Category Archives: Economic Commentary

2014 – Interview with SeekingAlpha.com

This is the fourth piece in Seeking Alpha’s Positioning for 2014 series. This year we have once again asked experts on a range of different asset classes and investing strategies to offer their vision for the coming year and beyond. As always, the focus is on an overall approach to portfolio construction. Continue reading

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2013 in Review

The US stock market produced a record year in terms of performance, increasing over 34%. This was all despite some market headlines that seemed to be doom and gloom. The key events were as follows:

Looking back at 2013 through key market indicators we see that there was relatively low

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Casey Smith Interviewed at SeekingAlpha.com

Casey Smith, President of Wiser Wealth Management, was recently interviewed by seeking alpha.com about the firms investment strategy and his outlook into 2014. You can view the article here.…

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Wiser Wealth’s 2013 Outlook – Interview by SeekingAlpha.com

Casey Smith is President of Wiser Wealth Management, a Marietta, Georgia-based fee-only fiduciary wealth management firm offering asset management, tax preparation, estate planning and financial planning services. Wiser’s unique investing techniques have earned Casey speaking engagements at top ETF conferences around the world. When not running Wiser Wealth, Casey doubles as a pilot for an Atlanta-based commercial airline. Continue reading

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S&P: Romney Vs Obama Win

Standard and Poors recently released a white paper titled “Election 2012: A Time of Polarizing Politics & Heightened Uncertainty” by David B Mazza, head of ETF Investment Strategy, Americas. This paper does a great job of explaining how portfolios could be tweaked based upon who wins the White House. …

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Wiser Third Quarter Newsletter

Click here for the Wiser Wealth Quarter III 2011 client newsletter. 

 

 …

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8/10/2011 Market Update

Stocks are overreacting to the unfortunate confluence of events: the downgrade of U.S. government bonds, some weaker than expected economic data, and the troublesome but manageable U.S. fiscal position. Along with sovereign debt issues threatening Europe, these factors turned market sentiment ugly. Continue reading

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Letter to Clients – US Downgrade/Global Debt

No one likes to lose, especially money, even if it is just on paper. In times such as these, investor behavior is more important that asset allocation. Continue reading

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Letter to Clients – Global Debt Crisis

The last few days have been very volatile ones for the global stock markets. The headlines of a Greek debt default and the US August 2 debt limit increase deadline are contributing to the uncertainty in the market. Continue reading

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Egypt – A Better Understanding

“The problem with freedom and democracy in the Muslim world is that it is a figment of the imagination that only exists in the minds of Condoleezza Rice and Hillary Clinton.” Continue reading

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How Poor Investments Happen

Investors tend to do poorly when they react to what the market does instead of preparing for what may happen and taking advantage of long-term forecasts. With a reactionary attitude, investors will rarely do well. Continue reading

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2nd Quarter Market Landscape

First-quarter gains have taken a huge hit against large declines in the second quarter. According to Morningstar’s ‘super sectors’ reports, Information is down 10.46%, Service 12.23%, and Manufacturing 10.92%. Some market data would suggest that an underlying cause of these losses is uncertainty in the market. Continue reading

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American Debt

Debt, while once viewed as a negative for the average American, now seems to simply be a part of life. Using credit and having debt outstanding is normal now not only for the most people, but for the government as a whole. The US federal government deficit is currently over $13 trillion and is growing by about $4.09 billion each day. To put this amount into perspective, with a $13 trillion debt obligation, each person in the world owes almost $2,000. That is $2,000 for 6.7 billion people. Continue reading

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Financial Reform Freedom?

The Senate sweats this week over the self imposed July 4th deadline for President Obama to sign the Financial Reform Overhaul Bill. The bill is reported to be over 2,000 pages, and reaches into every corner of the financial industry from credit card transactions to advisors.

The bill ventures into some places where legislation has previously left alone. In many ways, the financial system needs some changes, however, for the most part, the Independence Day bill is more confusing than freedom-promoting. Continue reading

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Efficient Market Theory and ETFs

One of the most popular ideas in the investing world, the Efficient Market Theory, argues, very simply, that a stock’s price equals its value. This would mean that a stock’s price reflects all publicly known data, including future expectations of the stock’s performance. Continue reading

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Letter to Clients – Crisis in Europe

“Because major developed markets are now so highly linked, there is no way for problems in Europe to remain isolated there; we will see a ripple effect here in the US.” Continue reading

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The Unemployment Report – 5/7/10

The amount of jobs added went up in April even well above what is expected, adding 290,000 jobs to the market. Up from 200,000 added in March. Continue reading

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Death Tax Changes Uncertain

I recently received an Estate Tax update from The Estate Plan (TEP). TEP cited Leimburg Associates, Inc as the source of the following information. Here is my summary.…

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Correlations of the Crash

Correlation is generally defined as “the strength and direction of a linear relationship between two random variables.”…

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Harvard Endowment Looks to Become More Liquid

The managers of the Harvard Endowment have long been hailed as innovators. Their alternative investments include commodities like timber (famously employing lumberjacks), private equity, and hedge funds.…

