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.


Hope and Reality


Why is everyone so happy? Well, maybe not everyone, but a lot of people are as optimistic as they’ve been in a long while. Start by looking at consumer confidence, as collated by the Conference Board below. Confidence is at the highest level in the past five years (see graph below); in fact, confidence is only a little shy of its all-time peak in September 2000 (which, ominously, marked the top of the great Internet bubble). Conference Board Survey of Consumer Confidence, 2011-2017 One finds the same results in nearly all the surveys, from consumers to small businesses to baseball Read More

Chasing the Red Baron


You can’t eat relative returns is an old aphorism. It sounds like it could come out of Poor Richard’s Almanac (Benjamin Franklin), and I’m not really sure of its origin, but it means that we (investors) ought to be focused on the absolute growth of our money, not on its growth relative to some benchmark or peers. When we buy groceries (or make grants or award scholarships or cut pension checks), we spend (“eat”) actual dollars, not an amount relative to our performance against an index. Too often, we fall into the trap of trying to copy the strategies of Read More

Non-Zero Sum


There are prominent voices (and tweets) urging us to pull back, dig in, and lock the gate. This rising chorus of nationalism and protectionism sees a dangerous world intent on our demise or destruction. We are assured we will be safe behind our wall, in our bunkers, while others can sort out the consequences of the chaos beyond our shores. Our enemies hate us (which is why they’re our enemies), our friends don’t appreciate us, so we first are going to protect ourselves from these threats, and then we are…well, we’ll have to see what’s next. This narrative is dangerous, Read More



It’s probably no surprise to you that I see offering world-class investment advice as a valuable service for the long-term well-being of our clients. And while I think of investing as critically important, I acknowledge that there are a few issues that may be equally, or even more, central to our long-term well-being. Love is one such area. And so, in the interest of supporting your happiness and prosperity, backed our usual analytical rigor, we offer the following guide to three important activities related to love: • How to Choose a Mate • When to Marry • What to Give Read More

Shock, Part 4 (Divided We Are)


We began this series with a review of the likely economic policies and their implications of the new Trump administration, and discussed the long-term challenges investors face. We would have undertaken this exercise for a Clinton administration, but the election of Donald Trump represents a stark break from the broad consensus of the past 70 years favoring free (or freer) movement of goods, capital and people; the establishment of multinational treaties and supranational institutions to establish rules governing international relations; and enforcement of this world order primarily by the United States military. As such, we expanded our review of the Read More

Shock, Part 3 (The End of Pax Americana)


We are all trying to make sense of the election of Donald J. Trump to the presidency, and a few weeks ago I outlined the possible economic agenda and its consequences the administration may pursue ( In the month since the election, US stocks have risen more than 5%, and bonds have turned one of their worst months on record, as 10-year Treasury yields soared 60 basis points to almost 2 ½%. The markets’ message is that tax cuts, deregulation and large government spending on defense and infrastructure will boost economic growth with only moderately higher inflation. Apparently, trade wars Read More

Shock, Part 2 (The Asset Allocator’s Dilemma)


In Shock (Part 1) (, we looked at a possible Trump economic agenda and its consequences. A large increase in government spending, tax cuts and deregulation will likely boost GDP growth in the near-term, while restrictions on trade and immigration are headwinds to growth. These policies will add to the inflationary pressures that have already been building. Markets responded immediately to this agenda. US stocks rose to record levels, led by domestically-focused small cap companies, pharmaceuticals and banks, the prime beneficiaries of less future regulation. Trade-dependent emerging markets were sold, as were bonds, which offer little protection in an inflationary Read More

Shock (Part 1)


Shock, a sudden drop in blood flow, is a serious medical condition. Untreated, it can quickly be fatal. There are numerous types and causes of shock, including anaphylactic, an allergic reaction, cardiogenic, from heart damage, hypovolemic, from blood loss, and neurogenic, from spinal cord trauma. The election of Donald J. Trump as President of the United States induced shock in virtually all of the people who did not vote for him, and probably even in many of the ones who did. Thankfully, I am not a political pundit, which may now be the most disgraced profession in the country. But Read More

What I Learned While Atoning


Twenty-four hours without food or drink is supposed to help focus the mind on the task at hand: atoning for the sins of the past year in hopes that your name is placed in the Book of Life for another year. Of course, I can’t know if I was successful this year (although I have a perfect record so far). I am pretty certain that 24 hours is not enough time even to skim the surface on my multitude of sins this past year. So I have to rely (again) on a forgiving God. We have a tradition, just an hour Read More

Janet Yellen Is Your Friend


I have not met Janet Yellen, but she seems like a perfectly friendly person. Yet, for some reason, investors seem to panic whenever she hints that the Fed is discussing whether and when to lift interest rates from close-to-zero to a smidgen above zero. That instinctive panic is not rational. Part of the problem is that it appears there are so few people with a grasp of how monetary policy works, and certainly none who work in Congress or the media. So here’s a quick primer. The Fed does not set interest rates. The Fed adds or withdraws reserves to Read More