Insights

Insight and Analysis on the Market from our Financial Advisors

After decades of experience managing portfolios, our financial advisors have gained valuable insight into the market. Here, they share knowledge they have gained and analyze recent developments to aid in forecasting future trends.

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Hedging Portfolio Risk

Market Volatility and Portfolio Diversification A recent Forbes article featured a couple of ideas for hedging portfolio risk during periods of uncertainty in the market (which seems to be all the time since 2013!). The point of the article is that option trading strategies could be good choices for individuals interested in hedging some of […]

What Is Smart Beta and Why It Matters to Investors

Smart Beta Funds: Summit’s Approach Since 2003 I recently read an article by State Street Global Advisors that argues that Smart Beta is more than a marketing gimmick and can provide a real benefit to investors. Smart Beta, as the article puts it, is “simply a rules-based approach to investing that seeks to capture specific […]

It’s Never too Early to Start Investing for Dividends

“The three worst things that ever happened to Investing are Ameritrade, E*Trade and Scottrade!” That’s how I usually get started when I’m ready to climb on my soap box and discuss building wealth with anyone willing to listen. While I believe all of these institutions are reputable (in fact I have an account with Ameritrade), […]

ABH (Always be Hedged) or What Brexit Should Teach Us about Investing

Brexit’s Implications on Investment Strategies in General Last week the British, to the surprise of most prognosticators, voted to exit the European Union and chart their own sovereign course. The markets which had closed up nearly 1% during the day of the vote opened down nearly 2.5% the next morning as traders scrambled to adjust […]

Beat the Market but Lost Money? Absolute Return May Be the Strategy for You

You Measure Investment Success in Absolute Terms, Does Your Financial Advisor? Investing has never been easier to do and more difficult to understand than it is today. Back in the early 1980’s when I first started investing, the mantra was: buy stocks for the long run. Then, after the crash of 1987, the message evolved […]

There is Still Time to Fund Your 2015 IRA

Many of us view April 15th*, the date by which we must file our tax returns for the preceding year, as an important deadline. However, for all of us, it actually represents a much more significant deadline: Tax Day is the last day that we can make our 2015 contributions to our Individual Retirement Accounts. […]

Third Quarter 2015 Market Review

History shows us that the greatest threats to a bull market are recessions. So when the market fell quickly (-11%) one week in August, investors and the financial press were quick to round up the usual suspects to blame for the recession that was likely to occur. Heading up the list was once again China […]

Second Quarter 2015 Market Review

The U.S. Economy rebounded from its modest decline of the first quarter that suffered from inclement weather on the East Coast, a prolonged dock strike on the West Coast, an abrupt decline in oil prices and the negative impact on exports caused by a strong dollar. The rebound seemed to return economic growth to the […]

First Quarter 2015 Market Review

The first quarter turned out to be one of the more volatile periods for the stock market we have seen since early 2012.  With the dollar strong and inclement weather a deterrent, investors first became concerned that economic growth was moving at a dangerously slow rate.  But then job growth picked up nicely, oil prices […]

Fourth Quarter 2014 Market Review

Wall Street forecasters believe the U.S. economy started off 2015 with the strongest momentum in at least a decade and is in better shape today than any other developed country in the world.  Importantly due to the full scale resurgence of the U.S. Energy Industry, economic growth has averaged 4.8% over the past two quarters, […]

Second Quarter 2014 Market Review

The stock market continued to move higher in the second quarter of 2014 despite the abrupt halt of Japan’s economic turnaround, the geopolitical issues in the Ukraine and the Middle East, and concerns that US economic growth was in jeopardy. But in the end, what matters most to the US Stock market is that our […]

First Quarter 2014 Market Review

Volatility and a higher level of anxiety returned to the markets during the first quarter. The primary catalysts were the “evil empire’s” invasion of Crimea and a severe slowdown in the economy induced by colder than normal temperatures. The inclement weather kept consumers away from the shopping malls and Russia’s political aggressions clearly detracted from […]

Fourth Quarter 2013 Market Review

A year ago today, investors were losing sleep over a number of issues that appeared to be legitimate concerns. Fortunately, almost none of these concerns materialized. There was no fiscal cliff, the U.S. did not default on its debt, Europe did not disintegrate, and while China’s growth slowed, there was clearly no hard landing. The […]

Third Quarter 2013 Market Review

After suffering through a plethora of negative events for more than three years, almost nothing appears to meaningfully raise the anxiety level of investors these days. We commented early in the year that a better housing market, permanent changes to our tax code, and fixes made to the European banking system should substantially lessen the […]

Second Quarter 2013 Market Review

Events like the IRS scandal, Egyptian political problems, Obamacare missteps, NSA phone taps, China’s credit crunch, the Benghazi disaster, and Japan’s economic instability were not significant enough to disrupt the stability of the U.S. stock market in the quarter just ended. On the other hand, most foreign stock markets were noticeably weak during the period, […]

First Quarter 2013 Market Review

The investment climate was remarkably good during the first quarter. With the exception of the financial melt-down of the tiny island, Cyprus, and some late in the period saber rattling by the North Koreans, investors benefited from a virtually crisis free environment. The housing industry continued to improve. Corporate profits were modestly higher and above […]

The Stock Market’s Pre-Halloween Horror Show

A Five Part Chill Ride From an attitude of complete complacency throughout 2013 and through the summer of this year, investors are suddenly beginning to take fright. But, what, exactly, are they afraid of? Here’s a short list of things that seem to be going bump in the night. October This is probably the least […]

The Importance of Avoiding Losses

Avoiding Stock Market Losses Yields Huge Returns One of the most important investment issues facing an equity (stock market) investor, if not THE most important, is the avoidance of investment losses. Oddly, this is rarely discussed by investment advisers despite the fact that, in our opinion, it is far more important than virtually any other […]