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…

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12 Jan

5 AM Alarm

January 12, 2019Printer-Friendly VersionAs I have aged, it seems my alarm clock goes off earlier and earlier. As a child, I somewhat dreaded waking up early in the morning unless it involved golf or some other sporting activity. Early morning Bible studies were thrown in the mix as I entered college. I have many older mentors to thank for motivating me to get up early and study the Bible. As I started my career, an earlier wake-up was the norm. Of course, once kids came along, the alarm clock was somewhat useless as babies became the new alarm clock (which went…

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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…

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14 Jan

The Grand Monetary Experiment

January 14, 2015Printer-Friendly Version“And so the miracle of the debt supercylce meets a logical end when yields, asset prices and in the increasing amount of credit place an unreasonable burden on the balancing scale of risk and return. Too little return for too much risk” – Bill Gross, January 2015Markets By The Numbers – 2014 In ReviewStocksGlobal stocks ended the year up 4.2%. There was quite a dispersion between U.S. stocks and international stocks as international developed and emerging market stocks recorded losses for the year. Continued concerns regarding slowing growth and a risk of deflation in the Euro-zone impacted international developed stocks. Slowing…

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