How Many Stocks Is Too Many?

One of the key questions any investor must grapple with is, “How many stocks should I own?” Jonathan Burton addresses that issue in a recent MarketWatch column, taking a look at focused funds — those that hold relatively few stocks compared to most other mutual funds. “Focused funds — portfolios with only a couple of dozen holdings — are getting attention in a market where stock selection is more important than ever,” Burton writes. He… Read More

’08 Top Economist Says Consumer Will Be Back

Joel Naroff, who was named the top economic forecaster in 2008 by Bloomberg Business News, thinks the modest recent increase in consumer spending will continue, and grow stronger in the fall. “It’s not that there is going to be a huge growth in income, or jobs are going to start growing,” Naroff tells Forbes.com. “It’s just that an awful lot of people were so fearful about the future that that they were spending as if… Read More

Slower Growth, But No Double Dip, Says Cohen

Recently, we highlighted the bull market call of Goldman Sachs’ Abby Joseph Cohen. Now, in an interview with Bloomberg news, Cohen expands on her outlook for the economy and the stock market. Some of her key points: She expects slower growth than typically seen coming out of a recession, but she doesn’t see a “double-dip” recession occurring. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fpKefxpVIEc&hl=en&fs=1&]

Buy-and-Hold, Hedging, and Values: Top Strategists Offer Tips

In a recent panel discussion held by Charles Schwab, several top managers and strategists offered their take on the current market, as well as portfolio management tips regarding buy-and-hold investing, hedging, and how to succeed if the current rally falters. Among the panelists was Ron Baron, chief investment officer at Baron Funds. Baron says that “investors have opportunities now to buy stocks at the cheapest prices in years,” reports AOL Daily Finance’s Matthew Scott. Erik… Read More

Decoupling or Recoupling — Which Will Win Out?

One of the troubling surprises for many investors during last year’s economic crisis was the “recoupling” of the developed world and emerging markets. Rather than offering a safe haven, emerging markets ended up being hit as hard, if not harder, than the U.S. and Europe. In the Financial Times, PIMCO Chief Executive Officer Mohamed El-Erian recently offered his thoughts on whether the future will hold decoupling or recoupling for the developed and emerging markets, an… Read More

Heebner, Doll See Opportunities

Ken Heebner, whose CGM Focus fund stumbled last year but remains at the top of its category in terms of 5-year and 10-year returns, tells CNBC that he thinks things are looking up for the economy — and, believe it or not, Ford Motor Co. “I think there’s a bigger turn in the economy coming than people are looking at,” Heebner says, citing manufacturing, inventory, and consumption data. Bob Doll, global chief investment officer of… Read More

Hulbert, the Crisis, and … Poker Hands?

In his latest column for the New York Times, Mark Hulbert examines an interesting study on buy-and-hold investing. The study — “When Everyone Runs for the Exit,” by Lasse H. Pedersen, professor of finance at New York University, concludes that it’s not traders or true long-term buy-and-hold investors who get hurt the most in a liquidity crisis like the one we’ve just experienced — it’s the investors who end up stuck in the middle. Pedersen… Read More

Mobius: Emerging Markets Due for Pullback, and then Big Surge

Templeton Asset Management Executive Chairman Mark Mobius says that emerging market stocks are due for a significant correction in the short term, but will likely soar to new highs by the end of next year. Mobius told Dow Jones Newswires that with companies’ earnings remaining weak, the recent rise in stock prices means “valuations are now relatively lofty”, and price/earnings ratios at 20 to 30 and a tenuous economic recovery will lead to investors taking… Read More

Behavior Finance Pioneer on Efficient Markets, Bubbles

Richard Thaler, the researcher whose work has brought such key behavioral finance issues as myopic loss aversion to light, says recent events have shown markets are not efficient, but that they are still the best way to employ capital. “Counting the earlier bubble in Japanese real estate, we have now had three enormous price distortions in recent memory,” Thaler wrote in The Financial Times. “They led to misallocations of resources measured in the trillions and… Read More

Siegel Fires Back on Long-Term Data

Last month, we highlighted Wall Street Journal columnist Jason Zweig’s criticism of the long-term stock return data that Jeremy Siegel has used in his book, Stocks for the Long Run. Zweig said that the data Siegel used for 1802-1870 was “rotten with methodological flaws”, saying it was cherry-picked, filled with survivorship bias, and included an estimated dividend yield that was likely too high. The criticism was big news — Siegel’s book is something of a… Read More