ESG’s Internal Scorecard

Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) metrics for publicly traded companies has become one of the fastest growing movements in the investment management industry. The expectation is that companies who implement strong ESG metrics will become more profitable and valuable over time by improving the interests of society, which should provide investors in these companies with…

The Game Has Changed

It’s likely safe to classify 2020 as a year that has defied expectations and predictions. Led by COVID-19, the real economy and financial markets have felt the wrath of the pandemic. Since March however, there has been a disconnect between the stock market and “main street,” as the real economy continues to sputter while equity…

Is the 60/40 Portfolio Dead?

Over the last decade, there have been many proclamations that the traditional 60/40 portfolio is dead, mainly due to the fact that bonds were supposedly overvalued and yields couldn’t go any lower. This article from Ben Carlson highlights that while a 60/40 portfolio has delivered outstanding returns as a result of falling real interest rates…

The Impacts of Risk Parity Strategies

Ray Dalio’s Bridgewater is the latest celebrity investment management firm to opine that in a low-interest rate environment government bonds not only offer little in the way of value for investors, but that their ability to provide risk reduction during financial stress will be impaired as well. As this article from Bloomberg reports, Bridgewater is…

How Strong Is Your Stomach?

The vast majority of the time, most investors are not terribly concerned with their risk tolerance. Typically, the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX), a measure of S&P 500 volatility, sits comfortably below 20 and financial markets exhibit a consistent upward trend. However, as 2020 can attest, markets don’t always behave this way. Earlier this year the…

Are Fractional Shares Just a Gimmick?

One area of finance that has been getting a lot of attention lately is the concept of “fractional shares” and their use in investment portfolios. In an effort to make investing cheaper and more available to the masses, certain brokerages are allowing clients to buy fractional shares so that investors aren’t burdened with having to…

Explaining the Disconnect Between the Economy and Stock Market

This week, the S&P 500 flirted with overtaking its high watermark from February of this year, leaving many scratching their head as to how, and why, the stock market has rebounded this quickly. Since the bottom in March, the S&P 500 has risen approximately 50 percent, taking only 175 days for the index to complete a…

Order Matters

Many investors, especially those with longer time horizons, tend to overlook the impact that volatility can have on their portfolio. However, the path of returns is not a factor to be ignored and a recent piece by Amy Arnott helps illustrate this point through several examples. She highlights the impact of positive returns early in…

Not Everyone Is A Winner

While in the midst of COVID-19, historical levels of unemployment, unprecedented levels of economic stimulus, and falling corporate profits, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (S&P 500) is in positive territory for 2020. The economic data would indicate we are in a recession, yet U.S. equity markets are not behaving as such. A recent article by…

Too Much of a Good Thing?

Throughout history, the world has seen many innovations created to solve problems or improve the quality of peoples’ lives that have instead gone on to cause more harm than good. The phrase “too much of a good thing” has fitting applications in both life and investing. Morgan Housel outlines how philosophies and innovations that are seemingly…