• Adams Financial Concepts,  COVID-19,  Current Events,  Mile High View

    Oil 2020

    What would you say if someone offered to pay you $37,000 to just take one single contract for 1,000 barrels of oil? All you had to do is find a place to store it. That actually happened a week ago. All you had to do was figure out where to put ten tanker trucks of oil until the market got better, and you would have been paid to take custody of the oil. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that demand for oil fell off a cliff. Airlines were cancelling flights and leaving their planes on the ground. People were being ordered to stay home and shelter, and…

  • Adams Financial Concepts,  COVID-19,  Current Events,  Return on Investment,  The Investment Industry

    When Is the Best Time to Sell?

    When is the time to sell and liquidate portfolios? Most advisors, according to a recent study by Howard Schneider of Practical Perspectives[1], says most advisors have seen little impact from the stay at home orders and they perceive the market will return to normal in six months. I have considerable concern. Yes, I am staying the course today and am optimistic that we will be back to normal by the end of this year. But I am not blindly staying the course. Usually, I try to accomplish at least five tasks every day. On March 12th, I spent the entire day on one task and that was to determine when…

  • COVID-19,  Current Events

    What Just Happened?

    On Friday, the DOW fell 361 points and then yesterday the DOW gained 1,627 points. That is a sign that the market probably bottomed on March 23 and is beginning a climb back to new highs. It is a pattern that we have seen before. Let me give you the explanation of why I say this. The easiest illustration is Black Monday, October 19, 1987, when the DOW plunged 508 points – 22.6% in one day. People remember Black Monday, but what might have been more important was April 20, 1987. When the markets fall like they did on Black Monday, or over several days in March 2020, almost all…

  • COVID-19,  Current Events,  Mile High View

    2020: DOW Down 2,000

    Hello 2018. Yes, 2018, not 2008. The drop has been sharper, but it feels the same. Computers panicked! This drop has been caused by panicked computers, not humans. Between 60 and 70 percent of all stock trades on normal days are made by computers. They can read the news in a fraction-of-a-second, and they have a list of rules on what is good news and what is bad. When the news falls into “bad” parameters, the computers sell. They don’t just sell once, but many times, and they make money on fractions-of-a-dollar, and then cover their sales a short time later – wash, rinse, repeat. The algorithms are not built…

  • Current Events,  Mile High View,  Super Cycle

    What in the World is Happening to the Stock Market?

    Did you know that 60% of the revenues for companies in the S&P 500 are generated overseas, outside the United States?[1] It is important when looking forward to stock market performance in 2020 and beyond to understand what is happening to the world GDP and world economy. This is the first of two eLetters in which I will give you my views on the stock market in 2020. The best analysis I have seen was done in 2011 and is, in my opinion, still valid today. Standard Chartered Bank, a large bank based in London, released a study in which they state that the world is in a “worldwide economic…

  • Adams Financial Concepts,  Current Events,  Return on Investment,  The Investment Industry

    What Is Factor Investing?

    The latest fad in investing is “Factor Investing”, according to the August edition of Financial Adviser Magazine. Like a bad fad diet, these investment methods come around every few years (factor investing dates back to the 1970s[1]) and claim to have found a method for stock picking that will win every time. Factor investing relies on five genuine factors which are, according to academics, Value, Quality, Momentum, Size, and Volatility. When it comes to understanding investment methodologies, I find it helpful to imagine them along a line: I am an active investor. Does this top-down investment methodology work? I don’t think so; as an active investor with a bottoms-up approach,…

  • Adams Financial Concepts,  Return on Investment

    Indices

    Have you heard the story of the Baltimore Stockbroker? It goes… one day, you receive a letter in the mail from a stockbroker, personally addressed to you, predicting that next month a certain stock will go down. You keep an eye on that stock, and it does indeed go down. You receive another personal letter from the stockbroker, predicting that another stock will go up next month. Curious now, you watch that stock over the next month and lo and behold, it does indeed go up! And month after month for ten months, this same stockbroker sends you letters accurately predicting the ups and downs of stocks. At the end,…

  • Current Events,  Mile High View,  Trade War

    We Are at War

    The late Chuck Knox, the first coach to get the Seattle Seahawks into the NFL playoffs, had a saying: “You have to play the hand you are dealt”. In football, that is to say, you have a limited number of players, some of which might be injured, the weather may be working against you, the rival team may be more skilled, but regardless you must do your best with your team. This eletter is neither political commentary nor meant to be political in any way, but as investors, we must address the trade war between America and China. Understand too this is not an easy exercise or simple analysis; I…

  • Uncategorized

    Why Do Financial Plans Fail?

    You have likely heard of Financial Planning, and you may even be using it yourself to prepare for retirement. Although it has become a very popular way to create portfolios, I have come to believe that traditional Financial Planning has four specific flaws that may be fatal. Since realizing how risky Financial Planning was, I have begun creating portfolios which have a higher return and create a margin of safety (or a substantial windfall of extra savings above and beyond what is nominally necessary for comfortable retirement) to mitigate what I believe are significant risks as the market changes with new technology and industries. Our view is that traditional Financial…

  • Current Events,  Mile High View,  Trade War

    Predictions 2019: The Truth About China

    Recently, China has been causing no end of concern for the American investor. The Trade War that sprung up between the United States and China has caused fluctuations in the market as the talks have gone well or poorly, and, as of this writing, nothing has been resolved. Investors are wary of what could come next. I believe there is a historical model that we can use to understand China’s end goals and the means they may use to get there. At the same time, we have a window into China’s longer-term approach by looking at what China has done in steel production and the impact it has had on…