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Shades of Gray

Many economists have criticized President Trump's stance on tariffs. But in the words of Thomas Jefferson, when it comes to matters of the economy, “no one axiom can be laid down as wise and expedient for all times and circumstances.” http://www.seasoninvestments.com/insights/shades-of-gray/

Hierarchy of Money

In our first post in this series, we talked about how money has implied value due to a society wide networking effect. We determined that one of the most important aspects of good money is that it is widely accepted. In this week’s post we’ll look at why certain forms of money, such as the US Dollar, are much more widely accepted than others. http://www.seasoninvestments.com/insights/hierarchy-of-money/

History Of Money

There are two key takeaways from the history of money. First, pretty much anything can act as a form of money as long as everyone agrees that it is so and secondly, no form of money is immune to failure. http://www.seasoninvestments.com/insights/history-of-money/

Winds of Change

Virtually every measure of valuation in the US looks historically expensive and overinflated when compared to international stocks. We believe 2017 may bring the winds of change in global equity leadership, with a shift in relative strength from US to international. http://www.seasoninvestments.com/insights/winds-of-change/

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/

A Royal Divorce

Last week’s referendum vote in the UK was the culmination of a debate that has been raging for several years on whether Britain should be part of the European Union. The vote in favor of a Brexit sent shock waves throughout the global financial markets which were by and large pricing in a "Remain" outcome. http://www.seasoninvestments.com/insights/a-royal-divorce/

Weathering The Storm

There has been a lot of talk lately about the intensifying El Nino and what it could mean for the upcoming winter season. But as for us, our attention has been more focused on the violent storm that has already hit land, the one that has been moving through financial markets during the month of August. http://www.seasoninvestments.com/insights/weathering-the-storm/

Swimming Naked

The current drama unfolding in China has many of the same characteristics of a classic bubble (see Dutch Tulip Mania, the Roaring 20’s, or the Internet Bubble as a couple examples), but with a couple key differences that may end up creating some long-term repercussions for China. http://www.seasoninvestments.com/insights/swimming-naked/

The Greek Tragedy (Act III)

The Greek crisis will surely be one of the defining macroeconomic stories of this decade. We are now in the sixth year of this drama. Greece has found its way back onto the front page repeatedly since late 2009, and the past six weeks have ushered in Act III (as measured by the number of bailouts the country has received) of what is truly turning into a Greek Tragedy. http://www.seasoninvestments.com/insights/the-greek-tragedy-act-iii/

The Secret Sauce

At its core, trend following is a reactionary discipline that doesn’t try to predict the future based on some sort of gut conviction or analysis of the macroeconomic tea leaves. In this week’s post we will unpack Season Investments’ own secret sauce of trend following coined MarketVANE, which we apply as a long-term investment discipline to both stocks and hard assets. http://www.seasoninvestments.com/insights/the-secret-sauce/

Inflation Data In The Information Age

The sheer amount of information available to us in this day and age is absolutely mind-boggling. There are a number of ways to quantify and measure inflation, but one metric that has caught our eye recently is the State Street PriceStats Inflation Index, which measure real time changes in inflation. http://www.seasoninvestments.com/insights/inflation-data-in-the-information-age/

Fasten Your Seatbelts

The market’s reaction to the strong jobs’ report on Friday was not pretty. About the only investment that was green on the day was the US dollar. The problem the Fed now faces is whether or not to raise rates under the deflationary pressure of a strong currency and lackluster growth in other developed countries. http://www.seasoninvestments.com/insights/fasten-your-seatbelts/

Lost Decade For Sale

You lend the government money for ten years, and in return they’ll offer you a yield just barely high enough to cover expected inflation over that time period. Sure, you might not gain any real ground, but at least you won’t be losing purchasing power. How does that sound? Are you ready to buy a lost decade? http://www.seasoninvestments.com/insights/lost-decade-for-sale/

Swiss Surprise

Last Thursday the Swiss National Bank (SNB) surprised the market by announcing that it would no longer peg the value of the Swiss Franc to the Euro. The news sent the Franc soaring against the Euro while the Swiss stock market cratered. This week we look at the reasons for the peg, why it may have ended so abruptly, and what it all means for our US-based clients. http://www.seasoninvestments.com/insights/swiss-surprise/

Russia Hits The Panic Button

Although we are experiencing smooth sailing here at home, it’s important to realize that this is not the case when looking abroad. A handful of emerging economies are reeling in the face of collapsing oil prices with perhaps the most tenuous situation being found in Russia. http://www.seasoninvestments.com/insights/russia-hits-the-panic-button/

Oil's Winners & Losers

The recent collapse in oil prices is quickly becoming one of the most important macro developments of the year – and with it plenty of winners and losers are being made. We wrote about the downward trend in oil back in October after the price had dropped by 25% into the mid-80’s and now we revisit the topic at prices yet another 25% lower in the mid-60’s. http://www.seasoninvestments.com/insights/oils-winners-and-losers/

The Cleanest Dirty Shirt

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. http://www.seasoninvestments.com/insights/the-cleanest-dirty-shirt/

Opposite Directions

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. http://www.seasoninvestments.com/insights/opposite-directions/

Side Effects May Vary

This week we finish looking at the last five dangers of news consumption outlined in Rolf Dobelli's research paper Avoid News: Towards A Healthy News Diet. At the root of it all, we must all understand that news outlets and the media in general are all in the business of making money rather than the more altruistic goal of creating a more informed public. http://www.seasoninvestments.com/insights/side-effects-may-vary/

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