Investments Office

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Macro Observations
Capital Markets
Markets in History
Beyond Finance
Quotes on the Fly
Chart Gallery
Pension Funds
Pension Funds Switzerland
Public Pension Funds
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Industry-Wide Funds
Multi-Employer Funds
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Family Offices
Wealth Managers
Independent Advisors
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Cool Charts







Creative Destruction through the  History of the DJIA, 1896-2010







Latest Observations, November 2015







The Coffee Chronicles

“Do you enjoy being stupid? Oh yeah, I love being stupid. When we were writing Pyhton that was the word we always used: SILLY! We loved it when it was silly, sometime when it was naughty, but when it was silly! And it was always best when it meant nothing!"
John Cleese on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, November 2015




Out NOW in PDF!


Pension Funds Switzerland

2015 Edition


for institutional investors







on the Fly

"I don’t think there is any data precise enough to fine-tune a quarter of a point raise, that’s trivial (...) Well, if that’s all that’s keeping the economy going, we’ve got nothing going on!"
Wilbur Ross (Chairman of WL Ross & Co.), on Why He's Fighting the Fed, Bloomberg, October 20, 2015



The Fed DID NOT Save the Economy
"QE started in September 2008 and TARP was passed in October 2008, but the stock market fell an additional 40%. Mark-to-market accounting was changed in March/April 2009 and that’s when the stock market and economy bottomed."
First Trust Portfolios L.P., Brian S. Wesbury, October 12th 2015


The Challenge Confronting Banks
Once a company is as big as Apple, it needs to start eating up other industries in order to keep growing. Surely though, there are lower-hanging fruit than the auto industry? Most notably, there is the finance business.
Gavekal Dragonomics, Five Corners, Louis-Vincent Gave, April 2015


Simple balanced portfolio strategies since 1995
I can’t help but to admire these balanced portfolios. Simple and elegant in their asset allocation, easy to implement, highly liquid, transparent, low-cost; yet so profitable and consistent in their long-term results.
Investment Office, September 2015


Asset Class Returns in Swiss Francs since 1950
...with and without foreign currency hedging.
Hinder Asset Management, Dr. Alex Hinder, August 2015





on the Fly

"In a world of shadow banking, the abstraction of the market has become an economic reality unto itself. Today, paradox is the new paradigm, and volatility markets are a reflection of that duality."
Volatility: The Market Price of Uncertainty, Christopher R. Cole, Artemis Capital Management, 2014


Judging by real GDP, this has been the weakest of the five recent economic expansions...
...But, divide GDP by the labor force and the current expansion is not at all unusual
Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, Richard W. Fisher, March 2015


GDP per capita vs. GDP per working age population: United States vs. Japan
By only looking at GDP per capita one may easily miss the fact that Japan’s working-age population has been declining since the late 1990s.
The costs of deflation: a historical perspective, BIS Quarterly Review, March 2015


Applying Deep Learning to Enhance Momentum Trading Strategies in Stocks
Working Paper, Stanford University, Lawrence Takeuchi, Yu-Ying (Albert) Lee, December 12, 2013


Python-Esque “Growth vs Value”
Daily Speculations, Charles Pennington, August 27, 2015


Risk Appears Seriously Wounded
I have no idea if that means a top, but this market increasingly looks very, very tired if not seriously wounded.
Alhambra Investment Partners, Jeffrey P. Snider, August 21, 2015




The Coffee Chronicles

“Culturally, the Austro-German world of late nineteenth century was one of iconoclasts who became icons: Nietzsche in philosophy, Sigmund Freud in psychology, Albert Einstein in science, Richard Wagner in music, Mann in literature, and Max Weber in sociology."
A Mighty Fortress, Steven Ozment, Granta Publications,  2004 



Swiss Franc Lending in Europe
"Our estimates suggest that at the end of 2007, CHF 238 billion in Swiss franc denominated loans were outstanding in the euro area, and another CHF 122 billion in other European countries."
Swiss National Bank,  Martin Brown, Marcel Peter, and Simon Wehrmüller, February 2009





on the Fly

"It's also one of these prominently disrespected recoveries, no one has ever taken it seriously, people always had a complaint, but it keeps chugging along (...) It's like the most hated bull rally."
Bloomberg, "What'd You Miss?" The Current U.S. Recovery May Be the Longest Ever, Alix Steel and Joe Weisenthal, July 2, 2015.



American Tobacco and the Legacy of the Antitrust Laws
An original member of the 12 stocks that made up the original Dow Jones Industrial Average in 1896 ceased to exist last month, though few people noticed. General Electric Co. is the only one of the original 12 members that remains in the DJIA.
Global Financial Data, Dr. Bryan Taylor, June 2014




Asset Management Switzerland 2015

NOW in PDF Version!


