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2021 1Q Newsletter Thumbnail

2021 1Q Newsletter

May 8, 2021

            Thank you for reading my latest quarterly letter.   I hope you find this informative and easy to navigate so you can find what parts interest you.  If you have any questions, please contact me.


2021 Q1 Market and Economic Outlook

The economy looks robust.  Jill Mislinski reports that March Markit Service PMI (purchasing manager index, which is an indicator of future growth) expanded at the fastest pace on record.  This was confirmed by the Institute for Supply Management’s PMI survey.[1]  The “Big Four” economic indicators were all positive in March after a couple stumbled in February.  April’s employment report was a big disappointment, with about 75% fewer new jobs than expected and when combined with revisions to prior data, with fewer jobs than previously reported.  Still, on balance the economy looks strong, with people generally optimistic about reopening.  Many states are relaxing or getting rid of restrictions, without seeing a significant uptick in virus cases.  www.Worldometer.com reports that the US 7-day average of new cases has fallen by 36% over the last three weeks, and 82% from the peak.[2]  

Valuation continues to present challenges to investors who care about such things.  The trends I highlighted in my last economic outlook have persisted into this year.    Market valuations look even more stretched than they were a few months ago.  That said, there seems to be a shift in market leadership.  Much of what worked well last year has not done as well this year.  This reversed, starting in November.  Value has significantly outperformed growth all over the world over the last six months.   This six-month period of strong outperformance may be only the beginning after ten years of large underperformance.   The MSCI World Value index still trades at a 51% discount to the Growth Index, much closer to the 53% discount it was at the end of last year than the 28% it has averaged over the last twenty-four years.[3]

This next chart shows the long-term trend in the S&P 500, the ten-year earnings multiple, and then trend in the earnings multiple.  It is a busy chart, but contains a lot of great information.  Ultimately, all of the valuation-based metrics are telling the same story – the market is wildly overvalued.  


Source: www.advisorperspectives.com/dshort/updates 

Insider buying and selling gives a good picture into what executives and top managers think of a company’s stock price relative to its underlying value.  It is true that there are many reasons insiders sell and only one reason they buy.   Consequently, looking at the ratio of selling to buying is much more instructive than looking at absolute numbers.   Jesse Felder noted that insider selling relative to insider buying peaked right as the COVID crash happened – insiders were quick to sell shares of their own companies as they saw the damage unleashed on the economy.  After the market crashed, they quickly reversed course and brought the ratio down to a multi-year low.  They were optimistic in their own companies’ ability to navigate the lockdowns.  In both cases they were correct, as people with the most knowledge of their own companies tend to be.  Since then, the stock market has risen rapidly, and insiders have been taking gains.  The ratio of insider selling is much higher than even in the initial stages of COVID lockdowns.[4]  The rest of the market is not following along with the corporate insiders.  The AAII sentiment survey showed bulls outnumbering bears 56.9% to 20.4%, a three-year high, and short interest in S&P components is near a two-decade low.[5]  

John Hussman built a model that was very effective at predicting subsequent annualized twelve-year return using just a few variables.  While backfitting may have flattered the model’s effectiveness, and while it did not do well at predicting 12 year forward returns for 1999-2006, it is still worth noting that we are at the third worst point for equity returns relative to treasury yields, even as Treasury yields are not too far off all-time lows.  He also shows that five of the most accurate (historically, at least) predictors of future returns are all at their highest valuations in at least 75 years.[6]  

Signs of rampant speculation are everywhere.  SPACs are being issued at an alarming rate.  These “blank check” companies give fund managers cash to go buy a company.  If this were only going to superstar private equity managers that would be one thing.   Instead, retired athletes and celebrities are the face of many of these “trust me” investments.  For a little perspective on the SPAC trend, the money raised in SPACs in 2020 exceeded the total from 2009-2019, and 2021 has already surpassed 2020.[7]  IPOs are booming as well.  The $78.2B raised in IPOs in 2020 is second only to 2014, going back to 2011.  The IPO total of 2021 of $89.4B is already the biggest year of at least the last eleven years.[8]

