The Mutual Funds Channel

Fourth Quarter 2018 - The Year When Nothing Worked

2018 will be broadly remembered as a year when nothing worked and daily stock market volatility spiked. This contrasted with 2017 where seemingly everything pushed higher, and volatility was low. But in 2018, nearly every single asset class and all but one major stock market index (Brazil) around the globe posted negative returns.

3 Ways to Protect Clients' Investments This Year

Stock market participants for most of the past few years have eschewed protection. It was all about making large amount of gains. Almost every advisor lost clients from “cocktail party” conversations about who had made the most money recently.

Low Volatility is the equity factor winner for 2018

In the fourth quarter, Dividend Yield was also a strong competitor.

Retests, Recessions, and Rallies

Recently, much has been written, and said, about a retest. The reference is about the major indices pulling back to their recent December closing lows, creating a double-bottom in the charts.

ECRI Weekly Leading Index Update: "Colliding With the Economic Cycle – Again"

This morning's release of the publicly available data from ECRI puts its Weekly Leading Index (WLI) at 143.4, up 2.1 from the previous week. Year-over-year the four-week moving average of the indicator is now at -2.86%, down from last week. The WLI Growth indicator is now at -6.51, also down from the previous week.


Everyone knows how to win. Few know how to lose. Yet the secret to making money in the various markets is knowing how to lose. How to control your losses.

The Hidden Advantage of Long/Short Portfolios

Today I’ll look at the conventional wisdom that the tax burden of an investment strategy increases with its turnover. In addition, I’ll discuss why short selling is perceived to be particularly tax inefficient.

Gundlach’s Forecast for 2019

Jeffrey Gundlach said that 2019 will mark the start of a period when bond markets must reckon with the rising federal deficit. In his most passionate comments ever on this topic, he said the exploding national debt and liabilities involving pension funds, state and local government governments and Social Security have reached a stage that is “totally unthinkable.”

Using the Muni Bond Calendar to Help Clients

Keeping an eye on how the municipal bond calendar will influence new issues and investing opportunities is wise advice. With the muni market expected to remain robust in 2019, investors and their advisors need to watch the calendar for new issues that best meet their specific financial goals and investment strategies.

Is the Fed Done Hiking Rates? Watch the Price of Gold

One of the possible implications of a less aggressive Fed in 2019 is a weaker dollar. And once the dollar starts to lose ground relative to other world currencies, the price of gold could rocket up to as much as $1,500 in the blink of an eye.

The Year of Living Dangerously

I expect to spend this year Living Dangerously. Yes, I’m thinking of the 1982 film starring a very youthful Mel Gibson and Sigourney Weaver, based on an earlier Christopher Koch novel. It has an Asian setting and features corrupt politics, neophyte journalists, international intrigue plus a gender-bending Chinese dwarf. If you aren’t sure how all those fit together, then welcome to 2019. We are all stuck in this craziness and can only make the best of it.

The Grinch Comes to Loanland, but Expect a Short Visit

Just seven short weeks ago, the floating-rate loan market was standing tall with a 4.0% year-to-date return through October. Not only were loans on pace for the 5%+ calendar year mark that many anticipated, they had performed with remarkably low volatility and a performance profile that trumped all major asset classes.

Not Dovish Enough? Thornburg’s Brady on the Fed and Markets

The U.S. Federal Reserve has roiled markets with its latest rate hike and comments from Chairman Jerome Powell, who disappointed many investors as insufficiently dovish in his December 19 remarks.

‘Tis the Season for Diversification

Equity markets send a timely reminder about diversifying into alternatives.

Revisit My 5 Most Popular Posts of 2018

Looking back over the past 12 months, I’m not surprised to see that my five most popular and widely shared posts of 2018 involve gold (with one exception). With many stocks falling into correction territory or worse, the yellow metal emerged as a standout asset in the fourth quarter on safe haven demand.