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Georgia’s Failed Banks

Georgia’s banks made the front page of the Wall Street Journal yesterday (6/10/09). The article notes that Georgia is home to 4% of the banks in the United States, but is responsible for 20% of the US bank failures since August.…

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President Obama: An Index Investor

In a recent report, President Obama disclosed a large holding in Vanguard Index Funds. Continue reading

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Winning in a Losing Market

In a recent press release, Lou Harvey, President of DALBAR, said,

For 15 years, QAIB has shown that investor returns lag what performance reports and prospectuses would lead one to believe is acheivable.  While those returns are, in fact, theoretically acheivable, the reality is that investors are not rational, and

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Isaac Newton: The Investor

“Long ago, Sir Isaac Newton gave us three laws of motion, which were the work of genius.…

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Wiser Wealth Quarterly Review – 2008 Out, 2009 In

In December of 2007 I looked to articles in the Wall Street Journal and Barrons Weekly Newspaper to see what the analysts were expecting for 2008.…

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A Sense of Optimism in the Air

Jack Bogle, Founder of Vanguard and creator of the first S&P 500 index fund has lived through 10 bear markets.  He talked to the Associated Press about his thoughts.…

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Fees Increase as Your Assets Decrease

An article in a local paper here in Atlanta, ‘Investors likely to face higher mutual fund fees” by Eileen Ambrose in which Ambrose details what Jeff Tjornehoj, a senior research analyst at Lipper, Inc, estimates that the average equity mutual will increase its expense ratio by .10%.…

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3 ETF Capital Gains

I regretfully anounce that 3 ETFs all issued by SSgA will be giving their investors capital gains this year.…

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Market Timing This Market

Market Timing has been and will continue to be a difficult strategy (especially when its not your original strategy) and many have found this particularly true this year, whether it was going to cash the day before a huge market rally or deciding the market had hit the bottom and …

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BehaviorGap.com

I really want to plug Carl and his website BehaviorGap.com for the message they have to investors.  Please visit the site and learn more about what the ‘Behavior Gap’ is.  Here it is in a nut-shell (if you’re a client of ours you will note that it is very similar …

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UCLA Study Claims That FDR Extended the Great Depression for 7 Years

This is a major claim.  Read here to decide for yourself.…

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You Can’t Keep The Market’s Down

In our weekly email update to clients it was nice to report a weekly double digit gain rather than what felt like triple digit losses in the past.

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‘Everything works much better when wrong decisions are punished and good decisions make you rich.” -Anna Schwartz

Read this Wall Street Journal interview with Anna Schwartz, a 92 year-old economist who has some real, honest , and unbiased wisdom about the financial system. …

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More Insight from Warren Buffett

These last few weeks have been very challenging to say the least.  The economy of our Great Nation has been shaken and the Federal government has had to step in to bail out our financial markets for the first time since the Great Depression. …

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A Good Explaination of the Market Sell Off

Pat Dorsey, Director of Equity research at Morningstar, Inc, gives a great overview of some of the things that are driving prices away from the fundamentals and gives some good data about past bear markets.

Video: What’s Behind the Relentless Selling

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Buffett Buying In

Warren Buffett, famous investor and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Inc.,  has been getting a lot of attention recently for his company’s large purchases in Financial Firms.  He has also been very political during the election year. …

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Stock Market Recoveries

One of my favorite pieces of stock market advice is by William Berstein,

Investing has and always been, and will remain, an operation in which wealth is transferred from those without a working knowledge of financial history to those who have one.

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Is This Panic Sensible?

The title to this post should not make sense, ‘sensible panic’.  That does not mean that panic can not be a self fullfilling panic, in which prices do not reflect true value and take years to recover (a secular bear market).  Jason Zweig offers some good advice in his recent …

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Hedge Funds, Index Funds, and Buffet’s $1,000,000 Bet

Warren Buffet has bet  with one million dollars going to charity that the S&P 500 will beat the top five hedge funds (picked by Protege, a hedge fund to fund) net of fees over a ten year period. …

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Some Market Wisdom

This video with Mr. Jack Bogle, founder of the Vanguard Group and former CEO, highlights some wisdom from a man with a lot of experience and who started Vanguard, a company that has a long history of being on the side of the individual investor.

Video:  Bogle: Keep Investing –

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Mark-to-Market

Mark-to Market is an accounting rule where businesses must revalue or ‘mark’ a financial asset or liability to its current market price.

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Market Panic Sell Off

Today’s panic sell off was based purely on emotions, not financial evaluations.

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Secular Bear Market?

Russ Koesterich, Barlay’s Chief Investment Strategist, said in a video that they posted on their ishares website (view video below) that he believes we are going through a secular bear market. …

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This Week on Wall Street

So it has been a crazy week with a lot of selling, buying, and an emergency stop on short selling, affecting the way hedge funds trade.…

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Capital-Gains Tax and The Election

Fact: Capital Gains lead to retirement and capital-gains taxes threaten your retirement income.

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Some Wiser Advice

I wanted to highlight today some quotes from some very smart individuals that have weathered some tough market conditions and are now weathering or would be if alive the current market conditions.  …

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