Important Disclosures:
The opinions expressed in these podcasts reflects the opinions of the presenter at the time they were made and are subject to change at any time after the date of a podcast’s production without notice. These opinions are not intended to be a forecast of future events, a guarantee of future results, or investment advice. While the statements made in these podcast are based on publicly available information and are believed to be accurate as of the date given, no representation is made with regard to their accuracy or completeness. These podcast are neither an offer, nor a solicitation, to buy or sell securities. Reproduction of any of these podcasts is strictly prohibited. Horizon Kinetics and its affiliates may directly hold, and manage portfolios that have positions in any of the cryptocurrencies and securities mentioned in this material.

Cryptocurrency Risks:
The material below contains information on cryptocurrencies or investment products that provide exposure to cryptocurrencies. The value of a particular cryptocurrency is determined by the supply of and demand for the cryptocurrency in the global market in which such cryptocurrency trades, which consists of transactions on electronic exchanges which are not currently regulated by any U.S. regulator. Pricing on electronic cryptocurrency exchanges and other venues can be volatile and can adversely affect the value of the cryptocurrency being transacted. Currently, there is relatively small use of cryptocurrencies in the retail and commercial marketplace in comparison to the relatively large use by speculators, thus contributing to price volatility that could adversely affect an investment portfolio’s direct or indirect investments in cryptocurrencies. Also, transactions in cryptocurrencies are irrevocable, and stolen or incorrectly transferred cryptocurrencies may be irretrievable. As a result, any incorrectly executed cryptocurrency transactions could adversely affect the value of an investment portfolio’s direct or indirect investment in such cryptocurrency. Only investors who can appreciate the risks associated with an investment should invest in cryptocurrencies or products that offer cryptocurrency exposure. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results.

4th Quarter 2018 Commentary

Falling stock prices, swings in stock prices, a December like this December. They hit all of our buttons. The big red buttons hard wired to the emergency exit centers in that part of our brain closest to the nape of the neck. It’s what we do when he have patterns (data and statistics to our forebrains, shapes moving in the dark to our hindbrains) instead of information (qualitative context, or a light in the hand). That’s when we react and make decisions as opposed to exercise judgment. We’ve seen it before, and we’ll see it again.
To help illumine the landscape before us, we’ll compare the events and reactions leading up to the Internet Bubble of 1999 and its aftermath (and how and why we positioned our portfolios to be so far away from that party) to the events and reactions leading up to today’s bubble (and how and why our portfolios are again so far away from the index benchmarks). The parallels are quite clear and, once seen, the path (or paths, for there are many alternatives) are much clearer.






3rd Quarter 2018 Commentary

As a prelude to this review, we revisit a theme that has long informed our research: cognitive limitations in investment analysis. Reasonable minds may differ on what is or is not a good investment, but exceedingly few of those minds study or are even aware of the many ways our brains deal — automatically and without our conscious permission — with an excess of data (which certainly defines the securities markets). The shortcuts we unknowingly take amidst this onslaught of information can lead to the most unfortunate conclusions.

Herein, some of our strategies for wading through the facts to address some client questions we received about inflation, U.S. debt levels, and the potential for continued corporate earnings growth. And a couple of new positions, CACI International and Science Applications International, that we believe add functional diversification to our portfolios.






2nd Quarter 2018 Commentary

A number of clients have been asking about inflation: are the recent numbers, 2%, benign? Encouraging? Cause for concern? Some of the answer depends on whether the reported inflation data are even real. The changes, over time, in the way that the sausage that is the Consumer Price Index is made seem, repeatedly, to have the effect of lowering it. Either way, it’s well neigh impossible to avoid earning a negative rate of return from the various bond ETFs, after taxes and inflation. We provide a brief survey.

Then there is the failure with, now, a 20-year record, of the equity ETFs to provide the expected 10% rate of return. To avoid a continuous loss of purchasing power, which adds up pretty quickly, investing has to take place differently and elsewhere.






1st Quarter 2018 Commentary

The value of the entire stock market relative to GDP – perhaps the most fundamental valuation measure – is pretty much at an all-time high; interest rates aren’t much above their recent all-time lows; the Federal debt/GDP ratio, despite one of the lengthiest economic recoveries on record, is at a high exceeded only in the immediate aftermath of World War II. Yet, despite this traffic jam of systemic risks, and for whatever reason, investors feel sufficiently at ease that they don’t require a real interest rate above zero, or lower stock valuations, as if there financial markets rest in a comfortable equilibrium.






4th Quarter 2017 Commentary

For the first time in quite a long while, clients have been asking about whether their portfolios contain any inflation beneficiaries, whether there’s much leverage. Really, these questions are about practical, functional diversification (as opposed to what the mind recognizes as ‘lip service’ diversification). There is a sense that all the investments are crowded into the same place and are more and more governed by a few shared risks. And perhaps there’s an unasked question, what happens when the music stops, whichever music it is that has made it all work so far.