financial markets

How to Become a Better Investor

By Kevin O’Keefe, CIMA®, AIF®

Better Investor 1The key is to separate your emotions from your investment decisions.

Becoming a better investor is about taming your emotions, not about fancy math or being able to predict the future. Here are five techniques to help you improve your investment behavior—and have more peace of mind.… Read More

Hazardous to Your Wealth

By Kevin O’Keefe, Chief Investment Officer

With big moves in the stock markets lately, some investors might be anxious. The past several weeks have given almost every investor an opportunity to feel that they are right about the market—whether their outlook is bullish or bearish.… Read More

Time to Change the “Dual Mandate”

By Mel Miller, Chief Economist

The Federal Reserve is coming under growing criticism for actions taken during and since the Great Recession. In light of the political acrimony which currently permeates Washington, DC, I am concerned that any decisions that will change the workings of the Federal Reserve could merely be politically motivated and not in the best interests of the public.… Read More

Climate Change Risks and Opportunities—From a Banking Perspective

By Dan Sherman


It’s clear that action is needed to mitigate global warming risks, including sea level rise and environmental degradation. When a company or industry makes a change to reduce emissions or environmental impact, it’s big news; but it would be far better if shifts in corporate policy could affect many companies and industries simultaneously.… Read More

“It is difficult to make predictions, especially about the future…”

By George R. Gay, CFP®, AIF®, Chief Executive Officer

Occasionally, an internal e-mail “conversation” is worth summarizing and sharing widely—as a way to illustrate the deep thinking that goes on behind the scenes at First Affirmative and the value proposition that is central to our purpose as an asset manager and consultant to socially conscious investors.… Read More

Only the Shadow Knows…

By Mel Miller, Chief Economist

In 2012, I first shared my concerns about the rise in shadow banking. In fact, I listed shadow banking as one of the “gray swans” during my annual presentation at The SRI Conference that year.

The broad definition of “shadow banking” includes any bank-like activity undertaken by a firm not regulated as a bank.… Read More

Does High Frequency Trading Create Market Efficiency?

By Michael Schweibinz

High Frequency Trading (HFT) utilizes computer algorithms to move in and out of stock positions at extraordinarily high speeds. These algorithms identify market patterns and execute large volumes of security purchases and/or sales in milliseconds. Profits are generally counted in tenths of pennies per share; but it’s a volume business, and the pennies add up to big dollars.… Read More

Why I Dislike Quantitative Easing?

By Mel Miller, Chief Economist

In a previous blog I explained the Federal Reserve’s traditional tool of reducing the Fed Funds rate to stimulate a weak economy.  The stimulation impact is the result of the relationship between the Fed Funds rate and the Prime borrowing rate charged by banks for business and consumer loans. … Read More

Monetary Policy During the “Great Recession”

By Mel Miller, Chief Economist

The U.S. economy is slowly recovering from the most severe economic decline since the Great Depression. The Great Recession, which started in 2007 and “ended” in 2009, was anything but typical as it relates to recessions of the past.… Read More

Consumer Debt: Must Look Behind the Numbers

By Mel Miller, Chief Economist

For a couple of years prior to the Great Recession, I shared my debt concerns during my annual Economic and Market Update presentation at the annual SRI Conference. My concern stemmed from the rising use of consumer debt to fuel a national lifestyle of “living beyond one’s means.”

Much of the economic debate of the time focused on the increasing Federal debt, but my concern centered on the consumer.… Read More