Sat.Apr 20, 2024 - Fri.Apr 26, 2024

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Thursday links: analysts and accountants

Abnormal Returns

Markets The energy sector is still less than 4% of the S&P 500. (allstarcharts.com) What are to make of the big, and persistent, valuation disparities between large and small caps. (morningstar.com) Strategy Good luck trying to dial risk up and down at the right times. (collabfund.com) Expect to see some overconfidence tonight in Detroit. (seeitmarket.com) There's no return without risk.

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Weekend Reading For Financial Planners (April 27-28)

Nerd's Eye View

Enjoy the current installment of "Weekend Reading For Financial Planners" - this week's edition kicks off with the news that the Department of Labor released the final version of its Retirement Security Rule (a.k.a. the Fiduciary Rule 2.0), which is set to go into effect in September and (if it survives anticipated legal challenges) would represent a significant shift toward greater fiduciary standards in the financial services industry, including by defining as a fiduciary act a one-time recomm

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March 2024 State Coincident Indexes Ease

The Big Picture

A quick note on the state of the economy in light of some recent data. Q1 2024 Gross Domestic Product expanded at a disappointing 1.6% — note this is seasonally and inflation-adjusted annual rate. That lagged economists’ consensus of 2.4%. However, it’s not quite all it appears. Some of this is that “long and variable lag” of higher rates starting to bite — but it’s not just that.

Economy 210
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The News is Making You Miserable

A Wealth of Common Sense

There was a recent poll about my home state of Michigan where they asked people for their thoughts on the state of the nation’s economy today. Just 35% of people described the economy as excellent (6%) or good (29%) while 65% described it as either not so good (28%) or poor (37%). But when asked how they would describe their own personal financial situation these days, a majority of people (61%) described their circ.

Economy 145
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Live Demo: How to Achieve Reconciliation Zen

Speaker: Nancy Wu, Head of Sales and Customer Success at SkyStem

Automation generally supercharges any process and brings its value to the forefront. See how infusing automation such as ART (our month-end close solution), into your close can get you to the next level of closing. We will share a live demo of SkyStem's solution, ART and share the key elements of month-end close automation. Through ART, we'll take a look at: What month-end close automation entails Which process steps can and should be automated Benefits of achieving process automation, and Why i

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Top clicks this week on Abnormal Returns

Abnormal Returns

Top clicks this week TIPS are on sale. Time to buy. (morningstar.com) Why everyone in finance seems to be doing deadlifts. (wealthmanagement.com) Franklin Templeton ($BEN) is moving aggressively beyond stocks and bonds. (wsj.com) 15 more ideas from Seth Klarman's "Margin of Safety" including 'Investment must be thought of as more than stock selection or making a series of solid individual investment decisions.

Economy 242

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MiB: Ed Yardeni on the Roaring 20s

The Big Picture

This week, we speak with Dr. Ed Yardeni, President of Yardeni Research , a provider of global investment strategies and asset-allocation analyses and recommendations. He previously served as Chief Investment Strategist of Oak Associates, Prudential Equity Group, and Deutsche Bank’s US equities division in New York City. He taught at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business and was an economist with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and at the Federal Reserve Board of Governors and t

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A Necessary Evil in the Stock Market

A Wealth of Common Sense

In the early-1980s, Robert Shiller set out to answer the question: Do stock prices move too much to be justified by subsequent changes in dividends? The idea was to figure out how well the stock market tracks the present value of future cash flows in the short-term. Shiller concluded that, no, stock prices do not neatly track fundamentals. He updated that data in his book Irrational Exuberance: The cash flows move very l.

Marketing 131
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Sunday links: a nation of bad drivers

Abnormal Returns

Rates Allan Sloan, "Don’t fall in love with your money fund." (barrons.com) You likely don't need a long-term bond fund. (wsj.com) Strategy The market's most important lessons have to be experienced. (microcapclub.com) No portfolio strategy is perfect. (rogersplanning.blogspot.com) Financial trends reverse just when they seem inevitable. (humbledollar.com) Companies Why Boeing ($BA) took its eye off manufacturing quality.

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Reframing Risk In Retirement As “Over- And Under-Spending” To Better Communicate Decisions To Clients, And Finding “Best Guess” Spending Level

Nerd's Eye View

Over the past few decades, advicers have used Monte Carlo analysis tools to communicate to clients if their assets and planned level of spending were sufficient for them to realize their goals while (critically) not running out of money in retirement. More recently, however, the Monte Carlo "probability of success/failure" framing has attracted some criticism, as it can potentially alter the way that a client perceives risk, leading them to make less-than-ideal decisions.

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2024 Lending Outlook: Innovations and Evolutions in the Financial Sector

As we step into 2024, the lending landscape evolves rapidly with technology, regulations, and market dynamics driving change. For banks and financial institutions to stay competitive and meet the evolving needs of their customers, these drivers must be understood and engaged with. Lenders can anticipate significant transformation fueled by technological advancements, regulatory shifts, and changing consumer behaviors.

