Chris Wang

Chris Wang is an Owner and Portfolio Manager at Runnymede Capital Management, a family-owned investment firm that has served institutions and high-net-worth individuals with integrity for over 20 years. The firm has a unique record of protecting clients’ assets from major “financial hurricanes” and offers a one-of-a-kind service sector strategy. Runnymede was named Best Customer Service in Investment Management at the 2012, 2013 and 2014 Captive Service Awards and nominated 2008 Manager of the Year by Financial Investment News.

Chris was recently named one of the Top 100 Most Social Financial Advisors by Brightscope. He is a contributor to Huffington Post and Seeking Alpha; and he has been quoted in major investment publications including Barron's and Forbes. Mr. Wang graduated magna cum laude with a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Richmond. He is married, has a beautiful daughter, and is a diehard New York Mets fan.

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Recent Posts

The Downside of Passive Investing

Earlier this month, I was invited to make an appearance on CNBC's "The Closing Bell" to discuss the topic "Is this the end of a stock picker's market?" I enjoyed the lively debate with Ross Gerber and Evan Newmark. In case you missed it, click the video link below. Since one can only say so much in a 4 minute segment, I'd like to share some additional thoughts with our loyal Runnymede readers.

Many articles have been written about the shift from active to passive investing. The thesis is simple. The majority of active mutual fund managers underperform their index and also charge a higher fee. This is a double whammy for an investor's bottom line. Therefore, the solution seems simple: move your money into low cost index funds and that should lead to higher returns over the long term. Unfortunately, it's not that easy. Let's take a look at the potential pitfalls of passive investing.

The Deflationary Impact of Negative Interest Rates

negative_rates.jpgThe Japanese and European central banks have taken extraordinary measures to resuscitate their economies. Instead, they may be sending them further into a deflationary spiral. If you take a quick look at the major stock markets around the world, you will observe a clear pattern that is likely to surprise you. Zero/negative rates are highly correlated to poor stock market returns this year; while higher central bank rates correlate with high market returns. It is the economies that are in the worst shape that are having to test negative rates.

Will S&P earnings drive the market to new heights?

Runnymede made one of the earliest calls on the corporate earnings recession in February of 2015. S&P earnings have been flat out terrible for 5 of the last 6 quarters with double-digit declines. However last quarter, the S&P showed signs of turning the corner. Analysts had forecast 10% growth heading into the first quarter but companies still fell well short of that mark for essentially a flat quarter. As 2nd quarter earnings season kicks off, analysts are even more bullish with S&P reported earnings growth forecast at 15%. While we do not expect this number to be that great, if it can even show high single digit growth, it could very well prove to be a catalyst for stocks to hit new highs.

Black swan watch: European banks

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In 2007, Nassim Taleb published his best-selling book "The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable." Taleb contends that banks and trading firms are very vulnerable to hazardous Black Swan events and are exposed to losses beyond those that are predicted by their defective financial models. This proved to be right on the mark as one year later, the financial system almost collapsed due to poor financial models that predicted real estate prices would go up forever.

3 Reasons Why I Walk at the March for Babies

IMG_98511.jpgThis weekend millions of people will gather around the United States and join together in the fight to end premature birth. The March for Babies is held yearly in over a thousand communities with the proceeds going to fund March of Dimes research to prevent premature births, birth defects and infant mortality.

This will be the 3rd year that my family participates in this wonderful event. Last year Runnymede was a top corporate fundraiser in Morris County and once again we are hoping to be a big contributor. If you would like to help with a donation, any amount would help the cause, even if only a dime.

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Here are 3 reasons why I walk at the March for Babies:

An impartial review of the Allianz Core Income 7 Annuity

annuitiesThe annuity business has grown in popularity as investors, especially those nearing retirement, look for options to protect themselves from stock market volatility and give them a decent income stream in retirement. With over $200 billion in annual sales, the annuity industry is big business with lots of salesmen trying to persuade you to make a purchase.

Today I will dig deep into the Allianz Core Income 7 annuity which has been requested by several readers in recent weeks. It currently is one of the top 10 best selling annuities on the market. Sales of indexed annuities, a fixed annuity that provides a minimum guaranteed rate of interest combined with an interest rate tied to movement of an index, increased to $54.5 billion in 2015, a 13% gain year over year. This is the biggest percentage increase of any form of annuity.