Asset & Wealth Managers

Market Characteristics
Macro Observations
Private Wealth
Investment Advisors




Strange Machinations
What to make of markets that are no longer on speaking terms with their fundamentals.
Guggenheim Partners, Scott Minerd, May 15, 2015


The Fed Isn’t Fueling This Typical Bull Market
“Quite high.” That is how Fed chair Janet Yellen described stock valuations last week. Cue the usual Fed rate hike speculation. One camp thinks a hike is overdue—that the Fed has been too accommodating, inflating asset bubbles across the land. Others fret a hike and argue the US economy needs continued “Fed support.” So who is right?
By Fisher Investments Editorial Staff, 15/05/2015



on the Fly


"...practically and analytically, a credit theory of money is possibly preferable to a monetary theory of credit."

Joseph Schumpeter, History of Economic Analysis


The Economic Cycle Is Maturing but Still Has Room to Run
The current economic expansion, now over 70 months old, is entering its mature phase, having already exceeded the average length of prior cycles of 57 months. However,
Guggenheim Partners, Scott Minerd, May 08, 2015


The New Physics of Leverage

"Since 2008 the predictions of doom by the goldistas have all been wrong. There has been no hyperinflation among any of the countries whose currencies can be cleared in large amounts through the central banks of the world. Gold has proven to be no more reliable a "store of value" than any other investment".
Stefan Jovanovich, Daily Speculations, 04/05/2015

Who trades with whom? Individuals, institutions, and returns
Journal of Financial Markets, Noah Stoffman, November 2014 
As Goes Switzerland…?
Here is a question worth weighing these days: If a strong currency is so devastating to stocks and economies—as many allege—why did stocks in a tiny, export-heavy economy not succumb to a nearly 20% shock appreciation?
By Fisher Investments Editorial Staff, 17/04/2015




The Coffee Chronicles

“I guess that everyone was offered The Godfather,” he recalls. “The only reason I got to do it was that I was cheap, I was young, I was Italian and I was a screenwriter. It was a total stroke of luck. I had no business having such an important movie. I was always on the verge of getting fired. They didn’t like my ideas.”

Breakfast with the FT: Francis Ford Coppola, February 13, 2015





on the Fly



"What you need to understand is that all the usual rules of economic policy changed when financial crisis struck in 2008; we entered a looking-glass world, and we still haven’t emerged. In many cases, economic virtues became vices: Willingness to save became a drag on investment, fiscal probity a route to stagnation. And in the case of the Swiss, having a reputation for safe banks and sound money became a major liability."

Paul Krugman, The New York Times, January 2015 



Everything from 1991 Radio Shack ad I now do with my phone
"There are 15 electronic gimzo type items on this page, being sold from America's Technology Store. 13 of the 15 you now always have in your pocket."

Trending Buffalo, Steve Cichon, January 14, 2014


The World’s First Bear Market
"By our count, there have been 25 bear markets in the United States since 1792 and 28 bear markets in the United Kingdom since 1692."
Global Financial Data, Dr. Bryan Taylor, October 2014

The House of Nomura
"Perhaps more interesting is the glimpse into the business world of Meiji, Taisho, and Showa before WWII. What's clear is that Japan had Prussian institutions but an Anglo approach to corporate governance."
Daily Speculations, Weston Minami, October 21, 2014






Pension Funds Switzerland

2014 Edition



for institutional investors only





Did Eonia just end the ECB's Recovery Fiction?
"Despite nearly all outward appearances, Japan and Europe have far more in common than differences, at least where it counts."
Alhambra Investment Partners, August 29, 2014


Narrative myth
"In early 2009 the financial press was dumping praise on any mutual fund manager who had evaded a bulk of the stock market decline."
Bason Asset Management, James Osborne, August 28, 2014

The Career Paths of Mutual Fund Managers: The Role of Merit
Financial Analysts Journal, July/August 2014




on the Fly


"Let me cut to the chase: I am increasingly concerned about the risks of our current monetary policy. (...) Our duty as the nation's central bank is not to engineer a "put" to the markets."

Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, Richard W. Fisher, July 16, 2014



Exchange rate adjustment, monetary policy and fiscal stimulus in Japan's escape from the Great Depression
Explorations in Economic History,  July 2014


August 1914: When Global Stock Markets Closed
Only after the fall of Communism did stock markets become as globally integrated as they had been before 1914.
Global Financial Data, Bryan Taylor, July 30, 2014


The Fed Wants to Be Behind the Curve
Federal Reserve, Yield Curve, Macro, Early Warning Indicator
Quote, Bianco Research, James Bianco on Bloomberg, July 24, 2014


Average Stock Market Returns Aren’t Average
The average investor in the stock market will earn less than the average stock market return–this is true even without taking into account any behavioral biases.
MarginalRevolution, Alex Tabarrok, July 11, 2014


