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Matt's Market Insights

January, 2017 Archives

VIX vs. SKEW – Understanding the Message

By Matthew Kerkhoff

 

Volatility can provide a lot of insight into current market conditions, but there is more to volatility than just looking at the Volatility Index (VIX). Another measure, called SKEW, can help us understand the possibility of an upcoming market crash, or black swan event.

 

In the financial markets, the most common way to measure risk is to look at volatility. And in general, we measure volatility in terms of standard deviations.

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Introduction to Calls and Puts (Part 3)

By Matthew Kerkhoff

 

Welcome back for the 3rd installment of our new monthly series on options. The goal of this series is to provide a basic overview on how options can be used to help protect and manage a portfolio.

 

Our first article introduced calls and puts, and discussed some of the vocabulary associated with using options. The second installment focused exclusively on call options, and included examples of both buying and selling a call option. If you missed either article, consider reading those first to get caught up.

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Secular Shift in Interest Rates?

By Matthew Kerkhoff

 

When the cost of money changes, everything changes. Interest rates affect every aspect of the financial universe.

 

At the global level, they impact currency and trade flows between nations. At the national level, they affect the discounted value of future cash flows, the market’s multiple, and the desirability of items such as real estate and debt. And at the micro level, they impact the financing and investment decisions of all individuals and small businesses.

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Productivity Growth: The Missing Link?

By Matthew Kerkhoff

 

Spend enough time listening to financial news or reading economic reports, and you’re bound to come across the topic of productivity growth. This concept, which can be easy to gloss over, plays a critical role in each one of our lives.

 

That’s because productivity growth is the single most important determinant of a country’s standard of living.

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Key Themes for 2017

By Matthew Kerkhoff

 

This year promises to be unlike any other. Yes, I say that every year … but this time change really does seem to be upon us. As we kick off the new year, let’s take a step back and look at the broad themes of last year that are likely to continue into 2017.

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