Musings.

Musings

The world, the economy, the markets, and our lives are dynamic. Events can have a large or small impact on us. They can create excitement, cause fears, raise questions, and spark insight.

Listed here are our most spontaneous, timely, and succinct comments on wealth, life, and more.





  • June 30, 2010 - The S&P500 closed down again today. The index lost 11.9%

    The S&P500 closed down again today. The index lost 11.9% in the quarter just ended. It could be worse, the MSCI EAFE Index, an international market bellwether, dropped 16.9% in the quarter.



  • June 28, 2010 - Morningstar offers what to consider before investing in c

    Morningstar offers what to consider before investing in country-specific ETFs. The Pros and Cons of Single-Country ETFs They point to underlying fund concentrations, such as Brazil's exposure to two companies. Rather than pay underlying ETF expenses, HawkHunt members can purchase direct holdings in the concentrated stocks, and have Hawk100 manage the associated risks directly.



  • June 26, 2010 - The Journal has an excellent quick summary of the Dodd-Fr

    The Journal has an excellent quick summary of the Dodd-Frank bill. What's in the Bill



  • June 25, 2010 - Begrudgingly, I must now live under the auspices of an ac

    Begrudgingly, I must now live under the auspices of an act named for Senator Dodd and Congressman Frank. At first glance of the 2000 page legislation, the Reform does little to advance public interest but does much to advance political interest. Much ado about nothing. The WSJ reports, "Government-controlled Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac remain a multibillion dollar drain on the U.S. Treasury, and largely untouched by this proposal." Of the 2000 page bill, WSJ quotes Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R., Texas), "My guess is there are three unintended consequences on every page of this bill."



  • June 24, 2010 - This follows the Morningstar Investment Conference first

    This follows the Morningstar Investment Conference first full day sessions: Cash is King indeed, just don't tell the would be king, Obama. Says Artio's Rudolph-Riad Younes, "If you don't see the hand that the government is dealing, it's very smart to pass and wait for a better opportunity." Romick, Younes on Cash, Gold, and Government Debt. Morningstar.



  • June 23, 2010 - Earth shattering news...besides the 5.5 earthquake in Det

    Earth shattering news...besides the 5.5 earthquake in Detroit today which ironically coincided with the real news...the Federal Reserve Open Markets Committee decided to maintain its target federal funds rate at 0--25 BPs.



  • June 22, 2010 - Morningstar has a terrific article on defining appropriat

    Morningstar has a terrific article on defining appropriate risk allocation in retirement. Risk Calibration for Retiree Portfolios



  • June 21, 2010 - Article 187

    Stocks and bills like China's decision to ease dollar peg for Yuan. Geithner and Bernanke may not like what they get with this move. For decades, the US has in essence exported inflation to China. Hereafter, inflation may come stateside.



  • June 18, 2010 - The Economist and Reuters report that the EU will conduct

    The Economist and Reuters report that the EU will conduct its own bank stress test, repeating the effort of Geithner and group in early 2009, and make the results public in the second half of July. Hawk100 will study those results with a HawkEye on political influence. Reuters report



  • June 17, 2010 - Many thanks to Barney Frank. The Congressman has introduc

    Many thanks to Barney Frank. The Congressman has introduced to financial reform legislation a provision that removes the cartel of ratings agencies whose AAA ratings on junk issues played a key role in bringing about the systemic collapse of the financial system. At Last Financial Reform (WSJ)



  • June 16, 2010 - Why has the price of oil hardly changed since the gulf le

    Why has the price of oil hardly changed since the gulf leak crisis began and while the Obama administration has closed further development? What is the status of the strategic oil reserve? Why have pump prices for gasoline hardly budged this summer driving season? The current energy market diverges sharply from prior oil supply disruptions.



  • June 14, 2010 - WSJ published an interesting article on Roth conversions.

    WSJ published an interesting article on Roth conversions. Why You Shouldn't Convert to a Roth IRA Editorial errors in the article (e.g., distributions from IRAs are required to start at age 70.5, not 59.5 as cited) sparked even more interesting online debate. See the comments thereon. Of particular note, it is conceivable that this or some future congress assesses tax on Roth IRA balances or distributions in the form of "wealth tax" to supposedly help cover costs of unfunded promises. If the financial planning community is discussing this potential, I am certain Congress has its eye on this prize.



