Market View (February 2018) – Recent Volatility

  |  February 6, 2018

As we noted in our recent Year in Review newsletter, we expected volatility to increase in 2018, and here in the early days of February 2018 we see that volatility increasing as the S&P 500 has declined more than 5% in the last two days. Many headlines say that the recent decline is due to increased worries over inflation, and how the Federal Reserve will react to unexpected inflation news. While that may be a part of the rationale for there being more sellers than buyers, we tend to think this is a rather weak argument. Although the two main inflation indicators the Federal Reserve uses have been accelerating in recent months, they are not indicating a rapid return of inflation. It seems other reasons exist for the recent downturn. Read more Read More

Market View (January 2018) – A Year in Review

  |  January 31, 2018

Like most years, 2017 had its familiar themes and its surprises.  On the familiar side, we continued to see the price of oil be relatively stable as incremental increases in demand were easily met with production increases. Economic growth both in the US and overseas continued to improve. The Federal Reserve began its balance sheet reduction program, which was highly anticipated. On the surprise side ... Read more. Read More

Market View (October 2017) – Investing Amid Market Highs

  |  October 10, 2017

A recent headline read that the Dow Jones Industrial average posted its first eight quarter win in 20 years. It is rare to go two years straight without a negative quarter, and the question on many minds has been, “When will the equity markets experience a correction?” A correction is often defined as decline of 10 to 20%. Trying to predict the next decline is notoriously hard (some might say a fool’s errand), and back in April we discussed four economic areas that affect the velocity of money. Read more. Read More

Market View (July 2017) – Investing is Not Gambling

  |  August 9, 2017

Perhaps one of the most common comparisons is the one comparing investing to gambling. The similarities are undeniable. You can lose all your money or end up with a great deal of money. Even the indicators of success and language are similar. We talk about being up or being down, being in the red or being in the black, the big loss or the big win. Both utilize statistics and we talk about the odds of certain outcomes. However, there are major, fundamental differences that we will explore. Read more. Read More

Market View (January 2017) – A Shift in Perspective

  |  January 13, 2017

For our entire history as a nation we have debated the question, “How much authority should be centralized?” This discussion is not limited to the US, but is global in nature. After the 2008 crisis, many argued that economic decision-making needed to be increasingly regulated and centralized.

As the recovery that started in 2009 failed to reach historic averages, questions arose over whether or not the amount of regulation and centralization was too much. In 2016, two events demonstrated the level of discontent with the “new normal.” Read more. Read More

Market View (April 2016) – A Light at the End of the Tunnel?

  |  April 28, 2016

Much like previous quarters, the first quarter of 2016 was interesting to say the least.  The quarter began with concerns over the global economy.  Was the precipitous fall in the price of oil an indication of a slowing global economy, or just an issue of over-supply? Would the Federal Reserve raise rates too quickly and choke economic growth?  These concerns overwhelmed any positive news and equity markets declined through January and the first half of February. Read more. Read More