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Where Did It Go?

When special US government programs distribute money to individuals broadly, we often wonder how the money was actually used. It can occur after a natural disaster, and it happened in March with the $2.2 trillion CARES Act stimulus in response…
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Thoughts in Charts: Vaccine Progress Report

  There is a chance that the investment world is keeping track of vaccines about as obsessively as health organizations. Along with the physical and mental health implications, the economic stakes of a vaccine are high as well. As…
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Thoughts in Charts: How long do you have?

At a firm where one of our key investment principles is that “time matters”, I love a chart that show why we value it. Before I dig in though, let me say loud and clear that past performance does not guarantee future results. I use history…
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Choosing the Right Financial Road

When you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.  – Lewis Carroll. This is true in life, careers, and our financial futures. It is particularly relevant when the stock market is as volatile as it has been throughout…
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Thoughts in Charts: Municipal Bond Double-Take

I love when a chart makes you do a double take. When a chart makes you go “Yes!” but then after another minute “Oh”. Because municipal bond yield is usually exempt from state, local and federal taxes, investors are willing to…
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Thoughts in Charts: U.S. Currency

I took a trip to Europe after I graduated from college. My parents bought the plane ticket, and I was responsible for my “walking around” money. I wasn’t in the habit of following the currency market, so standing at the exchange counter…
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Thoughts in Charts: Keeping a Global Perspective

As US investors, it’s important to pay attention to how the international market is behaving. The panel on the left shows that US returns were stronger from 2005 to 2019, followed by EM, Europe ex-UK and then Japan. Now let’s look…
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Diversification – What Happened?

We’ve heard it time and again – “Don’t keep all your eggs in one basket.”  This childhood lesson finds its way into most investment portfolios, with diversification being an important and well-accepted principle in developing…
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Thoughts in Charts: The Curve May Change the Strategy

I was talking with a mentor late last year, and she was telling me about this incredibly “reasonable” request from a client. He was asking for a very low risk 2% annual income from an investment that he was happy to hold for the next 15…
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Thoughts in Charts: Watching the Output Gap

Unprecedented amounts of stimulus are entering our economy. With large amounts of money flooding the economy, shouldn’t we be worried about inflation? This week’s chart illustrates one of the reasons most economists presently consider…