David Houle, CFA

Cfa, registered investment advisor, portfolio strategy, macro
David Houle, CFA
CFA, registered investment advisor, portfolio strategy, macro
Contributor since: 2012
Company: Season Investments
Great conversation, gentlemen!
That is definitely a component of the decline, you're right. I think many of those people are going back to school and/or choosing to live off subsidies - incentive structures are definitely off kilter at the margins.
By my math the currency impact accounts for only a fourth of the underperformance in the third regime and pretty much none of it year-to-date. (I'm looking at the change in CEW and running numbers through 3/12/13, which is when I wrote this.)
The analysis looks at welfare spending exclusively. It does not include spending on Social Security or Medicare. A simple Google search for "Senate Budget Committee FY2011" would yield a number of articles with commentary on the report and the data...most will have links to the source data as well.
Good summary. All the more reason to have a systematic risk management approach (rather than by your gut). You should take a look at MarketVANE here: http://bit.ly/TUdLKW and let me know your thoughts. You can email me at dhoule@seasoninvestmen...
I'm underweight equities relative to long-term targets in light of the macro risks and uncertainty. However, I could see a scenario in which the economy muddles through, corporate earnings grow by a few percentage points and multiples expand slightly resulting in positive returns for equity investors.
Regardless, policymakers will continue to have a lot of influence over markets and there will be plenty of volatility that will afford some trading opportunities. Email me at dhoule@seasoninvestmen... if you want to discuss more specifically.
Great point. I address this in my 11/27/12 post which hasn't yet been added to Seeking Alpha but can be found on my website at http://bit.ly/TUcAet.
Great point, but that's a measure of relative valuation, whereas I'm focusing on absolute valuation in this article. Even when stocks look cheap or fairly priced on a comparative basis relative to other assets, you still might want to ratchet down return expectations when they're expensive vs their historical norms.
Another way to think of it is that bond yields are historically low. If you're long term expectation is for bond yields to rise, then earnings yields will probably rise along with them (to keep the relative valuations in balance). Therefore a low yield environment sets investors in both asset classes up to realize lower returns going forward.
That title is a bit of an oxymoron...implies devaluing the currency's value in order to preserve its existence.
The ECB has already spent 200bln Euro on bonds in the secondary market since May 2010. These purchases have been sterilized, though, meaning no new money has been created to fund them (QE). I think they are clearly hinting at a more large scale purchase program, and perhaps even QE, but it appears to be conditional on more coordination among heads of government in the Euro area. Lots of hurdles there...
Thx for commenting, and point well taken. I agree there is a good chance any announcement undershoots what market participants and the financial media immediately interpreted Draghi's comments to mean. However, I find it hard to believe that he would make such an explicit comment the week before an ECB meeting without planning on at least some level of follow through. We'll know soon enough!
Thanks again for commenting.
Agreed. Thanks for the comment Jon