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December 2014

Economic Assessment for 2015

By - December 19, 2014

On December 16, 2014, U.S. zero-interest-rate policy (ZIRP) entered its seventh year. Happy belated birthday, ZIRP! And on Wednesday, the Federal Reserve noted that it can be “patient in beginning to normalize the stance of monetary policy.” Thankfully, after six?

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Echoes of Financial Crises From the Late ‘90s

By - December 17, 2014

The fickleness of financial markets is truly amazing at times. Back in May, I suggested that investors were downright sanguine. I even cautioned that the markets may be too calm. But today, things are distinctly different… The price of crude oil has?

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Hot ETF Trends to Avoid in 2015

By - December 15, 2014

Though it may be hard to do, we need to shift our attention away from the twisted wreckage within the energy sector for a second. That’s because, as 2014 winds to an end, investors need to make a plan for?

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Presenting the Dividend Death Watch

By - December 10, 2014

As the carnage in the energy sector continues, the butcher’s bill of dividend casualties is starting to grow. Back in March, I explained how Seadrill (SDRL) had the weakest financial position of all the offshore drillers. And in early November, I asserted that dividend?

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Investment-Grade Credit Spreads Widening

By - December 5, 2014

What do McDonald’s (MCD), Philip Morris (PM), Caterpillar (CAT), Kimberly-Clark (KMB), and Target (TGT) have in common? Yes, they’re all large-cap stocks that pay solid dividends. In fact, three are even Dividend Aristocrats, having increased their dividends for at least 25 consecutive years. But the common characteristic I’m referring to?

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Global Deflationary Pressures Are Mounting

By - December 3, 2014

Consumers often gripe that government price data understate the true nature of inflation. Nonetheless, it’s safe to say that the cost of goods and services has been rising at a steadily slower rate in most countries. In fact, according to GaveKal Capital, global?

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