Thursday , August 6 2020
Home / Lance Roberts
Lance Roberts

Lance Roberts

Lance Roberts has sharpened that lens with 30 years in the investing world from private banking and investment management to private and venture capital. Lance Roberts’ perspective and common sense analysis is sought after by media outlets such as Fox 26 News in Houston, CNBC, CNN and Fox Business News along with numerous publications including the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Reuters and the Washington Post. Roberts is the Editor of the X-Factor report and publishes the blog Daily X-change.

Articles by Lance Roberts

Safety, Liquidity, Or Return. Why Cash Is An Important Hedge.

3 days ago

Safety, Liquidity, Or Return. Why Cash Is An Important Hedge.
Over the past few months, we have been writing a series of articles highlighting our concerns of increasing market risk.  Here is a sampling of some of our more recent posts on the issue.
The common thread among these articles was to encourage our readers to evaluate the current market “risks” and take some relevant actions. To wit:
“There remains an ongoing bullish bias that continues to support the market near-term. Bull markets built on “momentum” are very hard to kill. Warning signs can last longer than logic would predict. The risk comes when investors begin to “discount” the warnings and assume they are wrong.
It is usually just about then the inevitable correction occurs. Such is the inherent risk of ignoring risk.
In

Read More »

“Insanely Stupid” To Chase Stocks As Economy Plunges? 07-31-20

5 days ago

In this issue of, “Is It Insanely Stupid To Chase Stocks As The Economy Plunges.”
Stocks Hug The Bullish Trend
The Gold/Dollar Conundrum
The GDP Crash 
Is It “Insanely Stupid” To Chase Stocks
Managing Into The Unknown
MacroView: Universal Basic Income Is Not An Economic Savior
Sector & Market Analysis
401k Plan Manager

Follow Us On: Twitter, Facebook, Linked-In, Sound Cloud, Seeking Alpha

WEBINAR: Retirement Right Lane Workshop
Register today for our most popular class covering everything you need to know about retirement, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, Roth conversions, RMD’s, investing, markets, and more. 
WHEN: Saturday, August 8th, 9-11 am  

Catch Up On What You Missed Last Week

Stocks Hug The Bullish Trend
As discussed previously in “The Cobra Effect,” we noted the market

Read More »

#MacroView: Universal Basic Income Is Not An Economic Savior

6 days ago

According to a new study by the left-leaning Roosevelt Institute, a universal basic income could permanently make U.S. economy trillions of dollars larger. While such socialistic policies sound great in theory, history, and data, show it isn’t the economic savior it is touted to be.
What Is A Universal Basic Income (UBI)
To understand why the theory of universal basic incomes (UBI) is heavily flawed, we need to understand what UBI is.

“Basic income, also called universal basic income (UBI), is a public governmental program for a periodic payment delivered to all citizens of a given population without a means test or work requirement. Basic income can be implemented nationally, regionally, or locally, and is an unconditional income sufficient to meet a person’s basic needs (i.e., at or

Read More »

#WhatYouMissed On RIA This Week: 07-31-20

6 days ago

What You Missed On RIA This Week Ending 07-31-20

It’s been a long week, and you probably didn’t have time to dive into all the headlines that scrolled past you on RIA. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Just in case you haven’t already, be sure to opt-in and to get our newsletter and technical updates.

Here is this week’s rundown of what you missed. A collection of our best thoughts on investing, retirement, markets, and your money.

Webinar: Retirement Right Lane

Got questions regarding your retirement strategy, social security, medicare, the markets, and how to achieve your financial dreams. This is the webinar for you. Everything you need to know to stay in the “Right Lane” for your retirement.

Join Us: Saturday, August 8th, from 9-11 am.

What You Missed This Week

Read More »

Shedlock: 62-Million People Had No Pay Last Week

7 days ago

Over 62 million not-retired people had no pay last week.

Household Pulse Charts

For reference, I used the data from Household Pulse Surveys by the Census Bureau to create this series of charts.

This is week #12. The collection of the data ran between July 16, 2020 to July 21, 2020.

Here are some additional charts from the survey data.

No Pay 

Nearly 100 million people reported no pay in the reference week. Of those, 37,744,514 had retired. 

