Jul 15

2nd Quarter Client Note

By Steven Smith | Newsletters

The S & P 500 (Total Return) Index gained 2.46% in the quarter; but not without a whipsaw caused by the June 23rd vote in Great Britain to leave (Brexit) the European Union. Two days of steep losses (over 5%) were almost completely recovered in the last three days of trading. The index gained 3.99% […]

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Jan 15

4th Quarter Client Note

By Steven Smith | Newsletters

The stock market actually achieved a sizable gain in the fourth quarter. But it sure didn’t feel like it. Going in to the quarter the S & P 500 (Total Return) Index had been down 5.29% for the year. So the 7.04% fourth quarter gain resulted in a small 1.38% increase for the year; almost […]

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Oct 12

3rd Quarter Client Note

By Steven Smith | Newsletters

The extreme volatility during the last week of August virtually ordained the market’s performance for the quarter. Stocks were weighed down by China’s slowing economy and the continuing pressure on commodity prices (especially oil.) China has accounted for approximately half the world’s demand for industrial commodities. The Fed continues to waver on raising interest rates; […]

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Jul 14

2d Quarter Client Note

By Steven Smith | Newsletters

There was plenty of noisy global economic and financial news in the second quarter. The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico is teetering on the verge bankruptcy. The Chinese stock market looks like a monopoly game. And the debt negotiations between Greece and the European Central Bank simmer on. With that backdrop the S & P 500 […]

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Jan 16

4th Quarter Client Note

By Steven Smith | Newsletters

Unquestionably the biggest economic story of 2014 was the price of a barrel of oil dropping over 50% since June –from over $100/barrel to $50/barrel. This was the result of three phenomena: 1) the enormous increase in US production over the last few years, 2) falling demand due to the increased use of alternatives and […]

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Oct 15

3rd Quarter Client Note

By Steven Smith | Newsletters

What goes up must come down. I always attributed that idiom to Blood, Sweat & Tears and their 1969 hit song, Spinning Wheel (which peaked at No. 2 before it came down.) But apparently the real author is Sir Isaac Newton back in the 17th Century. Go figure. But with the post 2008 bull market going […]

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Aug 25

Supreme Court Gives Two Thumbs Up to Modern Portfolio Theory

By Steven Smith | Investment Management , Meanderings , Money , Risk Management , Wealth Management

In our estimation, the last week of the United States Supreme Court’s 2013/2014 term was a watershed for Modern Portfolio Theory and the Efficient Market Hypothesis; two essential components in the notion that publicly available information is rapidly incorporated into the prices of securities traded in a robust public market. For a generation now, intelligent […]

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