Jeff Benjamin

Investment Insights: The Blogblog

Jeff Benjamin breaks down the game for advisers and clients.

7:14 am EST

An investment strategy that works

By Jeff Benjamin

If you're trying to figure out how to get into the market, this strategy has worked. Buying on dips pays as stocks rebound That doesn't mean it's all wine and roses. Three things that worry veteran trader Art Cashin Do you have a continuity plan in place? You should. When time runs out You're not alone if you can't find high-quality bonds. Demand for bonds is rising just in time for supply to fall Summer doldrums? Not so much. Buckle up for a busy, busy week. Traders eye Fed, GDP, jobs, earns, IPOs There's a lesson here. Burger King Is run by children ... Read full post

Jul 25, 2014

Barclays pushes back dark pool charges

By Jeff Benjamin

Barclays barks back at allegations that the bank lied to clients about its high-speed trading venue. A lawsuit with 'clear and substantial errors' Viewing risk from a regular investor's perspective can open the eyes of a financial pro. Working backwards from long-term investment goals Younger investors should run toward bear markets. The stock market doesn't pay a fixed rate of return, and that's a good thing. The $100-a-month example As cost-conscious consumers stick to budgets this summer, some discount retailers could ride the wave. Another year of rising profits Another swing at the mortgage interest deduction, and another miss. Spoken like a true renter Market watchers are already calling for a quiet September, but keep an eye on the SEC's focus on high-speed trading. Mary Jo White fires a shot across the bow ... Read full post

Jul 24, 2014

The Fed is now fretting about wage growth and surprise inflation

By Jeff Benjamin

Wage growth could catch the Fed off guard. Despite the upbeat notion of higher pay, this could put inflation worries front and center. 'When the dam breaks, it breaks' The SEC's halfway fix of money funds: Float the net asset value for institutions but not for individuals. A risky safe bet A golden cross for Goldman Sachs has broader implications for investors. Good entry points Because there's a sucker born every minute, a federal judge is blocking public access to Jordan Belfort's list of people he scammed during a life depicted in The Wolf of Wall Street. Turns out, the 'once bitten, twice shy' adage does not apply to financial scams Big city life ain't all it's cracked up to be, but the money is better. Maybe that explains why city folks wear so much black ... Read full post

Jul 23, 2014

Giddy markets continue to look blissfully past mounting geopolitical unrest

By Jeff Benjamin

Financial markets continue to shrug off geopolitical unrest. But for how long? Global violence and turmoil becomes old hat As U.S. markets get frothy, more Americans invest overseas. Better late than never. Portfolios coming in line with professional recommendations Marijuana ETF? For recreational use only. The SEC and Finra have issued warnings about marijuana investing scams By not trusting Wall Street, the Millennial generation has largely missed the stock market's 197% run-up since 2009. Turns out those young rebels are extremely conservative investors. Finding comfort in cash The fund industry has lost a big thinker with the passing of Geoff Bobroff. Chuck Jaffe's tribute ... Read full post

Jul 22, 2014

Global consumer confidence soars

By Jeff Benjamin

Global consumer confidence hasn't been this high since 2007. Just saying. U.S. consumers are the eighth most upbeat folks Credit Suisse is exiting the commodities trading business, following lead of other big banks. $75 million in savings from the move Allianz stands by its main man, Bill Gross. The ultimate test of loyalty, or just buying time? Keeping it together Silver has been quietly having a golden summer. Up 10% since the end of May Three taxes that are tough to support regardless of your political leanings or your lot in life. Ignorance is bliss Tourist scams to watch out for this summer, especially if traveling abroad. The dropped wallet ... Read full post

Jul 21, 2014

Junk-bond investors are jumping ship

By Jeff Benjamin

Junk-bond investors have started heading toward the exits in a move that looks like the makings of a selloff. Paring back credit risk Four years of Dodd-Frank and thanks for nothing. A false sense of security The Fed's subtle warnings about market bubbles should not be ignored. Yellen's version of 'irrational exuberance' More mathematical excuses for sluggish wage growth. Boomers and Millennials are getting older at the same time. Huh? Blurring Yellen's wage gauge It's not too late for a mid-year portfolio checkup. Morningstar's Christine Benz breaks it down ... Read full post

Jul 18, 2014

Global markets feeling pressure from increased geopolitical risks

By Jeff Benjamin

Global markets come under pressure as troubles mount in Ukraine and Gaza. Is this the trigger the stock market was waiting for? Unfolding geopolitical risks Higher oil prices follow sanctions and jet crash, with crude prices up $2 a barrel. Biggest two-day spike since December Brokers put consumers' interests second, or maybe third, behind their own. 'The entire process is insulting to consumers' Bitcoins saddled with label of a bubble currency after falling 45% from last year's peak. Skepticism around the virtual currency GE's planned spinoff of Synchrony Financial is the company's first step in exiting the consumer finance business. Adjusting its focus Got VIX? If and when volatility starts to climb, there are some S&P 500 stocks likely to show positive correlations. Hedging low-volatility concerns ... Read full post

Jul 17, 2014

Obama pushes tighter border rules for U.S. companies trying to exit for tax purposes

By Jeff Benjamin

Obama seeks tighter border restrictions to stop U.S. companies from locating overseas for tax purposes. Ironic. A sharply worded letter by congressional tax code writers Stocks that could be hurt by Obama's crackdown on corporations trying to avoid the 35% tax on profits. 50 large companies have reincorporated overseas over the past 10 years Like a hot stock, the asset management industry is all about market upside, but organic growth is rare. A bear market could cause a true reckoning for some asset managers A simple and prudent guide to investing in a start-up business. Five steps to avoid getting burned. 80% of small businesses fail As Hillary Clinton continues to pretend she doesn't know if she will run for president, her party is already on board. Everybody else outside her party? Not so much. Bad news for Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren ... Read full post

Jul 16, 2014

CEO cussing is now a gosh darn market indicator

By Jeff Benjamin

When CEOs start using more profanity it might be a sign that the market is going to heck in a hand basket. Some gosh darn interesting research. The potty mouth indicator Investor optimism is becoming an old story, but the implications are still very fresh. Something to worry about Portfolio-manager bullishness has a lot of funds positioned for a second-half market rally. 69% expect the economy to improve over the next year Yellen speak: A tepid thumbs up while expressing disappointment. Oh boy. 'There's no formula and there's no mechanical answer that I can give you about when the first rate increase will occur.' Laddered bond strategies catch the critical eye of an active bond fund manager. A few points to ponder. Taking on risk that should be actively managed ... Read full post

Jul 15, 2014

Markets climb in stride with pessimism

By Jeff Benjamin

When stocks and pessimism rise as one it is time to start applying the dreaded 'bubble' word. Bizarro market Get used to an extremely accommodative Fed policy from a chairwoman who believes 'we can help to make the world a better place.' The economy is still facing headwinds Ernst & Young settles lobbying suit for a cool $4 million. 'We regret these instances that arose many years ago' The dirty details on how Citigroup's big settlement landed at $7 billion. A brisk email exchange and bad negotiating skills. The government wanted $12 billion, plus 'consumer relief' Turns out the Fed's quantitative easing experiment had almost no impact on unemployment. But thanks for creating $5 trillion worth of new money. QE experiment trims unemployment by a scant 0.13% ... Read full post

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