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‘Everything Screams Inflation.’ How to Interpret the Headlines

KEY TAKEAWAYS After last year’s economic shocks, we shouldn’t be surprised to see prices rebounding. But the potential for inflation is one among many factors investors take into account when agreeing on a price at which to trade. A look at headlines from the past 50 years shows the difficulty of timing markets around inflation expectations. Investors may be better served sticking to a long-term plan. How quickly things change. Two years ago, the New York Times reported, “Federal Reserve
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Stay Invested to Reap the Harvest

Historically bad to historically good Value investors who chose to stay the course through the last few years were finally rewarded for their discipline! Although it’s hard to believe, if we back up just a few months, the one-year period ending September 2020 was the worst return ever for small value stocks relative to larger, more growth companies, with small value underperforming by a whopping 52%. The three-year returns were also abysmal, with small value underperforming large growth by nearly
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A Regression to Long-Term Means?

“A Man’s inability to see the power of regression to the mean leaves him blind to the nature of the world around him.” Michael Lewis, The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds.   Reviewing historical annual long-term equity premiums and returns, we can conclude the following: US Small companies outperform US Large Companies by 2.02% International Small companies outperform International Large companies by 4.91% US Value companies outperform US Growth companies by 3.18% International Value companies outperform International
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Planning for Uncertain Times

With last month’s election and ongoing health and economic concerns related to COVID-19, uncertainty remains high, as it has for most of 2020. Unfortunately, this is likely to continue well into 2021 on health, financial and societal fronts. As investors, it’s never enjoyable to navigate periods like this, so we wanted to step back and reinforce our perspective on financial markets as we head into the close of 2020 (and if you are anything like me, it can’t come quickly
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Why Investors Might Think Twice About Chasing the Biggest Stocks

As companies grow to become some of the largest firms trading on the US stock market, the returns that push them there can be impressive. But not long after joining the Top 10 largest by market cap, these stocks, on average, lagged the market. • From 1927 to 2019, the average annualized return for these stocks over the three years prior to joining the Top 10 was nearly 25% higher than the market. In the three years after, the edge
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It’s (not) a small world after all!

Disneyland has a famous ride, accompanied by an identically named song, called “It’s a Small World (After All),” that was developed to celebrate peace and togetherness. While the ride is intended to remind us of how connected we all are, our beliefs about investing may not be as unified or accepting of differences as the ride and song celebrate. To be sure, some investors invest in a literal small world. They focus on investing in their local stock market and
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Tune Out the Noise

There’s a reason that investors tend to only hear about “looming” market doom or “imminent” market growth. While many news outlets have an incentive to draw viewer attention with wildly bullish or bearish predictions, these sensationalized views may be a distraction to a sound investment approach. When tempted to make a radical change to your investment portfolio based on these headlines, it is important to recall some basic fundamentals to keep your plan on track. Tune out the noise: “Markets
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Election Year Politics and Stock Market Forecasts

A recent New York Times article discussed the stock market impact of Joe Biden winning the 2020 presidential election. The article quoted Lori Calvasina, head of US equity strategy at RBC Capital Markets, who said “The market is starting to worry that Trump will not be re-elected. Trump is consistently viewed as a positive for the stock market.” Before you make changes to your portfolio as a result of these predictions, consider the following three points: 1. Markets have already
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Investing is Simple, but Not Easy

The academic literature on investing is filled with hundreds of anomalies. My own view is that the greatest anomaly of them all is that while investors idolize Warren Buffett, the “Oracle of Omaha”, so many not only tend to ignore his advice but often do the exact opposite. Consider the following advice he has offered on trying to time the market: – In his 1991 annual letter to shareholders, Buffett advised: “ We continue to make more money when snoring
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The Bumpy Road to the Market’s Long-Term Average

Since 1926, the US stock market has rewarded investors with an average annual return of about 10%. But it’s important to remember that returns in any given year may be sky-high, extremely poor, or somewhere in between. Annual returns came within two percentage points of the market’s long-term average of 10% in just six of the past 94 years. Yearly returns have ranged as high as up 54% and as low as down 43%. Since 1926, annual returns have been
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