10 Mar

Volatility Returns

March 7, 2020Printer-Friendly VersionVolatility has returned to global financial markets. As seen in figure 1 below, the Volatility Index (“VIX”) has spiked to the highest level since 2015. However, looking further back, the VIX is nowhere near the Great Recession of 2008-2009. History proves that volatility in financial markets is nothing new. However, since early 2009, the US markets have enjoyed a low period of volatility.Coming into 2020, the US Stock market was naturally elevated after a decade long decline in the VIX (figure 2). Price to Earnings (P/E) ratios were also elevated (figure 3). As seen in this chart, in the past high levels of P…

Read More
4 May

Perseverance in Down Markets

May 4, 2015Printer-Friendly VersionThe first Sunday in April is always one of my favorite days of the year as it typically marks the final round of The Masters Golf Tournament. This year, defending champion Jordan Spieth entered the final 9 holes of the golf tournament with a 5 shot lead. He had been flawless through 63 holes and it was almost a foregone conclusion that he would march through the final 9 holes and be the first back-to-back champion since Tiger Woods in 2001-2002. He bogeyed 10 and 11. Then he stepped to the tee of the famous 12th hole, a 155-yard par three, the middle hole…

Read More
13 Jan

Shifting Sands

January 13, 2015Printer-Friendly VersionBaseball is a funny sport. Just when you thought you have seen everything, something happens in the course of a game that has never happened in the history of the sport. The same could be said for the stock market. Case in point was the first week of 2016. In the United States, the Dow dropped 6.1%, the S&P 500 6.0% and the Nasdaq 7.3% all in one week, making the decline the worst on record for the start of a year. U.S. markets were heavily impacted by a weak Chinese stock market and a devaluation of their currency. China has…

Read More
13 Oct

Short-Termism

October 13, 2015Printer-Friendly VersionWhat does Vanguard’s CEO, a portfolio manager, and an economist have in common? They all agree investors focus way too much on the short-term. “Looking at investments in less than a 5 to 10 year window is time wasted. People should be thinking in 10-year increments around their portfolios because it’s really difficult to have any sense in the short-run what is going to happen.” Bill McNabb, Vanguard’s CEOShort-termism refers to an excessive focus on short-term results at the expense of long-term interests. How do you define “short-term” in investing? My argument has always been that any money you inte…

Read More
22 Aug

Risk vs. Volatility

Posted by hancockp Categories: Markets Stock Market Investing Bonds Risk Volatility s&P 500

August 21, 2015Printer-Friendly VersionAs an avid reader and follower of global financial markets, it’s very rare a day goes by that I don’t observe what transpires in markets. I am fascinated by the ebbs and flows of data, information, economies and markets. Learning new ideas challenges my mind and hopefully improves my ability to manage portfolios.One thing I have learned over the years is that there is a lot of noise in financial markets. It’s this noise that can easily throw investors off a long-term financial plan. Case in point is what happened today in global financial market…

Read More
Next Page