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Advisor Commentary

Weather Dominates Ag Markets: Crop Surges, Price Wars, Soy Challenges

Commentary provided by Chad Burlet of Third Street AG Investments As expected, the weather was the dominant feature this month. In the U.S., corn and soybeans were planted ahead of the average pace, which increases the chance for trendline or better yields. A late-month surge of planting in North Dakota looks to have held prevented planting acres […]

Storm Clouds
Alternative Investment Strategy

The Current State of the Market: Volatility, Computer Trading, Buybacks, and Future Concerns

The current headlines include a debt ceiling crisis, inflation issues, rising rates, collapsing home sales, and bank failures piling up at a rate exceeding the 2008 mortgage crisis. With this, the equity market seems nonplussed as it motors along at a pedestrian rate with few days even moving in the 1-2% range, let alone higher. […]

Alternative Investment Strategy

Unintended Consequences: Inflation, Housing Market Challenges, and Corporate Restructuring

Surging liquidity encouraged by central banks and government stimulus pushed inflation rates to a 40-year high causing surprise to leaders that thought they could support markets without consequence. In a desperate bid to slow these price increases, they are taking a page from the movie industry by removing Everything, Everywhere, All at Once. Not on […]

Alternative Investment Strategy

The Threat to the Almighty Dollar: Is the World’s Reserve Currency at Risk?

“When the United States sneezes, the world catches a cold.” This saying reflects the dominance of the US markets, and with it comes the gift of producing the “world’s reserve currency.” However, the rise of digital currencies and competitors to the dominant US dollar is becoming a daily conversation. Governments worldwide desire the benefits that […]

Alternative Investment Strategy

One Crisis to the Next: The New Fed Management Style

We can always count on the government for a few things, including surprise that their policies led to negative outcomes, fixing those decisions by throwing massive amounts of new money at the problem they created, and finally blaming others for the mess that occurred. Inevitably, “the fix” will cause another issue in the future, but […]

Alternative Investment Strategy

How SVB Banked on Low Rates and Lost Big

Rising interest rates claimed their first big victim last week. The stunning collapse of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), which was the 16th largest bank in the United States, as recently as last Wednesday took two days of relentless outflows before the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) stepped in to shut them down. The lender, known […]

Advisor Commentary

Why February Was a Bearish Month for Agricultural Futures: Understanding the Key Inputs

Commentary provided by Chad Burlet of Third Street AG Investments A handful of key inputs combined make February a bearish month for agricultural futures. Corn, wheat, soybeans, soybean meal, and soybean oil all closed lower for the month. After making their highs mid-month, all the nearby contracts made their lows today, the last day of the month. […]

Chinese currency
Alternative Investment Strategy

Politicians Always Choose Money Printing

“A politician’s first goal of governing is to get re-elected. It is also the second goal. Everything else comes after that.” While seemingly trite, this phrase was repeated by my professor throughout my business school class on strategy in non-market environments. I often think about this concept as our leaders consistently make decisions contrary to […]

Alternative Investment Strategy

Is Sovereign Debt the Next Asset Bubble to Burst?

Empires rise and fall. This often happens slowly and then quickly. In hindsight, we can identify critical events that should have raised alarm bells but did not. So, like asset bubbles that can crash an economy, identifying the next catalyst can be difficult. But perhaps the mounting debt of countries like the United States, most […]

Advisor Commentary

Agricultural Futures See Lower Volatility in January

Commentary provided by Chad Burlet of Third Street AG Investments By recent standards, January was a relatively quiet month for agricultural futures. Volatility trended lower for corn, wheat, and soybeans, and their monthly trading ranges were near the lowest of the past year. The top three global issues were the same as last month: 1) dryness in […]

Black Swan
Alternative Investment Strategy

The Dangers of Black Swan Events for Option Sellers

Investors flock to high Sharpe ratio managers on sites like for a good reason. They display an uncanny ability to put up positive numbers almost every month. Option sellers seem to do this better than anyone, and they stand out when looking through hundreds of managers. If this one marker told the whole story, […]

Alternative Investment Strategy

Economic Outlook: Navigating the Business Cycle

All economies go through fairly predictable patterns as they go through a business cycle. In simple terms, we go from expansion to peak, contraction, and trough. The depths of this drop vary based on both predictable and unpredictable factors. Let us look at some quantifiable factors as well as some wild cards that can impact […]

Advisor Commentary

Oil: The False Sense of Supply Security

With the crude oil markets now trading well below where it was before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, observers may be forgiven for thinking that the consumer has won, meaning the producer has lost. Higher pump prices and the consumer’s weaker purchasing power certainly held back demand growth to only +1.85 million barrels per day […]

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