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.

Our insights fall into three main categories: Market Reports, Foundations of Wealth and The Cornerstone.

Market Reports focus on current events and how they have affected the market in the past quarter and what the future could hold. See all Market Reports.

Foundations of Wealth focuses on how to build and protect your wealth. See all Foundations of Wealth.

The Cornerstone is ideal for those hoping to teach the basics of financial literacy. See all The Cornerstone.

Find out how your portfolio could be improved by scheduling a free consultation with our financial advisors.

First Quarter 2024 Market Review

The Trend Is (still) Your Friend It’s an election year in the United States, inflation is still shrinking the buying power of everyone’s pocketbook, wars have broken out all over the globe, the national debt has topped $34 trillion with no sign of cresting, the banking system is on the brink of collapse and the […]

Fourth Quarter 2023 Market Review

Santa Claus finally Came to Town! Although all three of the major indices closed down on December 29th, they ended the quarter substantially higher than where they started. For the year, they all ended up with the Nasdaq leading the way, although there was a speed bump in the third quarter. Even our favorite comparative […]

Third Quarter 2023 Market Review

The third quarter saw the major indices give back some gains from the first half of the year with the S&P 500 falling about 3.6%, the Dow Jones dropping 2.6%, and the Nasdaq shedding 4.1%. Looking at the S&P 500 sectors as represented by tradeable ETF’s, we can see how uneven the returns are so […]

Second Quarter 2023 Market Review

Second Quarter 2023 After months of sideways movement, the S&P 500 finally broke through resistance and ended the quarter up 8.3% at the 4350 level. The Nasdaq ended up 12.8% while the Dow Jones Industrials, which led the “Big Three” Indices in 2022, closed up 3.4%. So far this year, the Nasdaq is up 31.7%, […]

First Quarter 2023 Market Review

Beginning of the End? All the major indices ended the first quarter in positive territory, led by the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite up 17.05% and driven by anticipation of an end to the fastest series of interest rate hikes in the last 50 years. If you recall, the Dow Jones “outperformed” both the Nasdaq as well […]

Fourth Quarter Market Review

A Sea Change in the Markets? This headline from Yahoo Finance on Friday, December 30, pretty much says it all: S&P 500 falls 19.4% in 2022, worst year since 2008 financial crisis More from the article: With Friday’s losses, the S&P 500 fell 19.4% in 2022, its largest calendar-year decline since a 38% drop in […]

In Good Company

Not Even Legends Escape a Bear Market. A recent search of Investment Legends took us to an Investopedia post titled “The World’s Greatest Investors” which listed 11 investment legends including Benjamin Graham, Fidelity Magellan Fund manager, Peter Lynch, and Vanguard founder John Bogle. Of the 11, only one mentioned today is active in the market […]

Third Quarter 2022 Market Review

A Confluence of Unfortunate Events All three major indices ended the third quarter about where they started. Despite the stomach-churning volatility it took to get there, it took declines the last two days of the quarter to breach the lows we previously hit in June. We have now experienced three technical bear markets in the […]

How One Investment Legend Manages the Trends

In 1999, Warren Buffett gave a presentation at Allen & Co.’s Sun Valley, Idaho bash for business leaders which started with: “At Berkshire, we focus almost exclusively on the valuations of individual companies, looking only to a very limited extent at the valuation of the overall market. Even then, valuing the market has nothing to […]

Why Isn’t Gold Rising with Inflation?

A day does not go by now without at least one article about inflation hitting the headlines. The June Consumer Price Index soared to 9.1% year over year. But for many people who bought classic inflation hedges like gold, or even those who bought modern, and should we say theoretical, inflation hedges like bitcoin, their […]

Second Quarter 2022 Market Review

Will History Repeat? Inflation is raging through the economy. The U.S. recently botched the withdrawal from an agonizingly long and unpopular war and was embarrassed by images from the final days of retreat. Gasoline prices are skyrocketing, causing people to adjust their budgets just to be able to get to work. The Russians have invaded […]

First Quarter 2022 Market Review

Investing During War Time We’d like to start this update by stressing that we are deeply saddened by what’s occurring in the Russia/Ukraine conflict. The global elite truly believed that if rogue nations like China and Russia were brought into the 21st century global economy, they would eventually become “more like us,” Having been taught […]

