Jeff Benjamin

Investment Insights: The Blogblog

Jeff Benjamin breaks down the game for advisers and clients.

Apr 14, 2015

Hedge fund bulls go big on oil

By Jeff Benjamin

Hedge funds are loading up on bullish oil bets. What do they know, or think they know? Production is starting to flatten Mohamed El-Erian's says it's not too late to invest around the strong U.S. dollar. Keeping bets small How much money does it take to buy happiness? It's actually more about how you use the money you already have You had to see this one coming. Rules of etiquette for all you people now wearing those goofy Apple Watches. Don't be a jerk ... Read full post

Apr 13, 2015

Dividend stocks might be a better than annuities for income investors

By Jeff Benjamin

Could dividend stocks actually be a better deal than an annuity for income investors? Let's call it the fourth option. Earnings season is setting up to be first drop since 2009, but that doesn't mean investors should run for cover just yet. This will hopefully be a short-lived earnings-per-share decline. JPMorgan's Jamie Dimon says October's 'flash rally' for Treasuries should be seen as a warning shot for the bond markets. He blames regulations and the hoarding of bonds by central bankers. In the category of 'Yep, we already knew that,' Hillary Clinton announced she is running for president. SNL has fun with her big day. 'Citizens, you will elect me. I will be your leader.' ... Read full post

Apr 10, 2015

How to turbocharge target-date funds

By Jeff Benjamin

Buckle in and 'turbocharge' that target-date fund. Think small-cap value Fed up with wage stagnation? Get used to it, because that's the real new normal. Earning more might require getting a second job Doing a deeper dive to invest in the latest jobs report. COST, MD, LIOX Ten Guinness World Records set by companies. Largest simultaneous yodel ... Read full post

Apr 9, 2015

If you tread at all into the energy sector, tread lightly

By Jeff Benjamin

Despite its size, Royal Dutch Shell's $70 billion acquisition of natural gas giant BG Group is far from a green light for investors to jump headlong into energy, even as some M&A experts forecast a wave of mergers in the industry.As entry points go, energy is very much a stock-pickers market, which is not to suggest that money cannot be made investing in the category right now.Exhibit A is the recent performance of energy sector mutual funds, as tracked by Morningstar Inc. The painful ripple effects of oil's six-month nose dive have produced a 12-month average decline for the fund category of 16.6%, including a range from barely negative to down 45.9%.Meanwhile, the S&P 500 is up 14.8% over the past 12 months, but just 1.4% from the start of the year.Trying times“Minus the last 60 days, the last 18 months have been difficult for the energy sector, and active managers in the space have been beaten down,” said Steven Wruble,... Read full post

Apr 9, 2015

Latest sign of oil market glut pushes prices even lower

By Jeff Benjamin

The latest proof of an oil glut is driving the commodity even lower. Price falls by 5% on Wednesday. Biggest weekly buildup of U.S. inventories since 2001. JPMorgan goes over the top to flesh out rogue employees. Calling it a slippery slope would be an understatement. A workplace surveillance program like no other. An all-too common way retirement savers are leaving money on the table. Don't make the same mistake that a third of plan participants are making. In recognition of the Masters golf tournament starting today, here's a look at how some of Wall Street's best golfers stack up. Does a higher handicap equate to better investment performance, or is it the other way around? ... Read full post

Apr 8, 2015

Millennials are shunning financial advice

By Jeff Benjamin

Millennials don't really care about financial advice, which should be a boon for the robo-advice movement. This is not a good sign for the advice industry How a health insurance company is striking out a baseball fan. Adding insult to injury for a fan who cheered for the wrong team at the wrong time Alcoa Inc. (AA) cuts the ribbon on first-quarter earnings after the market closes today. Here's what you should expect. Big improvement from a year ago, but down from last quarter Financial sector looks like a bright light in the first-quarter earnings season. Don't let the year-to-date performance turn you off ... Read full post

Apr 7, 2015

BlackRock shrinks money market lineup, affecting $200B in assets

By Jeff Benjamin

BlackRock cites regulatory reforms as the reason it is closing or consolidating 20 of its money market funds. The changes will affect more than $200B in client assets State Street's brand new CEO sees collaboration and creativity as keys to growth. 'The relationship with DoubleLine is pretty attractive.' The Fed might be banking on a stronger economy to justify a rate hike, but the yield on the 10-year Treasury is telling a different story. The June rate hike suddenly looks like a September rate hike at the earliest If you're really looking for a reason to follow Mohamed El-Erian to cash, here are six. Have at it. Rallies have no legs, etc. ... Read full post

Apr 6, 2015

Would one share of Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway be a smart retirement savings strategy?

By Jeff Benjamin

Would one share of Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway be a smart retirement savings strategy? There are practicality issues to consider Schwab's new robo-advice platform might be conflicted when it comes to cash allocations. 'They have to make money somewhere' Welcome to the second quarter and profit anxiety. Friday's jobs reports says volumes about what's ahead.Investors will not take kindly to weakness in corporate earnings. As online retailers gain momentum some are opening brick-and-mortar stores. Going full circle ... Read full post

Apr 3, 2015

Jobs report's bad news is bad news

By Jeff Benjamin

The best part about Friday's complete stinker of a jobs report is that it came on Good Friday when the stock market was closed. With any luck, by the time the market re-opens on Monday, the report of a stunningly-low 126,000 jobs created in March will be fully absorbed and diluted along with a weekend full of marshmallow bunnies, chocolate eggs and whatever other news might develop.Otherwise, it's a safe bet the stock market would be in bit of a tizzy right now as investors try to adjust to any or all of the following questions:• Does the fact that the consensus of analysts' estimates for February jobs missed the mark by almost half mean the economy is in much worse shape than anyone thought?• Does this mean the Fed will further delay its long-awaited first interest rate hike since 2006?• Could a delayed rate hike be good for stocks, because it means more of the same wild ride on risk assets with nowhere else to hide?... Read full post

Apr 3, 2015

Oil prices could push lower after Iran nuke deal

By Jeff Benjamin

The Iran nuke deal could mean even more oil coming into an already flooded market. Lifting sanctions that allow Iran to export oil Traders are signaling fear with big flows into inverse S&P 500 ETF. Getting bearish Corporations jump on the bandwagon to challenge Indiana's new law, while the general hysteria seems to miss the point. AAPL, ANGI, CRM, HAS, LLY, TWTR, YELP Bonus: Late April Fool's Day fun. Old-school Wall Street pranks. Imagine frat house humor, but less mature ... Read full post

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