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Tag Archives: economy
Now that we have a good set of top economic reads on the state of the economy and a list of the top 6 individual economic indicators, we can tackle using these indicators to get a gauge on where we are in the economic cycle. In this post we’ll present a simple heat map of the top 6 economic indicators, look at what the heat map looked like in previous recessionary periods, and finally compare it to what the heat map is saying today. This will become a regular monthly post, published on or just after the third Friday of … Continue reading
A quick post on a new page I have added to the blog. In the top menu you will see a page called ‘Top 6 Economic Indicators“. On this page you will find FRED graphs of 6 economic indicators, updated automatically when new data is available. I’ll tell you a bit more about these indicators below and why they were chosen. First, there are a lot of economic indicators these days. There are individual indicators (we track 66 of them), like the unemployment rate, for very measuring very specific aspects of the economy, and composite indicators (made up of many individual … Continue reading
You’d have to have been living in a cave, or dry camping in the wilds for 6 weeks like I was until a few weeks ago, to not have been bombarded by the 2 words that I allude to in the title of this post. I’ll try and spare you and only say them a few times in the post. Needless to say the ‘fiscal cliff’ fears have taken a bit of a toll on income investments, in particular equity income investments that have performed well so far this year. I thought it wold be useful to take a look … Continue reading
OK. I know. I’m schizophrenic. In my last post I’m telling you why I think interest rates will stay low longer than people expect. Now, I’m going to explain how rates could go higher and why I’m hoping they do. One of the things that makes investing a challenge is that you’re dealing with the future. As Yogi Bera so eloquently put, “It’s hard to make predictions, especially about the future”. The future, having many possible outcomes, is about dealing with probabilities. Most investors can’t deal with this. We’re emotionally wired with many biases that prevent us from effectively dealing … Continue reading
Here is the updated income investor dashboard for September. Prices are as of the market close on Friday September 2nd. August overall had one general theme; stocks bad, bonds good. See the dashboard below. August was one of the worst months on record for stocks. Markets are trading mainly on macro level news, European bank and sovereign concerns, US economic slowdown or recession concerns, etc. Stock indexes were down big for the month with international and emerging markets getting hit the hardest. I’ve heard it said that the US market is the winner in the ugly contest or something like … Continue reading
Today I wanted to update my top 3 contrarian indicators. The market selloff continues and looking at contrarian indicators can give an investor an edge in determining the right time to buy. I introduced these indicators in this post; money flows; investors sentiment, and margin debt. Lets see what they’re telling us. First up, money flows. Money continues to pour out of equity mutual funds. The latest data from ICI is below. The $30B outflow out of equity funds in the week ending Aug 10th was the worst since Q1 2009. On a monthly basis you can see the comparison … Continue reading
With all the discussion of the current economic situation in the US, jobs, deficits, etc.. it constantly amazes me how short term oriented and myopic investors can sometimes be. In this regard I think we could gain some insight by looking at what’s happened in Japan since 1990. Barry Ritholz at the Big Picture has a great post comparing the Japanese and US stock markets from their great boom peaks. Take a look. As the famous saying goes, history doesn’t necessarily repeat but it often rhymes. In the most optimistic light I can put this, there are enough gloom and … Continue reading
Here is the Income Investor Dashboard for April 2011. Prices are as of the close of markets on March 31, 2011. Despite a very exciting and volatile month not much changed in terms of market prices and yields. At one point during the month US markets were down, on the Japan and Libya situations, about 6% but managed to comeback in the end. There was basically no changed in stock index or sector yields except for the Vanguard High Yield Index. Also, the MLP index, AMZ, got a little cheaper during the month but only by less than 1%. In … Continue reading
Huh? Why the question mark in the title of this post you may ask? Well, it has to do with my thoughts on forecasts. This time of year is one of the more entertaining. Slews of economists, investment strategists, and research houses put out there forecasts for market performance in 2011. I find this to be one of the more comedic episodes in the Wall Street machine. First, for the forecasts themselves. Jeff Miller and Mebane Faber saved me the work of compiling some of the big name forecasts. From Mebane’s post; I was going to write an article about … Continue reading
The holidays are here and its made posting a bit tougher. Its hard to work on a post with family members all around, left over turkey and pumpkin pie all over the place. Not that I am complaining. For today, I found a couple of interesting charts on inflation. Its hard to find a more controversial topic today than the US dollar and inflation. There is a lot of gloom and doom on the US currency these days and rampant fears of its precipitous decline with accompanied hyper inflation. I find during times like these it is instructive to look … Continue reading