Non-Fungible Tokens and Collectibles – usually items become collectibles because people genuinely love them and have fun collecting.[9]  Two current trends in collectibles point to the speculative frenzy dominating our world.   The first is something called Non-Fungible Tokens, or NFTs.  A detailed explanation is beyond the scope of this update, but the short version is an NFT is a computer file, typically an image, that is recorded on a blockchain as belonging to a particular owner.  Owning an NFT does not confer ownership of the intellectual property, which is generally retained by the creator.  It does not give exclusive use – the image or video is still widely available to anyone.   The copy owned by the NFT holder is not differentiable from what anyone else could freely access, other than that on whatever blockchain hosts the NFT record, the owners name is recorded.  Herein lies the rarity.  NFTs are selling for hundreds of thousand or even tens of millions of dollars each.[10]  Total sales in the first quarter were over $2 billion, up over 2000% from the quarter before.[11]  Another trend I am hearing about is securitizing artwork and other collectibles, including NFTs.   For instance, a shoe prototype worn by Kanye West just sold for $1.8 million, shattering the record for the most expensive pair of shoes.  If this was just a mega-rich fan, it would be a mere curiosity, but the acquisition was by “RARES, a sneaker-investing platform.”[12]  This is part of the new trend of collectibles being purchased by investment funds or platforms, and split into shares to be sold to the public.  I believe the motivation of buying collectible shares or NFTs is speculation.  The problem with this “Castles in the sky” approach is that it can only be profitable if someone else is willing to pay a higher price, which will only happen if that person expects another person to pay an even higher price.  Ultimately, this seems doomed to collapse.  Granted, one could argue the same for physical collectibles, and that is certainly a risk.  At least those have the benefit of being able to be displayed and enjoyed.  A vintage Aston Martin is much more likely to always have admirers than a receipt on a blockchain proving that someone owns the “original” data file.  Those platforms trumpeting their ability to make rare art ownership available to the masses miss that the two benefits of owning rare art – exclusivity and ability to possess something special are both undermined.

Crypto Currencies are rallying, ostensibly in reaction to the expected inflationary effect of the creation of vast amounts of fiat money.  I believe the crypto craze has much more to do with the current trend of rampant speculation.  Crypto would be the ultimate fiat money, except that it is not money.  Merriam Webster defines fiat money as “money (such as a paper currency) not convertible into coin or specie of equivalent value.”[13]  Crypto proponents argue that, unlike government issued fiat currencies, crowdsourced (fiat) cryptocurrencies are limited in supply.   This is simply not true.  There are more than 6600 cryptocoins, with a market cap of over $2 Trillion[14] (having doubled in the first three months of this year)[15], and there is nothing stopping the creation of thousands more.  That is the annual GDP of Brazil, created in three months, out of nothing (except for maybe Brazilian rainforests – the energy needs of crypto are huge).  I do not claim to know how to trade cryptocurrencies, and while my base case value for these is zero, there may well be some that survive and maintain some value.  My point is that the phenomenal rise in cryptocurrency creation and market value is one more sign of the environment of rampant speculation where we now live.

There are many ways people are now trying to get rich quick, armed with floods of money from the world’s central banks.   When the focus of wealth creation is speculation and not work or creation and the timeframe is weeks or months and not decades, times are likely to be challenging ahead.  On the other hand, there is still incredible new technology being developed, and creative new approaches being tried.



Nobody knows how markets will do over the short-term.  Speculative frenzies can go on longer than one would think, with the best returns near the end.  Current valuations do not bode well for long-term returns, and whenever speculative mania dominates careful analysis, the situation eventually ends badly.  At Rothman Investment Management, we are exercising caution to protect client portfolios first in this environment and secondarily trying to earn a reasonable return.  We recommend investors understand the current situation and have a plan.




