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Foreign vs Domestic Equity Performance by Sector

by: Lawrence Hamtil  on Thursday, August 25, 2016

Since the prior market peak in October of 2007, US equity markets have outperformed the vast majority of foreign equity markets.  In fact, while $10,000 invested in the US at the end of October 2007 would be worth more than $16,000 for a total return in excess of 60%, the same amount invested in the MSCI EAFE (the standard benchmark for developed foreign market equities) would still be underwater, despite reinvested dividends*: Read More

Are Low Yields Really Responsible for Low Vol's Success?

by: Lawrence Hamtil  on Tuesday, August 23, 2016

There has recently been a steady stream of financial articles declaring that the main driver of the excess performance of traditionally 'defensive' sectors such as consumer staples and utilities is solely attributable to the decline of interest rates to near-record lows.  For example, in Monday's Wall Street Journal, columnist Justin Lahart wroteRead More

Two Similar Companies; Two Very Different Results

by: Lawrence Hamtil  on Thursday, August 18, 2016

It is conventional wisdom in the financial services industry that clients should harvest their tax losses each year by selling their positions that are underwater.  While this is generally a prudent strategy, there are a few legitimate reasons why this may not always work out in an investor's long-term favor.  Keep in mind that in order to avoid a 'wash-sale,' (which would nullify your ability to claim the loss on your tax return) you cannot have bought the security (or a "substantially idential" one) at least thirty days before the sale, and you cannot buy it back until at least thirty days after the sale.  Given this limitation, the possibility exists that during the exclusion period, the security that was sold could appreciate substantially, thus leaving the investor with perhaps an expensive opportunity cost. Read More