2015 Letters to Clients

FOURTH QUARTER 2015
Last year saw the first true bout of panic selling in the stock market since the U.S. default crisis of 2011, and 2016 has begun on much the same note.

While market downturns are never causes for celebration, it has nevertheless been striking to us in our recent discussions with clients, prospects, friends and family the universal pessimism that seems to pervade all of these conversations. No one, it seems, has much faith in the economy – domestically or globally. And that, by extension, breeds a lack of faith in the stock market. Read More »

 

THIRD QUARTER 2015
Stocks saw their first true panic selling in Third Quarter 2015 since the U.S. default crisis of 2011.

In a particularly volatile week in mid August, the Dow fell nearly 2,000 points in just five trading sessions. The VIX index, which measures the level of fear in the stock market, spiked into the mid 50 range, a level last seen during the 2008-09 financial crisis. For perspective, a reading of 30 in the VIX index is considered “extreme fear.” Read More »

 

SECOND QUARTER 2015
Of all the temptations long-term investors must overcome, perhaps none is more daunting than finding a way to resist making changes to one’s investment portfolio based on conventional wisdom.

The phrase itself is worth examining. Famed economist John Kenneth Galbraith is credited with coining the modern-day usage of “conventional wisdom,” which he used to describe the concept of “ideas at any time that are esteemed for their acceptability.” Read More »

 

FIRST QUARTER 2015
We have made the point in this space before about the pace of innovation and its incalculable impact on the value of companies and, by association, stocks. It is an esoteric point to be sure. And yet it is very real. To see its impact, look no further than the headline below.

Apple to Replace AT&T In Dow Jones Industrial Average
Forbes, March 6, 2015 

It wasn’t so very long ago that the shine on Apple, Inc. had faded to a dull gray. Read More »