It was beautiful to behold. Stocks could do no wrong for seven straight days. The markets soared with the S&P 500 gaining 7% and the NASDAQ rising even more. That is until Friday. (more…)

It was a good week for investors as global markets bounced to the tune of 3-4% overall. Of course, don’t look for an underlying reason for such a big move. It was simply a technical exercise that one can normally expect after a prolonged decline. (more…)

You may have heard the term or even read the book “Black Swan” by Nassin Taleb sometime over the last few years. Most people mistakenly believe that a so-called “Black Swan Event” was all about the inability of Wall Street to manage risk leading up to the financial crisis of 2008 but that’s only partially true. (more…)

Down but not out

The stock market is down 10% over the last nine days from peak to trough. That kind of move can rattle investors and trigger a bearish psychology that can play havoc with your emotions. It’s time to keep this market in perspective. (more…)

The next time you run out of ideas for that perfect gift, save this column. I am about to give you over 200 one of a kind gift ideas that will cost you only as much as you want to spend and at the same time make anyone happy. Global Giving beats the heck out of giving your old man that gift set of Old Spice or your brother a gift card from Amazon. (more…)

Back to the Future

One week up, the next down, with nary a profit to be found over the last two months. Unfortunately, I see more of the same ahead of us. The bottom won’t be in until investors throw in the towel. It will require fear, panic and a bit of loathing among global investors. Obviously, we have not reached that stage as of yet. (more…)

Newspapers around the world heralded the news that China was easing their currency peg. Global markets soared overnight Sunday and into Monday on the announcement. At last, crowed the pundits, the Chinese had caved into pressure from its trading partners to drop the two-year old Chinese practice of pegging the value of the Chinese Yuan to the rise and fall of the U.S. dollar. Yet, three days later it is hard to see what all the fuss is about.

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After the S&P 500 Index’s sharp 5% bounce, gains have been tougher to come by this week although the index still put together a 2% move higher. The bulls are loving that and expect even more upside in the coming week. (more…)

All or Nothing

The beat goes on with dizzying regularity: big down days, followed by big up days with nary a reason for either. Hedge funds, flash traders and computer-driven programs are now calling the shots in our stock markets. It has truly become a casino. (more…)

Given the volatility of the stock market over the last few weeks, it is no surprise that annuity and life insurance salesmen, brokers and financial advisors are once again touting the wonderful benefits of fixed and variable annuities. Don’t get sucked into their sales pitch because the facts are that annuities only make sense for a tiny fraction of the population. (more…)