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.

What Should We Make of Bitcoin Mania?

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are receiving intense media coverage, prompting some investors to wonder whether these new types of electronic money deserve a place in their portfolios. Only days ago, the price of bitcoin plunged sharply, declining over 25 percent … Continue reading

Having an Informed Strategy for Crisis Events

The 10-year anniversary in October of the S&P 500 historical high point before the so-called “Global Financial Crisis” is approaching. Over the following year and a half, US stock markets declined by more than 50 percent. Today US equity markets … Continue reading

Is the Monkey Model a Smart Strategy?

An interesting notion for picking stocks first proposed nearly fifty years ago, and resurrected from time to time, is that blindfolded monkeys throwing darts at pages of stock listings from Barrons can be used to “construct” portfolios that should do … Continue reading

The Paradox of Uncertainty for Planning

Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is an absurd one. — Voltaire “The market hates uncertainty” is a common enough saying, but does it make any sense? Actually, people hate uncertainty. Uncertainty has many different aspects: some that … Continue reading

The Season for Predicting or Planning?

At year-end, predictions about market gloom or doom for 2017 are coming from all directions, tempting even smart investors to play the old loser’s game of forecasting market prices. The closing of 2016 brings not only New Year’s Day but … Continue reading

Dimensional Fund Advisors: An Active-Passive Powerhouse

Dimensional Financial Advisors, an institutional investment advisor all but unknown to the general public, is “An Active-Passive Powerhouse” according to an October 20, 2016 Wall Street Journal article. This Wall Street Journal article offers an in-depth look at Dimensional, explaining … Continue reading

Presidential Elections and the Stock Market

Next month, Americans will head to the polls to elect the next President of the United States. While the outcome is unknown, one thing is for certain: there will be a steady stream of opinions from pundits and prognosticators about … Continue reading

Planning for Those Higher Education Expenses

With schools nationwide back in session again, many parents are thinking about how best to manage future or even current college costs. Now is a good time to sharpen your pencil for a few important lessons before heading back into … Continue reading

David Booth Brings Academic Research to Life

Dimensional Financial Advisors Founder and Co-CEO David Booth has received a “Manager Lifetime Achievement” award from Institutional Investor. The magazine described David as a leader who “shaped Dimensional into a manager that refined . . . academic theories and applied them so investors could … Continue reading

Index Reconstitution: Hidden Investing Costs

With the annual reconstitution of the Russell indices once again approaching, this is an opportunity to revisit the effect of index reconstitution events upon returns for an expanding universe of ‘low cost” index funds increasingly popular among investors. Here we … Continue reading