Sitting, Waiting And Wishing

OCEAN CITY — One exchange-traded fund (ETF) tracking a broad index of Japanese equities provided a return of 42% last year while  another one doing the same thing delivered 26%. The critical difference was that the first ETF hedged its foreign currency exposure against the falling Japanese yen while the second one did not. With… Read more »

Value Sought Amid Current Market Turmoil

OCEAN CITY — After uncommonly smooth sailing last year, investors in U.S. stocks felt some ill winds in the first quarter. The harsh winter weather contributed to weak reports on the U.S. economy, while news from China and other Emerging Markets produced similar chilling effects. Another cross current earlier in the quarter arose from uncertainty… Read more »

Investors Needing To Dig Deep For Value, Income

OCEAN CITY — After the financial market fireworks of last year, first-quarter returns across many assets have been within a narrow range. Markets are generally flat to slightly higher, with stock returns muted despite recent data showing signs of improvement in the U.S. economy.Many measures of volatility and political uncertainty remain at low levels. We… Read more »

Hold Off Reactions To Poor Start

OCEAN CITY — Since the start of 2013, our advice has been for clients to consider broadening their exposure to developed market equities beyond the U.S., with Japan being a favored region. Japanese equities have fallen approximately 5% year-to-date in U.S. dollar terms, among the worst performance within developed markets.Despite this poor start, we remain… Read more »

Odds Against Current Downtown Continues For Long

OCEAN CITY — In our Jan. 17 Weekly Letter (Making Sense of the Employment Report) we focused on the December U.S. payroll  data indicating a weaker pace of job creation than expected. Since then, additional economic indicators have heightened concerns about a slowdown. The January payroll report was disappointing as well. Measures for industrial production… Read more »