Angeles Advisors | Blog

  • Blog posts are written by Angeles' CIO Michael Rosen

    Michael has more than 30 years experience as an institutional portfolio manager, investment strategist, and investment consultant.


(Not) Recommended Reading


I don’t like recommended lists. They turn experiences into a contest (and the winner is…), and one reviewer’s preferences may have little to do with mine. That said, since my writing covers a very wide range of topics—history and sociology to science and art and beyond—I do get asked frequently where I come up with my themes. The answer is simply, I read a lot. More than a book a week, for sure, although I don’t really keep count (or rank). I don’t necessarily assume you would enjoy anything that I did, but, to give you a peek at some Read More

Hot As Hell


Hell is hot, as everyone knows. Everyone “knows” this, but there really is no conclusive evidence: no eyewitness reports, no scientific instruments to measure the temperature in Hell. So, how do we “know” that Hell is hot? Well, mostly from Dante Alighieri. In the Inferno, part of his opus magnus, La Commedia Divina (The Divine Comedy, subject of our 3Q 2007 letter,, there are Nine Circles of Hell, each with eternal punishment of increasing severity, depending on one’s earthly behavior. The Sixth Circle is reserved for heretics, condemned to eternal existence in flaming tombs. The Seventh Circle is for Read More

It’s About Time


“Lost Time is never found again,” advised Benjamin Franklin in Poor Richard’s Almanack. And Dante Alighieri observed, “The wisest are the most annoyed at the loss of time.” I have been thinking about replacing my seven year-old car, which has me reflecting on the notion of Lost Time. Americans average 42 hours per year in rush hour traffic, but of course, in Los Angeles it’s much more. We each sit in rush hour 104 hours per year, the worst in the world (all data here come from the definitive source of global traffic data, INRIX Research). Moscow, New York, San Read More

For What It’s Worth


In the summer of 1966, throngs of young people crowded the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles to hear their favorite bands. Over at the Sunset Tower, Jim Morrison and the Doors were the house band, finishing up their first album (The Doors, with Light My Fire, and Break On Through, among other classics). Not to be outdone, a former policeman from Chicago, Elmer Valentine, opened the Whisky-A-Go-Go, featuring dancers in mini-skirts suspended in the air in a cage, thus inventing the Go-Go dancers. The Whisky also had a house band working on their debut album. The year before, 1965, the Read More

Toes in the Sand


For me, and I think I speak for everyone on the planet, the feeling of warm sand between the toes is one of life’s great pleasures. And for virtually everyone on the planet, including those of us who look at a beach every day (ok, I may be rubbing it in), we don’t give sand much thought: it’s just there. But sand is more than pretty beaches; it’s big business. And it’s gotten to be even bigger business with the advent of the Shale Revolution. That’s because a lot of subsurface rocks that contain oil and gas lack permeability, which Read More

Not Dead Yet


According to the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), the self-acclaimed arbiter of economic debate in this country, the current economic expansion began in June 2009, meaning we just passed eight years of uninterrupted growth. This is now the third longest period of economic growth since the Civil War (see chart below). In May next year, we will pass the second-longest expansion, and if we can get to the summer of 2019 without a dip, we’ll have a new record. Will we get there? And does it matter? The answers are, probably and yes. To answer the first part, we Read More

Humans! What Are They Good For?


It looks like the world is turning against humans. I’ve talked before about the rise of robots in manufacturing (2016 Angeles Independent School Endowment Symposium…see graph below). But robots are taking on increasingly more complicated tasks. We may be comfortable with robots assembling our cars (although the UAW may take exception), but most us will soon be forced to shift our perception of our family physician from Robert Young (aka, Marcus Welby, MD, which is showing my age) to Da Vinci (no, not Leonardo…see photos below). The Rise of Robots, The Descent of Humans It seems that investors, too, have Read More

Beware Parabolas and Populists


In scouring the world for investment opportunities, the chart above caught my attention. It shows the year-to-date performance of the Caracas stock exchange, more than tripling from around 30,000 to over 100,000 today. Did we miss a chance to make a lot of money? Well, no. The stock market has tripled because the currency has lost all value. The official USD exchange rate of the bolivar is 10:1; 10 bolivares buys 1 US dollar. But the official exchange rate is a fantasy: the actual exchange rate is 7,500:1 (see graph below from That’s a 75,000 percent depreciation from the Read More

Economics in Action


The intersection of supply and demand determines price and quantity: there is no more fundamental principle of economics (see graph below). We rarely see this principle in action because prices for most consumer goods and services change little week-to-week. All that means is the market maintains a constant equilibrium (which is set by the price) of supply and demand: either there is little change in supply or demand, or the changes are very modest, and market forces adjust quickly to maintain that equilibrium. Commodity prices are much more volatile than consumer goods prices, meaning there are frequent “shocks” either to Read More

Job Growth is Falling. The Sky is Not.


Today’s jobs report was disappointing: only 138,000 net new jobs created in May (the consensus had it pegged at 182,000), another 66,000 lost in revisions to the prior two months, the three-month average is trending lower with declines across all industries. Oh no! Treasury yields plunged today to the lowest levels since November, erasing all of the move following the election. Let’s look at the employment data more closely. The first graph below shows the monthly change in non-farm payrolls over the past five years. The series is volatile, and the May print is below the average of this period, Read More