Views from the Hill

Our monthly view on global financial markets and behavioral finance. Insightful commentary in a brief format to help professionals and clients make informed planning decisions.

American Presidential Elections and U.S. Stock Returns

May, 2024 On November 5, American voters will cast their ballots for the next president of the United States. With six months of vigorous campaigning yet ahead, with likely candidates in place, investors and commentators will have plenty of opportunities … Continue reading

Is the S&P 500 a True Stock Market Index?

April, 2024 Most investors commonly believe that the familiar S&P 500 index comprises the largest 500 US stocks by market capitalization. That’s not true. In fact, Standard & Poors has a long list of eligibility requirements developed for its committee’s … Continue reading

Recent Realized Equity Value Premiums and Expected Planning Outcomes

March, 2024 The 20-year return of US small cap value stocks versus the S&P 500 Index of large US stocks negatively dipped this year for the first time in US stock market history. Two decades is a long time to … Continue reading

Exciting Returns Are Not Expected Returns

February, 2024 The S&P 500 index of large U.S. stocks closed above 5000 last Friday, a record high for 2024 That same day a new client emailed us expressing concern about their account returns last year. Before becoming a client, … Continue reading

Market Review 2023: Annual Forecasts Missed the Mark – Again

January, 2024 Market predictions could not have been more wrong, defying media speculations. With so many bearish forecasts, 2023’s blockbuster ending was unimaginable. The Federal Reserve raised interest rates in 2023 at the fastest rate since the 1980s, a regional … Continue reading

Country Debt, Fed Fund Rates, and Stock Returns

December, 2023 Contrary to a popular storyline of media commentators, since 1975 stocks have climbed two-thirds of the time in countries whose government debt exceeded 100% of gross domestic product (GDP). U.S. government debt reached 121% of the value of … Continue reading

Stocks in the Market vs. the Stock Market

November, 2023 Aggregate stock market valuation ratios have not been strong predictors of broad market returns in the short or the intermediate term. And yet, high stock valuations sit near the top of concerns cited by investors about the state … Continue reading

Can Investors Outperform Artificial Intelligence?

September, 2023 Active investors such as hedge fund managers continually seek an informational edge for market trading. That includes using artificial intelligence (AI) to retrieve and process data attempting to make more profitable trades. Tools similar to AI that gauge … Continue reading

Reducing the Range of Planning Outcomes

August, 2023 The probability of experiencing positive returns from informed stock investing increases over time. An allocation to a value-weighted group of US large stocks grew wealth during 75% of the one-year periods between January 1926 and May 2023; however, … Continue reading

Our Perspective on the U.S. Debt Ceiling Debates

June, 2023 KEY TAKEAWAYS The debt ceiling is the amount of money Congress has authorized the government to borrow. The ceiling has been raised 78 times since 1960. While resolving the debt ceiling fight is unclear, it is only one … Continue reading