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Here's a timely piece on S&P 500 put option prices. The authors find that S&P 500 put options get too expensive during wild times largely due to two specific effects: Demand for insurance skyrockets (investor utility demands safety) Supply for insurance becomes restricted (credit constraints cripple market makers) The lesson…
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Investing in the current environment is difficult. Most, if not all, asset classes have high nominal prices, suggesting low nominal expected returns...not exactly exciting. And for many investors who are retired and/or have near-term liquidity needs, investing in equity exposures–while necessary to generate higher expected returns–also prevents many investors from…
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Investors who held Internet stock Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO) would be ahead about four percent if they had sold the stock last Wednesday (August 5) after holding for a year. But they could have tripled that return if they had held the stock for only one month, specifically in November 2014.…
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In general, investors focused on affordable stocks with strong fundamentals have been taken to the cleaners year-to-date. Meanwhile, expensive stocks with poor fundamentals have been rocking! Some Basic Statistics: Below, we  document some core performance figures using Ken French’s data on value/growth portfolios (proxy for cheap/expensive) and high profitability/low profitability portfolios (proxy for high quality/low quality).…
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The cost of a US public university education for a child born today will be about $80,000. A parent could invest about $2,000 the year their child is born, and increase that contribution by 5% each year to make sure that child can go to university. They could do this…
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When technical analysts talk about support and resistance,  they are usually referring to “lines of support and resistance,” but, as is presented further on, support and resistance can also be found at high and low points, in moving averages, and in round numbers. Support and resistance are also linked to…
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Retirement is one of the central concerns of personal finance. One day, all of us want to at least cut back on the work we have to do to support ourselves. Sure, there are folks who happily stroll into the workplace every day, well into their 70s, 80s, and 90s.…
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As we dive further into the twenty-first century, many fantasy and futurist ideas from the past have slowly become a reality: watches double as phones, robots can clean our homes, and even though they can't fly yet, our cars can greet us and give directions. Many people believe that the…
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Recently we wrote of a potential way to time the market using valuation-based signals. In the past, we have also examined how to use momentum-based signals (moving average rules and time-series momentum) to time the market. A natural question then becomes: what happens when we combine the valuation-based signals with the momentum-based signals?…
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Book-to-Market Equity, Distress Risk, and Stock Returns, by Griffin and Lemmon (2002 Journal of Finance) investigates the relationship between value premiums and distress risk. There are two schools of thought on the value premium (the large spread in realized returns between cheap stocks and expensive stocks). On the one hand, there is…
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The world of finance is liberally peppered with gurus. Jim Rogers is one example – he believed with all his heart that China was the next big thing, to the point that he moved to Singapore and his little daughter learned to speak fluent Mandarin, leaving Chinese listeners dumbfounded. And…
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The thing I learned from a mentor about doing equity research was to pick a few sectors and become an expert. That’s why I try not to pick too many wide ranging fields that I don't understand, forcing me to cut a broad swath. It's too much work, which is…
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