2013 Letters to Clients

FOURTH QUARTER 2013
Five “Inevitable” Assumptions That Proved to Not Be So Inevitable in 2013

There have been quite a few investment assumptions in the conventional wisdom in recent years about things that were just “going to happen” that, in fact, proved to be mistaken assumptions in 2013. So, with nary a trace of “we told you so” in our voices, we examine now five of these assumptions in more detail. Read More>>   

 

THIRD QUARTER 2013
There is a TV commercial in heavy rotation on the networks right now from one of the major financial products giants, and every time we see it, it makes us cringe. Not so much for the message, mind you, but for the reality it conveys.

The ad features a succession of polished, middle-aged couples sitting in offices across from their annuity salesmen – er, we mean “financial advisors” – and saying the following:

“We felt better holding onto our money. But we shouldn’t wait anymore. So here we are. We need to invest again!” Read More>>

 

SECOND QUARTER 2013
“If the market is up, why is my diversified portfolio down?”

That question is on the minds of many investors these days, especially those who have significant allocations to international stocks, real estate stocks and bonds.

Indeed, in Second Quarter 2013, U.S. stocks were virtually the only asset class that posted gains. Most other asset classes – including bonds – saw declines. And since the media focuses its daily stock reports on the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which gained about three percent for the quarter, many investors were surprised to see slight declines in their portfolios in their June statements. Read More »

 

FIRST QUARTER 2013
As the major stock indexes have, one-by-one, broken through their previous record highs in recent months, it has been interesting to observe that the dominant reaction among many investors has not been one of celebration but, rather, trepidation.

The anxiety is palpable. While many people have been heartened to see their portfolio values back to pre-2008 levels, there is also a sense of unease that perhaps the market is “ahead of itself.” This is an emotional reaction to the traumatic memories of what happened in 2008 after the market last reached these levels. It is understandable to associate a level of, say, 14,000 in the Dow with the bubble-like atmosphere for stocks in 2007. This is not, however, to say it is accurate Read More »