Fourth Quarter 2021 Market Review

Dot Plots, Debt and Dollars Let us start 2022 with wishes to you for a New Year that is filled with hope and happiness. 2021 provided a wild ride, whether it be in stocks, real estate, the economy, Covid, or quite frankly, anything else. It was all wild. Overall, markets finished the year the way […]

Third Quarter 2021 Market Review

September Swoon After a seemingly endless run up in prices, the market finally started to pull back at the end of the 3rd Quarter: S&P 500 Q3 – 2021 Price Chart The green line on the chart is the 50-day moving average which is a common technical indicator used by traders to determine potential changes […]

Investing for Cash Flow

When asked for his advice, famed investor Warren Buffett, the “Oracle of Omaha,” suggests that buying index funds is the best option for most investors. There are several reasons for this. We’re guessing the biggest one is the average investor severely underperforms the broader market indices. Most investors do not have the discipline it takes […]

Second Quarter 2021 Market Review

The Recovery Continues The second quarter continued essentially where the first quarter left off. There were few surprises that really made substantive impacts on the markets. The S&P 500 climbed 8% in the second quarter, extending its five-quarter advance to an incredible 66% gain. For all the worries about tech stocks in the face of […]

Getting Started Investing for Young Professionals

Or: A $0.75/hr Raise Is Worth More than You Think! In addition to our traditional investment management services, Summit offers a computer guided or, as it’s sometimes known, Robo investment option at a correspondingly lower management fee. Many of the clients electing to utilize our Robo service are relatively young and many are just starting […]

First Quarter 2021 Market Review

Into the Unknown The stock market as measured by the S&P 500 ended the first quarter in positive territory as the tumult and chaos in Washington that marked the fourth quarter of 2020 gave way to fear and loathing as investors tried to figure out what will lie ahead for 2021 and beyond. S&P 500 […]

What is Financial Independence?

Typically, when I sit down with younger prospective clients I ask them for a series of goals based on 5-10-15-20 and 25 year time frames. One of those milestones is usually linked to the goal of becoming Financially Independent. When I ask them what it means to be financially independent, they usually respond with a […]

How do you store wealth?

We define an investment as the allocation of capital to a specific purpose. The four key purposes of investments in building sustainable wealth are: Protecting Wealth Growing Wealth Deriving Income from Wealth Storing Wealth In building a plan for achieving financial independence through the accumulation of wealth, it is important that these four purposes are […]

Fourth Quarter 2020 Market Review

Back to the New Normal Happy New Year! Here is hoping that 2021 will be good to you and all of your loved ones. Before we get into any great details, let’s get a few housekeeping items out of the way. Thank you for responding to our mailing regarding the delivery of your quarterly reports. […]

Donor Advised Funds or Private Foundations for Charitable Giving?

This time of year is known in some circles as “the season of giving” where people are not only buying gifts for friends and loved ones, but also making end of year charitable contributions in support of their favorite causes. Over time, people whose charitable urges become philanthropic find that it makes sense to create […]

The Piggy Bank Portfolio

By the time your child reaches age eight, there is a chance that they may have started to accumulate some savings and might even have a savings account at a local bank or credit union. With the standard bank savings account paying only 0.01% (yes, 1 one hundredth of a percent!) and charging fees for […]

Playing to Learn

How to Use Family Game Night as a Financial Teaching Moment Our youngest daughter loves to play board games. She started off with the classic games like Chutes & Ladders and Candyland and soon moved up to games like Sorry, Stratego, checkers, Clue and even more strategic games like Othello, dominoes, and backgammon. Her favorite […]

The Dividend Magnet Effect

Obligatory Disclaimer: This article is for illustration purposes only and in no way should it be considered as a recommendation for a particular stock, ETF or Mutual Fund. All investing involves the risk of loss. Visa (V) is an example of a “terrible” dividend paying stock. The current dividend yield, as quoted on Yahoo Finance, […]

Hey Mom, I Just Bought Disney!