62.173 million people are not retired and received no pay. 4.293 million said they did not want to work. 

Those with no pay, but not retired, bottomed on June 23 at 55.780 million. 

Some people who are retired still want to work at least some hours. 

Number Employed

130.003 million people received pay in the reference

Read More »

Technically Speaking: Looking For A Sellable Rally To Reduce Risk.

9 days ago

As July comes to an end, should we be looking for a sellable rally to reduce risk? As addressed in “Fed Stimulus Has Created The Cobra Effect,” the failure of the market to “breakout” of the June highs raises our risk. To wit:
“With the late week sell-off, we have updated our risk/reward ranges below. Unfortunately, the market failed to hold its breakout, which keeps it within the defined trading range. The market did hold its rising bullish uptrend support trend line, which keeps the “bullish bias” to the market intact for now. 

The ‘not-so-bullish’ aspect is that all four (4) of the primary buy/sell indicators have now tripped into “sell” territory. Such does not mean an imminent crash for the market. It does suggest upside is limited in the near term.” 

A Rising Deviation
Yesterday,

Read More »

Retirement Confidence Declined Despite A Surging Market

10 days ago

Despite the surging stock market from the March lows, trillions in liquidity support from the Fed, retirement confidence declined.
I have written on this subject previously regarding a 2018 Fox Business study. That study showed more Americans doubted they would be able to save enough for retirement than those confident of reaching their goals.
37% are NOT confident they can save enough to retire
32% ARE confident they can save enough. 
48%, however, don’t think their retirement savings will reach $1 million. 
Another study in 2018 from Northwestern Mutual showed equally depressing statistics.
“Americans feel under-prepared for the financial realities of retirement, according to new data from Northwestern Mutual. Nearly eight in 10 (78%) Americans are “extremely” or “somewhat” concerned

Read More »

Fed Stimulus Has Created The “Cobra Effect.” 07-24-20

12 days ago

In this issue of, “Fed Stimulus Has Created The Cobra Effect.”
Stocks Fail To Breakout 
More Warning Sighs
The Cobra Effect
Porfolio Positioning Update
MacroView: Navigating The Tech Bubble (& Live To Tell About It)
Sector & Market Analysis
401k Plan Manager

Follow Us On: Twitter, Facebook, Linked-In, Sound Cloud, Seeking Alpha

We Are Hiring…

Catch Up On What You Missed Last Week

Stocks Fail To Breakout
Previously, we discussed how stocks struggled as virus cases rose. Importantly, the market had remained within a consolidation range since the mid-June highs. To wit:

“Furthermore, the S&P 500 continues to remain ‘technically trapped’ between the June highs and the recent consolidation lows. With the market overbought on a short-term basis, the upside has remained limited. However,

Read More »

#MacroView: Navigating The Tech Bubble & Living To Tell About It.

13 days ago

There has been a growing concern over Technology stocks as investors “Party Like It’s 1999.” While no two periods are the same, the outcomes often are. For longer-term investors, if we are amid another “Tech Bubble,” the biggest challenge is navigating it and “living to tell about it.”
Interesting Times
“May you live in interesting times.” – Joseph Chamberlain
That certainly seems an apropos statement after watching the financial markets plunge 35% in March to recover back to positive territory by July. Interestingly, this is the fastest rebound in the market since 1938 but is occurring against a near economic depression.
Here are some current stats:
-34.7% Annualized GDP Growth (-8.675% for Q2) via Atlanta Fed GDPNow Estimate
~50-million people unemployed
-4.2% personal income 
-104.2

Read More »

#WhatYouMissed On RIA This Week: 07-24-20

13 days ago

What You Missed On RIA This Week.

It’s been a long week, and you probably didn’t have time to dive into all the headlines that scrolled past you on RIA. It’s OK, we’ve got you covered. If you haven’t already, be sure to opt-in and you will get our newsletter and technical updates.

Here is this week’s rundown of what you missed. A collection of our best thoughts on investing, retirement, markets, and your money.

Webinar: Candid Coffee

After our recent “Great Reset” webinar there were so many questions, we couldn’t get to them all. Candid Coffee is an upcoming series of events specifically designed to answer YOUR questions.

