Category Archives: Investments

The Importance of the U.S. Consumer

To borrow from an often used slogan, with slight improvisation, "It's the spending stupid." The surest way to get our economy back on track again is to have businesses and, even more importantly, consumers start spending again. In an economy where 70% of growth comes from spending, reports that show Americans saving more and spending less are generally not received positively by economists. The question then becomes how best to achieve this seemingly simple objective of encouraging individuals and companies to start spending again.Read more

Is there a Bond Bubble that is about to Burst?

We have been repeatedly asked over the course of the last several weeks if there is in fact a bond (or more specifically a U.S. Treasury bond) bubble that is about to burst. A valid argument can be made for the likelihood of a drop in U.S. Treasury bond prices in the near future due to the following factors:Read more

The Growing Popularity of Exchange-traded funds

According to the Investment Company Institute ("ICI"), as of April 2009, there are now 726 Exchange-traded funds ("ETFs") with over $529 billion in assets. Since 1995, according to my calculations, the number of ETFs has increased by approximately 96% per year over this period. Not only has the number and type of ETFs increased but the popularity of these products across institutional investors, financial advisors and individual investors has also risen over this time frame. For evidence of this trend towards ETF utilization, as I referenced in a post earlier this year, one needs to look no further than to Monday, September 15, 2008. According to Barclays Global Investors, this day represented one of the largest trading days, based on volume, in U.S. history and ETFs accounted for 40% of the trading volume in U.S. equities that day - 40%!Read more