Category Archives: Equities

Hitting ‘Em Where They Ain’t

 “Keep your eye on the ball and hit ‘em where they ain’t”                                                          … Continue reading

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Portfolio Management: Cooking With Hamburger Helper

Betty Crocker introduced Hamburger Helper in 1971. You took chopped meat and mixed it with what, in essence, was filler to complete the meal. Much of active management works the same way.
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Baseball and Stocks: Games of Failure

Remember that the best hitter in baseball this year will fail 65 percent of the time. — George Will Mookie Betts hit .346 in 2018, failing 65.4% of the time.  Mr. Betts reached base more often than his batting average … Continue reading

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Markets Fluctuate

“Markets fluctuate.” That was the entire comment by Ace Greenberg, the CEO of Bear Stearns, in a special issue of Institutional Investor magazine dedicated to opinions from the great and the good regarding the causes and consequences of October 1987’s … Continue reading

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Home Is For Your Heart, Not Your Portfolio

A number of years ago I took over a portfolio that held corporate bonds from both developed and emerging markets. As I looked through the holdings a name popped out at me, Ipiranga. I turned to my credit analyst and … Continue reading

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Chinese Debt for Equity Swaps, 3 Card Monte By Another Name?

The Chinese government is bandying about debt for equity swaps as a potential cure for the overhang of corporate debt in the middle kingdom.  Much, if not most, of the bank loans in China have been made by government owned banks to … Continue reading

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Banking the Fire

The narrative of the current market downturn, bear market, correction or whatever you prefer to call it had been about oil, China and the emerging markets.  Now the banks have been put into play.  Year to date their decline has outstripped … Continue reading

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Junk Bonds or Equities With Coupons?

“Equities with Coupons” is a cynical description of high yield  bonds.  The expression, like many of its kind, contains more than an element of truth. Usually it’s invoked when trying to illustrate the risk of owning bonds priced near par. You may collect … Continue reading

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Can Bonds Tell Us Something About the Stock Market?

I was visiting with the head of fixed income at a large asset manager when I mentioned the subject of my last post, the deterioration of corporate credit in some sectors.  He noted that Baa bond spreads had been rising for … Continue reading

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Apres China Le Deluge?

China’s stock market has been in the news due to its recent plunge.  The plunge follows a strong run up over the last year. Whatever the reason for the spike up and the subsequent dive, this is a Chinese problem whose … Continue reading

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