Are Some Sectors of the Economy Still in a Recession?

I read Jeffrey Alhambra's recent post on Real Clear Markets about his views of the creeping inaccuracy of economic language with great interest.  Sure, it was at times a hyperbolic piece, but his data points on the revenue contractions of some large companies like GE and IBM were well taken and lead me to ask: Are there some sectors of the … [Read more...]

Maintaining a Debt Paydown Strategy

Recently, I stated that one of my goals for 2014 is to pay down my consumer debt of ~$34,000. My colleague PK also recently wrote about personal finance being much more than simple debt payoff. Surprisingly, PK and I have recently settled on a similar short term goal of deleveraging in 2014. This puts our goals (this sentence makes me feel … [Read more...]

Looking for Stock Market Predictions? Go Long!

So you're looking for stock market predictions so you'll know how to treat your money over the short term. I hear you - and I sympathize.  But you're looking at this the wrong way.   The Stock Market is Not Like Weather You all know and love the common 7-day weather forecast (or the 30 day which is now coming into common usage).  … [Read more...]

How to Bury Your Fears and Actually Get Started Investing!

You know something?  I can almost guarantee you're over-thinking this. Today we're going to give you some no-nonsense advice on where to get started with investing.  This seems an easy enough topic but, frankly, the amount of manufactured nonsense and controversy around this subject is ridiculous. Seriously - most people go through this … [Read more...]

S&P 500 Earnings: A Retrospective

Although you folks know we use Robert Shiller's data for quite a few of our articles, we're going to continue down that path for some time longer.  Since we told you recently (in a 5 part series) that we aren't entirely thrilled with the market's valuation, we're producing this research to mollify our own concerns as much as to show interesting … [Read more...]

Stock Picks for 2014!

This will be our third consecutive year of picks for the Financial Uproar stock picking contest.  Here's a brief recap of our past performance... which is not impressive, considering the bull regime we're currently living under. 2012 Picks - 17.8% Return - S&P 500 Return: 16.0% 2013 Picks - 9.7% Return - S&P 500 Return: 32.39% A Change … [Read more...]

Wilshire 5000 Dividend Reinvestment Calculator

Below is a calculator which gives the dividend reinvested return of the Wilshire 5000 between any two arbitrary dates since December of 1970.  It uses data from Wilshire Associates, collated by the St. Louis Fed here and here. The Wilshire 5000 is an index produced by Wilshire Associates which better measures the total United States stock market … [Read more...]

2013 S&P Return

We include dividends. 32.39% was the S&P 500 return for 2013, not the 29.60% you'll see quoted on tons of other sites. We told you last year, but we'll obnoxiously repeat the lesson once again: dividends matter.  While every other web site on the internet gives you the price returns of the S&P 500, we do the extra step and tell you … [Read more...]

Expected Real Returns on BAA, AAA, and 10 Year Treasuries

If you recall, in our last article we calculated historical risk spreads between various asset classes.  Not content to leave that topic in an unfinished state, here's the results of some further calculations - this time looking at debt vis-a-vis itself - we compare last week's asset classes to inflation expectations at the time... (Oh, you … [Read more...]

The Risk Spread Premium – (Almost) A Century of Data

A recent comment on one of our CAPE articles recently sent us digging for data on the long term perception of risk in the market.  For our purposes, we're interested in risk tolerance and, specifically, the difference in yields between various forms of debt.  Why is that important?  Well - we could argue all day about valuations in the stock market … [Read more...]