October 2017 Comments: Bond Investments

Sam Ngooi Comments

Last month we changed our focus from the surprising, ongoing advance of stock prices since the 2016 election, to bonds, the other major asset class in most client portfolios. During September there was a substantial increase in market interest rates, which brought the benchmark ten-year US Treasury yield to 2.34%, up 21 bps from August’s close of 2.13%. October’s increase …

Don’t Touch My Money, Just Hold My Hand

Sam Ngooi Comments

A recent article by Wall Street Journal columnist Jason Zweig, entitled ‘Don’t Touch My Money, Just Hold My Hand’ (WSJ, June 9, 2017), touched on topics that reinforce the investment approach Park Piedmont has been conveying to clients since its founding in 2003. First: many people look to investment advisers to boost their investment returns. If that’s your perspective, “you may …

“Dream Paychecks”: Thoughts on Hedge Fund Returns & Fees

Sam Ngooi Comments

We’re going to start commenting on investing/financial items we read or hear about in the media, in the hope that it’s interesting and informative for you. Please let us know if you have any comments or questions. Our first post involves the 5/16/17 NYT article titled “Dream Paychecks.” It discusses the enormous 2016 earnings for hedge fund managers (ranging from …

The Importance of Interest Rates on the Economy and Financial Markets

admin Comments

Since the financial crisis of 2008, and the resulting stock market declines (which reached 60% on the S&P 500 index, from October 2007 to the low of March 2009), interest rates have been maintained at extremely low levels by the US Federal Reserve (the “Fed”). While the Fed controls short term interest rates (overnight borrowing rates by financial institutions), it …

Aug. 26 Memo to Clients re: Investing vs. Trading

admin Comments

As the world’s stock markets continue to capture our attention with their extreme fluctuations, we think it’s important to present our view that most of this volatility is actually being created by traders, as opposed to long-term investors. (Note: this is our third memo in the last several days addressing current stock price declines.) What’s the difference between trading and …

Aug. 24 Memo to Clients re: Investing Pitfalls amid Market Volatility

admin Comments

Given the continued sharp stock price declines on Friday, August 21st, and thus far on Monday, August 24th, we’re sending this follow-up memo to discuss the pitfalls of alternatives to our customary advice of maintaining your current stock allocation. Our advice presumes that stocks are a necessary part of your investment portfolio to meet your long-term financial goals. The following …

Aug. 21 Memo to Clients re: Stock Declines

admin Comments

The past few days have seen sharp declines in US stock prices, but as of August 20, the S&P 500 stock index is down all of 1% for the year, and still above its January 30th low by approximately 2%.  The current problems for the market range from slow world-wide economic growth; to more specific problems in China, and certain …