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.

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

Should Interest Rates Raised or Lowered Concern Your Long-Term Planning?

May, 2023 The Federal Reserve Bank once again raised its rate another quarter point. It signaled that that may be the last increase for a while. A series of rate increases are the Fed’s effort to lower current high inflation … Continue reading

When Headlines Worry, Bank on Informed Planning

April, 2023 Regulators took control of Silicon Valley Bank as a run on the bank unfolded at internet speed last month. Two days later, regulators took control of a second lender, Signature Bank. They were the second and third largest … Continue reading

Sound Planning Anticipates Good and Bad Times

March, 2023 Most are aware of last week’s closure of California’s Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank. They are the second and third largest bank failures since 2001. Over 85% of the deposits, it is estimated, were very large institutional … Continue reading

The Market’s Contango Dance

February, 2023 Many extreme events happened in recent years: a global pandemic, rapid burst of inflation, war in Europe, earthquakes, hurricanes, and floods in many regions and, last but not least, highly volatile financial markets. Hyper-focused media attention on terrifying … Continue reading

2020-2022: A Stress-Test of Your Plan

January, 2023 Think back to December 2019. The economy was in high growth mode. Unemployment, interest rates, and inflation were at historically low levels. But what happened next?

Market Movements Aren’t Announced in Advance

December, 2022 Negative stock returns and aggressive U.S. Federal Reserve interest rate hikes have many concerned that another Big Recession is coming — if we’re not already there. Media commenting on the possibility creates even more worry about markets sinking … Continue reading