How History Informs the Valuation Discussion

In a recent article for Fortune, Ben Carlson writes, ”Market valuations are an important input into the investing process. But the relationship between the markets and valuations is far from perfect and requires context when thinking about what sky-high valuations mean for today’s investor.” According to Carlson, according to data going back to 1945, a case could be made that the current market pricing should be even higher given the low level of interest rates:… Read More

Stocks and Bonds Rising in Sync for Now

A 60/40 mix of U.S. stocks and bonds generated a 13.6% return through the first six months of this year, “the best start for this portfolio since the first half of 1997,” according to a recent article in Fortune by Ben Carlson. The article notes that this was just the eleventh time such a portfolio began the first half of the year with a double-digit return. “This relationship might not make sense to those who… Read More

How You Can Win Arguments About the Stock Market

A recent article for Fortune by Ben Carlson of Ritholtz Wealth Management says you can win any argument about the stock market by “simply changing your start or end dates to suit your stance,” but these swings in stock price also offer important takeaways for investors. The article argues that there “will always be ammunition for both sides of the bull and bear debate in almost every security or market imaginable for the simple fact… Read More

In Today’s Market, Dollar Cost Averaging a Better Play Than Lump-Sum Investing

Investors who may be sitting on cash due to nerves about high valuations, rising interest rates and market volatility might be missing out on huge gains, according to Bloomberg columnist Ben Carlson. Carlson outlines three options for putting cash to work in today’s market: Invest a lump sum and take what the market gives you. Wait for the market to fall further and invest at a better entry point. Dollar cost average into the market to… Read More

A List of Investing Dos and Don’ts

In a September memo, Oaktree Capital’s Howard Marks outlined six investment options for a “low-return world.” In a follow-up article from Bloomberg, author Ben Carlson presents the pros and cons related to what he views as the best three on the list: Invest as you always have and settle for today’s low returns– Pro: It’s simple for investors to stay the course and adjust expectations. Con: The low returns resulting from this strategy means that… Read More

Small-Caps are on the Upswing

After a brief post-election surge at the end of 2016, small-caps “went nowhere” for nine months, but the asset class has “finally decided to join the party,” writes Ben Carlson of Ritholtz Wealth Management in a recent Bloomberg article. “Although 2013 was a breakout year for small-cap stocks,” writes Carlson, “there have been a steady number of all-time highs in the ensuing years.” Since small-caps can be volatile, this could be a sign that investors… Read More

Investor Complacency Doesn’t Mean Clear Skies in Market

The market has seen low volatility and years without a major correction, writes Ben Carlson of Ritholtz Wealth Management in a recent Bloomberg article, but this doesn’t necessarily mean investors are complacent. Carlson cites data compiled by Yale professor Robert Shiller that show investor concern regarding market valuations and a “potential market crash” are both “showing much higher levels of anxiety.” He also shares a comment from Howard Marks of Oaktree Capital, who thinks that… Read More

The Relationship Between Stocks and the U.S. Dollar

While the dollar’s relationship with the economy as a whole is relatively “murky,” the relative performance of U.S. and foreign equities against the dollar is more distinct, writes Ritholtz Wealth Management’s Ben Carlson in a recent Bloomberg article. “When you own shares from other countries around the globe, the diversification benefits come mainly from your currency exposure,” says Carlson. That is, he explains, unless you are hedging against currency risk, you are exposed to exchange… Read More

Carlson of Ritholtz Says Investors Should Look Long-Term

With the inauguration ink still damp, investors might be trying to predict what Trump’s first 100 days will have in store. In a recent Bloomberg article, Ben Carlson of Ritzholtz Wealth Management writes, “Intelligent investors, however, understand that the long-term is the only time horizon that matters.” One of the best ways to look ahead, according to Carlson, is by “setting reasonable expectations.” To do so, he writes, investors should lower their expectations for future… Read More