Got a question you want us to answer? CLICK HERE

Join Us: TOMORROW MORNING – Saturday, July 25th from 8-9 am.

The Week In Blogs

Each week,

Read More »

Technically Speaking: 15-Bullish Beliefs (Or Not) For The Market

16 days ago

In this edition of “Technically Speaking” we analyze the 15-bullish beliefs (or not) currently supporting the market. Is this time different? Or should investors be concerned?
Bullish Moves
Yesterday, the market broke out of its consolidation range that we have been discussing over the past several weeks. Such is undeniably bullish and sets the market up for a test of “all-time” highs. 

However, while we did get a bit of “exuberance” yesterday, there was still considerable weakness beneath the overall market. As noted this weekend, the month of July has continued to perform as expected and has provided the seasonal lift to stocks.
“In the short-term, the bulls remain in charge currently, and as such, we must be mindful of those trends. Also, the month of July tends to be one of the better

Read More »

The Odds Are Stacked Against Investors In A Post-Covid Economy.

17 days ago

Since the March 23rd lows, retail investors have jumped into the equity market with little concern about the potential risk. The “Pavlovian” response to the Fed’s massive monetary interventions has pushed “risk-taking” to extremes. Unfortunately, the odds are stacked against investors in a post-COVID economy.
In a recent newsletter, we discussed our process of “taking profits” in positions that had reached more extreme overbought conditions. As is usual in a market where “momentum” is in vogue, we received numerous emails about the “folly” of selling our technology holdings.
It Isn’t Folly.
It is a usual practice of mitigating risk to protect capital for our long-term investment cycle. Interestingly, while there is little doubt that patience is a virtue for investors, exercising prudence

Read More »

Stocks Struggle As The Bull Market In Virus Cases Rises 07-17-20

19 days ago

In this issue of, “Stocks Struggle As The Bull Market In Virus Cases Rises”
Technically Trapped
Economic Expectations Slow
Who Ya Gonna Believe
The Risk Of Confirmation Bias
MacroView: Value Is Dead. Long Live Value.
Sector & Market Analysis
401k Plan Manager

Follow Us On: Twitter, Facebook, Linked-In, Sound Cloud, Seeking Alpha

We Are Hiring…

Catch Up On What You Missed Last Week

Technically Trapped
Last week, we discussed why we were taking profits in positions that had gotten egregiously overbought for the second time this year. To wit:

“For the second time in a single year, we have begun the profit-taking process within our most profitable names. Apple, Microsoft, Netflix, Amazon, Costco, PG, and in Communications and Technology ETFs.”

That turned out to be timely as technology

Read More »

#WhatYouMissed On RIA This Week: 07-17-20

20 days ago

What You Missed On RIA This Week.

It’s been a long week, and you probably didn’t have time to dive into all the headlines that scrolled past you on RIA. It’s OK, we’ve got you covered. If you haven’t already, be sure to opt-in and you will get our newsletter and technical updates.

Here is this week’s rundown of what you missed. A collection of our best thoughts on investing, retirement, markets, and your money.

Webinar: Candid Coffee

After our recent “Great Reset” webinar there were so many questions, we couldn’t get to them all. Candid Coffee is an upcoming series of events specifically designed to answer YOUR questions.

Got a question you want us to answer? CLICK HERE

Join Us: Saturday, July 25th from 8-9 am.

The Week In Blogs

Each week, the entire team at

Read More »

Technically Speaking: “Golden Cross” Arrives, Are The Bulls Safe?

23 days ago

In this week’s “Technically Speaking,” the “Golden Cross” arrives, but are the bulls safe? As noted two weeks ago, is the 50/200 dma crossover is historically bullish for equities. However, with markets facing one of the worst earnings declines on record, could overly exuberant investors be walking into a trap?
Let’s start with what we wrote previously:
“As shown below, the market broke out of that consolidation and triggered “buy signals” across multiple measures. This breakout will give the “bulls” an advantage in the short-term with a retest of the June highs becoming highly probable.”

