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U-6 Unemployment


You often hear about the Headline Unemployment rate (currently 9.1% as of May 2011), which is often the big news release on CNBC, usually the first Friday of every month. The headline rate that is most often reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) (the official unemployment rate) is called the U-3 rate. This…

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So is there really inflation?


The hot topic these days, especially with gasoline over $4.00, and costs for many things rising quickly, is how much inflation is really out there? Food inflation has become more of an issue because of the effect of the world’s weather of late on crops. Gas and oil inflation can be partially attributed to all…

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Master Limited Partnerships (MLPs) – A Brief Overview

BLOG, EDUCATION  |  28 Feb 2011

Although Master Limited Partnerships (MLP) have sort of flown under the radar of many investors, over the last couple of years they are beginning to be “discovered” by more and more investors, as well as fund companies looking to profit in this area as well. With an annual total return of 15.5% since 1995 and…

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Summary Of The Major Provisions Of The Tax Relief Act Of 2010

BLOG, TAXES  |  12 Jan 2011

With much fanfare, and after months of uncertainty and eventual compromises between Democrats and Republicans, President Obama signed the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010. We can just call it the 2010 Tax Relief Act, (2010 TRA) or TRUIRJCA 2010 if you prefer. It will extend what was known as…

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What Are Managed Futures?

BLOG, EDUCATION  |  16 Nov 2010

Even though the stock market has been doing very well as of late, many investors still have vivid memories of the stock market crashes of 2000-2002, and 2008. Many people wonder what they can do to help reduce the volatility of their portfolio. We have previously discussed using options to reduce risk, now, we turn…

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What is Quantitative Easing, and What is QE II?


No, it’s not the luxury liner Queen Elizabeth II (shown below), but rather the monetary policy being used by the United States Federal Reserve to stimulate the economy. We are hearing so much lately as to whether Ben Bernanke will embark on Quantitative Easing Part II, we felt a brief discussion of what exactly Quantitative…

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Long Term Secular Markets:


Barry Ritholz’s excellent blog The Big Picture had a great article on the long term cycles the stock market has gone through over the last 100 years. The chart below details the price level of the stock market on top, with the P/E ratio (Price/Earnings) ratio on the bottom. The P/E ratio is one of…

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What’s Behind Door # 1? (A Brief look at 2011 income taxes)

BLOG, TAXES  |  6 Aug 2010

As you probably know by now the Bush tax cuts which were enacted in 2001 and also 2003 are set to expire at the end of 2010. If Congress fails to act on taxes soon, these lower rates will be a memory, and higher tax rates will begin in 2011. Actually the rates would revert…

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Using Option Collars to Reduce Risk

BLOG, EDUCATION  |  13 Jul 2010

Many people think of stock options as a risky investment strategy used mostly by highfalutin Wall Street types with millions to burn. While it’s certainly true that you can get yourself into trouble with an ill-advised option position, options can also be used to effectively reduce portfolio risk. One option strategy that can do this…

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Monte Carlo Simulation

BLOG, EDUCATION  |  24 Jun 2010

If you are a client of ours, you have probably heard us at one time or another talk about Monte Carlo Simulation (or Monte Carlo Analysis). The term itself is kind of strange sounding, and the first time you hear it you’re bound to conjure up images of either the famous casino in Monaco or…

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