Ben Carlson

The Relative Anchor in Rates

The 30-year fixed mortgage rate is inching ever closer to 5%, up from 3.35% in May of 2013. This is causing people to worry about how this will impact the housing market. The 10-year treasury yield is above 3% been after bottoming out under 1.4% in the summer of 2016. This is causing people to…

The Psychology of Sitting in Cash, Part Deux

In early-2015 I wrote a piece called The Psychology of Sitting in Cash where I tried to answer the following reader question: I took one piece of advice from a close friend that the market was too high and that I should go to cash and wait for a correction. I am still waiting. How do…

Martin Short’s Nine Categories for Self Evaluation

Martin Short has had a sneaky good career in Hollywood going on four decades or so. He was on Saturday Night Live for just one season in the mid-1980s but that led to movies like Three Amigos, Innerspace, Three Fugitives (underrated if memory serves), Father of the Bride, Captain Ron (loved this one) and many…

When Stocks Fell 10%…

As of the market’s close yesterday the S&P 500 was down 9.4%. Not quite a 10% correction but it’s a stone’s throw away. The question all investors would like to know is how much further this downturn has to go. The answer is I don’t know and neither does anyone else. But we can look…

Animal Spirits Episode 52: The Next Subprime

On this week’s Animal Spirits with Michael & Ben we discuss: What’s the next subprime? How important is housing to the economy? Housing stocks are getting crushed. What does it all mean? What if mortgage rates keep rising? How inflation impacts portfolio decisions. Why owning bonds is difficult when inflation is rising. The Fed’s take…

Can the Stock Market Predict The Next Recession?

As of this morning’s cold open, the S&P 500 is down 7.5% or so. The Fed is hiking interest rates. Mortgage rates are rising. Homebuilder stocks are getting annihilated. The economic recovery is well into its ninth year. The unemployment rate is the lowest it’s been in 50 years. People are asking — are the markets predicting…

A Lost Decade of Dollar Cost Averaging

Investors who dutifully put money into the stock market on a periodic basis over the decade ended in 2009 would have felt dejected when looking at their statements. If you started dollar cost averaging $500/month into the S&P 500 in January of 2000, by December of 2009 you would have invested $60,000 in total. This…

Allow Myself to Contradict…Myself

A reader asks: Does your Bond Bear Market note contradict your previous case for bonds? The conclusions are unclear to me. I can see how this could be confusing. In a post last week I discussed the potential for bonds to do well if all the right pieces fall into place which was followed up…

How To Stay in the Game

Everyone remembers game one of last year’s NBA Finals between Golden State and Cleveland as the JR Smith game. After rebounding a missed free throw with just under 5 seconds left Smith dribbled out the clock, not realizing the Cavs weren’t winning but rather tied with the Warriors. This picture of LeBron’s dismay with Smith…

Animal Spirits Episode 51: The Healthy Correction

On this week’s Animal Spirits with Michael & Ben we discuss: The recent market turbulence. Maybe 401ks won’t provide a floor under the market. The problem with 401k loans. The rise and fall of Sears. How Buffett predicted Eddie Lampert’s struggles with Sears 10 years ago. The similarities between Sears and Amazon. The impact of…