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Monthly Newsletters

Monthly Investment Review: September 2015

September ended with bad economic news when the U.S. Department of Labor announced that employers added just 142,000 jobs in September, well below the 200,000 expected by economists. This dismal jobs report is yet another warning sign of slowing global growth witnessed throughout the month. Read more

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Monthly Investment Review: August 2015

The beginning of August was normal enough. At the time, the S&P 500 was up just over 2% for the year, having traded in a relatively tight band through the first seven months. During the first week, the Labor Department reported what has become a familiar refrain all year: solid jobs growth and an improving or stable unemployment rate accompanied by stubborn wage growth. Read more

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Monthly Investment Review: July 2015

In France, every July brings with it a 21-day bicycle race that has encircled the country almost every year since 1903. This year’s Tour de France was won by Chris Froome of Great Britain’s Team Sky. For over 2,100 miles he out-pedaled Colombia’s Nairo Quintana by just one minute and twelve seconds in one of the most closely contested races in the last five years. What’s interesting is how Froome did it.

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Monthly Investment Review: June 2015

The month of June brought the second quarter and the first half of 2015 to a close, and so far this year has been a tale of two markets. The first quarter was marked with a rising dollar, a soaring Chinese stock market, GDP contraction in the U.S. and collapsing interest rates that sent yields on several European fixed income securities into negative territory. Read more

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Monthly Investment Review: May 2015

May was a month of mixed economic signals that seemed to confuse the equity markets. Several U.S. indexes touched all-time highs before sputtering into the end of the month with a selloff. Despite this, most indexes still finished the month higher. The S&P 500 ended May up 1.05% while the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.95%.

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Monthly Investment Review: April 2015

Over the last few days of April, the sporting world turned much of its attention on Chicago where 256 college hopefuls were drafted by teams in the National Football League. Each of these players from the first pick, Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston, to Mr. Irrelevant (the last player selected) will soon head to an NFL mini-camp to learn their new team’s playbook. Investors might need to learn a new playbook as well. Nearly everything that worked in the first quarter of 2015 reversed in April. Read more

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Monthly Investment Review: March 2015

March brought the first quarter of 2015 to a close. During the period, the S&P 500 rose 1.3%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average moved 0.8% higher. And, small-caps clawed back some of the ground given up in 2014 by outpacing the large cap returns; the Russell 2000 jumped 4% for the period. The moderate pace of expansion in most equity indexes was outdone by oil and the dollar, both of which posted big moves during the first three months. The U.S. dollar index finished the quarter approximately 8.5% higher while West Texas Intermediate crude futures fell about 9%. Read more

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Monthly Investment Review: February 2015

In August 1958, writers and artists at DC Comics introduced the character Bizarro, first in the #68 issue of Superboy and later in the comic strip running daily in newspapers. Bizarro was the mirror image of Superman. He had the same extraordinary powers, but his twisted logic resulted in using them for bad, not good. This often resulted in battles between Bizarro and Superman that some historians suggest was the perfect metaphor for the budding Cold War with the Soviet Union.

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Monthly Investment Review: January 2015

Anyone expecting to ease into the New Year got an abrupt wakeup call right out of the gate. The first full week witnessed the Dow Jones Industrial Average posting triple-digit moves on all five days. The volatility continued throughout the month, and not just in equities. January witnessed a sharp drop in the 10-year Treasury yield. And the Swiss Franc, often considered one of the “safest” stores of money, depreciated 30% against the Euro in one day when the Swiss National Bank dropped its currency peg. For the month, the S&P 500 fell 3.1%. The tech heavy Nasdaq Composite has fared better (down just 2.58%) while the industrial laden Dow Jones performed the worst (down 3.69%) since export-driven industrials have been the hardest hit by a strong dollar. Read more

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Monthly Investment Review: December 2014

2014 was a year that many in the business of financial forecasting would like to forget. While the equity markets made several industry professionals look good, other areas did not. Most expected a healthy rise for equities and all major indices complied. The S&P 500 finished 2014 with a total return of 13.7%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 7.5% (approximately 10% when dividends are included), notching its sixth straight annual gain. And the NASDAQ composite jumped 13.4%. However, very few prognosticators thought rates on the 10-year treasury would fall.

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