Q1 Wrap Up: Ukraine, Inflation, Interest Rates | Financial Perspectives

The first quarter of 2022 is in the books and once again, surprising events dominated the news. Russia invading Ukraine and the continued climb in inflation were the focus of attention and for good reason. In this week's Financial Perspectives, we'll take a look at what is happening in markets and the global economy and what investors may want to know.

Meta Does Not Equal Value | Financial Perspectives

The headlines last week included “Faceplant”, and “Metaflop” following Meta’s disappointing earnings and new users numbers. As interesting as the metaverse may be, it turns out investors still want real world results when it comes to their investments.

Happy New Year? | Financial Perspectives

Market returns for the first three weeks of 2022 have not been full of happy reports. US stocks, especially some of the biggest names and winners of 2020 and 2021 have fallen into what is called “correction” territory. Is inflation and the concern with rising interest rates the whole story?

Do I Have Portfolio Exposure to China?

In recent weeks, China has been a part of US financial headlines for a number of reasons. At Foster Group, we believe in globally diversified model portfolios. We invest our equity portfolios across domestic markets, international markets, and emerging markets. Our models have equity exposure to over 51 countries.

Barbell Portfolios Can Be Hard To Hold On To

Barbells work great at the gym because they put weight on a bar in such a way that it’s balanced, leaving room in the middle for someone to use it to workout. We often see portfolios that are designed like a barbell at the gym: lots of risk in one account and lots of cash or very short-term securities in another. In aggregate, it might produce some balance, but the reality is that it can create some real challenges.

October 11, 2021 Financial Perspectives

Friction can slow can down any machine. What was humming along only minutes or weeks ago, can labor under the strain of too little oil, a little sand in the gears, you name it. The US economy and markets have been seeing an increase in perceived frictions over the past month. Can we get back to smoother operations?

Do I Have Portfolio Exposure to China?

In recent weeks, China has been a part of US financial headlines for a number of reasons. At Foster Group, we believe in globally diversified model portfolios. We invest our equity portfolios across domestic markets, international markets, and emerging markets. Our models have equity exposure to over 51 countries.

Barbell Portfolios Can Be Hard To Hold On To

Barbells work great at the gym because they put weight on a bar in such a way that it’s balanced, leaving room in the middle for someone to use it to workout. We often see portfolios that are designed like a barbell at the gym: lots of risk in one account and lots of cash or very short-term securities in another. In aggregate, it might produce some balance, but the reality is that it can create some real challenges.

October 11, 2021 Financial Perspectives

Friction can slow can down any machine. What was humming along only minutes or weeks ago, can labor under the strain of too little oil, a little sand in the gears, you name it. The US economy and markets have been seeing an increase in perceived frictions over the past month. Can we get back to smoother operations?

You Will Have Forgotten Monday, July 19

By the time you read this, you will have most likely forgotten today. My guess is that you won’t remember what went on this day. You might remember a feeling or thought you had when you heard what was happening in the stock market. But then, you sent an email, mowed your lawn, took your dog on a walk and ate something healthy, like broccoli, for dinner.

Are You Afraid of (Market) Heights?

Investors have been experiencing some fear of heights recently. Many stocks and stock markets are at or near all-time highs. So, here’s the question investors need to ask themselves today, ”Do you think that stock markets 26 years from now will be higher or lower than they are currently, even if today is an all-time high?”

June 7, 2021 Financial Perspectives

It’s summertime and we have two summer’s worth of movies to look forward to after 2020’s reduced calendar. AMC, a company that runs movie theaters has seen their stock value go way up in the past few weeks. Is this about great movies or something else? This week Kent Kramer talks about two different valuation theories: Firm Foundation Theory and Castle-in-the-air Theory.

April 26, 2021 Financial Perspectives

Markets have been reaching some all-time highs recently. US stock markets, foreign stock markets, even newer assets like bitcoin, SPACs, and NFTs have been soaring much of the past six months. At these relatively high values more than a few skeptics are predicting a fall. Some say correction – a temporary minor adjustment; some say crash – major problem ahead. Is there a reason to be acrophobic – fearful about markets at record heights?

April 12, 2021 Financial Perspectives

One of my favorite comedians has always been Steve Martin. One of his funnier routines was “let’s get small.” Lately small company stocks have been outperforming their large company counterparts and it’s hard not to notice. What is a small company and why the outperformance recently?

What a Difference a Year Makes

On March 23, 2020, the S&P 500 tumbled another 3%, culminating a near 34% drop over that same month. The Dow Jones hovered around 19,000. Gains from the past few years were gone.