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The Virtuous Circle

The Fed’s aggressive and creative policy response to the financial crisis is one of the most controversial and widely misunderstood financial topics in the modern era. The impact of the Fed’s actions on the real economy is debatable, but few would argue it has had significant influence on the psychology of financial market participants. http://www.seasoninvestments.com/insights/the-virtuous-circle/

Behind The Curtain

The Federal Reserve is tasked with promoting high employment and low inflation via the effective management of money and interest rates. But how? Let’s pull back the curtain on the three primary policy tools the Fed uses to implement policy. http://www.seasoninvestments.com/insights/behind-the-curtain/

The World’s Most Powerful Institution

In this week’s post we will look at two important eras in the history of the Federal Reserve which are marked by turning points that expanded the Fed’s mandate and eventually turned it into, as some would argue, the most powerful institution in the world. http://www.seasoninvestments.com/insights/the-worlds-most-powerful-institution/

Shaping the Course of History

Last week we reviewed some of the historical context of the US banking system leading up to the creation of the Federal Reserve. In this week’s post we will continue our walk through history by taking a close look at the time directly before and after the Federal Reserve was created in 1913 http://www.seasoninvestments.com/insights/shaping-the-course-of-history/

Where Do We Go From Here?

October has been a month that most stock market investors would rather forget. At one point last week, all three major US stock market indices had given up all their year to date returns. The pickup in volatility and pull-back from the recent high has everyone asking where the market is going from here. http://www.seasoninvestments.com/insights/where-do-we-go-from-here/

A Recipe For Disaster

Yesterday the Congressional Budget Office released its analysis of the recently completed 2018 fiscal year. Unfortunately, despite an incredibly positive economic backdrop the Federal government’s debt and spending levels remain a grave concern. http://www.seasoninvestments.com/insights/a-recipe-for-disaster/

Long Way From Neutral

Monetary policy is simply not as exciting as it used to be. That said, last week Fed Chairman Jerome Powell made a passing comment that caused the markets to sit up and take notice. http://www.seasoninvestments.com/insights/long-way-from-neutral/

Housing Slowdown Ahead?

It’s hard to overstate the importance of consumer, investor and business confidence to the health of the overall economy. All of this, in large part, is an aggregate reflection of how people feel. And judging by economic numbers as a whole, people have been feeling pretty good over the past few years. http://www.seasoninvestments.com/insights/housing-slowdown-ahead/

The Perils of Low Volatility

Super accommodative monetary policy has been necessary to spur economic recovery and ensure markets don’t fall into a deflationary spiral. But these same policies which have kept interest rates at record lows for so long are creating vulnerabilities in the economy as debt levels continue to rise. http://www.seasoninvestments.com/insights/the-perils-of-low-volatility/

Ignorance Isn't Bliss

Investors have been worried about rising rates and what a rising rate environment means for their bond investments. In response, some investors have concluded that it is better to hold individual bonds versus a bond fund.In today’s post, we’ll unpack why it is a misconception to believe that individual bonds are somehow less risky than bond funds. http://www.seasoninvestments.com/insights/ignorance-isnt-bliss/

Full Employment

Last week a widely circulated report claimed that the country’s labor market had reached "full employment." Since the report hit the wire less than a week ago the concept of full employment has been the subject of a lot of discourse within the financial world. So what is full employment exactly, and how do we know if we’ve reached this important milestone? http://www.seasoninvestments.com/insights/full-employment/

Beach Balls Under Water

Since the election, investors have been scrambling to understand what a Trump presidency might mean for future of financial markets. Global asset prices had all but priced in a Clinton victory, and the chaos that ensued in futures markets as Trump’s victory took shape throughout the evening reflected a sense of confusion over how to interpret the results. http://www.seasoninvestments.com/insights/beach-balls-under-water/

Bonds in Bondage

Bonds are an asset class that we have been giving a lot of thought to lately. Bonds are in bondage to the low rates created by loose monetary policy, and the question of what to do about it is one of the more frequent ones we field in client meetings. http://www.seasoninvestments.com/insights/bonds-in-bondage/

All Together Now

Last Friday we caught a glimpse of the extent to which financial markets are still addicted to monetary stimulus when stocks, bonds and commodities all tumbled in response to comments made by Fed officials. When everything is grinding upward, moving All Together Now is not a problem, but that sentiment changes quickly when asset classes begin to nosedive in tandem. http://www.seasoninvestments.com/insights/all-together-now/

Are We In Another Housing Bubble?

Home prices on a national basis have been on the rise for over four years now. This past June marked the 50th consecutive month of year-over-year national home price appreciation. With all of this positive momentum and the memory of the last housing crisis still fresh in everyone’s minds, many are wondering whether we are in yet another housing bubble. http://www.seasoninvestments.com/insights/are-we-in-another-housing-bubble/

Are Stocks the New Bonds?

Conventional wisdom says that you should invest in stocks when you’re young and then slowly shift into a more “fixed income” strategy as you age in order to reduce the wild swings and to generate the income needed to sustain spending in retirement. But what do you do when that income is nowhere to be found? http://www.seasoninvestments.com/insights/are-stocks-the-new-bonds/

Showing Interest In Valuation

One of the persistent questions faced by investors is whether stocks are undervalued, overvalued or fairly valued. After all, the “cheapness” of a stock at the time one invests is probably the single most important driver of the long-term result. Unfortunately most of the time ascertaining whether or not valuations are too high or too low isn’t that clear cut. http://www.seasoninvestments.com/insights/showing-interest-in-valuation/

NIRP Is The New ZIRP

Zero interest rates are intended to induce growth in borrowing, lending and general risk taking throughout the economy. But what happens when ZIRP doesn’t have its intended effect on economic activity? You move to the next logical extreme: NIRP. http://www.seasoninvestments.com/insights/nirp-is-the-new-zirp/

Plight of an NBA Superstar

As any casual NBA fan already knows, Kevin Durant was in the news last week with his decision to leave the OKC Thunder for this year's NBA Finals runner-up Golden State Warriors. His decision to abandon his team in order to join a rival was seen as a betrayal to say the least. Why is this move becoming more common place in the NBA? http://www.seasoninvestments.com/insights/plight-of-an-nba-superstar/

LendIt 2016 Takeaways

Last week I attended and spoke at a breakout session for the 2016 LendIt USA conference in San Francisco. For those that don’t already know, LendIt is a two day conference centering on the rapidly growing FinTech industry. There were over 3,500 attendees all soaking up the wealth of information on "alternative financing." http://www.seasoninvestments.com/insights/lendit-2016-takeaways/

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