Category

Market Commentary

diversified portfolio

2018 3rd Quarter Review: “The Taming of the Diversified Portfolio”

Market Commentary
The concept we discuss here goes back to before the advent of the written word, living in parables echoed in religious and secular texts alike.  The precise wording has evolved, but the message has not changed materially over time.  Cervantes put it on paper more than 400 years ago through the lips of Sancho Panza, and we still use a translated version of it to teach our kids: “It is the part of a wise man to keep himself to-day for to-morrow, and not to venture all his eggs in one basket.” To be more succinct, diversify.  Investors have leaned…
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behavioral finance

2018 2nd Quarter Review: “Oh, Behave!”

Market Commentary
I am often asked by prospects whether financial advisors add value? Being one, of course, I believe we add a great deal of value for our clients, in helping set and implement long-term financial goals, reviewing insurances and risk management strategies, being tax-efficient in all aspects of investing and estate/gift transfer issues, helping with education funding strategies, attempting to constantly reduce portfolio expenses, and much more. But in many cases, and especially when the markets become increasingly unpredictable, our most valuable advice may simply be encouraging clients to follow good investment practices. This means keeping them from getting too swayed…
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investment letter

2018 Q1 Investment Letter

Market Commentary
Key Takeaways of 2018 Q1 Investment Letter Equity and fixed income markets were both slightly negative in Q1 2018, while alternative managers were slightly positive. Risk and volatility are increasing, so are fixed income yields as the US Treasury issues significantly more debt. Performance Recap What a difference a (new) year makes. With a rise in volatility and headlines about macro and market risks, the S&P 500 was negative in February and March, ending the first quarter of 2018 down -.76%. Fixed income markets were generally down in concert with equities as the Barclays Aggregate Bond Index returned -1.46%. 1994…
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quarterly review

2018 1st Quarter Review: “Protectionists Hide in Your Wallet”

Market Commentary
It is often fun (at least for us) to go back and re-read some of our prior quarterly missives. One of our favorites from a couple of years ago was about “Andrew Jackson” and the parallels of his presidential bid in the late 1820’s to the then impending election. If you remember, he ran on an economic platform of: Protect the American people from the rich and powerful. Reduce the national debt and reduce the government. Strip the Second Bank of the United States of its central bank status and charter. Use protective tariffs to protect vital industries to the country’s…
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investment letter

2017 Year-End Investment Letter

Market Commentary
2017 saw a remarkable juxtaposition between 1) headlines around the globe and here in the US presaging very significant political, social and geopolitical risks and 2) investment markets which were universally positive. The schematic in the Appendix provides a nice trip down memory lane for just the political headlines. Yet despite the above, 2017 marks the first year in memory that the S&P 500 (total return) was positive in every month of the year. In fact, its positive streak now extends to 14 months. And it was not just equities that performed well in 2017 as each of our three…
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quarterly recap

2017 4th Quarter Review: “Fads, Manias, and Bubbles!”

Market Commentary
As we approached the holiday season (which seems to start even before Thanksgiving now), I did a quick survey around the office to confirm what I already expected, there were no must-have, stand-in-line, drive hours to buy toys in play this holiday season.  I breathed a sigh of relief knowing that there would be no standoffs for a GI-Joe with Kung-Fu grip or shouldering aside someone’s grandmother for the last Nintendo Wii. These consumer crazes happen every few years and are not, as some may expect, always a sign of booming times.  In fact, some appeared at the direst moments…
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