Unexpected Returns: A Course of Insights

Unexpected Returns: A Course of Insights is a complimentary online, on-demand video-based presentation series delivered by Ed Easterling that discusses key concepts from his book Unexpected Returns.

He combines the teaching style from his experience as an Adjunct Professor with the edutainment style from his ongoing experience as an industry speaker. The presentations use Crestmont’s thought-provoking research and dynamic color graphics to deliver insights about the causes and principles driving secular stock market cycles.

This presentation series includes six videos describing concepts of long-term stock market cycles, investment returns, market valuation, volatility, compounded returns, and investment approach. Each video runs approximately 30 minutes. The first two videos address the basic principles that drive the variation in stock market returns over decade-long periods, the components of stock market returns, implications about the inflation rate, and the impact of volatility on compounded returns. The second two videos address details behind changes in market valuation resulting from financial and economic tradeoffs, changes in the inflation rate, and indicators of the current environment for long-term returns. The third two videos address two of the popular investment approaches, relative returns and absolute returns, and the implications for investment strategy.

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Video 1: Secular Stock Market Cycles

This video explains the concept of secular stock market cycles. The presentation begins with a discussion about why we call them “secular” stock market cycles, then proceeds to present a graphical view of the cycles over the past century. You will see not only that they occur, but also how and why they happen.

Video 2: Inside Secular Cycles

This video goes inside of secular stock market cycles. The presentation begins with a discussion about the components of stock market returns and then views stock market returns over periods that are more relevant to investors. We conclude by exploring the impact of stock market volatility on investment performance.

Video 3: Causes, Not Coincidence

This video explains the fundamental principles underlying secular stock market cycles. The presentation begins with a discussion about the trade-offs that cause the inflation rate to be the driver of secular cycles. We conclude by exploring a dashboard of four indicators that confirm the current status as a secular bear.

Video 4: Interconnected: Finance & Economics

This video explains the interconnected relationships of Crestmont’s Financial Physics model, which demonstrate the drivers of stock market returns over the longer-term. We conclude with key implications that dispel the notion of random walks over the long-term and of buy & hold being an all-weather investment strategy.

Video 5: Investment Strategy

This video explores key concepts of investment approach and contrasts the principles behind the relative return approach and the absolute return approach. We conclude by discussing the implications that the contrasting approaches have for investors and investment portfolios.

Video 6: Portfolio Implications

This video explores the contrasting investment strategies of rowing and sailing, including lists with specific examples for each approach. The discussion will include examples of how and why the rowing strategy works, and the conditions during which it is most effective. We conclude this video with a high-level summary of the course.

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