Taking Too Much Risk May Sink Your Retirement

85016_Retirement-Further-by-Frederick-Deligne-Le-Pelerin-France-515x349.jpgThanks to the Fed's zero interest rate policy (ZIRP), baby boomers are facing a much tougher road to retirement than those in the past. While it may seem like an eternity, it was only 10 years ago when you could park your money in a savings account and earn interest of 5%. Retirees who worked hard and saved their money could safely invest their assets in retirement and not have to worry about suffering any losses.

Today is an especially challenging environment for investors who are looking to generate a safe income stream. No Treasury bond will pay a safe 5% return as a 30-year Treasury Bond yields just 2.69%. This is causing a massive gap between what boomers say they want in retirement and what they're doing to make it happen.

Earnings Recession: Big Negative For the Market

Man-Struggling-with-Fin-Chart.jpgMany media pundits like to skew numbers to fit their narrative and a lot of people out there believe the Wall Street storytelling that "earnings excluding energy are fine" and "sales excluding currency are growing."

Well we disagree. It's too bad that in the real world, many energy companies are nearing bankruptcy and multinational corporations have to deal with currency fluctuations. Therefore, investors can't simply ignore all the bad news and go about life hunky dory. The ugly truth is that S&P reported earnings have declined for 5 consecutive quarters and are in a full blown earnings recession.

The Global Bear Market has Reached US Soil

bear-sell_0.jpgYou are probably aware that the US markets are off to their worst start in recorded history. However many media commentators are bear market deniers and believe that there isn't a bear market at all and stocks will go up forever. If there is a correction, deniers believe that the Fed will just restart their quantitative easing programs and stocks will continue their ascent to infinity.

I'm sorry to tell you that if you look at the data, the global financial markets are already in a deep bear market and their central banks have been ineffective in printing themselves out of recession. The US is being pulled down by international forces beyond our control and our economy is likely headed for recession in 2016. Let's take a quick look around to see the carnage.

Wall Street strategists forecast a weak bull market again for 2016

As we near a close to 2015, it is time to look forward to 2016. We have done this in 2014 and 2015, so it is becoming a tradition to see which strategists did well and which missed the mark. What do the experts think will happen in 2016 and should we even care. medium_728933695

Perhaps you are familiar with Philip Telock's landmark UC Berkeley study that looked at 82,000 predictions over 25 years by 300 leading economists. It turned out that their so called expert views were no better than random guesses, and worse, the more famous, the less accurate the prediction.

Last year the strategists predicted a weak bull market for 2015, but it turned out they were still too optimistic. Their average forecast was for a 6% gain in the S&P 500 to 2218. However as of today the S&P 500 stands at 2074 which is down slightly from its 2089 close at year end 2014. The two that were closest to the mark were Goldman's David Kostin and Barclays' Jonathan Glionna who both forecast a year end close of 2100.

IMPORTANT DISCLOSURE INFORMATION

Please remember that past performance may not be indicative of future results. Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance that the future performance of any specific investment, investment strategy, or product (including the investments and/or investment strategies recommended or undertaken by Runnymede Capital Management, Inc.), or any non-investment related content, made reference to directly or indirectly in this blog will be profitable, equal any corresponding indicated historical performance level(s), be suitable for your portfolio or individual situation, or prove successful. Due to various factors, including changing market conditions and/or applicable laws, the content may no longer be reflective of current opinions or positions. Moreover, you should not assume that any discussion or information contained in this blog serves as the receipt of, or as a substitute for, personalized investment advice from Runnymede Capital Management, Inc. To the extent that a reader has any questions regarding the applicability of any specific issue discussed above to his/her individual situation, he/she is encouraged to consult with the professional advisor of his/her choosing. Runnymede Capital Management, Inc. is neither a law firm nor a certified public accounting firm and no portion of the blog content should be construed as legal or accounting advice. A copy of Runnymede Capital Management, Inc.’s current written disclosure statement discussing our advisory services and fees is available for review upon request.