Personal Update

            Nour and I were blessed that even during this time where travel is very difficult, Nour’s mother came out to visit us.  We had a great time with her.  It is always a joy to show someone California for the first time, and it is a good excuse to travel around and take in the beauty around us.   We did a day trip to Kings Canyon National Park to see the spectacular sequoias, and went all around the Central Coast.  We even got to see a bull elephant seal up close (but not too close) at San Simeon State beach.


Business Update

            This first quarter was a busy one for me.   First quarter growth of the ongoing business exceeded the last two years combined.  Additionally, I have been doing a lot of financial planning engagements and will soon surpass the number I finished last year.  It is very fulfilling to see people go from frustrated and uncertain to confident and relaxed.  The challenge of dealing with each specific situation also keeps my work interesting.  One fun tidbit – I have a new client couple that I worked for before in my first job.   We figured out that I was their paperboy in the 80’s.  I guess that is one of the benefits of living in a small town.  Thank you to all of you who have introduced new people to me.   While I have experimented with different ways to get the word out about what I am doing, my favorite way of people hearing about me is from other people who are happy with what I am doing for them.

            In addition to getting to work with many new people, I have been working on many other things.  I attended a virtual quantitative investing conference called, “Democratize Quant.”  A few academics presented papers, which were discussed afterwards.  One thing I learned is that ETF providers are happy to chase the latest fad with a “thematic” ETF, but by the time the trend is mature enough to capture adequate attention to warrant launching a fund, it is already getting close to a peak.  It takes months to get a new fund approved and to market, so on average these funds fail to live up to their hype.  One study showed an average annual underperformance of 6% for the first five years of a new thematic fund relative to its benchmark.  I also attended a two-day class in philanthropy, jointly sponsored by Advisors in Philanthropy and Stanford’s Center for Philanthropy and Civil Society.  I have a particular interest in helping people to be charitable in wise and creative ways.

            Two projects received significant attention this quarter.  First, I have been very concerned about how to know when to reduce market risk.  My primary tool has been valuation, which has historically worked very well over time.  It is logical – the more I pay for an asset, the less I can expect to earn as a percentage of my purchase price.  The problem is that markets have been expensive for years, with the US as the most expensive, but prices keep going higher – especially in the US.  I want to be able to keep my clients invested, even in expensive markets, but have the right tools in place to reduce risk when conditions are less favorable.  I do not believe anyone can time the market perfectly, and I am not trying to.  I do believe it is prudent to be more aggressive when great opportunities are abundant and more cautious when opportunities are scarce.  I strongly believe in being systematic in decision-making and have been researching systems that have successfully navigated market volatility for more than one full cycle.  Since no system is perfect, I am diversifying my approach, using multiple systems that work off of different data.  If you are interested, I am happy to discuss with you how I am using valuation, market trends, economic trends, sentiment, volatility and other data to try to tie risk exposure to the current opportunity set.  The second project is my in-house small cap value strategy.  This strategy is 75% quantitative and 25% subjective.  Because this is involves holding about 20 securities with frequent rebalancing, it is only available for accounts that can allocate a minimum investment to it.   Value investing has fallen on hard times, and small cap deep value even more so, but I still believe this approach has merit and think that it is now positioned better going forward than it has been in a long time.  I created this strategy several years ago, but recently picked it apart, tested it piece by piece and overhauled it.  Let me know if you are interested in learning more.


Personal Improvement

            This quarter, my new personal improvement project was doing a weekly review.  I have been starting each new week by reviewing the last week – what went well, what could have been better, how I responded to challenges that arose and then what I want to do better for the current week.  This has been very helpful at keeping my focused and accountable.  The other part of the review that I wanted to implement will need to be done later.  This includes a financial review and clearing my desk and inboxes.



