Jeff Benjamin

Investment Insights: The Blogblog

Jeff Benjamin breaks down the game for advisers and clients.

Nov 8, 2016

Cautious investors hedge a Donald Trump presidency to the bitter end

By Jeff Benjamin

It's finally here. Election day for the craziest presidential campaign season in modern history. Based on Monday's stock market rally, some are trusting the polls and the momentum of professional politician Hillary Clinton. But some investors are not yet ready to take off their portfolio hedges on a Donald Trump victory. In addition to setting a record for stone-cold nonsense, the 2016 presidential campaign also set a record for wagering on the outcome. Roughly $130 million has been traded on who will become the next U.S. president. If you're even thinking about investing in commodities, make sure you get some answers to these questions. Five questions for Commodity Trading Advisors. Don't make the mistake of assuming those closest to you are offering sound financial advice. When emotions override logic. ... Read full post

Nov 7, 2016

The markets fear a contested presidential election

By Jeff Benjamin

The biggest concern for investors right now should be a contested presidential election. Fearing the hanging chads. Regardless of who wins the election, the best bet might be gold. The one certain winner. Could $500,000 be the new number for retirement savings? Doing more with less. Templeton's Global Bond Fund (TPINX) boldly holds onto its Morningstar gold rating. Not for the faint of heart. ... Read full post

Nov 4, 2016

Handful of mutual funds set up for big capital gains distributions

By Jeff Benjamin

So far, 2016 doesn't look like a year in which investors will be hit hard with mutual fund capital gains distributions. But there are some noteworthy standouts. A “handful of doozies.” The official word from Wells Fargo is that the SEC is investigating its sales practices. Reporting $1.7 billion in third-quarter losses due to “a number of matters.” Just because Halloween is over doesn't mean we still can't toss out some scary thoughts. What happens if nobody wins the presidential election? Would the final decision be left to the old or new Congress? As you turn back your clock this weekend for daylight savings time, keep in mind there are lots of ways to use that extra hour. Change your passwords, and clean out the medicine cabinet. ... Read full post

Nov 3, 2016

When it comes to hedge fund management, computers also fail

By Jeff Benjamin

Even letting computers take the helm doesn't save hedge funds from sinking. An unprofitable shift. The stock market has already called the election for a Donald J. Trump victory. Accurately predicting the outcome of every presidential election since 1984. Stop kidding yourself about retirement healthcare costs. The estimates vs. the realities. The key to getting your emails opened rests in the subject line. Making it about them instead of you. ... Read full post

Nov 2, 2016

BlackRock banks on cheaper ETFs

By Jeff Benjamin

BlackRock's ETF price cut is proving to be an out-of-the-gate winner, according to the latest asset flows. The lowest-cost ETFs attract $5B Bank stocks are being singled out as most vulnerable in this election cycle. Bank stocks and the polls. Does the Department of Labor's new guidance on the fiduciary rule mean lower pay for financial advisers? “There's a lot of grids that would need to be restructured.” Narrowing it to just seven seems a bit harsh, but these ETFs stand out for being way out there. The “stupidest ETFs on the planet.” ... Read full post

Nov 1, 2016

Boldly betting oil will top out at $50 a barrel

By Jeff Benjamin

Pricing in an oil price top at $50 that Wall Street has not yet realized. It's a strategy. Viewing oil from a demand side, instead of a supply side. The IMF's chief economist is advising the U.S. Fed to tread lightly toward any kind of interest rate hike. “The question is when and how.” In a risk-off market environment, there are some ETFs that will let you take advantage of the mood. Interpreting and then betting on high-cash levels. These 15 bloggers will inspire you to be able to blog from anywhere. The “rocking bloggers.” ... Read full post

Oct 31, 2016

Fresh FBI investigation of Hillary Clinton sets the markets on edge

By Jeff Benjamin

It could be the ultimate October surprise. A new investigation of Hillary Clinton has set the stock market on edge. The awkward Anthony Weiner connection. Victims of Bernie Madoff see some payback as the estate of deceased money manager Stanley Chais funnels $277 million to bilked Madoff investors. The agreement brings total recoveries of stolen funds to $11.5 billion. Lower candy prices help Halloween become a real treat for the U.S. economy. “We start preparing at the beginning of August.” Can this scary presidential election be predicted based on the popularity of Halloween costumes? Gauging the differing rationales for dressing up like a candidate. Accurately predicting every presidential election since 1996. ... Read full post

Oct 28, 2016

Fears of a Federal Reserve move fuel bond market selloff

By Jeff Benjamin

Bond traders are getting skittish as global central bankers test the idea of dialing back the unprecedented monetary easing policies. The market is pricing in a 73% chance of a Fed tightening this year. The mighty Harvard endowment gets called out for being “lazy, fat and stupid,” in relation to some kind of “performance paradox.” Negotiating the benchmark. If you're waiting for some relief from soaring home prices, don't hold your breath. The problem is twofold. Revisiting the messages of Benjamin Graham. In the short term, stocks go up and go down. ... Read full post

Oct 27, 2016

Janus in a double whammy as assets flee and revenue drops

By Jeff Benjamin

Janus Capital Group, in process of being bought by Henderson Group, saw $2 billion in assets flee in the third quarter. To make matters worse for Janus, revenues have dropped from lower fees. If you think that regulators are done scrutinizing sales charges on mutual funds, think again. Dechert summarizes what regulators are doing to make sure that investors pay the right sales charge in light of the new DOL fiduciary rule. Are you hoping for Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump to fix Social Security? Ms. Clinton's plan would fix about two-thirds of the program's problems. Mr. Trump's plan "would require levels of productivity growth not achieved for any 10-year period in modern history, let alone for any 75-year period.” Most retirement portfolios need to generate a 5% return after inflation. Think you can do it? Try Research Affiliates' portfolio challenge. The catch: You have to use Research Affiliates' 10-year... Read full post

Oct 26, 2016

Why the AT&T-Time Warner merger bodes ill for the market

By Jeff Benjamin

Think the AT&T/Time Warner merger is a good thing for the stock market? Think again. History suggests it could be more of a trick than a treat. The odds of getting a tax hike through the House of Representatives are long indeed. Still, the wealthy are getting ready for higher taxes in a Hillary Clinton regime. If you're one of the six people still picking stocks, there are a few areas that might be ripe for multiple expansion. Ed Yardeni of Yardeni Research likes healthcare and financials. Cubs? Indians? No matter what your favorite team, be prepared to pay up if you want a seat at the Series. Tickets cost, on average $2,983. ... Read full post

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