“The bulls will also gain some additional support from the “Golden Cross” (when the 50-dma crosses above the 200-dma). That “bullish signal” will likely occur over the next week or two depending on

Read More »

The Fed Is Trapped In QE As Interest Rates Can’t Rise Ever Again.

24 days ago

Since the onset of the pandemic, the Fed has entered into the most aggressive monetary campaign. Its goal was to bolster asset markets to restore confidence in the financial system. However, the trap is the Fed is in a position where they can never stop QE as interest rates can’t rise ever again.
As we discussed previously, Jeremy Siegel already declared the end to the 40-year bond bull market.
“History has shown that this liquidity has to come out somewhere, and we’re not going to get a free lunch out of this. I think ultimately, it’s going to be the bondholder that’s going to suffer. That’s certainly not the popular notion right now.” – J. Siegel via CNBC
However, this is not a new sentiment, but it has existed since I started calling for rates to fall below 1% as far back as 2013. The

Read More »

This Is Nuts…Again. Reducing Risk As Tech Goes 1999 07-11-20

26 days ago

In this issue of, “This Is Nuts…Again. Reducing Risk As Tech Goes 1999.”
Twice In One Year
Fundamentally Detached
A Very Narrow Market
Portfolio Positioning
MacroView: The Fed Has Inflated Another Asset Bubble
Sector & Market Analysis
401k Plan Manager
Follow Us On: Twitter, Facebook, Linked-In, Sound Cloud, Seeking Alpha
Upcoming Event  – CANDID COFFEE
Sign up now for this virtual “Financial Q&A” GoTo Meeting
July 25th from 8-9 am
Send in your questions, and Rich and Danny will answer them live.

Catch Up On What You Missed Last Week

Twice In One Year
It is a bit hard to comprehend that twice, in the same year, I would be writing primarily the same article.
In early January, I penned the following:
“When you sit down with your portfolio management team, and the first comment made is

Read More »

#MacroView: The Threats To The Bullish Thesis Have Grown

27 days ago

Since the March lows, the markets have rallied on optimism of a “V-shaped” economic recovery and constant stimulus from the Fed. So far, that has been the right call. However, in recent weeks, the threats to the bullish thesis have grown.
We recently discussed the Fed’s inflation of an asset bubble. The crux of the analysis was the unprecedented amount of monetary stimulus to counter the “pandemic.”
“The Fed was able to inflate another asset bubble to restore consumer confidence and stabilize the credit markets. The problem is that since the Fed never unwound their previous policies, current policies will have a more muted long-term effect.
However, this time there are 50+ million unemployed, wage growth is declining, and bankruptcies are on the rise. The Fed’s attempt to inflate another

Read More »

#WhatYouMissed On RIA This Week: 07-10-20

27 days ago

What You Missed On RIA This Week.

It’s been a long week, and you probably didn’t have time to dive into all the headlines that scrolled past you on RIA. It’s OK, we’ve got you covered. If you haven’t already, be sure to opt-in and you will get our newsletter and technical updates.

Here is this week’s rundown of what you missed. A collection of our best thoughts on investing, retirement, markets, and your money.

Webinar: Candid Coffee

After our recent “Great Reset” webinar there were so many questions, we couldn’t get to them all. Candid Coffee is an upcoming series of events specifically designed to answer YOUR questions.

Got a question you want us to answer? CLICK HERE

Join Us: Saturday, July 25th from 8-9 am.

The Week In Blogs

Each week, the entire team at

Read More »

The Death Of Fundamentals & The Future Of Low Returns

July 7, 2020

Over the last quarter, the “Death of Fundamentals” has become apparent as investors ignore earnings to chase market momentum. However, throughout history, such large divergences between fundamentals and price have resulted in low future returns.
This time is unlikely to be different.

Biggest Decline In Earnings…Ever
As discussed previously: 

“During the second quarter, analysts lowered earnings estimates for companies in the S&P 500 for the quarter. The Q2 bottom-up EPS estimate (which is an aggregation of the median Q2 EPS estimates for all the companies in the index,) declined by 37.0% (to $23.25 from $36.93) during this period. How significant is a 37.0% decrease in the bottom-up EPS estimate during a quarter? How does this decrease compare to recent quarters?
During the past five

Read More »

The Theory Of MMT Falls Flat When Faced With Reality (Part II)

July 6, 2020

If you missed Part-1 of our series on the “Theory Of MMT Falls Flat When Faced With Reality,” start there. In Part-2, we complete our analysis of the theory and the potential ramifications. The premise of our discussion was this recent explanation of “Modern Monetary Theory” by Stephanie Kelton.

