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Jeff Miller

 
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  • Weighing The Week Ahead: Time For A Mid-Course Correction? [View article]
    Thanks once again to everyone who joined in the comments. I appreciate encouragement and suggestions, and I am also used to those who scoff without reasoning -- although we seem to have lost quite a few former regulars.

    I often use comments as ideas for future posts.

    Jeff
    Jul 7 07:15 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Weighing The Week Ahead: Time For A Mid-Course Correction? [View article]
    nicholas davout -- gasoline prices for all grades, national average, were 3.735 on April 14th and 3.753 on July 7th. http://1.usa.gov/1j9HaD6

    Did you have a source for your assertion?

    Jeff
    Jul 7 07:12 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Weighing The Week Ahead: Economic Fireworks? [View article]
    Whidbey -- I really thought you had disappeared after your series of inaccurate and unfair comments. Instead, you seem to have created a new ID so that no one can see the past errors.

    I really hope that everyone understands how silly and vague your comment is. I work very hard to provide solid information. One of the most irritating things about Seeking Alpha is that anonymous people can make comments like yours with complete impunity. It is obvious that some of you are compensated to do this. Most readers do not understand.

    If you want to talk about "bloated forecasts" why don't you bring some game. Say who you are. Show your own record. Otherwise, put a cork in it!
    Jun 29 10:22 PM | 18 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Weighing The Week Ahead: Economic Fireworks? [View article]
    greltmann -- I cannot give individual investment advice via the comments, as I'm sure you understand. With that in mind, here are two general principles that fit your situation:

    1) Do not take risks with money you need in a short time period. You should have a plan for the years starting 3 years from now and going to 7 or 8. It should mostly be in safe holdings, even if you cannot get a good return (unless you have other resources to tap).

    2) The spreads on junk bond funds versus Treasuries are very low. In some cases you may be taking stock-type risk for bond-type returns. There is the dual risk of rising rates and rising spreads.

    I emphasize that this is just general advice.

    Best wishes at this important time.

    Jeff
    Jun 29 07:50 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Weighing The Week Ahead: Economic Fireworks? [View article]
    loftyhgoal -- We did the same on our new car purchase. The weather was not conducive for shopping and test drives. We did order things online, but deferred some services.

    I don't want to blame everything on the weather, but it is pretty obvious that it had more than the normal effect. That said, some of the economic activity is lost forever.

    Heating bills and snow removal do count in the GDP. This is part of the strength in utilities and industrial production early in the year.

    Thanks for sharing your experience.

    Jeff
    Jun 29 07:36 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Weighing The Week Ahead: Economic Fireworks? [View article]
    Barry -- The WSJ panel (and just about everyone else) certainly did not expect the combination of circumstances from Q1. At the start of the year, their consensus forecast was for 2.5% growth.

    Despite this, I doubt that you can find a better method -- certainly not your own guess (or mine!)

    I need to write a new piece about making the most of forecasts. I try to learn something from every source -- I always ask questions of cab drivers, for example. Even economists have some information for us!

    Jeff
    Jun 29 07:33 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Weighing The Week Ahead: Economic Fireworks? [View article]
    Thanks to all both for encouraging words and a good discussion.

    Jeff
    Jun 29 05:38 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Weighing The Week Ahead: Economic Fireworks? [View article]
    tallguyz -- I wish I knew!

    I just think that surprising data (either way) could be pretty meaningful.

    Jeff
    Jun 29 05:38 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Weighing The Week Ahead: Economic Fireworks? [View article]
    AMcCausland -- There are many ways to implement a buy/write strategy. Imagine a continuum where at one end you are very conservative and at the other you are very aggressive.

    Many of the programs lean toward the aggressive end. They choose candidates based upon high volatility and/or write calls on everything in an index. This gives them stock-like performance with only slightly reduced volatility and a little income.

    Most investors are looking for the opposite. To do this you must pick conservative stocks --- good balance sheets, reasonable payout ratios, attractive P/E fundamentals, technical support. Then you must choose calls that are not too far out of the money so that you have a balance between protection and income. I also like to use near-term calls for the fastest time decay. Some of the funds use a formula that picks long-term calls -- easy to implement, but a bit less effective.

    So you are correct that it takes some work. If you have some skill you can try it and get a feel for it.

    Good question. I cannot comment on the individual funds-- sorry.

    Jeff
    Jun 29 10:52 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Weighing The Week Ahead: Economic Fireworks? [View article]
    txbadonetoo -- There are not very many who have good, independent methods for macroeconomic forecasting. Like most people, I am a consumer of forecasts -- but at least I am an informed consumer.

    The current consensus of the WSJ economic panel (a solid and diverse group) is for 3.5% in Q2 and 3% the rest of the year. They update this every month, so we will soon know if the Q1 results influenced thinking for the rest of the year. (It obvious affects the full-year number).

    Basically, if someone like me makes a GDP forecast it is probably just a wild guess --- especially if they wax philosophical about headwinds, etc.

    Jeff
    Jun 29 10:42 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Weighing The Week Ahead: Economic Fireworks? [View article]
    jamestsherry -- I have done quite a bit of work on this subject. I think that forward estimates are pretty good if you stick to the upcoming twelve months. This has been especially true since the 2000-era reforms. If you adjust for recessions, you can do quite well. Here is a link to a past post: http://bit.ly/1lpqwtU

    Thanks,

    Jeff
    Jun 29 10:34 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Weighing The Week Ahead: Is The Fed Behind The Curve? [View article]
    you need to look at a log scale to get a fair comparison for percentage movements. I have posted this several times, but I'll try to do it again.

    M2 growth has been barely adequate, despite the increase in M1. It would not take much to reduce M1, but the question is the level of reserves sought by banks.

    One of my frequent sources, Bob McTeer -- former Dallas Fed President -- says that the low velocity reflects bank preferences for the safety of excess reserves. He explains that had the Fed not provided the larger monetary base, that M2 would actually be declining and threatening another recession.

    This is much more complicated than the story you might be seeing at some famous conspiracy sites ....

    Jeff
    Jun 22 10:21 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Weighing The Week Ahead: Is The Fed Behind The Curve? [View article]
    golfin329-- M2 is rising, but a little lower than the rate from the last 10 years. The monetary base is growing at a much larger rate. M2 and MZM? Not so much.

    This will change, and the Fed had better be prepared to act quickly!

    Jeff
    Jun 22 09:37 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Weighing The Week Ahead: Is The Fed Behind The Curve? [View article]
    Mitchad2 -- I did not catch that segment, but I will now take another look.

    My sense is that CNBC folks get a lot of twitter and email feedback, and it tends to run one way. Since I have TIVO running, I can check this out. Normally (and for good reason) I ignore Dent.

    Thanks for pointing this out.

    Jeff
    Jun 22 08:04 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Weighing The Week Ahead: Is The Fed Behind The Curve? [View article]
    avolossov -- Good work in analyzing this.

    You see the reason that I follow both recession indicators (early but sloppy timing) and the SLFSI (a recognition of risk, but not market timing).

    They are doing different things, and I should probably write about that. The SLFSI did not exactly "predict" Lehman, but there was some indication in the data. This is why my team's research identified 1.1 as the point where we should be cutting down size.

    Thanks for taking a deeper look. Let me pose the question: At what point would you acknowledge higher risk?

    And remember, the biggest rewards come to those taking the biggest risk, so that is not the question.

    Jeff
    Jun 22 08:01 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
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