Educational Spotlight: Investing in Qualified Opportunity Zones

Summary: Qualified Opportunity Zones (QOZ) allow gains to be reinvested in certain under-developed areas with three potential benefits to the investor.  First, the tax on the gain is deferred until 12/31/2026 (payable in 2027). Second, if the investment is made before 12/31/21, 10% of the gain is eliminated for tax purposes.  Third, any gains on the investment in the opportunity zone are tax-free, as long as certain conditions are met.  A fourth benefit pertains to holders of depreciated investment real estate only - any straight-line depreciation taken on rental property will be tax-free if held for the minimum ten-year requirement.  These benefits make Qualified Opportunity Zone investments very compelling for investors with large unrealized or recently realized gains in high tax brackets.



            One of the new tools in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA) is the Qualified Opportunity Zone.  The purpose is to attract investment in lower income areas to create jobs and catalyze economic growth.[16]  Rather than a top-down government program where taxpayer money is allocated through a political process, the philosophy of the opportunity zone provisions is to provide investors with an incentive to invest in under-invested communities of their own choosing and in their own way.


Qualifying Opportunity Zone (QOZ) Investments:

            Per the IRS, “A QOF [Qualified Opportunity Fund] is an investment vehicle that files either a partnership or corporate federal income tax return and is organized for the purpose of investing in QOZ property.”  QOZ property is owned by the QOF and meets three requirements: 1) acquired for cash after 2017, 2) it is held by a corporation or partnership and is a QOZ business, 3) it remains a QOZ business for 90% of the holding period.  The QOZ business must earn at least 50% of its gross income in the QOZ.[17]  If the QOZ purchase is for land, it must be “substantially improved” to qualify, meaning the investment basis must be doubled.[18]  So-called “sin businesses” are not eligible for QOZ treatment.  These include golf courses, country clubs, massage parlors, gambling facilities, and businesses primarily engaged in serving alcoholic beverages.[19]


What can be invested into a Qualified Opportunity Fund (QOF)?

            Any gains can be invested into a QOF and receive the preferential treatment as long as the gains are invested within 180 days of the sale, and the sale was not to a related party.[20]  Note that if the gains came from a partnership, the taxpayer has until 180 days after the tax return due date of the partnership for the year in which the gain was realized.[21]  A payment from the investment fund in excess of basis would also be an inclusion event.   (Note that if you only contribute gain, your basis is 0 until you get the step-up.)


What are the benefits of an Opportunity Zone Investment?        

            First, by timely investing gains into a QOF, the tax realization of the gain is deferred until the earlier of December 31, 2026, or an inclusion event.  In general, an inclusion event is a transfer (by sale or gift) of the QOF interest.   These deferred taxes can be invested, essentially creating an interest-free loan from the government.   Second, investments made before December 31, 2021 and held for five years receive a “basis step-up” of 10% after five years.  This means that if a $200,000 gain (basis = $0) is invested in the QOF before the deadline and held for five years, the basis (or tax-free amount) becomes $20,000.   Note that the 5% basis step up at the end of 2025 only applies to investments made before 2021.  Third, and most importantly, any gains made on the QOF investment are tax free, as long as the funds are invested for at least ten years.   


Source: https://opportunityzones.hud.gov/investors 



Who should consider Qualified Opportunity Zones?