As discussed previously, economic theory always sounds much better than how it works out in reality. The reason is that in “theory,” supply and demand imbalances always revert to previous norms. However, in “reality,” humans rarely act or react, according to theory.
We left off in Part-1, discussing the similarities between the U.S. and Japan. Most importantly, while MMT suggests that debt and deficits don’t matter in theory, economic realities have been vastly different.
The Productive Debt Of

Read More »

The Bullish Test Comes As Earnings Season Begins 07-03-20

July 3, 2020

In this issue of, “The Bullish Test Comes As Earnings Season Begins:”
A Breakout Of Consolidation
Updated Estimates As Earnings Begin
A Quick Note On The Jobs Report
Portfolio Positioning
MacroView: The Fed Has Inflated Another Asset Bubble
Sector & Market Analysis
401k Plan Manager
Follow Us On: Twitter, Facebook, Linked-In, Sound Cloud, Seeking Alpha
Upcoming Event  – CANDID COFFEE
Sign up now for this virtual “Financial Q&A” GoTo Meeting
July 25th from 8-9 am
Send in your questions, and Rich and Danny will answer them live.

Catch Up On What You Missed Last Week

Note:
I am on vacation this week for a quick break. However, I did want to post a short market and portfolio positioning update.
If you have any questions, I will continue to answer every question, every day. That is between

Read More »

#WhatYouMissed On RIA This Week: 07-03-20

July 3, 2020

What You Missed On RIA This Week.

It’s been a long week, and you probably didn’t have time to dive into all the headlines that scrolled past you on RIA. It’s OK, we’ve got you covered. If you haven’t already, be sure to opt-in and you will get our newsletter and technical updates.

Here is this week’s rundown of what you missed. A collection of our best thoughts on investing, retirement, markets, and your money.

Webinar: Candid Coffee

After our recent “Great Reset” webinar there were so many questions, we couldn’t get to them all. Candid Coffee is an upcoming series of events specifically designed to answer YOUR questions.

Got a question you want us to answer? CLICK HERE

Join Us: Saturday, July 25th from 8-9 am.

The Week In Blogs

Each week, the entire team at

Read More »

RIAPro: 15-Investing Rules To Win The Long-Game

June 30, 2020

I wanted to share with you a post I wrote for our RIAPro subscribers (try risk-free for 30-days) on the 15-investing rules to win the long-game. The rather “Pavlovian” response to Central Bank interventions has led investors into a false sense of security with respect to the risk being undertaken.

However, to understand why the “rules” are important, one must first understand the definition of “risk” as it relates to investing. Howard Marks previously penned a great piece on this concept.
“If I ask you what’s the risk in investing, you would answer the risk of losing money.
But there actually are two risks in investing: One is to lose money, and the other is to miss an opportunity. You can eliminate either one, but you can’t eliminate both at the same time. So the question is how you’re

Read More »

The Theory Of MMT Falls Flat When Faced With Reality (Part I)

June 29, 2020

If you haven’t heard of Modern Monetary Theory, or “MMT,” you will soon. If you recently lost your job due to the economic shut down, and received a stimulus check, you are already a beneficiary. As we will discuss in Part-1 of this two-part series, MMT’s theory falls flat when faced with reality.
With economic growth sluggish, unemployment high, and the wealth gap widening, politicians will be increasing pressure to delve deeper into MMT to cure our economic woes. However, to understand more about the premise of MMT, economist Stephanie Kelton, recently produced a video explaining the concept.

