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Tale of Two Markets

May 31, 2001
Craig Johnson

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness…”. Many of you probably recall this opening line from the Charles Dickens novel, Tale of Two Cities. Back in the ninth grade, the fine public schools in Minnesota “strongly encouraged” me to read this classic. Up to this point in my life, besides the occasionally answer to a trivia question, I had not given Charles and his writings much thought. Until now.

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The May 1998-May 2001 Three-Year Look-Back®

May 25, 2001
Eric C. Brown

The purpose of this teleconference is to validate our methodology by looking back at BALL Vol 5, Number 19, The May 1998 Level Playing Field® (May 20,1998). We encourage you to review that document in preparation for the teleconference. If you no longer have it or have joined us since its publication, please call us and we will be happy to send it to you. (We will also be making reference to The May 1999 Level Playing Field and The May 2000 Level Playing Field articles as well.)

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Hello Everyone!

May 23, 2001
Nick Betzold

Is 2001 going by at warp speed for you, too? Don’t look now, but the June BMU: Advanced Course is just around the corner. In fact, it’s only 4 weeks away. I am so enthused about the significant enhancements we have made to our program this year that I’m sending this special Disciplined Investor as a personal endorsement and invitation for you to participate. This year’s program will take you on a journey toward analytical and performance excellence in new and compelling ways. From the opening session, it is designed to grab and keep your attention. I strongly encourage you to take advantage of the enriched content and format being introduced this year.

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An Introduction to the Constructive Treasury Ladder Index™

May 18, 2001
Eric Brown

Please take a few moments to examine this article. It might be prudent to keep a copy in an accessible place, since the Constructive Treasury Ladder Index™ will figure prominently in certain analysis going forward. You never know when you might want to recall the details underlying it.

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Five Year PACs – The Math and Déjà Vu

May 17, 2001
Mark Bodett

During the April 2001 Level Playing Field® call, we briefly highlighted and discussed the 5-year PAC. The LPF analysis shows the 5-year PAC as an interesting sector. This is largely due to the recent backup in rates and resultant increase in slope of the yield curve. This part of the story relies on “running the numbers”, or objective math. The déjà vu part is slightly more subjective and requires that we exercise our institutional memory. Today’s yield curve is similar to that rate environment in the fall of ’93. Similarly, the 1993 LPF math also highlighted the 5-year PAC. However, by early ’95, rates were up about 300 basis points and those 5-year PACs were under water. Should we be buying 5-year PACs?

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A Bond Geek Spots a Bear Trap

May 2, 2001
Tory Houriet

I’ve been an ardent observer and student of the fixed-income markets for roughly 19 years now and I love to compare different fixed-income investments and their relative pricing. As a former fixed-income trader, I love to tear apart bonds and figure out why they price the way they price. I don’t have an MBA or a CFA designation behind my name. Just my own self-invented title: Tory Houriet, B.G.

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