Righting the Ship (Conclusion)

By | 2013-06-28T08:54:01+00:00 June 28th, 2013|Global Market Update|

So how would you sum up investors’ rights? Investors have the right to competent, honest advisors that put them first, that keeps their mouths shut, and that communicate clearly. All this is to say that investors should be special—not put on a pedestal, but made a priority. Advice and actions should be tailored to fit each investor’s situation. Financial counsel should feel comfortable, and if it doesn’t, they have the right ask questions until they understand. The best way to feel at ease with [...]

Righting the Ship (Part 4)

By | 2013-06-27T10:08:26+00:00 June 27th, 2013|Global Market Update|

How can investors secure these rights? The way to get what you deserve is through communication. And investors should have reports, statements, and regular contact that’s clear and complete, and that tells them what’s going on. It starts with the statement—that humble mailing that can run for pages and pages of incomprehensible jargon. Because everyone want’s something slightly different, it tends to be a “kitchen sink” document that goes to everyone and satisfies no one. Instead, it’s complicated and confusing. But communication doesn’t work [...]

Righting the Ship (Part 3)

By | 2013-06-26T09:46:43+00:00 June 26th, 2013|Global Market Update|

What do we mean when we talk about investors’ rights? Investor rights are non-negotiable. They’re the principles that should undergird financial industry practices and securities laws. What’s legal isn’t just the minimum standard necessary. In many cases it’s totally inadequate to the task of safeguarding investors’ interests. One example of this is in the area of confidentiality. Americans tend to think that their securities laws are the best out there, but this is an area where our societal mores and expectations lag behind Europe’s. [...]

Righting the Ship (Part 2)

By | 2017-07-17T12:34:39+00:00 June 25th, 2013|Global Market Update|

What should investors expect? When investors are buying financial products and services, their cash is paying the bills and salaries of the professionals and institutions that they’re working with. So how should they be treated? One expectation they should have is that their interests should come first, before that of the finance professionals or the companies they’re working with. That is, the investor’s welfare should be considered before the professional’s. This seems obvious, but this implies, for example, that investors need to know how [...]

Righting the Ship (Part 1)

By | 2013-06-24T09:25:22+00:00 June 24th, 2013|Global Market Update|

Do investors have rights? It’s a fair question. After all, it’s their money. But the financial industry is filled with fast-talking rogues who might make you think twice about that. Ponzi schemes and outright fraud are only the tip of the iceberg. There are all sorts of ways for advisors can take advantage of the folks with capital that can fall short of what’s illegal. First, investors have a right to honest, objective, competent advice. That seems like a no-brainer, but it can be [...]

Turning Japanese (Part 4)

By | 2017-07-17T12:34:39+00:00 June 21st, 2013|Global Market Update|

Where is Japan going? To answer that question, you have to know where Abenomics is going. Economists around the world have been supportive of Mr. Abe and his “three arrows”—easy monetary policy, fiscal stimulus, and structural reforms. The theory is that the first two can promote growth in the short run, which will provide political cover for the third: changes in labor laws and other regulations that can promote private sector investment-led growth. Because to return to stable, solid growth Japan’s economy must become [...]

Inside Ben’s Brain

By | 2013-06-20T09:38:03+00:00 June 20th, 2013|Global Market Update|

Defensive. Nervous. Pensive. That’s how Ben Bernanke came across yesterday during his press conference. In a halting way, he discussed adjusting Fed economic targets, stock-vs-flow theories of balance sheet management, and—the big news—tapering Fed purchases of Treasury and Mortgage-Backed securities. But what was most interesting was what the Fed Chairman didn’t say. Early on he noted that he would not discuss whether he would like to stay on as Fed Chair. Maybe that’s he’s just shy, or maybe it’s because President Obama noted that [...]

Turning Japanese (Part 3)

By | 2013-06-19T09:43:15+00:00 June 19th, 2013|Global Market Update|

Does Japan even matter anymore? Twenty years ago Japan’s economy, was the second-largest in the world. Their export machine dominated global trade. Europe was an afterthought—divided and struggling with “Eurosclerosis.” But now it’s Japan’s economy that’s mired in stagnation. China grew past them as the second-largest individual economy years ago, and the united Euro-zone has more potential than either. Japan’s population is ageing and declining. With an insular economy and an overvalued currency, today Japan seems mainly useful as a cautionary study in the [...]

Turning Japanese (Part 2)

By | 2013-06-18T09:39:08+00:00 June 18th, 2013|Global Market Update|

What is Japan trying to do? On the face of it, end deflation, weaken the yen, and revitalize the economy. Abenomics is the fiscal and monetary policy package put together by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda. It consists of monetary reflation, deficit spending, and labor market reforms. For years, Japan was regarded as the sick man of Asia. But if Abenomics can get their economy moving again, that won’t be the case anymore. As stock prices shot up and the [...]

Turning Japanese (Part 1)

By | 2013-06-17T10:27:42+00:00 June 17th, 2013|Global Market Update|

Has Japan turned around? During the ‘80s Japan’s market was booming. Their export-led economy was capitalizing on the growth in world trade, their stock market grew 10-fold from 1974 to 1989, and the market value of the imperial palace in Tokyo was supposedly greater than that of the State of California. Japan, Inc. was considered an economic juggernaut—a model of targeted subsidies and managerial expertise that could dominate any market it chose to. Then the bubble burst and things went into a tailspin. Even [...]