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5-Chart Friday (5/29/20)

5 charts from the past week that tell an interesting story in markets and investing… 1. Mortgage Rates at Historic Lows The 30-Year Mortgage Rate in the US hit another all-time low this week: 3.15%. 2. 81 … As in 81 Central Banks around the world cutting interest rates thus far in 2020. We’ve never […]

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Make a Habit of It

What were your new year’s resolutions entering 2020? If you’re like most people, your list probably included at least one of the following: Lose weight. Get back in shape. Eat healthier. Be less stressed. Get more sleep. Spend more quality time with your family. Get out of debt, save more. Read more. Learn something new. […]

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War and Peace

As Americans celebrate Memorial Day this weekend, we honor all those who served and paid the ultimate price in the name of freedom. This year, we find ourselves fighting a different kind of war. It’s most certainly a world war, but one very different from the last. From its start in 1939 to its end […]

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5-Chart Friday (5/22/20)

5 charts from the past week that tell an interesting story in markets and investing… 1. $7 Trillion and Counting The Fed’s balance sheet moved above $7 trillion this week for the first time, with $2.9 trillion in asset purchased in just the last 3 months. In 2008, the Fed increased its assets by over […]

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Dazed and Confused

If the dichotomy between markets and the economy has left you dazed and confused, you’re not alone. For on one side of the ledger, you have… 16.5% of the US labor force on unemployment, the highest on record (data back to 1967). US Employment to Population Ratio down to 51.3%, a new low. The prior […]

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New York Strong

Surreal. In driving through Manhattan a few weeks ago, that’s the only way I could possibly describe it. Stores closed. Streets empty. Sounds of silence. Even the crossroads of the world, Times Square, was desolate. As a lifelong New Yorker, it felt like a dream. A dream that has now lasted for nearly 2 months. […]

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5-Chart Friday (5/15/20)

5 charts from the past week that tell an interesting story in markets and investing. 1. Industrial Production US Industrial Production is down 15% year-over-year. Capacity Utilization Rate fell to 64.9%, lowest level on record (data back to 1967). 2. Retail Sales US Retail Sales are down 17.8% year-over-year, largest decline on record (data back […]

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5-Chart Friday (5/8/20)

5 charts from the past week that tell an interesting story in markets and investing. 1. US Unemployment Highest since Depression US Unemployment Rate moves up to 14.7%. The peak % in prior recessions…2007-09: 10.0%2001: 6.3%1990-1991: 7.8%1981-1982: 10.8%1973-75: 9.0%1969-70: 6.1%1960-61: 7.1%1957-58: 7.5%1953-54: 6.1%1948-49: 7.9% pic.twitter.com/5VuZB958WV — Charlie Bilello (@charliebilello) May 8, 2020 US Employment to […]

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5-Chart Friday (5/1/20)

5 charts from the past week that tell an interesting story in markets and investing. 1. 1 out of 3 … on Facebook 1 out of 3 people on the planet are now using using facebook on a monthly basis. 2.6 billion MAU / 7.8 billion global population = 33.33% Facebook Monthly Active Users, Billions […]

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5-Chart Friday (4/24/20)

5 charts from the past week that tell an interesting story in markets and investing. 1. Unemployment Rising at Record Pace 12.5% of the labor force in the US is on unemployment as of the end of last week. 2. Pizza vs. Software Software is eating the world and the world is eating pizza. Two […]

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5-Chart Friday (4/17/20)

5 charts from the past week that tell an interesting story in markets and investing. 1. Bank Earnings Crushed Bank Earnings…$C: $2.5b profit (-46% YoY), added $7b to loan loss reserves$BAC: $4b profit (-45% YoY), $3.6b loan reserves$GS: $1.2b profit (-46% YoY), $937m loan reserves$WFC: $653m profit (-89% YoY), $3.1b loan reserves$JPM: $2.9b profit (-69% […]

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5-Chart Friday (4/10/20)

5 charts from the past week that tell an interesting story in markets and investing. 1. Good Friday New York COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to trend lower… 2. Forza Italia Italy reported the lowest number of new COVID-19 cases since March 13 (3,039), 7-day average lowest since March 13-19. (See related post) 3. One Downtrend We […]

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Life is Beautiful

Italy. No country has been hit harder by this virus. The bad news there has been unrelenting, day after day, week after week. It almost seemed as if it would never end. But alas, there is a glimmer of hope. I’ve been tracking the number of new COVID-19 cases in Italy, and over the past […]

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5-Chart Friday (4/3/20)

5 charts from the past week that tell an interesting story in markets and investing. 1. A Turn for the Better in Hard-hit Italy 🙏 Italy has reported an average of 4,428 new COVID-19 cases over the last 5 days, the lowest 5-day average since March 15-19. Hoping and praying this continues… 2. Crude Oil […]

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How Anytown, USA Could Save the World

Test, test, test. That has become the mantra in battling the novel coronavirus. The more testing we do, the more information we have, and the better decisions we can make about the best way to move forward. This is a sensible strategy, but only testing the sickest among us is giving us incomplete information, and […]

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5-Chart Friday (3/27/20)

5 charts from the past week that tell an interesting story in markets and investing.. 1. Big Swings Continue The Dow was up 11.37% on Tuesday, its 4th largest gain in history (see recent post). If we look back at the top 25 daily gains historically, 15 occurred during the Great Depression (August 1929 – […]

