On November 8, 2016, Republican candidate Donald J. Trump won a closely contested election for president of the United States. Late on election night, when it became evident that Trump was likely to win despite consistently trailing in the polls, foreign markets went into a deep dive.1 Many observers expected a similar reaction when the…

In 1958, economist Leonard Read published an essay entitled “I, Pencil: My Family Tree as Told to Leonard E. Read.” The essay, narrated from the point of view of a pencil, describes the “complex combination of miracles” necessary to create and bring to market the commonplace writing tool that has been used for generations. The…

S&P Dow Jones Indices and MSCI recently moved publicly traded equity real estate investment trusts (REITs) and other listed real estate companies from the Financials sector into a new, separate Real Estate sector effective September 1, 2016. (Mortgage REITs remain in the Financials sector, along with banks and insurance companies.) There are now 11 headline…

In recent weeks, the world’s markets and media financial pages have focused intensely on the standoff between debt-laden Greece and its international lenders over the conditions of any further bailout.  For investors everywhere, both of the large, institutional kind and individual participants, the story has been fastpaced and difficult to keep up with. More importantly, the speculation about possible outcomes…

Volatility is back. Just as many people were starting to think markets only ever move in one direction, the pendulum has swung the other way. Anxiety is a completely natural response to these events. Acting on those emotions, though, can end up doing us more harm than good.  There are a number of tidy-sounding theories…

S&P 500 Total Return 2014: 13.7% Overview The United States emerged from 2014 as the best house on a troubled block. Civil war in Ukraine, a slowing Chinese economy, a stagnant Europe worried about potential deflation, a new recession in Japan, the threat of a new Russian economic meltdown triggered by plummeting oil prices–it all…

In this era of hyperconnectivity and a 24/7 news cycle, the U.S. stock market tends to react quickly to geopolitical events. But do these events have a lasting impact on U.S. markets or are they mostly global noise?   Follow this link to watch a video on the impact of geopolitical events on US stock…

As broad market indices such as the S&P 500 have set new record highs in recent weeks, many investors have become apprehensive. They fear another major decline is likely to occur and are eager to find strategies that promise to avoid the pain of an extended downturn while preserving the opportunity to profit in up…

Investing with an eye toward promoting social, political, or environmental concerns (or at least not supporting activities you feel are harmful) doesn’t mean you have to forgo pursuing a return on your money. The concept of putting your money where your mouth is first gained widespread attention during the 1970s, when such highly charged political…

“Sell in May, go away” wasn’t a winning strategy last month. Investors regained interest in Nasdaq stocks, giving the index its strongest gains since February. The Russell 2000, which along with the Nasdaq had been pummeled in April, also managed to eke out a positive performance in May. Meanwhile, by the end of the month,…

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