What is happening in the markets now. Change is sometimes uncomfortable. It’s been too long since we have had a correction, so one was due. We are off more than 5% from the recent high. A 5% correction is a must and needed event to take the speculators out. We typically get two corrections of this size per year. Interestingly, it has been over 400 days since we have had one. Good opportunities begin to present themselves upon these downlegs, but a 10% or more correction could clearly be in the

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For the all the tensions in Washington D.C. over who’s the blame for the shutdown of the government, investors are going to be quite happy. A shutdown of government sounds negative but is viewed by investors as a wrinkle rather than a big fork in the road. This is seen from bond and stock returns that have been uniformly positive during and after shut downs and debt ceilings negotiations end. U.S. political risk is seen an investment opportunity and there are several reasons why. According to a

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Bitcoin futures were launched on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange in follow on to last week’s introduction on the Cboe. The result of these formal introductions is liquidity in the market for Bitcoin may pick up quickly. Naturally that would compress the price between futures and the underlying Bitcoin which is called the “the basis.” Currently the Bitcoin basis is around $450 to $800 which suggests there remains a significant liquidity difference between Bitcoin and futures markets. But now that

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Financial markets once again embraced President Trump’s tax reform with euphoria. Although details lack and uncertainties remain, the impact of reform was priced in as a positive outlook for the U.S. economy. This was seen from a strong rally in small cap stocks and companies with a current high effective marginal corporate tax rate. The dollar received a boost and Treasury yields rose on the prospect of higher GDP in the coming quarters. Now the question rises whether tax reform is an “inflecti

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Most clients have seen press reports about current tax proposals in Congress that promise significant changes to the taxation of individuals and businesses. H.R. 1, titled the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act,” was introduced to Congress on November 2nd and is in the early stages of its legislative journey through the House of Representatives and the Senate. Prospects for the adoption of all, some or any of its current components is unclear at this point. One of the elements of H.R. 1 in its current form

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In her sit down discussion in London, Federal Reserve Chair Yellen presented a milder version of what Alan Greenspan once dubbed 20-years earlier as “irrational exuberance” to describe the state of the stock market. Fed Chair Yellen said valuations appear to be “somewhat rich” when measured on traditional models. The model she referred to is the “Fed model” of stock valuations, introduced by Alan Greenspan at the Humprey Hawkins testimony in 1997. The model uses the 1-year forward earnings yield

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The latest Consumer Price Index release was the third consecutive inflation report that came out on the soft side. The economy has been moderately growing at 2 percent average with wages around 2.5 percent and unemployment around 4.3 percent. An economist who advocates the “Phillips Curve” (the relationship between unemployment rate and inflation) would argue the U.S. economy is on the brink of a burst in inflation. And yet, the actual inflation is benign and even shows ingrained deflationary tr

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Crypto Currencies, Blockchain and the ICO Crypto currencies are a digital currency that uses encryption techniques to regulate the creation of currency and verify the transfer of funds, operating independently of any central bank. They are built on top of a Blockchain, which is a digital ledger in which transactions made in bitcoin or another cryptocurrency are recorded chronologically and publicly. While not exactly new, the Blockchain and Crypto currencies may be hitting critical mass and ar

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Yields are falling despite the Fed, the Bank of Canada and the Bank of England, want to hike interest rates. The long end of the yield curve responds with natural defense because soft inflation and hikes means the Fed will not meet the inflation target. Indeed, the Treasury Inflation Protected Securities (TIPS) curve discounts a below target inflation for the next 30-years. This expectation has been in place since late 2014 since QE3 ended. Since that time, the 10-year has been in a downtrend wi

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We are proud to announce another significant addition to the Intellectus Team. Alice Wu, the former President of Robertson Stephens, Head of Asia Region has joined Intellectus. Alice will be based in our San Francisco office and will frequently be spending time in Asia. Please welcome Alice to the team! Our press release is below: Silicon Valley-based Independent Wealth Management Firm, Intellectus Partners, Hires Alice Wu as Head of Asia Pacific Region, Wealth Creation & Preservation NEW

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Once again, British polls turned out to be unreliable, and the political fallout may linger for some time. While Brexit negotiations are about to get under way, the Conservatives position in the House of Commons has weakened on May’s mandate backed by a slim majority. This is the uncertainty the Pound Sterling reflected on Friday by falling 1.5 percent against major currencies. A currency that expresses political risk may serve as a reflation backdrop because it can loosen global financial cond

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Last Friday's (May 5) payrolls report was a steady as you go report. The consistent strength in payroll growth suggests "slack" is gradually removed. If there was an acceleration in reduction of slack however, not only wages may rise faster, but productivity would go up too. This hasn't been the case so far with the recent productivity report showing a meager 0.6% annualized increase. The labor market is therefore currently tightening in a moderate fashion and this coincides with a slow deterio

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"If a capitalist had been present at Kitty Hawk back in the early 1900s, he should have shot Orville Wright." So said Warren Buffet in 2003. My how things change...Great investors are never dogmatic. As you may recall from our post three months ago(Nov 11, 2016), we have been unabashed bulls on the airline sector for a very long time. In a nutshell, we think capacity discipline and the rationalization of the US airline industry are driving significant efficiencies (not to mention the indirect

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Over the past week, financial markets revisited the “Trump Trade” as a portfolio consisting out of 3 variables. The first variable is the dollar. The green buck resumed strength because of a more favorable stance by President Trump in trade discussions with Japan and China. Japanese Prime Minister Abe praised Trump for his business qualities with a trade deal potentially away from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (“TPP”). The conference call with Chinese President Xi Jinping resulted in a policy sh

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The Federal Reserve’s FOMC Statement may have had the look of a stalemate but the language was crafted such that there are two important implications. The first is both sides of the dual mandate (inflation & unemployment) are in the Fed’s view now at target. The outlook for inflation was changed from “expected” to “will rise to 2 percent.” The Federal Reserve has high conviction inflation will be at target by removing from the Statement “transitory effects of declines in energy and import prices

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