Are we heading back into a copper bubble?

February 27th, 2015 by

Feb. 24, 2015 – 4:35 – FBN’s Cheryl Casone, Portfolio Wealth Advisors Co-Founder Lee Munson and Kaltbaum Capital Management President Gary Kaltbaum on the copper industry, what copper price movements mean for investors and the smart watch

In which small caps should you invest?

February 27th, 2015 by

Feb. 24, 2015 – 5:42 – FBN’s Cheryl Casone, Portfolio Wealth Advisors Co-Founder Lee Munson and Kaltbaum Capital Management President Gary Kaltbaum on where to invest as the Russell 2000, putting money in small caps and the homebuilders industry.

Dunkin’ Donuts’ “squishy” quarter reason for concern

February 9th, 2015 by

The words “oil” and “crude” don’t appear anywhere in Dunkin’ Donut’s Q4 earnings press release. The coffee and donut slinger reported what Yahoo Finance’s Jeff Macke calls a “squishy” quarter that included comparable sales that grew less than 2%. The company’s press release celebrates “growing transactions in the Dunkin’ Donuts U.S. business in the face of macroeconomic and competitive headwinds”.

A drink and a doughnut are seen at a Dunkin' Donuts location in the Chicago suburb of Niles, Illinois, February 4, 2015. REUTERS/Jim Young

A drink and a doughnut are seen at a Dunkin’ Donuts location in the Chicago suburb of Niles, Illinois, February …

“This just in,” Macke says, “You sell sugar and caffeine to motorists in America. The price of gas fell 50%, you can’t sell sugar and donuts, are you kidding me Dunkin’ Donuts?”

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The problem, says Lee Munson of Portfolio, LLC, is that as American’s find a little extra cash in their pockets after paying at the pump, they are looking to spend it at a higher end establishments, at least higher compared to Dunkin’ Donuts.

“They’re not paying [that extra money] at Dunkin’s Donuts, they want to go to Starbucks,” he contends, adding McDonald’s is suffering from the same problem.

“When we have our next bear market Dunkin’ Donuts is gonna be the little darling even though I question the management at this time.”

Related: 3 ways McDonald’s new CEO can turn things around

Even with dismal sales, Dunkin’ did raise its quarterly dividend by 15%. Munson would like to see more companies do the same while energy prices are low. That way, he argues, when energy prices inevitably pop sometime down the road management can roll those payouts back.

As for Dunkin’ Donuts, Munson says, “If you can’t make money now there’s something really wrong.”

Source: Yahoo Finance

Don’t make these 3 investment mistakes

February 6th, 2015 by

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Lee Munson, CFA and Chief Investment Officer Portfolio Wealth Advisors recently told Yahoo Finance “the economy is rocking and people are making big cognitive mistakes.” We asked him to highlight those rookie mistakes that are all too common in a bull market and how to avoid them.

Chasing Returns: Rear view mirror investors

U.S.A.! U.S.A! 2014 was a banner year for U.S. stocks which continued the long running bull market which will mark year six in March. 2014 was not so great for other regions. The iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (EEM) dropped about 4%. So far this year the U.S. economy, for the most part, appears to firing on all cylinders, which may pull many investors into the foxhole. “They are going to leave emerging markets for dead and they’re going to put everything into large U.S. stocks because that’s what’s been working for the last couple of years.” Don’t chase returns cautions Munson, its usually the wrong bet.

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Trading small-cap for large cap superstars

It’s happened to the best of us, you see a stock like Dow (^DJI) member Disney (DIS) this past week rally to an all-time high after earnings. Now you’re tempted to trade some of your small-cap, value oriented holdings, for large cap winners. Understandable, but the wrong move says Munson. “People are going to start dumping everything that’s small cap and everything that’s value oriented.”

Investors who owned small-cap shares are likely frustrated with the performance in 2014. The Russell 2000 (^RUT), the benchmark for small-to-mid cap stocks, returned just 3.5%, trailing the S&P 500’s 12% return. However, in Munson’s opinion, eliminating all exposure to last’s years underperformers does not make sense.

Inflation Hedges: One size does not fit all

Gold, Oil, Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS for short)…take your pick! There are plenty of ways to hedge inflation. The problem is nobody can accurately pick which one will be the best bet cautions Munson. “People are trying to choose a particular outcome and they are putting all their money to hedges.” Instead, investors should have a diversified portfolio which can offer purchase power protection, inflation protection and growth of principle.

Turmoil in NYC impacting its real estate market?

January 2nd, 2015 by

Dec. 30, 2014 – 4:09 – Portfolio Wealth Advisors CIO Lee Munson, SFG Alternatives CIO Larry Shover and FBN’s Cheryl Casone on the NYPD/Mayor de-Blasio turmoil and its impact on the NYC real estate market.

The best energy market bargains

January 2nd, 2015 by

Dec. 30, 2014 – 5:29 – Portfolio Wealth Advisors CIO Lee Munson, SFG Alternatives CIO Larry Shover and FBN’s Cheryl Casone on the biggest bargains in the stock market.

