Nicholas Vardy is currently editor of the monthly investment newsletter, The Alpha Investor Letter, which provides longer-term global investments. He also writes two weekly trading services, Triple Digit Trader and Bull Market Alert, which focus on making short-term profits in the hottest markets in the world. A former mutual fund money manager, he is also chief investment officer of Global Guru Capital LLC, where he manages separate accounts for high net worth individuals. A graduate of Stanford University and the Harvard University Law School, he has a unique background that has proven his knack for making money in different markets around the world. He also is a chartered financial analyst.
I've just returned from a fascinating -- and sobering -- weekend in Estonia. If you're like most Americans, you may not know that Estonia is one of the three Baltic States that until 1991 were part of the Soviet Union.
Russia is the market that investors love to hate. When asked about Russia, Charlie Munger, Warren Buffett's partner at Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-B), harrumphed: "We don't invest in kleptocracies."
It takes a lot of chutzpah to bet against the greatest investor in history. But much to my own surprise, that's exactly the position I've found myself taking over the past few weeks. Here's how it happened...
The idea of having an index-linked, mainstream market-beating strategy that does not rely on the brilliance of a Warren Buffett or a Carl Icahn -- all for the relatively low fees of an ETF -- has to be one the best deals in the world of investment.
With the S&P 500 trading at just about the same level as it started in 2014, it has been hardly a gangbuster year for the U.S. stock market. And it also is a far cry from the #4 position that the U.S. stock market occupied among global stock markets in 2013.
Despite their reputation for their investment prowess, hedge funds haven't exactly set the financial world on fire over the past five years. As a recent Bloomberg article pointed out, hedge funds have underperformed the S&P 500 by 97 percentage points since the end of 2008.
For all of the hand wringing about the weak start to the stock market this year, initial public offerings (IPOs) haven't been this hot since 1999. More than 30 companies have already launched IPOs in 2014. That is a 72% increase compared to the same time last year.
The Fed's zero interest rate policy ("ZIRP") has been punishing savers with its low interest rates since 2009. Many retirees have grown increasingly frustrated trying to eke out income from their hard-earned investments. So, it's no surprise that many had piled into income investments that promised regular high single-digit, or even double-digit, percentage income.
With U.S. and global stock markets continuing to slide this week, the long-awaited market correction may be upon us. With the Japanese market sliding 4% overnight, it now looks like the current pullback may have more to go.
Since 1986, the "Big Mac Index" has provided a tongue-in-cheek but surprisingly useful way of measuring purchasing power parity (PPP) -- that is, the relative over and undervaluation of the world's currencies compared to the U.S. dollar.
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