  • June 14, 2010 - BP = Bouncing Price. Until the wrath of governments abade

    BP = Bouncing Price. Until the wrath of governments abades, I expect each subsequent bounce to diminish, like the ball that bounces while children play.



  • June 11, 2010 - Hawk100 sponsored excellent Rally for Clemens Cycle for C

    Hawk100 sponsored excellent Rally for Clemens Cycle for Cancer today. At last count, the Rally raised $3370.25 due to efforts from teams representing Wright State University, Dayton's Mix 107.7 FM, The Street Team from Dayton's CW TV, and the City of Centerville. Hawk100 is delighted to support Clemens Cycle for Cancer. Please join us Saturday June 11. www.mvhfoundation.org



  • June 10, 2010 - Charlemagne has a great blog in the Economist this week.

    Charlemagne has a great blog in the Economist this week. It's Angela Merkel's euro-party, and she'll cry if she wants to The EU is essentially Germany's step child and will run or fall on German legs.



  • June 09, 2010 - Dan Klein has an exceptionally enlightening opinion in ye

    Dan Klein has an exceptionally enlightening opinion in yesterday's Journal. "Realizing that many of our leaders and their constituents are economically unenlightened sheds light on the troubles that surround us." Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?



  • June 09, 2010 - It appears to be a CEO GOP in CAL. Meg Whitman, former E

    It appears to be a CEO GOP in CAL. Meg Whitman, former EBay CEO, won the Republican nomination to run against Jerry Brown for governor of the left coast state. Carly Fiorina, the ex-chief of HP, won the party nomination to run for Senator to potentially replace Barbara Boxer. Both wins advance conservative interests in a state that is broadly liberal, despite being the home state of the late President Reagan, among the noteworthy leaders of the conservative movement.



  • June 08, 2010 - Hawk100 is proud sponsor of 2010 Clemens Cycle for Cancer

    Hawk100 is proud sponsor of 2010 Clemens Cycle for Cancer. Listen to Dayton's Mix 107.7 FM this Friday from 6 -- 10 AM for the Clemens Cycle for Cancer Pre-Event Rally. Mix 107.7 Thanks Hawk100 Dayton's CW Lists Teams Participating



  • June 08, 2010 - Article 176

    Nat'l Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) small business optimism index bumped up 1.6 points to 92.2. Interestingly, "it was the best reading since September 2008" (coincident with the free fall of capital markets) according to Econoday which goes on to report that NFIB economist William Dunkelberg characterizes the economy as "mediocre at best."



  • June 07, 2010 - Hawk100 posted the latest issue of HawkTalon, discussing

    Hawk100 posted the latest issue of HawkTalon, discussing animals and investor behavior.



  • June 07, 2010 - iPhone 4 fails to save the market from another decline.

    iPhone 4 fails to save the market from another decline. Stocks were holding their ground until mid afternoon trading when another sell off led to losses of more than 1%.



  • June 03, 2010 - According to the Energy Information Administration, crude

    According to the Energy Information Administration, crude oil inventories decreased 0.9 million barrels for the week and gasoline slipped 2.6 million barrels. The onset of the summer driving season, Monday's International Atomic Energy Agency report of Iran's unimpeded progress toward a nuclear bomb, and the gulf oil leak throw a number of questions into the ability to maintain supplies. Expect pump prices to rocket although crude prices sit idly at $73/barrel.



  • June 03, 2010 - Article 173

    Bruce Greenwald sees poison in Apple's "hugely expensive" stock price. Morningstar: Greenwald Wouldn't Bite on Apple



  • June 01, 2010 - When they seek to influence Yuan appreciation, Geithner a

    When they seek to influence Yuan appreciation, Geithner and Bernanke signal that the US has expended all arrows from their quivers to stimulate the US from monetary policy action. Appreciate the Yuan or equivalently depreciate the Dollar to inflate the US. However, as Fair suggests, there may be unintended consequences from Yuan appreciation. The Yin and Yang of Yuan Appreciation



  • June 01, 2010 - Article 170

    With May among the Market's worst monthly returns on record, we are anxious to learn what June has in store.