2016 Letters to Clients

The New Year arrives to find U.S. stocks in the midst of one of the more robust and unexpected market rallies in recent years. With the uncertainty surrounding the U.S. Presidential election resolved in early November, stocks surged upward during the last half of Fourth Quarter 2016 and never looked back. Read More »


It is often observed that the point of maximum extreme in a volatile market is the point of greatest danger to an investor, because market extremes trigger emotional decisions that seldom work out for the better. This is true both on the upside – such as the over-heated market of the late 1990s, when investors threw caution to the wind and plowed their money into dot-com stocks – and on the downside, such as the financial crisis in 2008, when investors fled the market in a full-on panic. Read More »


The United Kingdom’s surprise vote to leave the European Union last month shocked the global financial system and sent stock markets around the world into a steep two-day decline.

The so-called “Brexit” referendum was hard proof of the old adage that “the stock market hates uncertainty.” By the same token, however, the market’s rapid recovery in the weeks since the initial downturn has confirmed another old adage: “stocks climb a wall of worry.” Read More »


The New Year began on a rather glum note, as January 2016 went into the books as the worst start to a calendar year for U.S. stocks since 2009. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 5.50%, while the Russell 2000 small stock index dropped 9.11%. The downturn continued into mid February before stocks, as they often do, suddenly reversed course.

All during the downturn, the predictable Wall Street canard popped up on the financial news shows, as it always does in times of volatility: It’s a stock picker’s market. Read More »