This category contains 47 posts

Advice From Coach Lou Holtz

Back in the 90’s I had the opportunity to see legendary Notre Dame coach Lou Holtz speak up close and personal.  He was fantastic and very entertaining but there was one thing from his speech that has stuck with me for some twenty-five years. Coach Holtz stated that given the opportunity he would rather say … Continue reading

January Market Review

Once again, the Fed was the story for investors in January. The SPDR S&P500 ETF (SPY) finished the month with a gain of  8% while the NASDQ 100 (QQQ) ETF was up  9%. Yields on the Ten Year Treasury settled at 2.63% down slightly from December’s close of 2.69%. Accordingly the iShares Core US Aggregate … Continue reading

The Fed Put is Back – But What Exactly IS a Fed Put?

Some of us are old enough to remember last October, when Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell steadfastly commanded that “The really extremely accommodative  low interest rates that we needed when the economy was quite weak, we don’t need those anymore…  Interest rates are still accommodative, but we are gradually moving to a place where they … Continue reading

Austrian School Investing

I am often asked what does it mean to invest with “an eye toward the Austrian School of Economic Thought?”    Is there a certain way that an “Austrian” should invest?   Is there an “Austrian School of Investment Thought?” In a word , no.  There is no Austrian School of Investment Thought.  But that doesn’t mean … Continue reading

What is a Core – Satellite Investment Strategy

The Core – Satellite investment approach is a strategy that dictates a significant allocation in a portfolio to “Core” type investments or funds, and reserves a smaller allocation for investments and strategies considered to be satellites to the core portfolio holdings.   Typical core investments might be a portfolio of blue chip stocks or funds, … Continue reading

Bond Ladders vs. Bond Funds

Fifteen years ago when, when someone asked me if they should invest in a bond fund or create a bond ladder, I always told them that a ladder was preferable, assuming you had enough money to properly build one. After seeing what happens to ladders in real life over time, my thinking has evolved.  In … Continue reading

Weekly Market Update

The Markets (as of market close August 4, 2017) Last week ended with a mixed bag of stock market performances. The Dow, influenced by a favorable jobs report and strong corporate quarterly earnings, surged to a new record high. The S&P 500 also ended last week in positive territory. Tech stocks did not fare as … Continue reading

Friday Humor: The Complete Book of Golf

Chapters 10 and 14 are my personal favorites Chapter 1 How to Properly Line Up Your Fourth Putt Chapter 2. How To Hit a Nike from the Rough, When You Hit a Titleist from the Tee Chapter 3. How to Avoid the Water When You Lie 8 in a Bunker Chapter 4. When to Give … Continue reading

Weekly Market Summary

The Markets (as of market close July 28, 2017) Of the benchmark indexes listed here, only the Dow and the Global Dow posted gains last week. The remaining indexes closed the week modestly lower, despite a rise in energy stocks following Saudi Arabia’s promise to cut back oil production. Technology shares fell, which hampered both … Continue reading

Weekly Market Summary

The Markets (as of market close May 26, 2017) Following two weeks of losses, equities rebounded last week, with each of the benchmark indexes listed here posting week-over-week gains, led by the Nasdaq, which climbed over 2.0% for the week and is up 15% since the beginning of the year. The S&P reached another record … Continue reading

Weekly Market Update

The Markets (as of market close May 19, 2017) A rally late last week pulled equities higher, but not enough to overcome a midweek tumble. Only the Global Dow posted a slight gain by last week’s end, as each of the other indexes listed here lost value. Possibly shaken by continuing controversy between Russia and … Continue reading

Weekly Economic Update

May 15, 2017     A SOLID RETAIL SALES READING Americans bought more in April. The pace of retail purchases hastened by 0.4% last month, and the Bureau of Economic Analysis revised the 0.2% March retreat into a 0.1% gain. Headline retail sales were up 4.5% across the 12 months ending in April. Core retail sales … Continue reading

Friday Humor: Super Bowl Tickets

A guy named Bob receives a free ticket to the Super Bowl from his company. Unfortunately, when Bob arrives at the stadium he realizes the seat is in the last row in the corner of the stadium – he’s closer to the Goodyear blimp than the field. About halfway through the first quarter, Bob notices … Continue reading

