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Showing posts from June, 2021

Sound Advice: June 16, 2021

Don't Expect Another Big Gain   As has often been the case after the market has turned in an unusually broad advance, the gurus of Wall Street continue to build their cases for more of the same.   This most certainly is a replay of a recent film entitled Dumb and Dumber.   Successful investors are best served by planning for the worst while hoping for the best.   That's especially so in the wake of a few years when almost every asset class delivered fine returns.   But a bet on a back-to-back bingo of this sort ignores the writing on the wall, which is anything but encouraging. For starters, stock valuations are stretched.   To be sure, there are seers who find ways to look ahead and opine that when you look far enough ahead today's prices don't seem that high.   The problem with this approach is that Wall Streeters don't use binoculars.   For these folks, the future is a concept that views the next few quarters, not the next few years.   When seen that way, i

Sound Advice: June 9, 2021

Why Investors Need Advisers Who Are Fiduciaries Pity the average investor looking for the answer to the question we all face: "Will I have enough?"   With millions of baby boomers now facing the challenge of retirement and the desire to maintain a hoped-for lifestyle, the search for a competent adviser who will put the interest of the investor first is not one that can be easily undertaken.   Over my decades in the industry, it has become abundantly clear that most individual investors are clueless about how to go about finding a proper adviser.   Although the major brokerage houses and insurance companies will happily sweet talk you with offerings that are best positioned to improve their own bottom lines, the odds of finding the right person are not good.     In the absence of a fiduciary requirement, all that is required of the nonfiduciary financial adviser is that the product or service being offered is suitable.   And, no surprise, the definition of suitability is

Sound Advice: June 2, 2021

Are stocks getting too pricey?   If our only focus is on Wall Street and a stock market that seems to know only one direction, one might think that once again we're in a Goldilocks era.   Not too hot.   Not too cold.   Just right. The hitch is that there's a lot more going on than what takes place during the midday trading hours of each weekday.   As usual, Congress is making a lot of noise and getting little done.   Israel is again jockeying for a change in leadership.   And, countries around the globe continue the struggle to get the pandemic under control. Back in 1849, Alphonse Karr, editor of Le Figaro , said "the more things change, the more they stay the same".   Over time, people tend to repeat long-term behavior patterns, which is why history is an essential part of our educational curricula.   So much of what we are seeing now has already been done in perhaps a different fashion in the past.   The point is that there are developments and there are resu