Notes From the Fieldby Martin Weil

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October 22, 2014

Quote of the Week, Ebola edition

More Americans have been married to Kim Kardashian than have died from Ebola.

From Twitter, via The Big Picture

October 21, 2014

Wedding Costs and Divorce

This chart has made the news lately, from a study that appears to show that the cost of one’s wedding is highly positively correlated with the probability of divorce.

21_wedding_small However the same study shows that the more people that attend a wedding, the less likely the marriage will end in divorce.  So it seems that to maximize your likelihood of a long-lasting marriage, forget the expensive gowns and lavishly decorated locales. But do have 200 or more guests, only ask them to bring their own bag lunches.

October 17, 2014

BOO! – market corrections are scary

If I were a “talking head” on CNBC or in the financial press, I would be totally puffed up right about now as to how, for at least the last six months, I have been writing that we were due for a market correction in the Fall.  But self-promotion is not my style and an awful lot of people had that figured out anyway.  Everybody gets something right now and then, even me.  I don’t expect this lucky streak to continue.
My outlook a few months back was pretty simple: If bad things are going to happen, they often occur in September-October. The US market had gone too long a time without the slightest hint of fatigue. Well,we have it now. Investors should note that investment-grade bonds have put on one hell of a rally, against all expectations to the contrary.  This provides some counterweight to those with diversified portfolios. 
I have had only a call or two from clients during the recent market sell-off, less than I would have expected given the suddenness and severity of the stock market decline.  The important question of course is what happens next.  A market “correction” can be a 10% decline – we are spitting distance to that – or as much as 20%, another 200 points down on the S&P before we leave “correction” territory and enter a “bear market.”  Here, I am afraid my crystal ball is out of service.  Weather forecasters have it hands down on market forecasters when predicting tomorrow’s or next week’s conditions.
As for my guess, I will stick to my thesis that this is the correction I have been expecting and that buying opportunities are presenting themselves for those who might be under-invested. If the market takes another 10% dive, I would be buying aggressively.  But as I said, that is just my guess.  And I may have already had my one bulls-eye for the year.


October 14, 2014

Correction Twitter

The thing is, it has to run its course – like a fever, or a greyhound at a Florida panhandle race track.

Josh Brown, The Reformed Broker, in an amusing post on market corrections

October 13, 2014

Retirement Solution Found, in The Netherlands

“The rest of the world sort of laughs at the United States — how can a great country like the United States get so many things wrong?” said Keith Ambachtsheer, a Dutch pension specialist

From the NY Times’ “No Smoke, No Mirrors” on the excellent Dutch pension system. At the end of the article is an interesting debate that is growing in the Netherlands, pitting younger workers who want growth from their pension assets vs. the retired who want safety. Not unlike mufti-generational family trusts, writ large

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