WHAT'S NEW? Our Latest Updates!

August 2023 Performance Review

The economy is not slipping into a recession so far, at least not in the USA. However, rates are expected to remain high due to escalating costs in energy and housing. Notably, only short-term bond funds exhibited growth last month, with almost all fund categories sinking. Some riskier bond funds were the exception, benefiting from a robust economy that supports higher default risk bonds.

Trade Alert

One of the ETF holdings in our Conservative portfolio, the NightShares 2000 ETF (NIVM), was liquidated last week. For now, we're shifting the 5% allocation to cash via an ETF specializing in 6-month T-bills. This means we're transitioning from a no-yield cash position to an actual cash-like fund with a much higher yield. 

July 2023 Performance Review

The stock market is like a fighter in a movie, taking severe punishment in the form of rising rates and saying, "Is that all ya got?" to commentators asking "what is keeping him standing?" before a big comeback.

June 2023 Performance Review

Considering our heavy exposure to value stocks and bonds, we're surprised to be at least in the ballpark of the Vanguard benchmark total global portfolio fund. This is despite the tech and large-cap growth market quickly outpacing us.

May 2023 Performance Review

The economy remains surprisingly buoyant, despite the Federal Reserve's relentless rate increases to temper persistent, high inflation. Given that we're still in a real estate bubble, built upon a foundation of low rates and lax Covid-related fiscal and monetary policy, this is quite a remarkable feat. 

April 2023 Performance Review

This year has been marked by turbulence in the banking sector. The total assets of failed banks already exceed the inflation-adjusted assets of the banks that failed in 2008 during the financial crisis. These stark figures suggest we are likely to surpass the total assets of all the banks that collapsed during the 2008 crisis, which saw elevated failures through 2012 due to massive losses from aggressive real estate lending during a substantial housing bubble.

March 2023 Performance Review

Despite the recent stress in the regional banking industry, both the stock and bond markets performed well last month. As a result of the situation, hundreds of billions of dollars left banks and flowed into money market funds that invest in Treasury bills, which now offer close to a 5% yield.

February 2023 Performance Review

The strong recovery in bonds and stocks from the lows of 2022 that continued into January came to an abrupt halt in February. Bonds are now essentially flat for the year while the stock market gains, which almost broke 10%, have been cut in half.

January 2023 Performance Review

Stocks and bonds rebounded sharply in January as investors upped bets on a so-called soft landing in the economy. Expectations of falling inflation without a serious recession led to a flurry of dip buying, notably in the hardest-hit areas of last year. Falling longer-term interest rates pushed up bond prices but imply low inflation and probably a recession are in the cards. Economic numbers are by and large very good, considering how fast interest rates have risen, but then it takes time for rate increases to help start a recession, historically.

December 2022 Performance Review

2022 was one of the worst calendar years for the stock market. The 18.15% drop in the S&P 500 (including dividends and index fund fees) was the seventh worst annual hit since the 1920s. This in itself is not that remarkable. The interesting part was that the bond market was also down 13.25% – essentially the worst year in history for the bond market.