental negative headline), the four pillars still remain intact, ...


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Important FOMC Preview – Will We See a Correction?

June 15, 2021

No Change Is Expected to Rate’s or the QE Program

 There are two unknowns that will decide whether tomorrow’s FOMC meeting is hawkish (hawkish – Fed worried about inflation) or dovish (dovish – less worried about inflation and more about weak growth). First, how does the Fed admit...

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Will the Stock Market Volatility Continue?

May 24, 2021

After a year of constantly digesting positive events (Fed backstopping everything, CARES Act, electoral clarity, second stimulus, third stimulus, vaccination progress) the markets are transitioning to a new paradigm where (1) There isn’t a majorly positive event looming every three months, and (2) Some of the stimulus etc. will be dialed back, and that transition will be a process of starts and stops, and it likely will cause more volatility, which we saw that last week…

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The Biden Tax Proposal

May 4, 2021

President Biden's proposed tax platform could lead to major changes to existing federal tax rules.....

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Rising Headline Risk But Fundamentals Still Strong

April 9, 2021

Stocks dropped for most of last week (before Friday’s rebound) not because anything actually “negative” occurred, but instead because at 4,100+ in the S&P 500, investors have aggressively priced in a lot of things, including...

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Quarterly Insights - April 2021

April 8, 2021

A Strong Start to the New Year
We hope this quarterly newsletter finds you and your family safe and healthy during these still- unprecedented times. 

The first quarter of 2021 was marked by several macro- and micro-economic surprises that resulted in increased market volatility comparted to...

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Why Are Rising Yields Hurting Tech?

March 4, 2021

I wanted to share my thoughts on why rising yields are hitting tech so hard.

The core issue here is economic growth. Due to economic re-openings, stimulus, and vaccine optimism, global investors...

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Can There Be Too Much of a Good Thing in Markets?

February 8, 2021

Is there such a thing as too much of a good thing in markets? We’re going to find out...

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Revisiting Modern Monetary Theory (Because It's Visiting Us for the Foreseeable Future)

January 19, 2021

What a difference a year makes. Last year, about this time, the topic of Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) was being widely discussed by the financial media, and largely disavowed by mainstream economists and government officials, including Treasury Secretary Mnuchin...

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What Would Cause a Disorderly Rise in Treasury Yields? (Hint: Think Global)

On Wednesday, the 10-year Treasury yield declined 5 basis points, the largest decline in several weeks, and the reason for the drop had nothing to do with stimulus expectations, COVID vaccines...

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Quarterly Insights - October 2020

November 2, 2020

Optimism Drives Stocks in 3rd Quarter
We hope this quarterly newsletter finds you and your family safe and healthy during these unprecedented times.

2020 continued to be one of the most unpredictable years in memory, as markets rose to new all-time highs in the third quarter despite a resurgence...

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Are We in Tech Bubble 2.0? Similarities to the Late 1990's.

August 13, 2020

As tech continues to outperform and almost single handedly support the entire market, we’ve been hearing a lot of discussion in the financial media about this being another “tech bubble.”  Given that, we wanted to examine...

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What is the Yield Curve Saying About the Stock Market?

August 8, 2020

We began to cover the yield curve much more in depth last year as the 10s-2s yield curve spread threatened to fall below zero (more commonly referred to as inversion). And even though no one could foresee the outbreak of the coronavirus...

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Quarterly Insights - July 2020 A Historic First Half of 2020

July 5, 2020

We hope this quarterly newsletter finds you and your family safe and healthy during these unprecedented times.

Markets staged a historic rebound in the second quarter driven by an initial peak in the growth of coronavirus infections in April; economic re-openings across...

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CARES Act Modification Allows More Retirement Savings Access 

June 29, 2020

Americans who have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic may now be able to access retirement accounts to help cover daily expenses...

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US Banks Flush with 2 Trillion Dollars in Cash

June 23, 2020

An “eye-popping” $2 trillion in cash has been stashed in deposit accounts at U.S. banks since the COVID-19 pandemic first hit the country in January.1...

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June 16, 2020 Weekly Market Insights

June 16, 2020

Investor sentiment turned negative last week, amid an increasing number of COVID-19 cases in states where reopening has been underway as well as a subdued economic forecast from the...

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CARES Act Suspends Required Minimum Distributions from Retirement Accounts for 2020

April 2, 2020

The COVID-19 stimulus bill includes relief for retirees by allowing all RMDs due in 2020 to be waived. You do not have to take your RMD, which in turn can reduce your 2020 tax bill.

Who qualifies?

Anyone with an RMD due in 2020 from a company plan, like your 401(k) or 403(b) plans, or an IRA, qualifies, including...

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Quarterly Insights - April 2020 After a Historically Volatile Quarter, Where Do Markets Go from Here?

April 2, 2020

First and foremost, we hope this letter finds you, your family and loved ones healthy and safe.

Market volatility surged in the first quarter to levels last seen more than a decade ago during the financial crisis, as the COVID-19 pandemic swept the globe and prompted the partial shutdown of most major global economies...

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What Happens to the Market if There is a "Prolonged Recession"?

March 14, 2020

We have cautioned that the expectation for a quick economic recovery has driven much of the recent stock market gains, and that if the expectation of a quick recovery was put in jeopardy, we could see a pullback in stocks. That’s partially what happened...

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What’s the Ideal Election Outcome for the Market?

Feb 4, 2020

Let me start off by saying we will only focus on the market’s political opinion. Our opinion is immaterial and not reflected in this article. Everyone should make their own choice and vote for the candidate that best represents his or her values and interests. With...

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How will the SECURE ACT impact You and What you need to Know!

Dec 26, 2019

The SECURE ACT (Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement ACT), was signed by President Trump on December 20, 2019 and set to go into effect January 1, 2020. This retirement legislation will impact many things and many people. We have listed five...

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The Markets and “FOMO”

Dec 2, 2019

Stocks continued their relentless grind higher last week thanks to the usual suspect (non-specific, yet positive U.S.-China trade chatter). Yet the most important event of the week happened late-morning Friday and it’s a potentially trade negative..

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Where are we on US-China trade?

Nov 22, 2019

Clearing the Fog: Where Are We on U.S.-China Trade? The headline noise surrounding U.S.-China trade and phase one has intensified over the past week, as conflicting headlines on the progress of negotiations are now hitting the tape daily. On Friday, Larry Kudlow...

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Did the Fed just restart QE?

Oct 18, 2019

Lost in all the focus on trade last week was a pretty significant move by the Fed, as the Fed announced a plan to begin buying Treasury bills every month, a move that prompted several financial news sites and analysts to declare that “QE” is back. But while the plan...

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