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Happy Anniversary, Bull Market

After a largely uninterrupted five-year run-up in stocks that began in early 2009, optimism is high, but so are doubts over the sustainability of good times for stocks.

February 2014 Performance Review

The seesaw is back. A market that was looking a little scary in January and early February rebounded strongly, leaving the stocks basically flat for the year (until, that is, the start of March when Russian mischief sent stocks plummeting anew).

Pray for Rain

Some part of us sort of root for a pullback. Here are some reasons nearly any investor (not just Bobby McFerrin) should stop worrying and even be happy about a drop in stocks.

January 2014 Performance Review

The almost uninterrupted upward run in U.S. stocks ended in January, with a 3.5% drop in the S&P 500, a slide that so far is continuing into February. While hardly severe by historic standards, this was the worst month for stocks since May 2012 and we’re now down about 5% from all-time highs.

2014 Predictions

This will be a risky five-year stretch, with 20% drops possible at the first sign of any economic hiccup, foreign or domestic. Without bubble-grade stock valuations or underlying large-scale economic problems like real estate speculation, 50%+ stock drops are less likely than they were during past peaks, yet always possible.

Powerfund Portfolios Year-End Review

In hindsight, it was a year in which to invest wholeheartedly in U.S. stocks, the perfect cap to a multi-year trend of outperformance that began right about the time everyone gave up on America

The Internet’s Glass is More Than Half- Full

After years of separation, investors have finally rekindled their love affair with stocks. That on-again, off-again romance is definitely back on again, with billions going back into stock funds each month. Investors' infatuation with bond funds is also ending. Nearly $100 billion have come out of bond funds in 2013. They're just not that enticing anymore. Does this mean we should expect trouble down the road for the stock market, and if so, what sort?


2013 is turning out to be among the best calendar years for stocks ever. With November’s 3% rise in the S&P 500, we’re now up almost 29% for the year. But the excitement was mostly in U.S. stocks. Bonds sunk slightly and emerging market stocks dropped just over 2%. Larger foreign stocks also underperformed, up less than 1%. 

Big and Tall?

As the stock market continues to rise, we hear experts claiming stocks are not that expensive compared to bonds. They cite modest P/E ratios and record earnings. While the P/E ratio of the market (looking at real earnings, not future expected earnings) is far from a historical bargain, it has been pricier in the past. 

October 2013 Performance Review

In October stocks went back to their old tricks and treats…see-sawing up and down on scary financial news but ultimately ending with a big gain. As the specter of global calamity resulting from a shutdown and defaulting U.S. Government fell to the wayside (at least for a few months…) the stock market sprang back to life, and is now up for the year about as much as the entire year of 2008 – a major rebound year for stocks after a sharp slide.