Duration Mismatch

Shiller's CAPE – Is There A Better Measure?

Currently, valuation measures are clearly warning the future market returns are going to be substantially lower than they have been over the past eight years. Therefore, if you are expecting the markets to crank out 10% annualized returns over the next 10 years for you to meet your retirement goals, it is likely that you are going to be very disappointed.

"It's Quiet, Too Quiet"

The bulls and the bears have met at the crossroad. However, neither is ready to commit capital towards their inherent convictions. So, for 43-days, and counting, we remain range bound waiting for what is going to happen next... Every bull market in history has ultimately crumbled under the weight of fundamental realities. Despite the many hopes to the contrary, this time will be no different."

How Long Can China's Debt Continue To Grow Before A Systemic Crisis Strikes?

How long can China's debt continue to grow before a Minsky moment or systemic debt crisis?  As the government continues to rely on credit-fuelled investment to offset downward pressures within the domestic economy and from a subdued global environment China's debt/GDP ratio is set to rise further. But how much higher can it rise? Here is UBS' attempt to answer the $64 trillion question.

The Psychological Impact Of Loss

Despite all of the arm waving and pounding on the table by advisors touting long-term average returns, time-in-the-market, etc., the psychological impact of loss is all too real. While “buy and hold” investing has its appeal during bullish trending markets, the “impact of loss” on individuals is a far greater emotional pull. This is why investors tend to do everything backwards by “buying high” (greed) and “selling low” (fear).

Fed Finds "The End Of The Road"

The big risk for the Fed has always been the market would “call their bluff”  be unwilling to buy into the “forward guidance.”  It is currently too soon to know for certain but reactions following yesterday’s announcement are not promising.

"Buy High, Sell Low" - The Psychology Of Loss

The reality of loss will be more than most can stomach and sentiments of “time in the market” will go mostly unheeded. This is, of course, why many of the coveted millennial investors have already rejected much of the Wall Street rhetoric after watching the devastation that wrecked their parents over the last 15 years.

4 Warnings And Why You Should Pay Attention

No professional or successful investor every bought and held for the long-term without regard, or respect, for the risks that are undertaken. If the professionals are looking at "risk" and planning on how to protect their capital from losses when things go wrong - then why aren't you?  Exactly how many warnings do you need?

As A Shocking $100 Billion In Glencore Debt Emerges, The Next Lehman Has Arrived

And now the real shocker: there is over US$100bn in gross financial exposure to Glencore. From BofA: "We estimate the financial system's exposure to Glencore at over US$100bn, and believe a significant majority is unsecured. The group's strong reputation meant that the buildup of these exposures went largely without comment. However, the recent widening in GLEN debt spreads indicates the exposure is now coming into investor focus."

Why This Time Could Be Different

From both and fundamental and technical viewpoint, there is mounting evidence that the current decline might just be sending a signal that there is more going on here than just an "overdue correction in a bull market." While it is too soon to know for sure, there seems to be little risk in being more conservative within portfolio allocations currently until the market environment clears. However, the proverbial "elephant" is margin debt.

Is The Correction Over?

The question on everyone's mind now is simply whether the correction is over, or is there more to come? The sharp "reflexive" rally that will occur this week is likely the opportunity to review portfolio holdings and make adjustments before the next decline. History clearly suggests that reflexive rallies are prone to failing and a retest of lows is common.

3 Things: Valuations, Employment, Sectors

...while the media gets overly excited about monthly job growth, the reality is that job growth has been little more than just a function of overall population growth. This isn't something the fosters long-term economic expansions that generate higher levels of prosperity... and if you think low interest rates necessitate high stock prices, that wasn't the case in the 1940s when interest rates were low and stock prices were below their long-term average relative to past earnings.

Bonds, Banks, & Bears

History tells us two related facts. Central banks are always defeated by markets in the end, and central bankers have a touching faith that next time they will retain control over markets. But if we accept the lessons of history, we must dismiss complacency over systemic risk to the financial system. We can go even further, and begin to expect that of all the risks that will eventually trigger a widely expected financial crisis, it will be an old-fashioned bear market in bonds.