Bear Mountain Capital Inc.

Understanding Currency Risk

| June 15, 2010

This is a great article from Morningstar about “Understanding Currency Risk”.  In my reviews with clients I am constantly discussing the currency risk exposure we have in some of our investments.  Namely, the Capital World Bond Fund from American Funds.  However, as this article points out, the same currency risk can be seen in other securities as well, including stock funds. So, while the Euro is down about 12% in…

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The 10 most likely contributors to the next market panic

| June 15, 2010

I think this is a very insightful (and not overdone) article about investor psychology and what could trigger the next market panic.  Most of the items listed here I agree with, except maybe for the technical “death cross”, which is primarily due to that fact that I don’t subscribe to technical analysis. I’ve pasted the article from RIABiz.com, an industry news source, and its guest columnist Rob Isbitts (June 15,…

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Governments and the Economic Crisis

| May 28, 2010

This opinion article from The Economist highlights the precarious fiscal positions of governments around the world.  While these governments have largely been successful in staving off a deeper financial crisis last year by coordinating efforts to stabilize banks and the financial sector, they are now themselves a risk. It highlights the difference in fiscal situations between Germany, UK and the US.  Notably, the US has the most wiggle room fiscally…

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Business Activity in US Continues Expansion in May

| May 28, 2010

Below is a link to a Bloomberg article that highlights the recent report from The Institue for Supply Management-Chicago Inc.  It publishes a business barometer that signals economic expansion or contraction, depending on whether the number is over 50 or below 50, respectively.  Its latest number is 59.7 and shows, while the Euro-zone continues to cause much uncertainty for the global markets, the US recovery is still on track. (Click…

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Fiduciary Standards and Financial Regulatory Reform

| May 21, 2010

Most investors don’t know what the “fiduciary standard” means.  In short, it means the adviser is looking out for the best interest of its clients at all times and will/must disclose any conflicts of interest that arise from the adviser’s business dealings.  As a registered investment adviser Bear Mountain Capital is subject to this “fiduciary standard”.  However, the main wire-house firms (Morgan Stanley, UBS, Merrill/BofA, etc.) are not… nor are…

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Commercial Real Estate and Current Cap Rates

| May 20, 2010

I’m posting an article a friend turned me on to.  It is published by Mark Heschmeyer of the CoStar Group.  There is a lot of discussion regarding a double dip recession, with some claiming that the catalyst for the second leg down will be the implosion of the commercial real estate market.  This article points to a different trend,  showing that there is a healthy amount of activity in the…

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Roth Conversions

| February 23, 2010

This is an article from Morningstar.com on Roth IRA Conversions.  It notes the significant change in tax law for Roth IRA’s for 2010. (Click Here to Read Article from Morningstar.com)

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Behavioral Finance and Investing Bias

| February 11, 2010

The CFA Institute dedicates an entire session to what drives investors behaviors.  There are three themes to this topic and I’m going to highlight the first theme they focus on in this post:  Heuristic-driven bias.   Its a fascinating subject matter primarily because all investors, whether they be inexperienced or sophisticated, fall prey to these bias’ during their investing lifetime.  Guarding against them is an ongoing endeavor. Heuristic-driven bias is based…

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Vanguard’s Jack Bogle

| February 9, 2010

Below is a link to a Morningstar article discussing Jack Bogle (founder of Vanguard) and his perspective on investing.  There are some very good points that I have also put forward when selecting funds for clients portfolios, they inlcude: ” Choose low-cost funds; don’t chase hot returns or managers; look for consistency, tax efficiency, and evidence of risk control…” Where we do not agree is his perspective on the role…

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Morningstar Fund Manager of the Year: American Funds EuroPacific Growth Fund

| January 6, 2010

Always nice to see one your key holdings in your portfolio distinguished as one of the best managers for any given year.  That was the case for the American Funds EuroPacific Growth Fund, a staple in most of my portfolios.  I believe that international markets is one of the markets that allows for managers the potential to add value over the indexes given the size and breadth of those markets…

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