Dollars & Sense Blog

A Convergent Wealth Advisors Blog

September 22, 2016
Previously we discussed drivers of equity returns and why we believe the intermediate-term outlook for stocks is muted. This month we will turn our attention to bonds, the other side of the investing coin. While stocks are considered the engine of a portfolio powering returns over time (though with... read more
June 30, 2016
Investors are probably sick and tired of hearing about Brexit, that annoying contraction of words that has been dominating the recent news cycle. But now that some time has passed and the knee-jerk reactions are out of the way, let’s dig into what the hubbub is all about. While Brexit is a nice and... read more
May 31, 2016
Those who are new to investing often start out with great expectations. However, given the ups and downs of the capital markets, naive hopes and excessively optimistic dreams of riches tend to be a recipe for disappointment. A dose of reality is frequently needed in order to properly set... read more
May 2, 2016
“Sell in May and go away”—it’s simple, it rhymes, and you will almost certainly hear someone say it this month. In case you are unfamiliar, the longstanding adage advises investors to sell stocks in May and get back into the market in November, thereby avoiding a frequently observed period of... read more
April 6, 2016
Moderation in All Things, Including Inflation Inflation, like so many things in life, is best taken in moderation—excess usually leads to regret and suffering. While individuals may wisely apply restraint to many of their own potentially hazardous habits (such as eating, spending, gambling, or... read more
March 3, 2016
Is the High Yield Sell-off a Canary in a Coal Mine? According to coal mining lore, early miners used caged birds (canaries) as an early air quality warning system. Canaries are particularly sensitive to dangerous gasses such as methane and carbon dioxide, therefore the death of a bird signaled an... read more
January 28, 2016
A Chicken-and-Egg Situation Oddly enough, some of life’s most perplexing riddles involve chickens. While that is a mystery in and of itself, the paradox of which came first—the chicken or the egg—is often used to reference difficult-to-solve puzzles of causality involving independent matters which... read more
December 10, 2015
It might be unfair to compare Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen to the grinch, but unlike her European Central Bank counterpart, Mario Draghi, Ms. Yellen is not likely to give investors any presents for the holidays this year. This is especially true given the recent upbeat jobs report appears to... read more
November 12, 2015
Manufacturing is so out of style. Once the engine that drove our nation’s economy, the business of making things has taken a back seat to the service sector over the past few decades. The divergence has become even more pronounced during the recent phase of this expansion, with the manufacturing... read more
October 14, 2015
Are Investment Monsters Lurking Around the Corner? Thus far, 2015 has been a rather dreary year for stocks. Unless there is a fourth quarter comeback, it is shaping up to be the worst year since 2008. And as Halloween approaches, there are concerns that it might only get more daunting. Volatile... read more
September 15, 2015
Investors have gotten a reminder of what volatility looks like, as U.S. stock markets have recently fallen into correction territory. Trepidation has surrounded two somewhat contrasting worries: (1) China’s stalling economy may induce a global slowdown; and (2) the Federal Reserve’s apparent... read more
August 27, 2015
Passive Tools – Make Sure to Look Under the Hood   A brief note on passive, or index-oriented strategies. The past decade has experienced a dramatic explosion of index-oriented investment tools in the form of mutual funds and ETFs. The indices these tools are designed to replicate can be very... read more