Andres Capital Management
Credit Spreads: Relative vs. Absolute Levels
Following a yearlong environment of relatively stable corporate bond spreads, we are beginning to see increased market volatility and a widening of these credit spreads. The plunge in oil prices, the rise in the U.S. dollar, and geopolitical uncertainty all contribute to wider spreads as they represent a proxy for market risk.
What is Artificial Pricing?
After the sharp plunge in U.S. 10-year Treasury yields on the morning of October 15, 2015, Bob sent us a few articles which blamed the quick v-shaped price movement on the new breed of algorithmic traders often referred to as High-Frequency Traders (HFTs). The robots were at it again. They were scraping headlines; focused on speed and execution; artificially pricing the Treasury market. A herd mentality amongst the machines was blamed to which Geoff replied, Why doesnt someone write an algorithm to arbitrage algorithmic trading, and what do these people mean by artificial pricing
Navigating the Credit Markets
Both the corporate and municipal bond markets continue to be shrouded in decades old business practices, provincial in nature and unfamiliar to many independent advisors and retail investors.
The Continuation of QE
October 30, 2014 ended the third and final round of Quantitative Easing. Right? The announcement was couched in a hyperlinked document at the end of the FOMC statement. Those who made it through the statement and still felt like reading, realized that the end of QE was not as finalized as one may have expected.
A Look behind the GDP Numbers: The Search for Organic Growth
As with many investors, we looked anxiously to the U.S. GDP release on Thursday morning after viewing the FOMC statement on Wednesday. When the headline number for GDP came out at the top range of the forecast at 3.5%, we began to ask ourselves whether the analysts projecting 3% inflation by year end may actually be on to something. However, upon reading the report, we became less enthralled with the prospect of above trend growth, which would signal rising inflation.
How Consensus Thinking Works Against Investors
Over the past several years we have used this newsletter to voice our concerns regarding the macro-economic landscape, while attempting to provide practical solutions for investors. Since our venture into financial commentary, we have questioned the veracity of consensus opinion and how it tends to be wrong, especially in regards to interest rates.
Finding Value in the Municipal Market Today
With the Feds recent remarks regarding their near term plan or lack thereof for short term rates, investors continue to be surrounded by uncertainty as to the timing and velocity of future interest rate movements. This uncertainty creates the question of how one can protect ones capital base, while earning decent returns.
Short Equity ETFs: An Imperfect Market Hedging Strategy
So the Wizard unfastened his head and emptied out the straw. Then he entered the back room and took up a measure of bran, which he mixed with a great many pins and needles. Having shaken them together thoroughly, he filled the top of the Scarecrow's head with the mixture and stuffed the rest of the space with straw, to hold it in place. L. Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
Understanding the Potential Risks and Rewards of Alternative Investments
Today, Investors are confronted with constructing or restructuring an asset allocation model in an environment where traditional equity and fixed income securities are fully valued. As a result, investors may be facing a period of nominal or negative returns from both of these traditional asset classes. In this environment, alternative investments may play a pivotal role in providing investors with broad diversification, lower correlations, and as a result, enhanced downside protection.
Are Municipals Allergic to Basel?
One of the bogeys of the Basel Accords calls for dramatic improvements in bank liquidity. The most recent changes to the Liquidity Coverage Ratio (LCR) test changed the numerator in the equation to ease the strictness of qualifying assets. The formula divides a banking institutions stock of high quality liquid assets (HQLA)the numeratorby estimated total net cash outflow over a 30-day period in a stressed environment. The calculation must be at least equal to or greater than 100 percent at all times.
I Cant Save Europe Alone Mario Draghi at Jackson Hole
Janet Yellen began her prepared speech on monetary policy and the labor markets in Jackson Hole at 10:00am on Friday. Within minutes, analysts were offering insights into future interest rate policy. The equity markets dipped slightly only to recover quickly to pre-speech levels. The consensus view, which emerged after sifting through the release, was that Ms. Yellens view on interest rates may be a tad less dovish than previously expressed. With no video feeds emanating from the conference and with tepid market reaction, we asked ourselves, Is she whispering or is she Yellen?&rd
The Unfortunate Truth About the Bond Market?
During the past four years, we investors have been inundated by financial commentators, strategists, economists and equity gurus prognosticating the coming collapse of the bond market. I can say with confidence that they have been woefully wrong during this period I can also say with confidence that if they keep saying it, they will eventual get it right. These negative views on interest rates gained momentum in August of 2010 when Jeremy Siegel and Jeremy Schwartz authored, The Bond Bubble and the Case for Equities.
Avoiding the Unintended Migration from Investor to Speculator
The identification of value/price in the allocation of capital is essential to successful investing. Assets purchased at levels above intrinsic value reflect an approach based on hope and momentum not sound risk/reward analysis and normally portend negative results.