Latest Posts

Lessons Learned from Wading Across a River with an Average Depth of 6 Feet

by Zach Marsh on Dec 31, 2021

Looking back on the year that has been we can definitely say it has been a good year for headline stock indices. The S&P 500 gained 29%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 20.1%. The Nasdaq 100 gained 28%. The past year’s outstanding returns only adds to the amazing, compounded returns achieved by each of these indices over the past 5 year. Since 2017 the Nasdaq has gained over 250%, the Dow 100.4%, and the S&P 500 133%.

2021 Has Been a Good Year for Stocks, at least a Handful

by Zach Marsh on Dec 17, 2021

The S&P 500 is two weeks away from finishing off an impressive year. After logging an 18+% return in 2020--recovering from a disastrous start to rally 65% from the March 2020 lows--the blue-chip index is set to add another 20+% return again in 2021. You can’t argue that the most watched and tracked index in the world is generating wonderful returns for investors.

Behind the Eightball, or Stuck Between a Rock and a Hard Place

by Zach Marsh on Dec 3, 2021

This week we witnessed the return of volatility. Twice this week overnight S&P 500 moves eclipsed 1%. Daily ranges for the S&P, the difference between the lows and the highs of the day, averaged 2%. At writing, the S&P 500 is down over 1.5% for the week. Volatility is even more pronounced in Tech shares and small-cap companies. The Russell 2000, the small-cap index, is down over 12% from its highs on November 8th.

Oy Vey, What Now?

by Zach Marsh on Nov 26, 2021

The shortened holiday week got a shock this morning when stock markets around the world dropped precipitously on news that a new strain of the coronavirus is emerging in South Africa. This new strain, with much still unknown about it, seems more impervious to vaccines currently on the market. The immediate reaction in financial markets is to revert back to the playbook from early spring 2020.

6.2% > 2%

by Zach Marsh on Nov 12, 2021

The October CPI was released this week and shocked the market with a hotter than expected reading of 6.2% year over year inflation. The Fed has, up until now, believed that hotter inflation was temporary—transitory in their language. They are beginning to reassess that belief now. At the beginning of the pandemic the Fed changed its inflation target from 2% to what I would call 2%-ish.

How Much is Too Much of a Good Thing?

by Zach Marsh on Oct 29, 2021

Stock indices closed the month of October having recovered all of the ground they ceded in September. For the month, the S&P 500 gained over 6.75%, the Nasdaq 100 added 7.47%, and the Russell 2000 gained just under 4%. Big tech names were the biggest winners this month. Tesla gained a whopping 41.7%, Nvidia gained over 23% and Microsoft added 17.12%.

Where Do We Go From Here

by Zach Marsh on Oct 15, 2021

This week the market seems to have shaken off the September slump. After struggling to put together a convincing rally during the last 18 trading sessions, the S&P 500 appears to be breaking out above previous resistance levels. If the market holds its current levels as of 12:30 pm very little stands in the way of it regaining the highs set in early September.

In Defense of Momentum Investing

by Zach Marsh on Oct 1, 2021

Today marked the beginning of not just a new month but a new quarter for financial markets. September, traditionally the worst month for the stock market, delivered returns inline with tradition. For the month the S&P was down over 4.9%, the Nasdaq 100 was down 5.6%, and the small-cap Russell 2000 was down 2.9%. September also brought the 3rd quarter to a close.

Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?

by Zach Marsh on Sep 24, 2021

Many commodities are in short supply these days. Car manufacturers can produce enough cars due to chip shortages. Ask any contractor and they’ll tell you how dear lumber was, earlier this year. I even read somewhere that the price of window coverings went up over 17% in just the month of August. But if you ask me, the one thing that we are in very short supply of these days is context.

A Coiled Spring?

by Zach Marsh on Sep 17, 2021

Given the rapid upward trajectory of the stock market since the March 2020 lows, recent market behavior has felt a little like a wet blanket. The headline S&P 500 index has continued to push higher, and the large-cap tech index Nasdaq 100 has followed along. But for those seeking equity allocation away from large-cap US stocks the returns have been much more challenging.