July 1, 2022

By David Snowball

Dear friends,

As you read this, Chip and I will be on vacation in Door County, the idyllic peninsula just north of Green Bay, Wisconsin. While I’m sure there have been years when she and I more needed time away, I surely cannot remember when. I was introduced, this year, to the term “trauma-informed pedagogy” and to the realization that perhaps three-quarters of our young people have taken a few more hits than they’re currently capable of managing.

Having managed their mental health for the past year, we’re going to work on our own for Continue reading →

Confession is good for the soul, honest reflection is even better: My mid-year review

By Devesh Shah

Irresponsibility might not be the gravest sin committed by internet pundits, but it’s surely one of the most widespread. We are forever regaled by advice from “the strategist who called the 2008 crash” has announced the 2022 recession will be worse than 2008, though we are spared the messy details about the source’s other 49 missed guesses. It’s the nature of the internet that Continue reading →

Retirement Part 1: The Certainty of Death and Taxes

By Charles Lynn Bolin

“Things as certain as death and taxes can be more firmly believed” was written by Daniel Defoe in “The Political History of the Devil” in 1726. Benjamin Franklin wrote, “In this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes” in 1789. Few subjects I have written about elicit such a passionate response as “Roth Conversion” and “Deferring Social Security Benefits.” This article is the first of a three-part series describing Continue reading →

New Income: New Adventures, New Opportunities

By David Snowball

FPA New Income (FPNIX) is a remarkable fund, simultaneously conservative and aggressive. It is an absolute return-oriented fixed income fund that embodies FPA’s corporate discipline:  don’t buy it if you don’t have a margin of safety and the prospect of decent returns. The explanation of the fund’s investment strategy begins with a simple declaration: “We do not like to lose money.” It is simultaneously an unconstrained and a very constrained strategy. It is unconstrained in that it can invest pretty much wherever opportunities arise though at least 75% of the portfolio investments must earn the “High Quality securities” designation, with the remainder likely in cash or Credit Sensitive issues. It is very constrained, though, by a long-standing and non-negotiable absolute Continue reading →

MFO Premium 2022 Mid-Year Review

By Charles Boccadoro

The next MFO Premium webinar will occur Tuesday, July 12th.

Our premium search tool site helps individual investors and financial advisers 1) sort through the vast number of funds available today based on criteria important to them, 2) maintain candidate lists of promising funds to conduct further due diligence on, and 3) monitor risk and return performance of their current portfolios. Continue reading →

Retirement: Planning The Next 365 Days

By Charles Lynn Bolin

By the time this article is published in Mutual Fund Observer, I will have been retired for one day as I near my 67th birthday. I spent 25 hours this past month listening to audiobooks about the psychology of retirement and an equal amount of time searching the internet for ideas generated from these books. I concluded that I should ease into retirement and plan on what to do for the next 365 days, sometimes called the Retirement Honeymoon Phase. This article is the second of a three-part series describing my experiences as I retire. Continue reading →

The Great Normalization

By Charles Boccadoro

Numerous bear sightings occurred these past several weeks, but with June’s awful performance, the new bear is clear and present. Intra-month, the S&P 500 closed down more than 20% from its previous peak and at month’s end, it closed down level at 20%, similar to the CV-19 bear of March 2020. In June alone it dropped more than 8%. This retraction marks the seventh bear market since 1968 (or tenth since 1926), as depicted in the chart below.

It remains quite astounding what a 3% rise in the 10-year T-Note has done to equity and bond markets over the past 6 months. Some good news? 10-year CDs are now yielding close to 4%. Continue reading →

Your portfolio … in the Disco Inferno!

By Mark Freeland

Rapidly rising inflation, bear markets, Congressional hearings over political misdeeds, geopolitically related energy price spikes. What next? Bell-bottom pants? The return of disco? These are not echoes of the 70s that people might have hoped for.

We are living in a time with many similarities to that era, including concerns about how to protect one’s portfolio – with cash losing value to inflation and the stock market suffering the worst six-month start of a year since 1970. There are also some differences. The unemployment rate is lower than during the stagflation of the 70s. On the other hand, at least on a nominal basis, bonds in the 70s paid a fair amount of interest unlike Continue reading →

Dirty sex, your spanked portfolio and planning for “the next market”

By David Snowball

Many and many a year ago, in the kingdom of ABC, Woody Allen was one of my very first guests. And we consented to take questions from an eager audience of mostly young people. Like ourselves.

The questioner looked like a high school girl and shouted to Woody from the balcony, “Do you think sex is dirty?”

Allen: “It is if you do it right.”

(Dick Cavett, “As the comics say, These kids today! I tell ya.” New York Times, 9/13/2013)

I’d rather hoped Continue reading →

Having Faith in Sensible Investing

By Devesh Shah

Retail investors or advisors serving retail investors can choose to keep it simple with portfolios that follow a handful of easy-to-grasp rules:

  1. Buy assets where there is a genuine underlying source of return (corporate earnings, interest income, and rental income).
  2. Diversify across asset classes so that you don’t depend on any one stream of returns.
  3. Choose asset weights that reflect the investor’s different needs: Income, Growth, Safety, Speculation
  4. Reduce unneeded fees
  5. Be strategic about the impulse to buy and, especially, to sell so that you can keep capital gains taxes reasonably low.
  6. Rebalance across the asset classes when one of the asset classes moves too much.
  7. Hold the portfolio of these diversified assets for decades.

Continue reading →

fountain pen writing a note

Briefly Noted…

By TheShadow

Note to our readers:

On June 3, AlphaCentric and Garrison Point, investment advisor and sub-advisor respectively, to the AlphaCentric Income Opportunities Fund, were fined by the SEC for failing to implement its compliance policies and procedures concerning its role in valuing fund securities. From May 2015 through July 2015 and from January 2017 through February 2019, AlphaCentric failed to implement policies requiring it to assist with the process of determining the fair value of the fund holdings. According to the order, Continue reading →