Insights

Write ups by Atlas that are relatively timeless

Inflation has been relatively muted for decades. The long term trend has been down, with graphic representations looking similar to generational decreasing yield slopes. But we can’t help wonder, in a market in which animal spirits run amok, what will be the catalyst for an asset price bull market correction? We’ve long stated that looking …

What is the middle class of a country’s population? The generally accepted definition is the segment of population earning between 2/3x and 2x the median household income. Of course, numbers can be deceiving as what passes for middle class in the developed nations could easily pass for rich in an emerging country. That’s why any comparative …

International markets continue valued at significant discounts to US markets. Of course, some of this is understandable given stronger domestic growth and volatile trade disputes. Emerging Market economies have traditionally been dependent on trade for GDP growth. However, many of these economies continue their maturation process and are today less dependent on exports than decades …

Historians state the Great Recession started in the third quarter of 2008 with the collapse of the sub-prime mortgage market, complete meltdown of Lehman Brothers and the US Treasury take over AIG, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The reality is the seeds of financial distress were planted with the 1999 repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act …

Investors, as people, have a tendency to favor what they know. They are more comfortable, feel like they are taking less risk, investing in markets they know. Many individuals can claim that their instincts, their feelings, have been drivers of their professional successes. As such, the majority of US investors tend to favor US markets. …

Financial institutions (banks, credit card companies, title companies, brokerage firms, RIAs, etc) all take multiple steps to safeguard client monies. However, the one vulnerability none of these institutions can mitigate is the client themselves being the source of data breach. The basic method identity thieves use to begin hijacking personal data is getting the client …

A Donor Advised Fund (DAF) is a charitable giving account offered by financial institution charitable sponsors (eg. Charles Schwab, Fidelity, etc.). The DAF is treated as part of the larger 501(3)c charity controlled by the charitable sponsor. Assets contributed to a DAF are irrevocable and become property of the charitable sponsor. DAF accounts are conceptually …

A provision within the 2017 Tax Cuts and Job Act (TCJA) created incentive to invest in special low income geographic districts known as Opportunity Zones.  Investments made through designated funds created specifically for economic development of these zones allow for the deferment and potential elimination of capital gains taxes. Key components of the provision are: …

Yesterday, the Federal Reserve raised its benchmark overnight borrowing rate +0.25% to 2.25%. Investors may be distracted by the wave of market commentary analyzing the rate hike significance. Yes, the Fed eliminated the word “accommodative” from its description of monetary policy, but the Central Bank has been reducing liquidity since 2013’s end to Quantitative Easing …