Jeff Benjamin

Investment Insights: The Blogblog

Jeff Benjamin breaks down the game for advisers and clients.

Nov 18, 2016

JPMorgan settles China hiring charges for $264 million

By Jeff Benjamin

JPMorgan Chase has agreed to pay $264 million to settle charges that the bank hired relatives of Chinese officials as a way to secure banking business. The settlement is divided among the SEC, Department of Justice and Federal Reserve. Another bold and definitive hem and haw from Fed Chair Janet Yellen. The Fed might raise interest rates 'relatively soon.' Wunderlich Securities adds three advisers and $500 million, pushing total AUM to $10 billion. Recruiting from RBC, UBS and First Republic. Credit Suisse is delisting leveraged/inverse oil exchange-traded notes. Dec. 8 marks the last day of trading. ... Read full post

Nov 17, 2016

Alternative strategies fight index investors while longing for a 'black swan' event

By Jeff Benjamin

Ever since the 2008 financial crisis, when virtually every asset class morphed toward a suddenly singular correlation of declines, the case for diversifying into alternative investments has sounded logical.But, also ever since the financial crisis, the stock market has been riding the various fiscal and monetary policies that have fueled a strong case for just camping out in a simple equity index fund.Why diversify when the S&P 500 Index just keeps climbing higher?That reality was on full display earlier this week at the InvestmentNews Alternative Investments conference in Miami, where a mix of presenters and financial advisers wrestled with how, when and why to diversify into alternatives.Even the widely unexpected outcome from the presidential election didn't prove to be enough of a problem to justify a little diversification away from what is essentially your father's portfolio of 60% stocks and 40% bonds.The stock market swung... Read full post

Nov 17, 2016

Investors push the limits of a post-election rally for bank stocks

By Jeff Benjamin

Investors continue to bet big on bank stocks, leaning hard on the assumption that President-elect Trump will get his way once in office. Beware of the longer-term factors. The odds of a December interest rate hike have hit 100%. In a normal world, we would consider that a certainty. But we know this ain't a normal world.. The odds haven't been this high in years. Bill Gross compares the election of Donald Trump to letting a fox in the hen house. A combination of the status quo. Believe it or not, there is a forecast for 2017 being a banner year for stocks. Stocks aren't done going up yet. ... Read full post

Nov 16, 2016

The idea of a President-elect Trump has sent the global bond market into a tizzy

By Jeff Benjamin

The global bond market has yet to find its footing in the wake of the historic and surprising election of Donald Trump. Adjusting to higher inflation and more government debt. Exchange-traded funds were the vehicle of choice for most investors putting dry powder to work during the post-election stock market rally last week. The biggest inflows into ETFs since 2014. We're getting a new president, so investors should be paying attention to these industries. What the market wants and needs. United Airlines is further bisecting the traveling classes by nixing carry-on bags for some 'Basic Economy' travelers. Stop this please, before it becomes a trend. One step above cattle cars. ... Read full post

Nov 15, 2016

The Federal Reserve meets Donald Trump

By Jeff Benjamin

The Fed, like most folks inside the bubbles of New York and Washington, D.C., did not expect Donald Trump to be our next president. It's now time to start speculating about how the Fed will adjust to The Donald. Re-reading the Fed's diverging 'dots pattern.' The Obama administration has gone to warp speed in an effort to lock down the banking rules before Donald Trump takes over. Increasing the odds the certain parts of the regulatory framework will survive. The growing momentum of passively managed strategies has hit the bottom line at active shops. Assets rise, but revenue not so much. A little humility is good for the soul. In sports, politics and life. ... Read full post

Nov 14, 2016

Making sense of the stock market's post-election run

By Jeff Benjamin

There are reasons the stock market went into rally mode in the immediate aftermath of the presidential election. The upside of sudden certainty. Right out of the blocks industrial stocks have rallied in the wake of the presidential election outcome that is expected to include increased stimulus spending under a Donald Trump administration. This “Trump ETF” Warren Buffett buries the hatchet with Donald Trump and takes the high road. “There are lots of things said in campaigns that don't happen after the election.” The pundits, pollsters, and media were all expecting the Republican party to split in two following the historic election of Hillary Clinton as the next president. But that ripple effect is now hitting the Democratic party, and it ain't pretty. ... Read full post

Nov 11, 2016

Donald Trump's transition team says scrapping Dodd-Frank is job one

By Jeff Benjamin

On Day 2 as president-elect, the Donald Trump transition team is already talking about tearing apart Dodd-Frank. This will not sit well with Elizabeth Warren. With Donald Trump at the helm some ETFs will stand out in the crowd. GLD, IGF, RSX, IBB, SLX Barred adviser Dawn Bennett has found herself in more hot water. Finra claims Bennett may have used money raised for her clothing business for personal gain. It is almost laughable how badly the media was blindsided by the election of Donald Trump. Maybe it's time to get back to some basics of the Fourth Estate. Remember your job, and do it. A tradition that veterans and non-vets alike should be proud of. Businesses step it up today and give back to our military veterans. Thanks for your service! ... Read full post

Nov 10, 2016

Leveraging portfolios to take advantage of Donald Trump's policies

By Jeff Benjamin

Protests in the streets and emotional outbursts notwithstanding, the craziest presidential election in modern history has officially come and gone.What we're left with, at least from a financial services perspective, is the immediate, near-, and longer-term ripple effects.The fact that futures trading on the Dow Jones Industrial Average pushed the index down more than 800 points on election night as it became clear that Donald Trump was likely to defeat Hillary Clinton says plenty about the bubble in which too many pundits and pollsters exist.The markets, following the lead of history and logic, but not reality, banked on Ms. Clinton winning the election.The market's rebound once it became clear that Mr. Trump was the winner included a full swing of more than 1,100 points by the Dow. That immediate opportunity came and went too quickly for most financial advisers.But, like the market's reaction to the Brexit vote earlier this year,... Read full post

Nov 10, 2016

Donald Trump win takes the stock market to hell and back

By Jeff Benjamin

The wild ride of election night saw the Dow swing by more than 1,100 points from trough to peak. Will nothing derail this market? Markets recover as the shock of a Donald Trump presidency sinks in. The Fed might have yet another excuse for doing nothing now that there's a Trump administration to worry about. Fed is suddenly uncertain about December. Big oil is gushing over the election results. Expecting a lot less red tape. It's too early to know if all those celebs who promised to leave the country when Donald Trump is elected will actually keep their word, but a lot of folks have been checking out Canada recently. Traffic overload on election night crashed Canada's immigration website. ... Read full post

Nov 9, 2016

How the bond market braced for the election

By Jeff Benjamin

How the bond market braced for a Trump surprise while anticipating a Clinton dud. “The election event risk is asymmetric.” The stock market might have enjoyed a nice rally leading up to yesterday's election, but don't use that as any kind of guide for how stocks will move between now and inauguration day. Post-election market performance has more to do with timing than faith in prospective policies. Imagine filing bankruptcy to improve your credit score. Credit scores typically plunge just prior to bankruptcy, but rise steadily after filing. If the outcome of the presidential election has you seriously considering a move to Canada, here are some realities you might want to think about before pulling up stakes. Housing ain't cheap, there's a language gap, and you might still be paying U.S. taxes. ... Read full post

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