investing

What’s the Best Financial Advice You Ever Received?

Joseph A. Scarpo, PWA Wealth Management At the age of 26, I was traveling to a conference in Chicago. The gentleman seated in the window seat informed me that most Americans never achieve financial security. He told me the story of his brother who had worked hard and spent hard. At age 65, his brother …

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Positioning Client Portfolios: Wentling Tarquinio Loughney, Greycourt & Co, Henry Armstrong Associates

Each year in the summer issue, we ask a group of Pittsburgh’s leading investment experts to answer a question for our readers in 250 words or less. This year’s question: “The coronavirus has led to the first bear market in more than a decade with widespread uncertainty remaining. How are you positioning your client portfolios …

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Positioning Client Portfolios: Fairview Capital, Shorebridge, PWA, WesBanco

Each year in the summer issue, we ask a group of Pittsburgh’s leading investment experts to answer a question for our readers in 250 words or less. This year’s question: “The coronavirus has led to the first bear market in more than a decade with widespread uncertainty remaining. How are you positioning your client portfolios …

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Positioning Client Portfolios: PNC, Confluence Financial Partners, J.P. Morgan, Huntington

Each year in the summer issue, we ask a group of Pittsburgh’s leading investment experts to answer a question for our readers in 250 words or less. This year’s question: “The coronavirus has led to the first bear market in more than a decade with widespread uncertainty remaining. How are you positioning your client portfolios …

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Positioning Client Portfolios: Federated Hermes, Northwestern Mutual, Bill Few Associates, Schenley Capital

Each year in the summer issue, we ask a group of Pittsburgh’s leading investment experts to answer a question for our readers in 250 words or less. This year’s question: “The coronavirus has led to the first bear market in more than a decade with widespread uncertainty remaining. How are you positioning your client portfolios …

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Coronavirus Investing

Editor’s note: We’ve asked a group of the region’s leading wealth managers to respond to this question: “The coronavirus has led to the first bear market in more than a decade with widespread uncertainty remaining. How are you positioning client portfolios in this fraught environment?” In today’s online feature, a group of advisors give a …

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Viral Investing, Part II: What Should I Do Now?

“Profit from folly rather than participating in it. Be fearful when others are greedy. Be greedy when others are fearful. I prefer buying things. Otherwise, it’s a little like saving sex for your old age.” —Warren Buffett   “The true contrarian only buys when it makes him feel physically sick to press the buy key.” …

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Viral Investing

“You make most of your money in a bear market, you just don’t realize it at the time.” —Shelby Cullom Davis Given the recent market volatility driven primarily by the outbreak of COVID-19, I thought I would share my current views. But first, a word about terminology. COVID-19 (coined, for reasons best known to them, …

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Responsible Investing

We are observing how one of the world’s most successful investors—the New Zealand Super Fund—manages its capital, and considering whether we might not mimic some of what the Fund has been doing. The idea is to improve our own returns both on an absolute basis and on a risk-adjusted basis. Here are two more strategies …

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Traps Awaiting Unsuspecting RI Investors

Last week, we noted the tendency of the financial industry to take advantage of investors, including responsible investing (RI) investors. We also observed how this led to the epidemic of greenwashing: recharacterizing rather ordinary investments as RI investments. This week we’ll move beyond the greenwashing problem and look at other pitfalls for RI investors. Think …

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Make your Plan Now (While You’re Calm)

“Would I say there will never, ever be another financial crisis? I hope that it will not be in our lifetimes and I don’t believe it will be.” –Janet Yellen. Last week I suggested six steps we could take to prepare ourselves for the next market crisis—which, Janet Yellen notwithstanding, will in fact happen. This …

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What Will You Do in the Crisis? Part II

“I’m less interested in the return on my money than in the return of my money.” –Mark Twain Whether the markets crash next week or years from now, it’s not too soon to be thinking about how we will navigate the next crisis. With asset prices as high as they are and investor complacency (measured by market volatility) as low …

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Investing in a Rigged Market, Part IV

If we care about the health of free market economies, then we need to care about how efficiently capital is allocated in those economies. And if we care about efficient capital allocation, then we need to care about the health and efficiency of capital markets, because those markets are the principal instruments we have for …

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Seek, and You Shall Find… Conflicting Investment Advice

The run of this current Raging Bull of a stock market has been exceptionally long: eight-plus years. (The average bull market has lasted four years, nine months.) In response there has been great conjecture by investment firms, financial advisers, brokers, and market pundits in Pittsburgh about how much longer the market may rage.   These opinions …

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Squeezing out the Investment Experts

The core problems with central bankers, which have led directly to the catastrophes of the Tech Bust, the Financial Crisis, the pathetically weak recovery from the Great Recession of 2008-09, and the near-destruction of the asset management business, are: groupthink, arising out of the fact that every central banker in the world went to the …

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The Fed and Friends

We are talking about the traumatizing events that rocked the asset management business, to say nothing of the world, beginning in 2008, a calamity brought to us courtesy of the world’s central bankers. I’ve discussed elsewhere the bizarre strategies of the U.S. Fed and its various doppelgängen at other central banks around the world. But …

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Investing in a Rigged Market

The asset management business as we know it today got started in the mid-19th century. The impetus for investment management firms separate from banks arose out of the awkward fact that banks often fail, while asset management firms hardly ever do. According to Nigel Edward Morecroft, who has studied the history of asset management, firms …

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Democracy, Populism, and the Tyranny of the Experts, Part IV

Not that long ago—say, when my parents were starting out in married life—building a sound investment portfolio was a piece of cake. You bought some Blue Chip stocks and some Triple A bonds and you were done. And even having to worry about building a portfolio was a very rare experience. The vast majority of …

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Cash is King

Since the end of the Financial Crisis eight long years ago, a notion has settled across the land that “cash is trash.” This is the bunkmate of the “TINA” principle: There Is No Alternative to owning equities. It’s easy to understand how these ideas took root. Since the Bear Market ended in early 2009 stocks …

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Three Simple Questions on the Markets, Part III

We asked a group of the region’s leading wealth managers to pen a response to three questions about the markets and how they approach current conditions. Here are their responses to the final question: If you had to put all your money in one asset class today and couldn’t sell for ten years, what would …

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Three Simple Questions on the Markets, Part II

We asked a group of the region’s leading wealth managers to pen a response to three questions about the markets and how they approach current conditions. Below are their answers to the second question: The Fed is working to “normalize” interest rates over the course of 2017. What impact will a more normal rate environment …

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Three Simple Questions on the Markets, Part I

We asked a group of the region’s leading wealth managers to pen a response to three questions about the markets and how they approach current conditions. Here are their responses to the first question: Since the election of Donald Trump, stock markets have soared and the confidence of consumers and investors has risen. How real …

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