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.

Have the Big Five Tech Stocks Been DeFAANGed?

May, 2022 Investors expecting FAANG1 stocks to continue the extraordinary performance of recent years must be disappointed by their returns to date in 2022 (see Exhibit 1). Four of the five stocks lagged the broad US market through May 5, … Continue reading

Is It Time to Sell Stocks?

April, 2022 After touching record highs in early January, US stocks1 have slumped the past quarter, and investors have been confronted with worrisome headlines2 in the financial press: “Inflation Hits Fastest Clip Since ’82” — Gwynn Guilford, Wall Street Journal, … Continue reading

Is Labeling Investing as Active vs. Passive Useful?

March, 2022 An evolving investing landscape has rendered simple “active” vs. “passive” labels outdated as useful descriptions of contrasting investment management approaches. A more nuanced framework for thinking about approaches once considered opposing is to distinguish that strategy’s philosophy from … Continue reading

Factors Impacting Systematically Structured Strategies

February, 2022 KEY TAKEAWAYS Capturing size, value, and profitability premiums requires specialized expertise. Emphasizing one premium over another or one region over another based on magnitudes of expected premiums from samples of history has potential problems. An integrated core approach … Continue reading

Managing Uncertainty within Wealth Planning

January, 2022 KEY TAKEAWAYS Stock markets hit new records during 2021, with the S&P 500 progressively hitting new highs as Americans painfully adjusted to a post-lockdown world Inflation hit new highs as prices suddenly increased with no end in sight, … Continue reading

Inflation Hits Stocks and the Dow Still Hits 36,000

Fueled by endless low interest rates and unending government spending, U.S. inflation accelerated to over 6% annualized as Dow Jones Averages of leading U.S. stocks moved to a record 36,000. In 1999 during a previous booming stock market, two economists, … Continue reading

Watching Fed Announcements? Watch Market Prices Instead

Fed watching is a pastime of many investors. Fed officials recently signaling that they favor tapering of bond purchases in 2021, in line with announcements from the European Central Bank, has captured considerable attention from those watchers. With ample speculation … Continue reading

The High Anxiety of All-Time Highs

Treat record high stock prices with neither excitement nor alarm. KEY TAKEAWAYS Financial journalists stoke investor “record-high” anxiety by implying in articles that physical laws apply to financial markets—what goes up must come down. But shares are not heavy objects … Continue reading

Which Country Will Outperform? Here’s a Better Way

Investment opportunities exist around the globe, but the randomness of stock returns in different countries makes it almost impossible to predict which country’s stock market will outperform others. How should you manage that kind of uncertainty? Approximately half of stocks … Continue reading

‘Everything Screams Inflation:’ Interpreting Headlines

KEY TAKEAWAYS After last year’s many surprising shocks, sharp rebounds in prices this year should be no surprise. Potential inflation is one among many factors to account for when setting a price at which to trade. Looking at headlines from … Continue reading