The Government Isn’t A Household
“MMT starts with a simple observation, and that is that the US dollar is a simple public monopoly. In other words, the United States currency comes from the United

Read More »

Market Corrects As COVID Cases Surge 06-26-20

June 27, 2020

In this issue of “Market Corrects As COVID Cases Surge.”
Market Holds Bullish Support
From Bubble, To Bust, To Bubble
The Problem With 2-Year Forecasts
A Bearish Pattern Remains
Portfolio Positioning
MacroView: Rationalizing High Valuations Won’t Improve Outcomes
Sector & Market Analysis
401k Plan Manager
Follow Us On: Twitter, Facebook, Linked-In, Sound Cloud, Seeking Alpha
Upcoming Event  – CANDID COFFEE
Sign up now for this virtual “Financial Q&A” GoTo Meeting
July 25th from 8-9 am
Send in your questions, and Rich and Danny will answer them live.

Catch Up On What You Missed Last Week

Note:
I am on vacation next week, so while I will post a newsletter next weekend, it will only be a short market update as I will not have access to all of my usual data. However, I assure you

Read More »

#MacroView: The Fed Has Inflated Another Asset Bubble

June 26, 2020

It didn’t take long. Over the last several years, we have discussed the risk of excessive monetary policy inflating a bubble in a variety of assets from debt, to real estate, to stocks. In March, it appeared as if the bubble had finally popped. However, the Fed’s quick response and massive monetary interventions ceased the asset bubble’s deflation and reinflated it.
Another Bubble
The idea of another bubble was put forth recently by Jeremy Grantham of GMO fame:
“At GMO, we dealt with three major events before this crisis, and rightly or wrongly, we felt ‘nearly certain’ that we would be right sooner or later. We exited Japan 100% in 1987 at 45x and watched it go to 65x (for a second, more significant than the U.S.) before a downward readjustment of 30 years and counting. In early 1998 we

Read More »

#WhatYouMissed On RIA This Week: 06-26-20

June 26, 2020

What You Missed On RIA This Week.

It’s been a long week, and you probably didn’t have time to dive into all the headlines that scrolled past you on RIA. It’s OK, we’ve got you covered. If you haven’t already, be sure to opt-in and you will get our newsletter and technical updates.

Here is this week’s rundown of what you missed. A collection of our best thoughts on investing, retirement, markets, and your money.

Webinar: Candid Coffee

After our recent “Great Reset” webinar there were so many questions, we couldn’t get to them all. Candid Coffee is an upcoming series of events specifically designed to answer YOUR questions.

Got a question you want us to answer? CLICK HERE

Join Us: Saturday, June 27th from 8-9 am.

The Week In Blogs

Each week, the entire team at

Read More »

Technically Speaking: Unicorns, Rainbows, & Fully Invested Bears

June 23, 2020

In this week’s “Technically Speaking,” I want to review the bull case, which is seeming built on “Unicorns” and “Rainbows,” as opposed to the more bearish fundamental backdrop. We are uncomfortably “long equities” in this momentum-driven market, essentially making us “fully invested bears.”
Let’s review the “Bull” and “Bear” case from last week:
The Bull’s Case
The bullish case for the market is pretty thin.
Hopes are high for a full reopening of the economy. (Rainbow)
A vaccine. (Rainbow)
A rapid return to economic normalcy. (Rainbow)
 2022 earnings will be sufficiently high enough to justify “current” prices. (Let that sink in – that’s two years of ZERO price growth.) (Rainbow)
The Fed. (Unicorn)
In actuality, the first four points are rationalizations. It is the Fed’s liquidity driving

Read More »

Is It 1999 or 2007? Retail Investors Flood The Market.

June 22, 2020

Is it 1999 or 2007? Retail investors flood the market as speculation grows rampant with a palpable exuberance and belief of no downside risk. What could go wrong?
Do you remember this commercial?
[embedded content]
The Etrade commercial aired during Super Bowl XLI in 2007. The following year, the financial crisis set in, markets plunged, and investors lost 50%, or more, of their wealth.
However, this wasn’t the first time it happened.
The same thing happened in late 1999. This commercial was aired 2-months shy of the beginning of the “Dot.com” bust as investors once again believed “investing was as easy as 1-2-3.”
[embedded content]
Why this trip down memory lane? (Other than the fact the commercials are hilarious to watch.) Because this is typical of the exuberance seen at the peaks of

Read More »