Latest Posts

2018-2019 A Tale of Two Realities

by Zach Marsh on Dec 6, 2019

With a couple weeks left in the year it seems pretty safe to say that this year will mark a complete reverse from last year.  Last year, if you recall, was a year in which nearly every single asset class in the world was down.  Diversified portfolio allocation provided no protection from loss, as every alternative investment option proved to be a dead end—with some assets being “less” bad than others.  This year, the opposite appears to be true.  To

Market Commentary for Week Ended 11/22/2019

by David Rasmussen on Nov 22, 2019

Weekly Market Commentary

This week marked the first weekly decline for the S&P 500 in six weeks and it was only down 0.25%.  Continued trade optimism, narrative the Federal Reserve will support any market declines and seasonality has led to low levels of volatility in the past few weeks.  This week was no exception.  The market did sell off almost 1% on Wednesday on news that progress on a phase 1 deal wasn’t

WeWork, Softbank and the Loss Aversion Dilemma

by Zach Marsh on Nov 22, 2019

Last week, in this note, we discussed the behavioral tendency of hindsight bias and offered a couple simple models to combat it.  We believe that a pre-designed “model” is the pathway to improving decision making and avoiding the pitfalls of cognitive biases.  Models, or pre-determined actionable steps are necessary because the danger of most cognitive biases is that you cannot think yourself out of them.  After all, its tough to reason yourself out

Why Doing the Right Thing Can Sometimes Feel So Bad, or How Hindsight Bias Clouds Our Decision Making Process

by Zach Marsh on Nov 15, 2019

Making decisions is tough.  Knowing how events will play out so that knowing you are taking the right course of action is impossible.  We all know that, or at least we tell each other that on a daily basis. Perhaps you may have consoled a friend who was beating herself up over a decision that did not work out.  Perhaps you told her, “You couldn’t know that things would turn out this way.

Market Commentary for Week Ended 11/15/2019

by David Rasmussen on Nov 15, 2019

Weekly Market Commentary

Both stocks and bonds were up this week quite comfortably.  Most strikingly, the 30 Year Treasury yield went from 2.42% last Friday to 2.32% early this afternoon, highlighting a readjustment of growth expectations after the weak Chinese economic data reported earlier this week.  Also, Jerome Powell, Chairman of the Federal Reserve, spoke at the economic club in New York.  He highlighted t

Investors are Not Vulcan Nerds

by David Rasmussen on Nov 8, 2019

Economists and financial academics have created elegant theories about how markets and assets prices should behave.  However, any theory, and there are many, that assumes market participants are always logical and never biased, is invalid.  The reality is that investors are not strictly logical, in fact we are quite flawed, because we are human.

The So-Called "All-Weather" Portfolio

by Zach Marsh on Nov 1, 2019

Ray Dalio, considered one of the all-time greatest hedge fund managers, years back set out to build a portfolio allocation designed to withstand all of the four major economic environments.  The environments as defined by him were as such:  Low Growth/Low Inflation, High Growth/Low Inflation, High Growth/High Inflation, and Low Growth/High Inflation.  He didn’t focus on determining which environment the economy was headed toward, but rather what com

For What It's Worth

by Zach Marsh on Nov 1, 2019

We are two months away from 2020 and almost exactly one year away from another dreaded presidential election.  The election three years ago seems to have irreparably altered the political landscape of the country.  Division among Republicans and Democrats, inside Washington and on streets and neighborhoods all around the country, is at levels unseen since the Civil War nearly perished from the Earth “a nation of the people by the people and for the

Market Commentary for Week Ended 11/1/2019

by David Rasmussen on Nov 1, 2019

Weekly Market Commentary

This week was all about the Federal Reserve’s interest rate announcement and some heavy hitting economic data.  The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) decided to lower rates from 1.75% to 1.5%.  This was a widely expected action, and therefore previously priced into the market.  The FOMC also signaled that that it believes 1.5% to be the appropriate rate for the indefinite future and th