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Threats for Small Caps

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With some exceptions, smaller-cap stocks in the US tend to pay higher taxes than their larger-cap peers. As such, speculation that corporate tax rates may be cut has stoked the performance of US small caps recently. In addition to the concern that tax reform and/or tax cuts may get stalled, there are three other factors […]

Shifting Currents in the US Treasury Market

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Employing basic bond math, we can decompose the US Treasury bond into two pieces: real rates and break-even inflation expectations. Because real rates (TIPS) and nominal rates (US Treasuries) are directly observable, break-even inflation is relatively easy to determine. Taking this logic one step further, we can actually decompose a US Treasury bond into three […]

The Impossible Math of the Federal Reserve

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Yesterday the Federal Reserve officially signaled the beginning of its balance sheet run-off. At this point, that’s old news. But, today the Fed released the Z.1 Flow of Funds, which adds to the intrigue of the balance sheet run-off. Why? Instead of getting wrapped up in fancy terms like quantitative easing and large-scale asset purchases, […]

Investing in Gold for RICs

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For retail investors, there are a few vehicles for exposure to gold. The SPDR Gold ETF (GLD) and the iShares Gold ETF (IAU) are the biggest, lowest cost funds for retail investors. Below are charts of the GLD and the IAU, with price and USD volume overlay to illustrate the liquidity. The GLD ETF trades […]