October has been a rough month for the broader stock market but an even rougher month for energy related investments as the price of oil has dropped precipitously. These kinds of drastic changes in the price of oil create a multitude of downstream effects in the global economy.
Chaos theory is extremely applicable to the world of economics, capital markets and public policy. If the economy is a pool of water, every decision made by every individual, corporation and policy maker is a pebble (some larger than others) creating its own individual ripple effects.
As parents, we all want the best for our children and part of that includes giving them opportunities for success in life. Although we think it is a good and noble idea for parents to pay a portion if not all of a child’s education, it is not a necessity and other savings goals should be met before venturing down this path.
Few would argue that Warren Buffett is one of the greatest investors of our time. Some might guess that a younger, less experienced Buffett managing a hedge fund might have a drastically different investment philosophy than the sage we know today, but is that the case?
There are myriad reasons for the recent strength in our currency, but one of the simplest explanations is that despite its problems the US Dollar is still the “cleanest dirty shirt in the closet”. The fact of the matter is that the headwinds of over-indebtedness, soft labor trends and anemic private sector growth are not at all unique to the United States.
Most investors, economists, and pundits believe that interest rates here in the US have nowhere to go but up. But rates have dropped this year leaving some to wonder when the inevitable rise in interest rates will come.
With quantitative easing on its way out, the next important step from US policy makers will be to signal to the markets that they are ready to begin raising interest rates. Across the pond in Europe the situation is quite different, and monetary policy appears poised to move in the opposite direction as the US.
As we recently explained in An Update On The Fed, now that quantitative easing is on its way out the focus has shifted to when the Fed will begin to hike short-term interest rates. It’s hard to believe, but it is going on six years now since former Chairman Ben Bernanke took short term rates down to the zero bound.
We often hear advice on how to save and invest, but not a whole lot of attention is given to how to stick with our savings and investment plans through thick and thin. Emotions can reek havoc on our investment returns and lead to inadequate returns for the "average investor."
The recent memory of a nationwide housing collapse continues to keep home ownership rates down while putting upward pressure on rents, which are now growing faster than wages. If left unchecked, this could spell disaster for young professionals who are trying to keep their head above water and get off the debtor's merry-go-round.