            Anyone with unrealized or recently realized short or long term capital gains should consider investing those gains into a Qualified Opportunity Fund.  There are many issues to consider, however.  These include: liquidity needs, tax rate, risk tolerance, and life expectancy.  In general, QOF investments are illiquid, meaning the money is inaccessible for some time.  Further, if funds are withdrawn before the required holding periods, the Opportunity Zone benefits would be lost.  Any gains that would be taxed at the 0% rate should probably be taken rather than deferred when they may be taxable.  Real estate investors should compare the benefits of a QOZ investment with a Section 1031 exchange.  Real estate investors with significant accumulated depreciation, who may not wish to leave real estate to their estate should consider this opportunity.  As always, tax considerations are not the only considerations for investments, and investors should take into account the change in risk and expected return on their entire portfolios when considering any investment.  Finally, gifting an interest in a QOF is an inclusion event, which ends the deferral and disqualifies further QOZ treatment.  Leaving a QOF investment in an estate is not an inclusion event, but the QOF investments get a carry-over basis rather than a step-up in basis, and the gains are taxed at the end of the deferral period as they would have been to the decedent.[22]  Appreciated property that is expected to be left to heirs is generally better held than sold and rolled into a QOF investment.  (Proposed changes in estate tax law would change this, however.)   Talk to a financial advisor to find out whether a Qualified Opportunity Zone investment is right for you.

For more detail, read the full article: https://rothmaninvest.com/resources/investing-in-qualified-opportunity-zones 



Book Review:  The Psychology of Money by Morgan Housel

            Morgan Housel’s widely acclaimed book looks at how individuals approach money.  He notes that “Finance is overwhelmingly taught as a math-based field, where you put your data into a formula and [it] tells you what to do.”  This fails to predict what happens when we try to do these things.  He notes that people are mostly shaped by personal experience, but since we all have different experiences, we arrive at different points of view.  Even reading about the experiences of others has less impact on our beliefs than what we personal live through.  While it seems like good decision making is straightforward, people rarely make these “optimal” financial decisions.  Housel argues that it is not that people are crazy.[23]  They have reasons for what they do.

Conclusion: Psychology of money is a great collection of articles covering a variety of topics, with the overarching theme of preparing oneself financial for the unexpected by saving more than you think you need, controlling your “needs”, being patient, and accepting that the world is uncertain.  It is a great read for anyone wanting to prudently prepare for the future.

Find the full book review here: https://rothmaninvest.com/resources/category/book-review 




Works Cited

Blank Rome LLP. (2020, January 13). IRS Publishes Final Opportunity Zone Regulations. Retrieved from JD Supra: https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/irs-publishes-final-opportunity-zone-99722/#:~:text=As%20a%20reminder%2C%20a%20%E2%80%9Csin,of%20alcoholic%20beverages%20for%20consumption

Clark, M. (2021, March 11). NFTs, explained. Retrieved from The Verge: https://www.theverge.com/22310188/nft-explainer-what-is-blockchain-crypto-art-faq

Economic Innovation Group. (2021, April 30). Opportunity Zones. Retrieved from Economic Innovation Group: https://eig.org/opportunityzones/facts-and-figures

ESI Analytics Limited. (2021, May 6). Bitcoin Bubble in Terminal Stage. Retrieved from Seeking Alpha: https://seekingalpha.com/article/4425243-bitcoin-bubble-in-terminal-stage?mail_subject=bitcoin-bubble-in-terminal-stage&utm_campaign=nl-macro-view&utm_content=link-0&utm_medium=email&utm_source=seeking_alpha

Felder, J. (2021, April 14). Insiders are Sending a Pretty Clear Signal About The Stock Market (And The Economy). Retrieved from The Felder Report: https://thefelderreport.com/2021/04/14/insiders-are-sending-a-pretty-clear-signal-about-the-stock-market-and-the-economy/

Frank, R. (2021, April 13). NFT sales top $2 billion in first quarter, with twice as many buyers as sellers. Retrieved from CNBC Wealth: https://www.cnbc.com/2021/04/13/nft-sales-top-2-billion-in-first-quarter-with-interest-from-newcomers.html

HUD. (2021, 05 03). Opportunity Zones. Retrieved from hud.com: https://opportunityzones.hud.gov/

Hussman, J. (2021, May 4). Counting the Chickens Twice. Retrieved from Advisor Perspectives: https://www.advisorperspectives.com/commentaries/2021/05/04/counting-the-chickens-twice?bt_ee=UO26fw%2F0VrAKMnRHbqmQBQLprRf6ZjYOrIL1dp8ktYHURZKVyhkLBT8%2Bbb2wEV%2F1&bt_ts=1620158507878

