Jeff Benjamin

Investment Insights: The Blogblog

Jeff Benjamin breaks down the game for advisers and clients.

Nov 11, 2014

Sweet deal at Goldman Sachs lets partners invest alongside the bank

By Jeff Benjamin

It's good to be senior level at Goldman Sachs, where the upper echelons get to invest alongside the bank in closely-held companies without paying a fee. Nice work, if you can get it U.S. soldiers are suing six international banks for helping Iran finance terrorists who attacked Americans in Iraq. This is the worst kind of PR for Veterans Day. Barclays, HSBC among the banks being sued in a federal court in Brooklyn, N.Y. Time to face the factors driving market volatility and adjust portfolios accordingly. How to avoid being caught flat-footed in a fourth-quarter swoon Oil prices are near a four-year low and traders are warning that the price volatility will be here at least until the Nov. 27 OPEC meeting. The markets are searching for a clear message from anyone Veterans Day freebies are stacking up. Take advantage, you earned it. It wasn't always this way. Coffee, pancakes, haircuts, chicken wings, beer ... Read full post

Nov 10, 2014

Gold's 'dead-cat bounce' is a temporary distraction from an inevitable fall

By Jeff Benjamin

Don't get too excited about Friday's one-day gold rally. It is being described as another 'dead-cat bounce' for a precious metal that could be headed toward $1,000 an ounce, which is a level not seen since 2009. The outlook for silver is even bleaker The Bill Gross effect is real and measurable at Janus, which has seen more than $1 billion pour into two funds since the Bond King came on board. At least investors can't be accused of chasing performance. Leveraging Mr. Gross is helping to overshadow the trading violations of 2003, at least for now Some bond investors have no choice but to make the case for investing in bonds. Time will tell if they are smarter than everybody else, or just talking their book. 'There's no compelling reason to believe in the prospect of higher yields' On the subject of bonds, InvestmentNews takes a deep dive into where all the money in motion is heading, and why. Everything you need to know A half-dozen... Read full post

Nov 7, 2014

Investors betting on tech

By Jeff Benjamin

Amid signs of an accelerating economy, investors are betting on tech. Most weekly money flow to tech since '13 signaling growth Stock measures are at record highs but that doesn't tell the whole story, some say. Hulbert: Why the stock market is weaker than it looks Big news for Eaton Vance. And investors SEC set to approve novel Eaton Vance exchange-traded product Currency troubles bedevil Bank of America. Bank of America's surprise profit is wiped out amid currency probes Remember that Home Depot data breach? It was worse than thought. Home Depot hackers stole 53 million emails, too We all can dream. America's most expensive home for sale: $195 million ... Read full post

Nov 6, 2014

Republicans could push for quicker rate hike

By Jeff Benjamin

Tuesday's election could have an impact on Janet Yellen and the Fed. Republican victory may result in quicker rate hike So, what now? Top Republicans: Get ready to make deals Greed and fear, writ in fund flows. What fund flows tell us about investor psychology As the rich get richer, so too do family offices Fastest-growing family office rides rise in ultrarich A lot of ink has been spilled over Schwab's robo offering but company officials say don't worry about it. Schwab: Our online advice platform won't be a threat to RIA biz You work hard every day, so why not enjoy yourself when you get home? 6 tips from a top chef on how to eat well after a long day at work ... Read full post

Nov 5, 2014

Republicans win big; here's what to expect

By Jeff Benjamin

About the GOP's big night. Senate flips, Republicans ready to rule Now that Republicans have secured Congress for at least the next two years, what should investors expect? What history says stocks will do next? Error: Not found ... But here's an interesting chart of the S&P 500 that could offer one clue. Don't miss Jack Bogle's latest pearl of wisdom. It could serve you well. Shut your eyes and let the indexes work The hits keep coming for REIT czar Nicholas Schorsch after that troublesome accounting error. LPL, AIG Advisor Group putting brakes on sales of Schorsch-linked nontraded REITs September may have been a bad month for Pimco but October was worse. Pimco Total Return suffers $27.5 asset drop in October after Gross exit ... Read full post

Nov 4, 2014

The GOP has the edge but ...

