About Douglas Tengdin, CFA

Mr. Tengdin is the Chief Investment Officer at Charter Trust Company and author of “The Global Market Update”. The audio version of each post can be heard on radio stations throughout New England every weekday. Mr. Tengdin graduated from Dartmouth College, Magna Cum Laude. He received his Master of Arts from Trinity Divinity School, Magna Cum Laude and received his Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation in 1992. Mr. Tengdin has been managing investment portfolios for over 30 years, working for Bank of Boston, State Street Global Advisors, Citibank – Tunisia, and Banknorth Group. Throughout his career, Mr. Tengdin has emphasized helping clients manage their financial risks in difficult environments where they can profit from investing in diverse assets in diverse settings. - Leave a comment if you have any questions—I read them all! - And Follow me on Twitter @GlobalMarketUpd

Leave the Driving To …

By | 2017-08-04T06:29:13+00:00 August 4th, 2017|Global Market Update|

Which bus would you take? Photo: Adam E. Moreira. Source: Wikipedia Imagine that you want to take the bus from Boston to Atlantic City – down I-95, right through New York City. You have three different busses to choose from: Bus A is driven by someone who has been down this route before. She knows all the twist and turns on the interstate, and could tell you that the merge with traffic from the Whitestone Bridge off Long Island will slow things down. Her [...]

Of Bursars and Bubbles

By | 2017-08-03T11:44:44+00:00 August 3rd, 2017|Global Market Update|

Where have all the students gone? Photo: BHVP. Source: Wikipedia College enrollment increased by 50% from 1990 to 2010. This is a big part of the reason that college tuition has gotten so high. While the general population in the US generally increases only 1% per year, college enrollment had been growing by about 2% per year. If demand increases without an increase in supply, prices rise. And colleges aren’t admitting a lot more kids. There are lots of reasons why the demand for [...]

Investor Rights (and Wrongs)

By | 2017-08-02T07:19:35+00:00 August 2nd, 2017|Global Market Update|

Do investors have rights? 90 percent of an iceberg is under water. Photo: Ansgar Walk. Source: Wikipeida We ought to. After all, it’s our money. But the financial industry is filled with fast-talking rogues who take advantage of people’s trust. Ponzi schemes and outright fraud are just the tip of the iceberg. There are all sorts of ways for advisors to abuse their position that aren’t illegal. First, investors have a right to honest, objective, competent advice. That seems like a no-brainer, but it [...]

Class Consciousness

By | 2017-08-01T10:00:53+00:00 August 1st, 2017|Global Market Update|

What is an asset class? Photo: Alvimann. Source: Morguefile We all know that it pays to be diversified – to spread your investments around. But you need to spread them among different types of investments. Someone who owns 50 tech stocks can hardly claim to have a diversified portfolio. The most basic investment unit is the asset class. But what is this? An asset class should be a stable group of economic investments that looks similar to each other, but that behaves differently from [...]

The (In)Effectual Fed?

By | 2017-07-31T07:40:57+00:00 July 31st, 2017|Global Market Update|

What good is the Fed? Federal Open Market Committee. Public Domain. Source: Federal Reserve The conventional wisdom is that the Fed controls the economy in the short run by controlling short-term interest rates. But folks didn’t always think this way. In the ‘60s and ‘70s Keynesian economists thought that interest rates only had a tiny effect on spending, and therefore a minimal impact on the economy. Then came Paul Volker. He made ending inflation the goal of Fed policy, and he did this by [...]

Exchange Traded Funky

By | 2017-07-28T07:08:54+00:00 July 28th, 2017|Global Market Update|

Is there an ETF for everything? Photo: Jack Moreh Source: Free Range Stock Photo It sure seems like it. ETFs used to be primarily an efficient way to invest in a broad market index, like the S&P 500 or an aggregate bond index. Then they branched off into market sectors: small cap stocks, tech companies, country funds like the UK or China. All this seemed like a reasonable way to diversify a portfolio. And it’s so convenient: instead of trying to pick winning stocks, [...]

Valuation, Cashflow, and Cash

By | 2017-07-27T07:44:50+00:00 July 27th, 2017|Global Market Update|

Cash is king. Image: Glitch. Source: Open clip art Cashflow determines what a business is worth. When investors put money into a company – whether it’s private, public, high tech, or old school, they want a return on their capital. That returns comes from cash the business can sustainably generate from their ongoing operations. When I was first learning how to “read” financial statements, there was no clearly defined way to identify cashflow. Some folks included net working capital, some didn’t. We had to [...]

Culture Eats Strategy

By | 2017-07-26T06:41:27+00:00 July 26th, 2017|Global Market Update|

Collateral dominates structure. Silk purse. Photo: Sideshowmom. Source: Morguefile That’s a phrase I coined twenty-five years ago when I was an institutional bond investor. At that time, Mortgage Backed Securities were still pretty new. Brokers would take MBS “pools” and put a bunch of them into a single trust. Then the trust would issue its own bonds, with different bonds getting paid first, some bonds taking more prepayment risk, other bonds protected, and so on. They called these bonds Collateralized Mortgage Obligations. They were [...]

The Death of Retail?

By | 2017-07-17T16:43:47+00:00 July 14th, 2017|Global Market Update|

Are we facing a retail apocalypse? Photo: Cbikle. Source: Morguefile That’s the story that’s being told. Payless, Radio Shack, Rue21, and The Limited have all filed for bankruptcy this year, as have five other retailers. Over 4,000 physical stores have been impacted. There are fewer than 750 Kmart stores open now, down from over 2000 at their peak, and their owners plan to close more stores. Since late last year, general merchandise retailing has shed over 80 thousand jobs. The phrase, “Retail apocalypse,” even [...]