There is a big economic calendar featuring the most important monthly reports – employment, ISM manufacturing, ISM services, and auto sales. In normal times we would be analyzing the data and the implications for corporate earnings and interest rates. There will be some of that, of course, but the “real” market news seems to be taking a back seat. With the media focused on non-market events, it allows investors to ask the right question:

Where can some additional work provide a big payoff?

Today’s WTWA will provide four insightful ideas that can boost your investment results – if you are able to ask the right questions.

Last Week Recap

In my last edition of WTWA I urged investors, bombarded with stories about the anniversary of the financial crisis, to quit fighting the last war. My objective was to provide useful information rather than guessing the twists and turns of the Washington news. I am taking the same approach this week. Readers have been receptive to this, and I appreciate it.

The Story in One Chart

I always start my personal review of the week by looking at a great chart. I especially like the version updated each week by Jill Mislinski. She includes a lot of valuable information in a single visual. The full post has even more charts and analysis, including commentary on volume. Check it out.

The market declined .99% on the week. The weekly trading range was about 1.1%, still very low. I summarize actual and implied volatility each week in our Indicator Snapshot section below. Volatility remains well below the long-term average.

Personal Note

I enjoyed my week away from the office and will travel home tomorrow. I saw some interesting and important ideas in my vacation reading, so I’m taking some time to pass them along.