Brian Pretti CFA's Contributions

What’s the Deal With That?

Over the past few years, I’ve written many a time about the fingerprint character differences we are seeing in the current economic and financial market cycle relative to historical experience.

US Housing Recovery: It’s Different This Time (No, Really)

In my bi-weekly missives I usually discuss a topic germane to financial markets. This time around I’m going to throw you a curve ball and discuss the US housing market. We know the mortgage markets and housing itself were very much the locus of excess in the prior cycle and in very good part responsible for the actual economic and financial market downturn.

Brian Pretti: It’s a TINA Market - “There Is No Alternative” to Equities

Nov 22 – Jim welcomes back Brian Pretti CFA, Managing Editor at ContraryInvestor.com. Brian and Jim discuss a wide range of issues, including the lack of any investment alternatives for equities in the current environment.

Estimated Prophet

Over the last six decades, US corporate profits as a percentage of GDP have consistently bottomed in the 4.5-5.5% range in each inevitable recession. There are no exceptions – nine out of nine. We now stand near 11%. Will the next recession cycle, whenever it arrives, be different?

Logging In

A few weeks back I penned a discussion regarding a number of noticeable technical divergences we’re seeing the in current market environment. How these resolve will be important over the short term.

Diverging View Points

Personally, I think even attempting to call a top on this character of an equity market is an exercise in the self-infliction of pain for now. It has been a long time since I’ve seen this type of speculation, but it’s been never since I’ve seen this type of monetary largesse.

The Taper Chase

It is interesting to note that the FOMC commentary with the no taper decision began by citing “tightening financial conditions”. At the time, the stock market was near an all-time high, certainly not a “tight” financial condition.

Brian Pretti: When Interest Rates Rise - Houston, We Have a Problem!

Sep 27 – Jim welcomes back Brian Pretti CFA, Managing Editor at ContraryInvestor.com. Brian and Jim cover a number of key economic topics, including the recent decision by the Federal Reserve not to taper, the general failure of QE as...

If You Plant Ice, You're Gonna Harvest Wind

In one sense, the Fed created an ice age for US interest rates by lowering the Fed Funds rate essentially to zero and by printing money to buy US Treasury and mortgage backed securities, putting further downward pressure on longer term interest rates.

Counting Cards

As in blackjack, when the bulk of the face cards have been played, the odds of “winning” with successive hands decreases. Ed Thorp would suggest we reduce position (bet) sizing. Of course one way to bring more players and new capital to the table is to increase the payout rate.

Brian Pretti: A Melt-Up in Stocks Is a Distinct Possibility

Aug 23 – Jim welcomes back Brian Pretti CFA, Managing Editor at ContraryInvestor.com. Brian and Jim discuss a range of topics, including the Hindenburg Omen. It is an indicator used to signal an increased probability of a stock market crash.

Chomolungma

In Tibet, the Sherpa’s call it Chomolungma. In China it is referred to as Zhumulangma. In Nepal it is sometimes called Sagarmatha. You know it as Mount Everest. For many years I’ve been enamored of recantations of Everest summit attempts.

Spread Out

For Three Stooges aficionados (this is where Gen X’ers and Gen Y’s can tune out if they so choose), you’ll remember that every time the Stooges physically bunched up a bit too much in one of their routines, Moe Howard would yell out, “spread out!”

Oh Behave, Mr. Bond

To suggest we have encountered heightened volatility in the bond market as of late is quite the understatement. Although Treasury yields had been increasing in front of the mid-June Bernanke speech, they have continued to run to the upside post the commentary without a whole lot of retracement up to this point.

Getting Into Rarified Air?

You may have noticed that recently released NYSE margin debt data showed us a month over month decline. Taken as a singular data point, pretty darn meaningless. But set against the context of QE III and the current 2009 equity market cycle to date, its worthy of at least recognition and discussion.

Going Into Labor

Investors are painfully aware of the comments regarding the potential end of Quantitative Easing made by Fed Chairman Bernanke in the middle of June. Could it really be that after systematically creating an environment where obtaining any type of yield is only to be achieved by increasing investment risk...

Brian Pretti: QE Here to Stay in One Form or Another

Jun 11 – Jim welcomes back Brian Pretti CFA, Managing Editor at ContraryInvestor.com. Brian sees Quantitative Easing in some form as here to stay. He doesn’t feel the Fed is able to “tap on the brakes” any longer.

What’s Wrong With Gold?

To suggest gold is a controversial asset is not bold. For those watching long term, you know gold rose over 300% in the last decade before it even gained mainstream attention, let alone acceptance by many as an investment vehicle.

Executive Sweet?

Before taking even one step further, I’ll tell you right up front that this is more of a “for fun” discussion than not. For many a moon I have followed a number of sentiment surveys that I believe can be quite helpful.

Manufacturing Some Perspective

Every once in a while I find it very helpful to just sit back and look at charts that essentially have no titling. At least for myself, it’s often an easy way to “see” trends, or more importantly change in trends, without having my own personal bias of the moment get in the way of trying to interpret what the chart(s) may be telling us.

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