Internal Revenue Service. (2021 , April 30). FS-2020-13. Retrieved from www.irs.gov: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/opportunity-zones

Internal Revenue Service. (2021, April 30). Opportunity Zone Frequently Asked Questions. Retrieved from IRS: https://www.irs.gov/credits-deductions/opportunity-zones-frequently-asked-questions

Internal Revenue Service. (2021, April 30). Opportunity Zones. Retrieved from www.irs.gov: https://www.irs.gov/credits-deductions/businesses/opportunity-zones

Kharif, O. (2021, April 5). Crypto Market Surpasses $2Trillion After Doubling This Year. Retrieved from Bloomberg: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-04-05/crypto-market-cap-doubles-past-2-trillion-after-two-month-surge#:~:text=The%20total%20market%20value%20of,doubled%20in%202021%20to%20%2458%2C858.

Lavi, A. (2021, May 7). Value Stocks—Still Plenty of Fuel in the Tank. Retrieved from Advisor Perspectives: https://www.advisorperspectives.com/commentaries/2021/05/07/value-stocks-still-plenty-of-fuel-in-the-tank?bt_ee=N2bp45tOfsUbLZ6v8piyTqylwQVUHAhMfDr4H1%2B%2FsMzL%2F1VQ2NdQ4dYGYsKG%2FVA%2F&bt_ts=1620417703307

Levine, J. (21, August 2019). How Qualified Opportunity Zone Funds Create Unique Estate Planning Challenges For Beneficiaries. Retrieved from kitces.com: https://www.kitces.com/blog/qualified-opportunity-fund-qoz-qof-defer-capital-gain-estate-planning/

McCarter, C. (2020, February 25). The 2 Hidden Benefits fo Opportunity Zone Investing. Retrieved from OpportunityDb The Opportunity Zone Database: https://opportunitydb.com/2020/02/hidden-benefits-of-opportunity-zone-investing/

Merriam-Webster. (2021, May 7). fiat money. Retrieved from merriam-webter.com: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fiat%20money

Mislinksi, J. (2021, May 6). Is the Market Still Overvalued? Retrieved from Advisor Perspectives: https://www.advisorperspectives.com/dshort/updates/2021/05/06/is-the-market-still-overvalued?utm_source=boomtrain&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign&utm_content&utm_term&bt_ee=mhv13AEb9ieDXX%2Fv8%2BpoTBfaoZllrndUQiNDezj7%2FhHCo2lTvYqKL2BzgT8LPWOb&bt_ts=1620391

Mislinski, J. (2021, May 5). March Markit Services PMI: "Business activity expands at fastest pace on record amid marked uptick in client demand". Retrieved from Advisor Perspectives: https://www.advisorperspectives.com/dshort/updates/2021/05/05/march-markit-services-pmi-business-activity-expands-at-fastest-pace-on-record-amid-marked-uptick-in-client-demand?utm_source=boomtrain&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign&utm_content&utm_term&bt_ee=b

Piard, F. (2021, April 10). Weekly Update for 4/12/2021. Retrieved from Seeking Alpha: https://seekingalpha.com/research/2496631-fred-piard/5577480-weekly-update-for-4-12-2021?mail_subject=quantitative-risk-value-weekly-update-for-4-12-2021&utm_content=link-0&utm_medium=email&utm_source=seeking_alpha

Renaissance Capital. (2021, May 8). 2021 IPO Stats. Retrieved from Renaissance Capital The IPO Expert: https://www.renaissancecapital.com/IPO-Center/Stats

