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Depending on where you live and what you and your family decided, in all likelihood you’ve been in some version of “quarantine” for around a month.  Despite some promising signs around potentially effective therapies for Covid-19, based on what we’ve seen thus far, I’m guessing that we’ll be pretty limited in “normal” movement for quite

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Clients Need a Coach in the Investment Game

Days have turned into weeks and weeks have turned into months of uncertainty; and markets dislike uncertainty.  Guess who else isn’t comfortable with uncertainty? Your clients. They too have been tested: mentally and financially. This virus has had a double dose effect on the markets and the people who invest in them. The psychological damage

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Why Own What’s Not Bullish?

We are all familiar with the concept of diversification. The idea is to spread your bets across an array of assets in order to avoid concentration into an asset or small group of assets that could induce havoc on a portfolio in the event that any one  bet turns out to be wrong. And since

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Utility ETFs: Snooze Fest Or Comfort Food?

Utility stocks and ETFs are boring, no doubt about that. But as is usually the case, the yields typically are above those of most other companies. Other income-oriented ETFs offer even higher yields, but utility ETFs make up for that with low levels of relative risk (Betas). The Utility SPDR Select ETF (XLU) checks all

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“Don’t Fight the Fed”

The late Dr. Martin Zweig, my former boss and mentor with whom I worked with for nearly 20 years, is largely credited for coining the phrase “Don’t fight the Fed.”  In his 1970 book Winning on Wall Street he talks about the importance of monetary policy to stock market returns, particularly the trend in interest

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Investing in a Black Swan Event

The investment management industry is on a constant lookout for signals regarding the direction of the market. Signals and screening for them is a constant endeavour and it has its benefits and pitfalls. Signals are best when you have an edge, or at least a perceived edge. Screening is as good as the criteria you

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Dividend ETFs: Anomalies Are Great, So Long As They Aren’t Mirages

As interest rates remain mired at generational lows, it’s more challenging than ever for those who need income to find it without taking undue risk. There will be many occasions when the market appears to be offering a “free lunch,” high yield without high risk. Closer examination will reveal many of these situations to be

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It’s a Market of Stocks, Not a Stock Market

It’s a market of stocks. This is important to keep in mind in a world where everyone seems to be laser focused on the main market averages. How many times over the past few weeks have we heard about the 2,000+ point plus moves in the Dow (I won’t get started on quoting the Dow

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The Best Days and the Worst Days

Way back in the 1990s, when the “buy and hold” crowd was beginning to accumulate evidence that the most successful investors effectively buy stocks and head to the beach, the idea of “if you missed the 10 best days” in the market started gaining traction in marketing materials.  What it amounts to is that, depending

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