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Low Inflation = Low Interest Rates

The high levels of recent government spending and resulting huge budget deficits have stirred the inflation hawks in recent months. The "talking head" investment advice on television has been touting inflation protection in the form of traditional inflation protecting investments…

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Scarcity Breeds Clarity

Every year the founders of the search company Google write an annual founders letter to shareholders. Though it has not been around as long as Warren Buffet's popular annual letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders, it is a good read for…

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Running the Race

Long-term investment goals can often be thrown into chaos by life's challenges. The collapse of housing prices, a crashing stock market, job loss, a divorce, or a hot stock tip that didn't pan out, these all can create obstacles to…

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Realistic Expectations

Every quarter the stock market plays the "expectations game". Stock analysts (there a lot fewer these days) make estimates for corporate earnings and the company managers try to deliver earnings results that beat the analyst's "expectations". If company earnings are…

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Foundation Forming, Base Building

Before things can get better they have to stop getting worse. We have talked about some of the very early signs that the economy is starting to turn.We have also seen bond and credit markets improving from last fall. But…

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Banks are Gradually Healing

Wells Fargo kicked off earnings season last week with a preannouncement shocker - a $3 billion profit, double what analysts had forecast. Details on credit quality and trends were lacking and bad loan reserve levels were smaller than expected. Earnings results…

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Nice Rally, but More Pain Ahead

The March stock market rally was welcome, long overdue, and helped erase some of the losses experienced in investment portfolios this past year. Stock markets do not usually move in a straight direction for long. The last two quarters have…

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Pieces Falling into Place

Since the beginning of the year, we talked about how the shape of a recovery in the markets might look. We mentioned that stocks would recover before the economy does, and credit markets may recover before stocks. During this six-month credit…

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FINALLY!!!

Yesterday the Treasury Department finally released details of their Public-Private Investment Program designed to create a market for the "toxic" assets that have been weighing down our banking system. The stock market liked what it saw, and Bill Gross of…

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