Remarks in Honor of Korekiyo Takahashi, Governor of the Bank of Japan, Finance Minister, and Prime Minister in the 1930s
"The key to the Takahashi Economic Policy's success was a shift in economic policymaking from the deflationary regime of Inoue to the reflationary one of Takahashi."
Bank of Japan, Kikuo Iwata, October 2013


Like A Stealth Bomber
"What if inflation is actually surging and the traditional methods of measuring it are just not capable of capturing the rise".
Lobnek Wealth Management, Altug Ulkumen, July 2014


Nasdaq Getting Closer and Closer
"After the dot-com bubble burst, many investors thought the Nasdaq may never get back to its all-time highs from March 2000."
Bespoke Investment Group, July 3, 2014


Central Banks Chart a Course for Overheating
When bull markets mature, investors fear a coming crisis. Today there are plenty of candidates from Europe to China to Thailand. But bull markets climb a wall of worry and there are reasons now not to expect a looming crisis.
Guggenheim Partners, Market Perspectives, Scott Minerd, June 2014


International Overview: Some Struggle, Some Stabilize, Some Move Ahead
U.S., Global Economy, Central Banks, Unemployment, Recession, Monetary Policy
Quote, Wells Fargo Securities, Monthly Outlook, June 11, 2014




on the Fly


“With patient investors in short supply, we have always felt that we face less competition when making longer term commitments.(...) Prices are often more inefficient where crowds are small."

Tweedy, Browne Annual Report, 31.03.2014



Higher Yet and Perhaps Faster
Equity, Bonds, Valuations, Treasury Yield, Dividend Yield, Valuations
Excerpts, Daily Speculations, Gary Phillips, May 31, 2014


Asset Allocation: Risk Models for Alternative Investments
Financial Analyst Journal, May/June 2014


Wild Swings
U.S., Volatility, Misperception
Quote , BespokeInvest, May 30, 2014


The Mythical Third Arrow
Japan, Fiscal Policy, Negative View
Take, Fisher Investments Editorial, May 28, 2014


Profit Margins to Head Lower, Equities to Suffer

“Profit margins in the US have hit modern-day record levels, and this has been used to help justify high equity valuations.“
Chart, Excerpt, U.S., Equity, Negative View , Variant Perception, May 22 2014 



Strength in Aggregate Demand: Virtuous Cycle
Asset Allocation, Macro, U.S., Positive Outlook
Excerpts, Wells Fargo Securities, Monthly Outlook, May 7th 2014

Focus Germany, So far, so good
Germany, Credit Cycle, Early Warning Indicator
Excerpts, Deutsche Bank Research, Current Issues, May 2 2014


A Disappearing act: impact of tighter financial conditions
Bonds, Equity, Global, Market Timing, Volatility, Early Warning Indicator
Excerpts, BlackRock Investment Institute, May 2014

Labor strikes in China: shifting demographics & economic rebalancing
China, Macro, Negative View
Excerpts, Loomis Sayles, May 2014

Emerging markets: time to differentiate
Excerpts, Lombard Odier, Investment Strategy Bulletin, May 2014


The Benefits of Periodic Cash in Equity Portfolios
Cash, Market Timing, Cautious Outlook
Quote, Southeastern Asset Management, April 2014




on the Fly



“GDP  has increased by just $2.2 trillion since 2008, despite a $7.3 trillion increase in U.S. government debt since 2008, part of which funded a more than $3 trillion increase in the Fed’s balance sheet. This poor return on investment isn't new; it's just getting worse." Steven Romick, Nedgroup Investments, April 2014



Elections and directions in emerging markets. An entry point amid election concerns?
Emerging Markets, Macro, Contrarian, Positive View
Take, Loomis Sayles, April 2014


Germany: A land of milk and honey?
Germany, Food for Thought, Early Warning Indicator
Quote, Deutsche Bank Research, Talking point, April 30, 2014

Why is no one cheering the falling deficit?
U.S., Budget Deficit, Misperception
CNBC, Ron Insana, April 16, 2014





Asset Management Switzerland 2015

 For professional investors only






Pension Funds Guide
Switzerland 2015

 For institutional investors only

pdf Version



Pension Funds Guide

Switzerland 2014

 For institutional investors only

pdf Version




Public Pension Funds



Corporate Pension Funds



Industry-Wide Funds



Multi-Employer Funds








Bubbles and Crashes

Business Cycles
Central Banks




Creative Destruction
Credit Crunch


Current Account


Financial Crisis
Fiscal Policy


Gloom and Doom

Government Debt

Historical Patterns

Household Debt

Interest Rates


Market Timing


Monetary Policy

Real Estate


Sovereign Bonds
Systemic Risk


Tail Risk


Tipping Point
Trade Balance