Wall Street ponders next year after big gains in 2014

January 2nd, 2015 by

Wall Street Wednesday toasted another banner year, with US equity markets finishing near all-time highs following a steady stream of improving economic data and investor-friendly monetary policy.
In 2014, the broad-based S&P 500 gained 210.54 points (11.39 percent) to 2,058.90, easily outpacing forecasts that the index would gain only about six percent for the year.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1,246.41 (7.52 percent) to 17,823.07, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 559.46 (13.40 percent) to 4,736.05
All three indices dropped in the final session of the year in lightly traded volumes.
With the gains from 2014, the Dow has now risen six years in a row and the S&P 500 has lodged three successive years of double-digit gains, which is unusual, though not unprecedented. That has raised questions about whether the market can go much higher.
Lee Munson of investment firm Portfolio Wealth Advisors said the rally is “long in the tooth,” but still expects it to continue due to the comparative strength of the US economy with the rest of the world.
“You have to put your emotions aside and look at the facts,” Munson said. “The facts are we’re still expanding.”
Key worries for US investors in 2015 include weak growth in Europe and emerging economies, the hit from sharply lower oil prices to Russia and other petroleum exporters, and the blow from an eventual hike in US interest rates.
- Buying the dip -
While trending higher throughout the year, US stocks experienced intermittent fits of weakness in 2014.
These included a mid-winter swoon amid frigid weather that depressed economic activity; an April pullback on worries that technology stocks were a bubble about to burst; an October slump on global growth fears; and most recently a December retreat due to low oil prices and the plunging Russian ruble.
However, in each of these cases, investors stepped in to buy the dip, ultimately pushing markets higher.
The most recent rally was fueled by the Fed’s December 17 pledge that it would be “patient” before raising interest rates, which was quickly followed by a government report showing third-quarter US economic growth came in at a staggering annual pace of five percent.
The back-to-back developments lifted the Dow above 18,000 for the first time and pushed the S&P 500 closer than ever to 2,100.
Standout sectors that rose more than 18 percent in the S&P 500 were health care, which was propelled by elevated spending under the new health care program dubbed Obamacare and a stream of mergers; technology, thanks to strong performances from companies like Facebook (NasdaqGS: FB – news) and Intel (Swiss: INTC.SW – news) , which led the Dow; and utilities, which drew investors who sought dividend payouts at a time when interest rates remained low.
The weakest sector by far was energy, which fell about 10 percent, as oil prices dropped nearly 50 percent from last year.
Some analysts think retail-sector stocks could have more upside in 2015 as investors take advantage of low gasoline prices and increase their spending.
Consumer discretionary stocks in the S&P 500 underperformed the overall index in 2014.
“People are still concerned about what they’re spending,” said Howard Silverblatt, an analyst at S&P Dow Jones Indices.
- A dangerous rise? -
Despite the heady gains of the last couple of years, many analysts believe the US stock market still has significant running room in 2015.
Wells Fargo Advisors strategist Gary Thayer predicted more volatility, but noted that US stocks typically decline when the dollar is weak and inflation is high.
“These conditions do not exist today,” Thayer said. “We continue to advise investors to be positive, not defensive, because we do not see the conditions that historically have been negative for stocks.”
Munson of Portfolio also sees US stocks gaining, albeit at a more modest pace. He is eyeing the S&P 500 at 2,200, in part because he does not anticipate the Fed to significantly hike rates anytime soon.
Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at BMO Private Bank, agreed that US stocks could rise further in 2015 due to continued central bank easing, but cast such a rise in a cautious light.
Ablin warned that the combination of sharply lower oil prices, a higher dollar and weak overseas growth could plant the seeds for a big correction as was the case after similar conditions in the late 1990s sparked an eventual correction when the technology bubble burst.
“The market could continue to surprise to the upside, but at the same time get more and more dangerous from a valuation standpoint,” he said.


Will oil prices bring Texas producers into a recession?

December 30th, 2014 by

Dec. 19, 2014 – 3:41 – Forbes contributor Carrie Sheffield, Portfolio Wealth Advisors CIO Lee Munson and FBN’s Tracy Byrnes on the winning stocks, oil markets and Texas’s oil recession.

Obama: Sony made a mistake

December 30th, 2014 by

Dec. 19, 2014 – 6:17 – Forbes contributor Carrie Sheffield, Portfolio Wealth Advisors CIO Lee Munson and FBN’s Tracy Byrnes weigh in on Sony’s blame on theaters and Obama’s criticism of their actions.

Clients Laugh at Money Problems I Portfolio Wealth Advisors

November 14th, 2014 by

Portfolio Wealth Advisors senior managing parters, Lee Munson and Tracy Ann Miller, discuss how client’s can laugh at money problems.
In Oklahoma City a couple months ago I had dinner with John and Tammy after doing a big comprehensive plan. At one point they said to me that they now laugh at money problems. This is great but what does this mean?
They were so worries after talking with various people about whether they should choose X, Y, or Z. Imagine, your financial plan is like a hammer; it is not good or bad, but depends on what you are putting into the wall. A screw or nail. After that the rest is simple.
That’s what really differentiates us. We were able to give them this calm and clarity, and that was the first time in their life they didn’t think of this as complicated at all.

Learn more about how Portfolio Wealth Advisors can help you secure your financial future so you can retire and stay retired – reach us at (866) 222-4391 and

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