Initial public offerings (IPOs) often attract initial public interest—especially when familiar brands become broadly available to investors for the first time. In recent months, investors have had the opportunity to buy shares of ride-hailing networks Uber and Lyft, workplace productivity services Zoom and Slack, and other high-profile businesses ranging from Pinterest to Beyond Meat. News outlets contribute to the frenzy, building anticipation, tracking the early hours of trading, … [Read more...] about IPOs: Profiles Are High. What About Returns?
The Uncommon Average
"I have found that the importance of having an investment philosophy—one that is robust and that you can stick with— cannot be overstated. David Booth The US stock market has delivered an average annual return of around 10% since 1926. But short-term results may vary, and in any given period stock returns can be positive, negative, or flat. When setting expectations, it's helpful to see the range of outcomes experienced by investors historically. For example, how often … [Read more...] about The Uncommon Average
The Index Bogeyman
The argument that increased usage of index funds may be distorting market prices hinges on the premise that indexing reduces the efficacy of price discovery. But should the rise of index funds be a cause of concern for investors? Over the last several years, index funds have received increased attention from investors and the financial media. Some have even made claims that the increased usage of index funds may be distorting market prices. For many, this argument hinges on the premise … [Read more...] about The Index Bogeyman
Getting to the Point of a Point
While the Dow and other indices are frequently interpreted as indicators of broader market performance, the stocks composing these indices may not be representative of an investor's total portfolio. A quick online search for "Dow rallies 500 points" yields a cascade of news stories with similar titles, as does a similar search for "Dow drops 500 points." These types of headlines may make little sense to some investors, given that a "point" for the Dow and what it means to an individual's … [Read more...] about Getting to the Point of a Point
The Flat-Out Truth
Bond yields change as markets digest news and events around the world, which also causes yield curves to move and change shape over time. What is a yield curve, and why are stock investors interested in its shape? A yield curve gives a snapshot of how yields vary across bonds of similar credit quality, but different maturities, at a specific point in time. For example, the US Treasury yield curve indicates the yields of US Treasury bonds across a range of maturities. Bond yields change as … [Read more...] about The Flat-Out Truth
Midterm Elections: What Do They Mean for Markets?
While surprises can and do happen in elections, the surprises don't always lead to clear-cut outcomes for investors. It's almost Election Day in the US once again. For those who need a brief civics refresher, every two years the full US House of Representatives and one-third of the Senate are up for reelection. While the outcomes of the elections are uncertain, one thing we can count on is that plenty of opinions and prognostications will be floated in the days to come. In financial circles, … [Read more...] about Midterm Elections: What Do They Mean for Markets?