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With Bonds All Things Are Equal

Today's Chart of the Day comes from an article in AAII.com (American Association of Individual Investors) and shows the average cumulative global corporate default rate from 1981-2021 in seven year spans.

A common misconception is that the yield you see from a bond portfolio is what you can expect to earn. However, this is a best case scenario as some of the bonds will ultimately default, causing a loss that reduces the yield.

In rough figures, if you take the weighted average default rate of all speculative/junk bonds and assume a 50% loss of principal of those bonds, over seven years this can reduce your total return by 2.9% annually.

The current yield to maturity on speculative/junk bonds is 7.6%. When you add in the historical loss of 2.9%, this reduces the total return to 4.7%, which happens to be the same yield of 4.7% in an investment grade bond with a similar maturity.

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Moving the Goalposts

Today's chart appears in a research paper titled, “Moving the Goalposts? Mutual Fund Benchmark Changes and Performance Manipulation” which was referenced in an article from the Wall Street Journal the week of August 22. The paper denotes that 37% of all actively managed mutual fund managers changed their benchmarks between 2006 and 2018, and two-thirds of these changes made the funds appear to improve their performance.

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Housing Slump

Today’s chart comes from data provided by the Department of Housing and Development (HUD) which shows that the rate of new US home sales per month has fallen 50% from 1,000,000 to 500,00 since the peak in August 2020.

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7 Investment Concepts

Top 7 Investment Concepts by Samuel A. Kiburz:

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The Shying Away from ESG

Today's chart is from Bloomberg Intelligence, which shows the money flows into ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) ETFs since they appeared in 2015.

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No More Heydays for Hedge Funds

People may ask, “Why not use hedge funds?” Today's chart comes from Bloomberg and shows us the reason why.  In addition to their typical expense ratio of 2% and 20% of gains above a benchmark, hedge funds have consistently under performed the stock market, denoted by the S&P 500 index, every year since 2014. In fact, they haven’t performed well since their heydays in the 1980s, and even less so since 2007.

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S&P 500 vs. Average Investor

Today's chart comes from OneDigital and shows that the average return for 20-years ending in 2015 was 8.2% for the S&P 500, while the average investor only earned 2.1%. The hypothesis is: Too many investors stop investing when the market is down and/or try to time the market.

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Total Return Since 1802

The following chart from Brian Ferdoldi shows the ultra long-term history of real returns from various asset classes dating back to 1802. Real returns, the returns after inflation, are important to know due to inflation’s elevated levels.

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Hard to Hurt Earnings

Today's chart comes from LPL Research and shows the growth of company earnings since 1950. When you buy a stock fund you are purchasing the steam of their combined future earnings. Yes, that stream can temporarily decline during recessions, but over time the economy and that stream of earnings returns and continues to grow.

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Rolling, Rolling, Rolling

Today's chart is from Ben Carlson’s “A Wealth of Common Sense” which shows the S&P 500’s rolling returns for 3, 10, 20, and 30 year periods going all the way back to 1926.

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