Perspective on the Shanghai Slide

My buddy, and market cognitive psychology expert, Stephen Duneier of Bija Advisors puts some perspective on recent market movements.  His two points: first,   the correlation between US and Chinise stock markets (.215 monthly) is low, very low.    He notes that the two markets moved in the same direction in only 57% of months - that's pretty close to random.   Secondly, when you look at recent US market movements in the attached rolling monthly chart going back to 2009 they don't look so special.




FinalPitch at With Sarah Lawrence College

I was recently a judge the Sarah Lawrence College Final Pitch Entrepreneur Contest.  The three finalists included a media technology startup idea, a non-profit service organization, and an artist showcase application.

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Why Is Good Friday A Stock Market Holiday

U.S. stock exchanges have had a strange relationship with Good Friday. After being closed on Good Friday off and on, 1907 was the final year in which the exchange was open on Good Friday. However, Good Friday is not a national holiday. The Fed wire and thus, the bond markets are open. While most European countries close for several days around Easter, the United States has no such holiday.

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FINRA Test Confusing to Investors

Visit the FINRA Investor Education Foundation Website

There is list little quiz at the Finra website on investor education.  It has one confusing question.

Which type of bond is the safest?

A. U.S. Treasury bond

B. Municipal bond
C. user response Corporate bond

 D. Don't know/Not sure


FINRA's Answer
"Treasuries" are issued by the federal government. Unlike corporate or municipal bonds, they are backed by the "full faith and credit" of the U.S. government, which guarantees that interest payments will always be made and the bonds redeemed at maturity. To learn more about what makes Treasury bonds unique, read Investment Choices.

The regulator charged with protecting individual investors (among other things) thinks that the U.S. government is the least risky place to stash your money.   Standard and Poors seems to disagree with FINRA. They rate the bonds of Exxon and Microsoft all AAA, while the rate the U.S. treasury one-notch lower at AA+.   To be fair to FINRA for most of the history of financial academia governemnt bonds were always considered the risk free asset.  It's just ironic now that that the ratings agencies are worried a bit more about Uncle Sam than Big Brother (IBM). 


Goldman Misses The Point: Equities Aren't Cheap Bonds Are Insanely Expensive

Goldman portfolio strategists Peter Oppenheimer and Matthieu Walterspiler are out with a report getting big of attention.  The report presents the generationally important bullish case for stocks relative to bonds. 

I'm worried this report will be the case for everyone to go 100% into equities and then get clobbered when the bond bubble bursts.  I agree that equities are stupidly undervalued relative to government bonds but it's only because EVERYTHING is at an historic low valuation relative to government bonds.

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Kapitall in Barrons

When students ask me what books to read to learn about investing, I tell them to start reading Barron’s.  I started reading Barron’s in college.  Yes, I was a serious finance nerd then too.  It is my favorite and most educational financial publication.   I am old enough to remember the first Barron's online brokerage survey 17 years ago.  I never dreamed that when I saw the first list I would be part of a team that would create a broker from scratch that would be included ON the list.  For me, this is a thrilling moment and the biggest milestone at Kapitall so far.

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Four Easy Ways to Save Money On Your Monthly Bills

I was on with Live at Five News Anchor Marni Hughs today talking about saving money on your bills without changing your lifestyle or spending habits.


Four Money Saving Ideas for 2012:

1. Getting rid of their home phone

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Made My Annual Donation to Wikipedia Today

Support Wikipedia

Lighting Round on Seattle Fox News Q13

Bill and Lilly didn't let me take a breath today.   In five minutes we discuss: Greek debt default and politics, European bank contagion, Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party, saving money on your cable bill, my U.S. economic forecast and Bank of America's debit card fees fiasco.

 See today's Finances with Neubert.







Stocks for the Bernanke Money Printing Machine

You’ve been asking about the US debt downgrade by S&P.

First, remember that rating agencies are private companies with private opinions. They may be more informed than the big mouth down the block but what they issue are opinions not facts.

S&P is the same company that rated all the sub-prime debt packages AAA. Those who listened to them lost billions when losses and defaults came in those packaged AAA (risk free) loans.

Smart people who ignored the rating agency opinions and didn't invest in "AAA" mortgages did quite well during the meltdown. Many even made money.

I'm not listening to them now and neither are investors like Warren Buffet. I'm not listening to them now and neither are investors like Warren Buffet.

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