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Hope, Faith, and Destiny

Hope “Hope is the thing with feathersThat perches in the soulAnd sings the tune without the wordsAnd never stops at all.” – Emily Dickinson One month ago, Wuhan and the Hubei Provence were the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak. In the past week, new reported cases there have moved down to zero. In broader China, […]

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5-Chart Friday (3/20/20)

5 charts from the past week that tell an interesting story in markets and investing… 1. Back to 0% In a 2nd emergency cut, the Fed moved 100 bps to bring interest rates back down to an all-time low of 0.00-0.25%. Other Central Banks cutting rates this week: New Zealand, Canada, Norway, UK, Australia, South […]

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Apocalypse Interrupted

I’m interrupting your regularly scheduled programming of the coming apocalypse to bring you some encouraging news… The world is not coming to an end – not by a long shot. We are figuring this thing out, and faster than anyone could have ever predicted. In South Korea, they have been testing 20,000 people per day […]

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When All News Is Bad News

The Volatility Index (VIX), also known as the “fear index,” ended today at 82.69. Since its inception in 1990 it has never had a higher close. When was the previous record? November 20, 2008. In the midst of the Global Financial Crisis, after the Lehman Bankruptcy, and 11 months into the worst recession since the […]

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5-Chart Friday (3/13/20)

5 charts from the past week that tell an interesting story in markets and investing… 1. Oil Crashes Crude Oil fell over 24% on Monday, the 2nd largest 1-day decline in history. Energy stocks fell in tandem, with the largest 5-day decline for the Energy sector ever ($XLE -34.6%). 2. Remember Tilray? It’s now down […]

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5-Chart Friday (3/6/20)

5 charts from the past week that tell an interesting story in markets and investing… 1. New All-Time Low in Mortgage Rates It’s official… The 30-Year Mortgage Rate in the US hit a new all-time low this week: 3.29%. 2. Let the Easing Begin… In the first emergency move since 2008, the Fed cut rates […]

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5-Chart Friday (2/28/20)

5 charts from the past week that tell an interesting story in markets and investing… 1) Volatility Returns This was the largest weekly spike in the history of the Volatility Index. +135% (Note: VIX started in 1990). 2) Historic Decline in Dow The Dow declined 13% over the past 6 trading days. Going back to […]

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How to Think About Investing Cash on the Sidelines

This is a story many of you will be familiar with. You have money to invest that’s been sitting in cash. This is money you don’t expect to need or access for more than 20 years, if ever. You know that cash is likely to significantly underperform a diversified investment portfolio over the next 20+ […]

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5-Chart Friday (2/21/20)

5 charts from the past week that tell an interesting story in markets and investing… 1) 1.90% … for 30 Years? The 30-Year US Treasury Yield closed at an all-time low today: 1.90%. On October 26, 1981, it closed at an all-time high of 15.21%. My how times have changed. 2) Software is eating the […]

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5-Chart Friday (2/14/20)

5 charts from the past week that tell an interesting story in markets and investing… 1) Growth vs. Value The ratio of growth stocks to value stocks is at its highest level in 19 years. The top 10 holdings in the large cap growth ETF (IWF)… The top 10 holdings in the large cap value […]

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The Price of Admission

When investors think about risk, 2008 is usually the first thing that comes to mind. And for good reason. It was the worst year that most investors alive today have ever experienced. With dividends included, the S&P 500 lost 37% in 2008, its largest decline since 1931 (during the Great Depression). Since the end of […]

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5-Chart Friday (2/7/20)

5 charts from the past week that tell an interesting story in markets and investing… 1) All-Time Highs … Again Well, that was quick. After a brief 3% pullback on “coronavirus concerns,” the S&P 500 and other major US indices rocketed back to new all-time highs this week. For the S&P 500, it was the […]

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5-Chart Friday (1/31/20)

5 charts from the past week that tell an interesting story in markets and investing… 1. Copper and Coronavirus Down 12 days in a row, this is the longest down streak in history for Copper (data going back to 1971). Who is the largest importer of Copper? You guessed it … China. Fears about the […]

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Bonds, Bubbles and Biases

What returns are you expecting from bonds over the next five years? If you’re like most investors, your answer is probably too high. Why? Because of something called recency bias, the human tendency to give more weight to the recent past in making projections about the future. And why is that a problem today? Because […]

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Having a Why to Live

What brings meaning to your life? There’s no more important question. But how often do we take the time to sit and actually think about it? Days turn into weeks, weeks turn into months, and months turn into years. ‘We’ll focus on it tomorrow; there’s still plenty of time.’ And so the question remains, burning […]

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2019: The Year in Charts

Here are the charts and themes that tell the story of 2019… I. From Humble Beginnings “Bear Market. Inverted Yield Curve. Trade War. Government Shutdown. Recession.” These were just a few of the ominous buzzwords heard at the start of 2019. The S&P 500 had just suffered its worst December since the Great Depression (-9%) […]

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20 Rules for Markets and Investing

1) Be humble or the markets will eventually find a way to humble you. Having more confidence is a good thing in many areas of life. Markets are not one of them. More confident investors tend to trade more and take on undue risk, leading to worse performance. Men are generally more confident in their […]

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Compound Your Life

Compounding. It’s more than just an investing concept. It’s the idea that exponential growth is possible in many of the most important areas of life. Love and relationships, health and fitness, knowledge and wisdom, mindfulness and spirituality – all have elements that can benefit from the power of compounding. In investing, the formula for compounding […]

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