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10 Sunday Reads

The Big Picture

Avert your eyes! My Sunday morning look at incompetency, corruption and policy failures: • ‘Water is more valuable than oil’: the corporation cashing in on America’s drought : In an unprecedented deal, a private company purchased land in a tiny Arizona town – and sold its water rights to a suburb 200 miles away. Local residents fear the agreement has ‘opened Pandora’s box.’ ( The Guardian ) • Why don’t rich people eat anymore?

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Personal Income increased 0.5% in March; Spending increased 0.8%

Calculated Risk

The BEA released the Personal Income and Outlays report for March: Personal income increased $122.0 billion (0.5 percent at a monthly rate) in March , according to estimates released today by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Disposable personal income (DPI), personal income less personal current taxes, increased $104.0 billion (0.5 percent) and personal consumption expenditures (PCE) increased $160.9 billion (0.8 percent).

Food 124
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Tuesday links: raw materials for LLMs

Abnormal Returns

Geopolitics A look at how geopolitical events affect the stock market. (carsongroup.com) Why we fear doing nothing during a geopolitical crisis. (behaviouralinvestment.com) Strategy Investors need to understand history and be willing to look ahead. (morningstar.com) Why people make seemingly bad financial decisions. (ofdollarsanddata.com) Companies Meta ($META) never wants to be at the mercy of Apple ($AAPL).

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Convenience is a Form of Wealth

A Wealth of Common Sense

Here’s the lede from a Bloomberg article about rich people trying to avoid taxes in New York City: At New Jersey’s Teterboro and Long Island’s Islip airports, dozens of private jets destined for Florida take off at times such as 11:42 p.m. or 11:54 p.m. Over at JFK, a regular flight from San Juan, Puerto Rico, arrives at a seemingly purposeful time: about 15 minutes after midnight.

Taxes 124
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Banking on Loyalty: Holistic Financial Advice for Unparalleled Business Growth

Speaker: Joe Buhrmann, MBA, CFP®, CLU®, ChFC® Senior Financial Planning Practice Management Consultant eMoney Advisor

During an era of evolving consumer preferences, the banking sector is undergoing a profound shift. As customers continue to broaden their perspectives, banking professionals must support their customers' financial wellness by providing holistic financial advice that aligns with individual goals and circumstances. Without adapting, financial institutions will find that loyalty may crumble amid uncertainty.

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DOL Releases Final Fiduciary Rule

Wealth Management

The rule, which takes effect in September, “protects the retirement investors from improper investment recommendations and harmful conflicts of interest,” according to Acting Labor Secretary Julie Su.

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PCE Measure of Shelter Slows Slightly to 5.8% YoY in March

Calculated Risk

Here is a graph of the year-over-year change in shelter from the CPI report and housing from the PCE report this morning, both through March 2024. CPI Shelter was up 5.6% year-over-year in March, down from 5.8% in February, and down from the cycle peak of 8.2% in March 2023. Housing (PCE) was up 5.8% YoY in March , down slightly from 5.8% in January, and down from the cycle peak of 8.3% in April 2023.

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Podcast links: fake podcast invites

Abnormal Returns

The biz Beware the fake podcast invite. (bigtechnology.com) The Apple ($AAPL)-Spotify ($SPOT) battle is just exhausting. (spyglass.org) Economy Barry Ritholtz talks with Bill McBride about which economic data really matters. (ritholtz.com) James Pethokoukis talks economic optimism with Ed Yardeni. (fasterplease.substack.com) Derek Thompson talks with Ravi Agrawal, the editor-in-chief of Foreign Policy magazine, about India under Modi.

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Unemployment Claims Down 5K, Better Than Expected

Advisor Perspectives

In the week ending April 20, initial jobless claims were at a seasonally adjusted level of 207,000, a decrease of 5,000 from the previous week's figure. The latest reading is lower than the forecast of 214,000 jobless claims.

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Navigating Financial Storms: Strategies for Building Resilient Balance Sheets

Speaker: Carolina Aponte - Owner and CEO, Caja Holdings LLC

In today's rapidly changing business environment, building a resilient balance sheet is crucial to the survival of any business. A resilient balance sheet allows a company to withstand financial shocks and adapt to changing market conditions. To achieve this, companies need to focus on key strategies such as maintaining adequate liquidity, managing debt levels, diversifying revenue streams, and prioritizing profitability over growth.

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The WealthStack Podcast: Why Estate Planning Is the Next Frontier of Wealth Management With Gene Farrell

Wealth Management

As clients become increasingly aware of the complexities of wealth transfer, asset protection and legacy planning, they expect comprehensive guidance from their advisors.