Through a combination of good timing and good fortune, our oldest daughter had visited Disney World in Orlando three times by the time she was six. Each trip had a different purpose and circumstance, but in her eyes, it was always magic. About four months after her sixth birthday, she informed us that her savings […]

Third Quarter 2020 Market Review

Asset Allocation, Meet TINA After erasing early losses and, in the case of the Nasdaq Index, hitting new record highs, the market, as measured by the S&P 500 Index, ended September in the red. Talking heads will point to various issues including shutdowns, no additional stimulus, COVID19 spikes, and the election. The explanation could simply […]

Know Your Numbers

This conversation actually happened in my office. Visitor: “I need five million dollars to retire.” Me: “When do you want to retire?” Visitor: “In five years.” I did some quick number crunching. Based on his age and an average life expectancy, he wanted to spend about $130,000 per year in retirement even though he was […]

Civil Commotion and Your Insurance

Guest Article by Marco Briceno from The Starr Group, a Summit Pinnacle Provider With the current state of civil unrest in the United States, you may be wondering if you have coverage in the event of a claim caused by either Civil Commotion or Riot. As is the case with most insurance questions, there are […]

The Market Is Up. Why Isn’t My Account?

If you are confused about what is happening in the U.S. stock market right now, you are not alone. After suffering a significant drop in March and April, the S&P 500 index (SPX), a very commonly-used benchmark for many funds and advisors, and what many people consider to be “The Market” has recovered from the […]

Three Piggy Banks

Here is a simple activity to start teaching your child the different ways of managing their cash flow and the consequences. This idea builds on an article I read before I even knew I was going to be a parent. It was written by someone writing under the name of Michael Masterson in one of […]

Teaching a Child about Cash Flow

By age four, your child will probably understand concepts like food, money, appliances, and time. Almost every family has at least one relative who sends money to your child for birthdays or holidays. Assuming that the money was in lieu of a gift, you will want to take your child to the store and let […]

What is Cash Flow Return on Investment?

When looking for good businesses to buy (even if we are only buying a small portion), we focus primarily on easy-to-understand fundamentals such as demonstrated consistent sales and earnings growth, along with favorable long-term economics and an attractive price. While the first two criteria are easily measured, determining the last two can be highly subjective […]

Second Quarter 2020 Market Review

Sell-Off, Rebound, then…? Only two quarters in and 2020 is already one for the record books. In our lifetimes it was only on October 19th, 1987, when the Dow Industrials dropped 23% in a single session, that there’s been a faster market decline than that witnessed in the first quarter of this year. Then, in […]

Why We’re Still not “All-In”

Everybody is asking if it is safe to get back in the market or, at very least, to add new money to the market. The real answer, of course is that it depends on both your individual situation, and the purpose of the money you are investing. If you are a trader, then the answer […]

Are You Fed Up Yet?

One of the Best Pieces of Investment Advice I Ever Received When I sit down with prospective clients, this is one of the first things I ask them. Are they secure in their job, fed up with their boss or the state they are living in, etc.? Many will give me one of those “who […]

First Quarter 2020 Market Review

May You Live in Interesting Times It’s amazing how quickly things can change, and it reminds us of why we maintain the investment philosophy that we do. On March 31st as the final bell rang, we closed the doors on the first quarter of 2020 – that saw the worst performance since 1987. In what […]

Remember Why You Bought It

Imagine that it’s 2007 and you own a rental property. You paid $175,000 for it and now it is currently worth approximately $200,000. It‘s located an older, but, good neighborhood with access to good schools and shopping close by. You have a full-time renter paying $1,000 monthly and you are realizing a net profit of […]

Let’s Take a Breath

It is always unnerving, even for those who have seen it before, to watch the market meltdown as it has done this week. But when you step back and look at the big picture, the last couple of days in the market may not have caused as much damage as you would think. A Correction, […]

Coronavirus Exposes the Hidden Risks of a Global Supply Chain

Henry Ross Perot was a billionaire, philanthropist, and politician but most of all, he was a businessman. He quit IBM in 1962 to found Electronic Data Systems which he later sold to General Motors. Later, he founded Perot Systems which was sold to Cisco in 2009. He liked to call things as he saw them. […]

Pullbacks, Corrections and Crashes, OH MY! Part II

In 2015, we wrote several essays about dealing with volatility in the stock market. Now, we’re doing what we would want if we were in your shoes… We’re sharing them again – with relevant updates – to provide some perspective when it comes to growing and protecting wealth. In part 1, I tried to make […]

Pullbacks, Corrections and Crashes, OH MY! Part 1

In 2015, we wrote several essays about dealing with volatility in the stock market. Now, we’re doing what we would want if we were in your shoes… We’re sharing them again – with relevant updates – to provide some perspective when it comes to growing and protecting wealth. January 28, 2020 Yesterday at 4:30 AM […]