Rieder, R. (2021, April 8). In Unprecedented Times, Don't Rely on (Obvious) Precedent. Retrieved from Advisor Perspectives: https://www.advisorperspectives.com/commentaries/2021/04/08/in-unprecedented-times-dont-rely-on-obvious-precedent?bt_ee=QWQ1KCKEBLMq%2B1KvVO5%2BLEMaBXn%2B%2BhIyOksmvy7UCsL%2BWwF1jhcyTSj51yIAorVl&bt_user_id&bt_ts=1617912120615

SPAC Insider. (2021, May 7). SPAC Statistics. Retrieved from SPAC Insider: https://spacinsider.com/stats/

Wikipedia. (2021, 05 07). Fiat Money. Retrieved from wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fiat_money

Williams, A. (2021, April 26). A pair of shoes Kanye West wore at the Grammys in 2008 just broke the record for the most valuable sneaker sale ever. Retrieved from Business Insider: https://www.businessinsider.com/kanye-west-yeezy-shoes-grammys-break-sneaker-sales-record-auction-2021-4



The views expressed are the views of Jacob Rothman on behalf of Rothman Investment Management, LLC (RIM) through the period ending March 31, 2021 unless otherwise specifically indicated and are subject to change at any time based on market and other conditions. All financial information in this newsletter is as of  March 31, 2021 unless otherwise specifically indicated.   Due to various factors, including changing market conditions, such information may no longer be reflective or current position(s) and/ or recommendation(s). Therefore, no client or prospective client should assume that any such discussion serves as a substitute for personalized advice from Rothman Investment Management, LLC.


This newsletter is for informational purposes only and is not to be considered investment advice. The information herein should not be considered a recommendation to purchase or sell any particular security. The securities and strategies discussed herein are meant to be examples of RIM investment approach but do not represent an entire portfolio or the performance of a Fund or Strategy and in aggregate may only represent only a small percentage of the portfolio holdings. It should not be assumed that any of the securities discussed were or will prove to be profitable, or that the investment recommendations or decisions made by RIM in the future will be profitable.  Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results. No current or prospective client should assume that future performance of any specific investment, investment strategy or product made reference to directly or indirectly in this letter or indirectly via a link to an unaffiliated third party web site, will be profitable or equal the corresponding indicated performance levels. Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance that any specific investment will either be suitable or profitable for a client or prospective client’s investment portfolio. Historical results for investment indices and/or categories generally may not reflect the deduction of transaction and/or custodial charges, nor the deduction of an investment management fee, the incurrence of which would have the effect of decreasing historical results. 



The benchmark for US Large Capitalization stocks is the S&P 500 Net of total returns, a market capitalization weighted index containing the 500 most widely held companies.  


[1] (Mislinski, 2021)

[2] As of May 7, 2021

[3] (Lavi, 2021)

[4] (Felder, 2021)

[5] (Piard, 2021)

[6] (Hussman, 2021)

[7] (SPAC Insider, 2021)

[8] (Renaissance Capital, 2021)

[9] Perhaps the most impressive, though not particularly valuable, collections of collections I’ve seen was at the House On the Rock in Spring Green, Wisconsin.  I recommend it.  One of the most interesting stories about a collector was in the book, “The Man Who Loved Books Too Much” about a rare book thief.

[10] (Clark, 2021)

[11] (Frank, 2021)

[12] (Williams, 2021)

[13] (Merriam-Webster, 2021)

[14] (Kharif, 2021)

[15] (ESI Analytics Limited, 2021)

[16] (Internal Revenue Service, 2021)

[17] (Internal Revenue Service, 2021 )

[18] (Internal Revenue Service, 2021)

[19] (Blank Rome LLP, 2020)

[20] (Internal Revenue Service, 2021)

[21] (Internal Revenue Service, 2021)

[22] (Levine, 21)

[23] The academic literature generally uses the term “irrational.”  A couple of great books on why people make cognitive errors are “Thinking Fast and Slow” by Daniel Kahneman and “Predictably Irrational” by Dan Ariely.  Both point out ways that our decision-making processes that serve us well in some situations fare very poorly in others, yet we often do not realize the difference in decision making.