The Alternative Answer Daily

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Play It As A Recovery Or A Bubble? Both.

This piece originally appeared on Forbes.com. Recovery or bubble? Stock and housing prices are rising, but the real economy refuses to play along. The Fed’s history-making liquidity gambit may have induced a impressive revival … or a false spring that merely delays the true reckoning for decades of too much debt. Which is it? I… Read More

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Finding Yield In Alternatives

This article originally appeared as part of Bob’s alternative investing column on Forbes.com. The best known income “alternative” class is MLPs, master limited partnerships. There are many flavors, but the “midstream” variety is most popular; these own the infrastructure assets used to get and transport oil and gas, rather than the commodities themselves (which makes… Read More

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Sensible Alternatives For More Income… And 3 Other Portfolio Jobs

This article originally appeared on Forbes.com. Alternatives are probably the most poorly understood corner of the investing universe. That’s too bad, because they can deliver just what investors need most right now: higher current income. But they can also provide inflation protection, cushion the (inevitable) next market downturn, and stretch return singles into extra base hits…. Read More

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Federal Deficit and Markets

Some excellent  insight from David Kotok of Cumberland Advisors: Jim Bianco noted an interesting development in his May 1, 2013, chart pack (http://www.arborresearch.com/bianco/?cat=7) . He observed that in the second quarter of this year the US Treasury was paying down debt for the first time since 2006. We started to think about that and what… Read More

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Point of No Return

Bob Eisenbeis, Chief Monetary Economist of Cumberland Advisors, sent this great piece over earlier today: An astute reader and some-time fishing partner raised an interesting issue in connection with a recent commentary. That commentary focused on the problems the Fed faces in designing an exit strategy from its current policy accommodation once the economy really… Read More

Gold Bullion

Gold

My friend David Kotok, Chairman and CIO of Cumberland Advisors, has this excellent piece out today on gold. Definitely worth a read. Gold made the headlines with a rapid plunge, some possible basing, and then another plunge. Let’s talk about gold for a minute. Central bankers prefer to have the public, the investor class, and… Read More

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Alternatives—A Common Sense Approach

Alpha. Core and Satellite. Modern Portfolio Theory. Correlation. It seems that the financial world has fallen in love with a whole new language. But is the point to drive smarter investments, or just higher fees? Well, let’s forget all the lingo and look at the facts. This one is key: the traditional 60/40 investment model… Read More

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The Resurgence of Art Funds —Turning a Passion into Investment Returns

Investing in alternative assets such as art and gold during times of inflationary pressure and turmoil in the financial markets is nothing new. Recently, however, the prevalence of so-called “passion investments” has increased, with art funds emerging as an attractive alternative investment. This article explains how art funds work and sets forth important things to… Read More

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Investing in Farmland: Cultivating a Diversification Opportunity

The following is a Q&A with TIAA-CREF Senior Economist Tim Hopper on the subject of investing in farmland.   Farmland has attracted significant institutional investor interest recently because of its distinctive investment characteristics and ongoing price appreciation. A key resource in the agricultural production chain, farmland is also – like oil and other commodities –… Read More

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An Inefficient Market Hypothesis

My understanding of the “efficient market hypothesis” is that all information is already “priced in” to the market and that only new information that is different than expectations can move markets. I’m not sure which is funnier, that at one point I was willing to believe that, or that a lot of people a lot smarter… Read More