When we think about investing in equities here at Carnegie, we think of the companies we invest in as businesses. If I polled 5 random people off the street and asked them to list 5 good companies, depending upon their age, sex and race, I would probably hear names like Apple, Facebook, Google, Tesla and Netflix. While these companies have performed admirably in the last few years, we never lose sight of our pursuit in finding great businesses with sustainable business models or what Warren Buffet likes to call a “moat”. What if I told you that one of the best sectors to invest in over time is a collection of boring, slow growing businesses?
As a firm with roots in Cleveland, the city is abuzz with excitement surrounding the Cleveland Cavaliers run to the NBA Finals. It is great to experience the excitement that cities like Cincinnati and Philadelphia have enjoyed in the past and our hope is that this team will end Cleveland’s 51 year title drought. The Cavs will need to play great team basketball to beat the Golden State Warriors but when it comes to investing; sometimes it’s best to separate certain parts of the “team” or businesses. This is often referred to as spin-offs on Wall Street.
Growing up on the bond side of the business wasn’t always easy. There was never any snappy cocktail party conversation about what’s going on in the bond market like I often overheard on stocks…go figure.
With the high level of the stock market and an aging population demographic, my how times have changed. The bond market looks mighty interesting to a lot of folks. As a $38 trillion global bond market (vs. the S & P market cap at $18 trillion), I’m glad to see it’s not being totally ignored, but I am concerned as well. A lot of people these days view bond funds as a placeholder to park cash, like a money market vehicle with return, unaware of the downside risks. Bond funds are especially susceptible to volatility and erosion when rates rise (and, oh by the way, rates will rise at some point).
Often times on the news, you may hear the names of famous CEOs like Tim Cook, Warren Buffett and Bob Iger. Why are they discussed so often? What separates them from their peers? Besides being at the helm of some of the most well-known and companies in the world, these CEOs, among many others have done a very good job of creating value for shareholders. How did these CEOs do such a wonderful job of creating value?
Over ONE TRILLION DOLLARS is managed by the top ten bond mutual funds, according to Forbes. This vast pool of assets controlled by a few players affects the whole asset class. In our whitepaper, "Bondmageddon: A Whitepaper on the Hidden Risks and Costs of Bond Mutual Funds," we discuss the current landscape of these investments and the risks investors face today. We also outline the five critical strategic considerations we make when constructing a bond portfolio. Below is an excerpt from the Bondmageddon paper.
It’s tax time--don’t lose sight of your financial planning goals. It’s not too late to make your IRA contribution for 2014. You can make 2014 IRA contributions until April 15, 2015. Be sure you are taking full advantage of the opportunity to save for retirement.
You may have heard about low interest rates in the newspaper, online or on the TV, but what do low interest rates really mean for the general public? Interest rates are based primarily upon the supply and demand for money. With the hope of stimulating the economy since the Great Recession, the Federal Reserve has flooded the marketplace with money via its Quantitative Easing program (dubbed “QE”), but the demand for money has simply not kept pace. Consumers and businesses have opted to save more and/or deleverage their balance sheets. What are some of the positives and negatives of low interest rates?
Investing money successfully isn’t easy; if it were, then everybody would be rich! Moreover, there is no Holy Grail, or magic, risk-free formula that insures success and worry-free sleep. In short, investing involves some risk-taking, and despite what you may have been led to believe, there is no way to get around it—you can mitigate risk, but you can’t eliminate it.
The Federal Reserve has now held short-term interest rates at close to zero for over six full years. Six years – that is 2,190 days, and counting! It is no wonder that finding a reasonably safe way to earn a return on cash has become one of the biggest questions on investors’ minds.
In fact, some of the most frequent questions I field these days are about this topic:
- What should I do with my cash?
- Do you think interest rates are going to go up soon?
- Why hold any cash at all in my portfolio?