Jeff Benjamin

Investment Insights: The Blogblog

Jeff Benjamin breaks down the game for advisers and clients.

Aug 24, 2015

Global financial turmoil brings the Fed's plan into focus

By Jeff Benjamin

China could be triggering a worst-case scenario for the global financial markets. But it will only really matter if the Fed stays on course with its September rate hike. What the current market turmoil is foreshadowing. Take a deep breath and stay calm. If you have time and patience, there are stocks to settle into right now. Safety for worried investors The last time the markets tanked, these sectors did the best. Volatility is reality in stock market investing. During the 2008 financial crisis, he told investors to head for the hills. This time Jim Cramer is advising calm and patience. 'Remember, nobody ever made a dime panicking.' ... Read full post

Aug 21, 2015

At least one timing signal is already saying it is time to sell stocks

By Jeff Benjamin

The stock market's oldest timing system started flashing a 'sell' signal at Thursday's close. The dreaded Dow Theory. Who and what you can blame for falling oil prices. Iran, OPEC, frackers, China, the Fed Speaking of the black stuff, Mexico stands out as oil's latest casualty. On track for another disappointing year. The National Black Chamber of Commerce is no friend of President Obama's regulatory proposal for financial advisers. 'Suffocating the system' from an 'ivory tower.' ... Read full post

Aug 20, 2015

The S&P 500 Index is giving investors plenty of international exposure

By Jeff Benjamin

The global economy becomes more significant by the day as S&P 500 Index companies generate less and less (just 52% in 2014, down from 53.7% in 2013) of their income in the U.S. Investors might be more exposed to global markets than they think. Obama's Clean Power Plan and the long-term gambit might have something for companies and investors. Batteries are so dumb. Are financial advisers ready for the next frontier of institutional-quality smart data? 'By the time financial advisers get access to mutual fund data, they've already missed the big trades.' How much should fund flows influence investing decisions? Morningstar's Christine Benz breaks it down. ... Read full post

Aug 19, 2015

The Fed's quantitative easing experiment gets a failing grade

By Jeff Benjamin

So, about that record-level $4.5 trillion quantitative-easing program. Well, it turns out it didn't actually boost the economy. Oops. The Fed is not nearly as data-dependent as one might have hoped. The key to investor harmony right now is to simply accept the fact that central bankers are not super heroes. They can't stop bubbles from popping. Next on the EPA's hit list: Methane emissions. Trouble is, methane exists throughout the energy cycle. Get ready for Flintstone cars. The latest global warming threat. If you've got clients who are itching to tie the knot for the second time, pay close attention. The first marriage is for money and the second is for love — and money. ... Read full post

Aug 18, 2015

Oil needs to keep falling to find its supply balance

By Jeff Benjamin

Even if oil falls to around $30 a barrel it might not be enough to bring global supply back into balance. The case for less production Obamacare's infamous 40% Cadillac Tax is giving the IRS fits, and it hasn't even started collecting the tax yet. The tax will hit half of all employers by 2018, and 80% of employers by 2023 News flash to the Fed: The U.S. economy isn't that strong to begin with, so there's no reason to believe it can lift the rest of the world. The U.S. anomaly Be more successful by not falling into these psychological traps. Running toward your fears Here's a non-scientific, but still kind of fun way to see which presidential candidate you are most like, from an investing perspective. Apparently, I'm most like Rand Paul ... Read full post

Aug 17, 2015

Unwinding the Fed's giant bond portfolio might not hurt much

By Jeff Benjamin

Through the magic of bond math, and a whole lot of imagination, we shouldn't worry about how the Fed might unwind its unprecedented $2.46 trillion Treasury portfolio. This won't hurt a bit. Gold's sudden spike in response to China looks like the end of the good times for the precious metal. If you missed it, you missed out. Imagining Donald Trump's impact on the stock market doesn't seem so scary when you consider the impact of Gore, Biden or Hillary. Despite the political circus, the bulls seem confident. If you subscribe to the notion that hedge funds represent the smart money, then you'll want to know which stocks they are buying and selling. All the dirt from Friday's 13F filings. Breakfast is going to get more expensive, and here's why. It's still the most important meal of the day. ... Read full post

Aug 14, 2015

How to not get gobbled up when the next bear market arrives

By Jeff Benjamin

Bear markets are an inevitable part of investing. We aren't there yet, but when the next bear rumbles through, here are a few tips for not losing your head. Avoid these investing missteps All eyes are on the growing oil surplus, as the price of the commodity falls to a six-year low. The oversupply is now running at 2 million barrels a day A good question to ask right now is, why is our Fed policy still set for an economy on life support? Is a soft landing even possible at this point? There is nothing simple about exchanging an annuity, but it can be done. Obstacles to overcome ... Read full post

Aug 13, 2015

Ex-JPMorgan banker partnered with his dad in a multi-year insider-trading ring

By Jeff Benjamin

Ex-JPMorgan banker busted for sharing insider information with his dad, who used golf jargon to try and disguise the scheme. In golf jargon, both father and son shanked this one out of bounds. They made more than $1 million Shame on you ITG, the electronic brokerage that was caught secretly trading against its own clients. Despicable. Maureen O'Hara is putting the 'regrettable legacy matter behind us.' What triggered the SEC's largest-ever fine against disgraced brokerage ITG? The dark side of Project Omega Here's why Wall Street is backing away from media companies. Cord-cutting is killing pay-TV subscriptions ... Read full post

Aug 12, 2015

DoubleLine's Jeffrey Gundlach says $40 oil is something to worry about

By Jeff Benjamin

Jeffrey Gundlach calls $40 oil 'terrifying' even as oil heads toward $40. In other words, be scared. 'If oil falls to around $40 a barrel then I think the yield on the 10-year Treasury note is going to 1%.' China's currency devaluation surprise sends oil prices down 5% in one day. 'It's time to sell any and all rallies' Investors are doing a better job of more closely tracking the performance of the funds in which they are invested, according to Morningstar's annual study of investor behavior. Mind the gap Blaming the dollar's rise for the yuan's devaluation. China is not winning any friends in Washington ... Read full post

Aug 11, 2015

Facebook stock-fraud venture lands fund manager in hot water

By Jeff Benjamin

A Tampa-based fund manager is scheduled to plead guilty this week to investment fraud in relation to $9 million worth of Facebook Inc. stock that he purchased on behalf of investors, then sold and was caught short when the stock price rebounded. Gignesh Movalia, managing member of OM Global Investment Fund, earned less than $30,000 from the entire venture Making a gutsy call on the commodity rout. Embrace it at your own risk. Reading the tea leaves from a market beat-down Morningstar dropped the hammer on mutual funds in July, issuing more downgrades than upgrades during the month. Three up, five down Carl Icahn gives the nod to Chinese Energy (LNG) in a unique play on a booming U.S. market. Positioned to be a big buyer in U.S. natural gas ... Read full post

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