Quote Blast Loops May Have Caused Nasdaq Freeze

Nanex did some digging into market data before the Nasdaq blackout at 12:20 EDT on August 22, 2013. They discovered several significant periods of extremely high quote volume. By plotting the number of messages for each of the 6 multicast lines used by the Tape C SIP (Securities Information Processor), we discovered the quote blasts map […]

Asset Allocation and Rebalancing Review

Oil is higher, Treasury yields are lower, and the crowd has a renewed appetite for holding US dollars. The news du jour behind these events: anxiety about pending US military action in Syria, or so we’re told. So much for the surprise factor. What’s next? A press release with a detailed list of targets and specific bombing […]

Another Golden Lesson For Asset Allocation and Rebalancing

Maybe it’s the sell recommendation from Goldman Sachs. Or perhaps the trigger is the general fear of a sharp slowdown in China’s economy that will take a toll on global GDP. Whatever the reason, the price of gold yesterday suffered it’s biggest drop in 30 years. For gold bugs who loaded up on the precious metal, it’s been a rough 24 […]

A Smart Way to Look at a ‘Dumb’ Investing Strategy

Expecting rebalancing to juice portfolio returns is a “dumb idea,” according to Forbes. “Rebalancing is fine if all you are trying to do is sleep better at night. But the idea that it increases your expected return is balderdash.” This can be reasonable advice… up to a point. But all-or-nothing blanket statements don’t usually fare well when […]

The (Really) High Price Of Active Management

It’s no secret that indexing is considerably less expensive than active management. It’s also well established that indexing’s lower price tag often provides a considerable performance advantage when measured over time. As it turns out, the drag from higher active fees is far larger than generally known. A recent article by consultant/strategist Charlie Ellis (author of the […]

Romancing Alpha (α), Breaking Up with Beta (β)

I want to step back from the usual market gyrations to discuss a broader topic: The pursuit of Alpha, where it goes wrong, and the actual cost in Beta. For those of you unfamiliar with the Wall Street’s Greek nomenclature, a quick (and oversimplified) primer: When we refer to Beta (β), we are referencing a portfolio’s correlation to its […]

Tactical ETF Review

The punditocracy is calling it the great rotation—selling bonds and buying stocks in 2013. Just as this buzz-phrase went viral, so did the warnings that the trend isn’t long for this world. Perhaps, but the momentum in favor of equities is certainly transparent so far in 2013. Reviewing our set of ETF proxies for the major […]

Is This a Good Time to Buy Stocks?

With the stock market setting new 5-year highs, I was interested to take another look at some of the long-term fundamentals underlying equity values. On the one hand, I’m expecting the real economy to be doing better in the second half of the year than it is right now, and inflation and interest rates to […]

Major Asset Classes: January 2013 Performance Review

Risky assets generally started the new year on a strong note, led by handsome gains for equities in the US and the developed world. The leading source of red ink last month: government bonds in developed markets. Overall, the unmanaged market-value weighted Global Market Index (GMI) gained 2.5% in January, building on a strong run […]

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