By Jeff Benjamin

Is the election a fait accompli? The final push: GOP has the edge, but will it be enough? If the market is keeping you up at night, you're in good company What's worrying Vanguard's CEO (besides the stock market)? JPMorgan is not out of the woods yet. JPMorgan faces U.S. criminal probe into currency trading Here's what and where the lobbyists for financial services are spending on the elections. Who's spending what on political candidates Oil prices are cratering. Oil slides on speculation about Saudi pricing strategy And here's what you can do with that info. Now's your chance to buy these cheap oil stocks ... Read full post

Nov 3, 2014

Money managers scraping to catch up to record stock market

By Jeff Benjamin

Your mutual fund manager, flush with cash, might be in a bind. Record S&P 500 runs away from mutual funds trailing index More bad news for Nicholas Schorsch and his real estate empire? RCS drops plan to Buy Cole Capital from American Realty It's looking even better for Republicans in Tuesday's midterm election. Democrats' chance of holding on continues to fall Given the above, check out these 21 stocks that would win with a Republican Congress Hard to believe but it's that time of year already. Dos and don'ts for year-end tax planning ... Read full post

Oct 31, 2014

Bill Gross' departure reignites the risks of 'star manager' funds

By Jeff Benjamin

How Bill Gross' sudden departure from Pimco is changing the way we look at the role of star fund managers. Just because the portfolio manager left in a hurry doesn't necessarily mean you have to do the same. Reading between the lines when the bow-out isn't exactly graceful The Bank of Japan is laying it all on the line with more stimulus that's aimed at keeping the economic recovery alive. The markets like it, so far. Being at odds with other central banks, including the Federal Reserve Don't overlook the tax burden of the mutual funds in your portfolio. Sometimes the performance just isn't worth the tax hit. Pimco tops the list of funds with killer taxes Dispelling seven myths about liquid alternatives. Actually, 'myths' might be too strong a word. Spoiler alert: They're just '40-Act funds with different kinds of engines Transparency is taking a nasty turn at some restaurants, as Obamacare surcharges are now being listed on bills... Read full post

Oct 30, 2014

Vanguard's John Bogle beats the low-fee drum, takes a fresh swipe at active management

By Jeff Benjamin

Vanguard's Bogle says unless you make fees a top priority, your retirement plan will suffer, and the financial “industry doesn't give a damn.” Highlights from the Bogleheads' annual meeting Cheap oil adds up to more bad news for gold investors. The ratio between the two commodities is at a 17-month high, signaling that gold is now relatively expensive. Inflation concerns fade into the background Overstating the Fed's bond-buying wind-down has become a financial media bandwagon that I refuse to ride. Let's not overlook that whopping $4.5 trillion portfolio that the Fed will now be managing from now till who-knows-when. It's a gross overstatement to call this a hawkish move As the Fed takes another baby step toward less quantitative easing, it has conveniently overlooked providing any kind of assessment of whether the big, expensive experiment did any good for the economy. The lack of conviction is understandable and, sadly, ... Read full post

Oct 29, 2014

Decision day: What Fed policy makers will have to say

By Jeff Benjamin

What will Fed policy makers say, and how will investors respond? Fed decision day guide: FOMC seen focusing on too-low inflationSome folks think investors shouldn't focus on the Fed. With the Federal Reserve, timing isn't everythingYou're working hard to be successful. Watch out for these traps. 8 common habits that destroy your successOne of the most anticipated third quarter earnings report just came out. Thumbs up or thumbs down? Facebook warns of increased spending; shares fallIf you are excited about private equity for your wealthy clients, you might want to take those bulky returns with a grain of salt. SEC probing private equity performance figures - sourcesIn case you missed it: The Royals beat the Giants Tuesday to force Game 7 tonight in baseball's World Series. Royals beat Giants ... Read full post

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