David Merkel | TalkMarkets | Page 1
Founder, Aleph Blog
Contributor's Links: The Aleph Blog Aleph Investments, LLC
David J. Merkel, CFA — 2010-present, I run my own equity asset management shop, called Aleph Investments. I manage separately managed stock and bond accounts for upper middle class individuals and small institutions. My minimum is $100,000. From 2008-2010, I was the more

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Estimating Future Stock Returns, March 2023 Update
At March 31, 2023, the S&P 500 was priced to return 2.41% per year over the next ten years. Given the rally since then, that return has shrunk to 0.49% per year.
Estimating Future Stock Returns - Update
You might do better with value stocks, foreign, emerging market, and small stocks, but this is still an awkward time to be long the winners of the last bull phase of the market.
It Is Not A Bad Time To Retire
I’ve seen a number of articles suggesting that it is a bad time to retire at present, because the market value of portfolios has declined. I’m here to tell you that the opposite is true.
Feasible Defeasance
Why your behavior in higher interest rate environments should be different from that in lower interest rate environments.
Unstable Value Funds (Again)
Remember, there is no FDIC for stable value funds. Watch out for your own best interests while most people don’t notice.
Estimating Future Stock Returns, June 2022 Update
The Fed will overshoot in tightening, leading the stock market to new lows in this bear market. 
Neither A Crypto Borrower Nor A Lender Be
Imagine a world where banks don’t care about currency risk, and some fail because the temptation to reach for yield causes them to buy assets in currencies that are weak, leading them to lose capital on the net.
Concealing Volatility
Just because you can’t or don’t measure the risk doesn’t mean that there is no risk. There is no significant advantage in the private market over the public market. Indeed, the reverse may be true.
Separate Processes: The Decoupling Of Inflation And Interest Rates
All of the relationships of the present to the future are out of whack.
An Estimate Of The Future
In some ways, the Federal Reserve is the whipping boy of Congress. Congress can’t decide on anything significant, so the Fed fills in the blanks, and keeps things moving, even if it creates humongous asset bubbles in the process.
Breaking Up Is Hard To Do
Over the years, I have suggested that two firms should break up on a number of occasions: AIG & GE. Both are now in the process of completing their breakups.
China: Unforced Errors
Ready for a cold winter? Much of the world is not. Many places have discouraged using hydrocarbons to produce power, ostensibly for environmental goals, whether those are valid or not.
The Possibility Of The Tail Wagging The Dog
For the last nine years, I have thought that the move away from LIBOR could be a case of “The cure is worse than the disease.” I think we may come to regret the transition from LIBOR to SOFR.
Estimating Future Stock Returns, June 2021 Update
This market is on borrowed time. The only comparable period for this market is from the fourth quarter of 1999 to the third quarter of 2000 — the dot-com bubble, which was another period of speculation fueled by loose monetary policy.
The Best Simple Measure For Evaluating Credit Risk Of Publicly Traded Firms For A Stock Investor
I was looking at conditions in the shipping industry today, and I thought back on a stock that I used to own — Tsakos Energy Navigation Limited. I think I sold it in 2007 or so.
Touching The Sky
No one wants to forecast declining future revenue.
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