Important Investment Definitions and Principles

Sam Ngooi Comments

The month-end August 2020 US stock and bond market investment results continued to be mostly favorable, even though the declines during the first week in September (3rd, 4th, and 8th) reduced these positive results somewhat. We think this is an opportune time to present certain basic investment definitions and principles that we at Park Piedmont (PPA) consider important to know. …

Mortgage Refinancing

Sam Ngooi Comments

The historically low interest rates of the past year represent an attempt by the US Federal Reserve to stimulate a faltering US economy. The correspondingly low rates determined in the bond market have hurt investors who need income. But these rates have been a boon to borrowers, as the Fed intended. Now is therefore a very good time to consider …

Financial Market Prices and “Real Economy” Disconnects & Upcoming Election

Sam Ngooi Comments

The US stock market has continued its significant and highly improbable advance from its recent March lows, even as the “real world economy” continues to post record breaking negative figures in many categories, including employment and most recently GDP (Gross Domestic Product), amid the continuing coronavirus.  Trying to make sense of this disconnect is now a favorite topic for the …

June Speculation & Market Prices

Sam Ngooi Comments

In our May Comments, we quoted from The Price of Peace by Zachary Carter (May 2020), which chronicles the work, life, times, and impact of John Maynard Keynes. This month we return to a subject we have discussed before, namely the extraordinarily important distinction between investors on the one hand, and traders/speculators on the other. We start with some observations …

May Markets and Observations on Uncertainty

Sam Ngooi Comments

The US stock market continued the highly unlikely gains that started in April through May, following the steep declines from mid-February to late-March. With only modest examples of reopening the economy amid the coronavirus, the ongoing stock gains appear to be taking a highly optimistic view of the future. The various actions by the Federal Reserve to keep interest rates …

Updates to Tax and Other Laws Providing Assistance During Virus Outbreak

Sam Ngooi Comments

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was passed on March 27th, 2020. This is the third significant piece of Federal legislation dealing with the pandemic, and likely not the last. It joins other efforts by state and local governments, for-profit and non-profit companies, and individuals to address this unprecedented challenge to the world’s healthcare, economic, and social …

Observations on March Financial Markets

Sam Ngooi Comments

For these Monthly Comments we would like to first note the continuation of the extreme negative impacts of the coronavirus on people’s health and their ability to conduct normal activities. This in turn has created major economic issues, as businesses around the world have had to curtail or shut down their operations, generating high levels of unemployment and creating all …

Special Memo: March 16-20

Sam Ngooi Comments

As the coronavirus continues to raise major issues related to people’s health, to the general economy, and to the financial markets, we are writing again with an updated discussion. This is our fifth Special Comment (in addition to our regular February Monthly Comments) on the subject, which will draw from the earlier material and feature some new content. The primary …

Special Memo: Stock Price Declines of March 9th, 11th, and 12th, 2020

Sam Ngooi Comments

On March 9th, and then again on March 11th and 12th, all three major US stock indexes experienced serious declines.  When measured from their recent mid-February highs, the three indexes are down between 27% and 28%, which means all three are now officially in a “bear market.” The spread of the coronavirus and its feared health and economic impacts appears …

Special Memo: Bonds

Sam Ngooi Comments

As the financial markets respond to the new health and economic uncertainties stemming from the spread of the coronavirus, most of the attention has been focused on the dramatic fluctuations of the US stock market. After the last week in February, the S&P 500 had declined 11.5%, from 3,338 to 2,954. In the first week in March, surprisingly, the index …