Weekly Sector ETF Performance

  BIA Tracked ETF and Fund Performance Week Ended Dec 9, 2016 ytd Weekly 2016 9-Dec S&P500 SPY 12.83% 3.11% Dow Jones DIA 16.23% 3.10% Nasdaq 100 QQQ 7.71% 3.28% S&P Midcap MDY 22.65% 4.19% Russell 2000 IWM 24.20% 5.66% Dow Transports IYT 26.95% 4.04% 10 yr Treasury Yield ^TNX 2.27% 2.46% 30yr Treasury Yield … Continue reading

November Sector ETF Performance

BIA Tracked ETF and Fund Performance Month of Novermber 2016 ytd Monthly 2016 November S&P500 SPY 9.77% 3.68% Dow Jones DIA 12.53% 5.94% Nasdaq 100 QQQ 5.90% 0.44% S&P Midcap MDY 17.89% 7.88% Russell 2000 IWM 18.18% 11.06% Dow Transports IYT 21.19% 11.77% 10 yr Treasury Yield ^TNX 2.27% 2.37% 30yr Treasury Yield ^TYX 3.02% … Continue reading

Bill Gross a.k.a. The Bond King on Negative Interest Rates

  While Legendary fund manager Bill Gross a.k.a. The Bond King could be the subject of a modern day Shakespearian epic; a Decemeber 2014 Bloomberg story chronilicing his exit from PIMCO, managed to capture the relevant themes in about 998 fewer pages.   The Bond King has long penned a monthly Investment Outlook that is … Continue reading

Stocks Catch their Breath: Weekly Update and Sector ETF Returns

Stocks continued a rally that started last week and finished the week up 2.8%.  As has been the trend of recent, stocks followed on the heels of an increase in oil prices, which where buoyed by talk of a possible production freeze overseas. Whether this is a temporary respite or the start of a sustained … Continue reading

Super Draghi to the Rescue: Weekly Update and Sector ETF Performance

Global markets where well into a third straight weekly beating on Thursday when European Central Bank President Mario Draghi came to the rescue.   At a regularly scheduled policy meeting, the European Central Bank stood pat on rates, but President Draghi announced the bank would reconsidering its monetary stance and gave hints of the “do … Continue reading

More of the Same: Weekly Update and Sector ETF Performance

Another disappointing week for the markets. The S&P 500 finished the week down 2.2% but perhaps more frustrating than the final number, was a couple of failed rallies during the week.   The only equity sector beating the trend was Utilities, with the Utility ETF (XLU) posting a weekly return of 0.7%.   Last week’s … Continue reading

Chinese New Year: Weekly Update and Sector ETF Performance

While it is no secret that New Years optimism and resolve has a tendency to fade to “would have, could have, should have” before even the kickoff of the Super Bowl; the start to the new market year would make even the worst procrastinator blush. According to Bloomberg  U.S. stock markets had “their worst weekly … Continue reading

A Long Time Coming: 6 things that have happened since last fed rate hike

The Federal Reserve Open Market Committee is set to raise interest rates today, for the first time in nearly ten years. On June 29, 2006 the FOMC raised the target rate for fedral funds from 5.0 % to 5.25%.   At that point Ben Bernanke was but a mere puppy as Federal Reserve Chairman, just … Continue reading

Friday Humor: Saving for College

Did you hear about the banker who was recently arrested for embezzling $100,000 to pay for his daughter’s college education? As the policeman, who also had a daughter in college, was leading him away in handcuffs, he said to the banker, “I have just one question for you. Where were you going to get the … Continue reading

By The Numbers: October 2014

October 2014 could best be described as the big rebound with the S&P500 initiating a strong rally mid month to post a return, as measured by the SPY exchange traded fund (etf) of 2.36% for the month, and a year to date total return of 10.71%.   Indeed in mid-month the SPY was down 7.5% from … Continue reading

New Website Launch

Barnhart Investment Advisory is excited to announce the launching of our new website as well as our new investment and planning service platform. The new set up will allow BIA to customize individual portfolios and investment plans to each client’s unique background and preferences including a written investment philosophy and strategy for each account under … Continue reading

Work in Progress – Please Stay Tuned

Barnhart Investment Advisory is in the process of revamping our entire investment and service platform. In accordance with these changes the website and blog will be transformed as well. Certain information and  previous posts may be removed, or require a password during and/or after  this process. Please stay tuned and look for the launch of … Continue reading

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