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MBA: Mortgage Applications Increased in Weekly Survey

Calculated Risk

From the MBA: Mortgage Applications Decrease in Latest MBA Weekly Survey Mortgage applications decreased 2.7 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending April 19, 2024. The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, decreased 2.7 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier.

Marketing 122
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Wednesday links: the shelf life of a stock

Abnormal Returns

Banking The number of bank branches in the U.S. peaked in 2012. (sherwood.news) Where SVB's business stands as JP Morgan ($JPM) looks to make inroads. (bloomberg.com) ETFs Where active ETFs are growing fastest. (morningstar.com) The iShares Bitcoin ETF ($IBIT) is a runaway hit. (theblock.co) Retail investors trade leveraged ETFs way too much. (klementoninvesting.substack.com) TikTok The clock is now ticking for a TikTok divestiture.

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Social Media, Analyst Behavior and Market Efficiency

Alpha Architect

Hibbert, Kang, Kumar and Mishra provided us with yet another explanation: social media is providing analysts with information that reduces their forecasting errors. The result has been an increase in market efficiency, leading to a reduction in the PEAD anomaly. The bottom line is that the ability to generate alpha continues to be under assault—trying to outperform the market by stock selection is becoming even more of a loser’s game.

Media 106
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Putting the ‘Tech’ in Spend Management Techniques

Speaker: Wayne Spivak, President and CFO of SBA * Consulting Ltd., Industry Writer, Public Speaker

If you’re lost in the world of spend management needs and your GAP analysis is lacking perspective on the future state of your business performance, listen up! With the advancement of technology, the implementation of spend management best practices and concrete GAP analyses is more streamlined and accessible than ever before. And while this may sound like great news for you and your clients, it won’t be worthwhile unless you have the latest techniques to back up your ambitions!

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DOL Critics, Supporters Sound Off on Final Fiduciary Rule

Wealth Management

Advocates say RIAs have little to worry about, yet one opponent accused the DOL of waging an “ideological crusade” and said he’d recommend litigation to his board.

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U.S. Births decreased in 2023

Calculated Risk

From the National Center for Health Statistics: Births: Provisional Data for 2023. The NCHS reports: The provisional number of births for the United States in 2023 was 3,591,328, down 2% from 2022. The general fertility rate was 54.4 births per 1,000 females ages 15–44, down 3% from 2022. The total fertility rate was 1,616.5 births per 1,000 women in 2023, a decline of 2% from 2022.

Numbers 112
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Adviser links: old school thinking

Abnormal Returns

Podcasts Brian Portnoy talks human-centric advice with Kelsey McKenna and Zachary Conway of Seeds Investor. (youtube.com) Larry Sprung talks with Josh Brown about his path to wealth management. (mitlinmoneymindset.libsyn.com) Jordan Haynes talks with Justin Castelli about his transition into life planning, especially for financial advisers. (getelements.com) Frazer Rice talks with Christopher Holtby about the role of a directed trustee.

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S&P 500 Snapshot: Best Week of 2024

Advisor Perspectives

The S&P 500 capped off its best week of the year as it rose 2.67% from last Friday. The weekly gain ends the index's streak of three straight weekly losses. The index is currently up 7.53% year to date and now sits 2.94% below its record close from March 28, 2024.

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Transforming Lending: Understanding the Power of Digital Platforms

Digital platforms can provide you with plenty of solutions, yet many are still intimidated by them. It's time to end that worry and embrace what could make a major difference for your bank. Understanding how they work and how to best utilize them for your banks is key toward success. In this article, Biz2X breaks down all things digital platforms, including the many advantages of embracing them.

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Cresset Adds Former First Republic Teams with $5B Fleeing J.P. Morgan Wealth Management

Wealth Management

The RIA said it was acquiring the two San Francisco-based teams. This follows last week’s announcements that multi-billion-dollar former First Republic teams had joined Merrill Lynch and Citizens Bank.

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Thursday: Q1 GDP, Unemployment Claims, Pending Home Sales

Calculated Risk

Note: Mortgage rates are from MortgageNewsDaily.com and are for top tier scenarios. Thursday: • At 8:30 AM ET, Gross Domestic Product, 1st quarter 2024 (Advance estimate). The consensus is that real GDP increased 2.1% annualized in Q1, down from 3.4% in Q4. • Also at 8:30 AM, The initial weekly unemployment claims report will be released. The consensus is for 210 thousand initial claims, down from 212 thousand last week. • At 10:00 AM: Pending Home Sales Index for March.

Sales 107
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Monday links: not-so average years

Abnormal Returns

Markets Commodities are having a standout 2024. (capitalspectator.com) When did investing become so political? (economist.com) ETFs Grayscale's Bitcoin Mini Trust will have a 0.15% expense ratio. (coindesk.com) More mutual fund to ETF conversions are coming. (advisorhub.com) Finance The NYSE is testing 24-hour trading. (on.ft.com) Want a stake in a hot AI startup?