Fourth Quarter 2019 Market Review

Q4 2019 – Welcome to the Roaring Twenties! Let’s just get this out of the way: a 10% correction (or more) could be coming in 2020. This “prediction” of course does not come from us as we follow the trend instead of guessing it. It’s from Wells Fargo’s Chief Equity Strategist. After reading this bold […]

Caution: Service Line Insurance

Guest Article by Marco Briceno from The Starr Group, a  Summit Pinnacle Provider I wanted to share something with you that an account manager brought up. Thousands of people call their water utility companies after receiving very concerning letters from Service Line Warranties of America (SLWA) to see whether or not they are a scam. […]

The Hierarchy of Financial Goals

During their initial training, financial advisors are taught to ask about a client’s goals for incorporation into their personal financial plans. Some of these goals can be “retirement at a certain age”, “a comfortable retirement”, “putting the kids through school”, “a condo in Aspen, Florida, Spain”, etc. While it is very important to engage with […]

Third Quarter 2019 Market Review

Q3 2019 – The Trend is Still Up There was a quirky show in the late 1980’s titled “Twin Peaks”, where one of the main characters, a young FBI investigator, was known to say, “Every day, once a day, give yourself a present.” While I found this line of thinking to be too expensive for […]

Thanks to you we did it!

By Ron Chandler A little less than a year ago, Paul Neuberger the Chairman of the 2019 Greater Milwaukee Heart & Stroke Walk / 5K Run asked me to join him on his Executive Committee to help raise money for this year’s event. Paul is a very passionate about this cause as his family has […]

Surfing the Stock Market

by Ron Chandler Last weekend, I went to the beach with my oldest daughter to let her play in the waves. The area we visited is apparently a prime area for surfing and there were many people out that day riding the waves. As time went on, I noticed that most of the people surfing […]

Top 3 Things to Know When Hiring Help

Guest Article by Marco Briceno from The Starr Group, a  Summit Pinnacle Provider The other day I was talking with the IT Director at The Starr Group about how I don’t like to mow our yard or shovel the snow. He asked me why not hire a neighborhood kid to help me and pay him […]

Second Quarter 2019 Market Review

Q2 2019 – The Fed Rides to the Rescue The US market as measured by the S&P 500 continued the upward trend with a gain of 3.93% in April but then quickly reversed course in May, falling 6.58% for the month. While many people want to point to the “trade war” between the US and […]

First Quarter 2019 Market Review

Q1 2019 – Climbing the Wall of Worry The stock market these days seems to be a little like spring time in Wisconsin. If you don’t like what’s happening, just wait a day and it will be better or worse. After enduring a really, tough December that saw the S&P 500 fall by an unsettling […]

Fourth Quarter 2018 Market Review

Q4 2018 –Will we have a recession in 2019? We love the holiday season as it gives us time to visit with family and friends and step away from the market for a while, unless of course we have a market like we saw in this fourth quarter and people realize what we do for […]

Third Quarter 2018 Market Review

Q3 2018 – How Long will the party last? The stock market has many old sayings, from “buy the rumor and sell the news” to ”as goes January, so goes the year.” And let’s not forget this memorable one: “Bulls make money. Bears make money. Pigs get slaughtered.” But one old saw from Wall Street […]

Second Quarter 2018 Market Review

Q2 2018 – Tightening and Tariff Tantrums The major indices performed much better in the second quarter than the first as very positive earnings reports produced gains of 3.44% for the S&P 500. Bonds, as measured by the S&P US Aggregate Bond Index were down only 0.12% for the quarter and commodities as measured by […]

First Quarter 2018 Market Review

Q1 2018 – The Roller Coaster is on the Track At the time of our last quarterly update, we had just finished a great year for the stock market. Accordingly, we wrote “…we do not expect 2018 gains to match those of 2017.” So far, we have been more correct than we really wanted to […]

Fourth Quarter 2017 Market Review

Look Both Ways as You Cross the Street? Stocks rose for a fourth straight quarter with a gain of 6.34%. Bonds, including treasuries, were up 0.39% even with the Federal Reserve hiking interest rates a quarter of a point in December. Commodities (as measured by the Bloomberg Commodity Index) again had a strong fourth quarter […]

Second Quarter 2017 Market Review

With the current stock market uptrend now the second longest bull market on record, and the economic expansion the third longest since the end of WWII, there’s been a lot of talk and, in some cases warnings, that both of these trends are in danger of coming to an end. Our short answers to these […]

First Quarter 2017 Market Review

Equity investors began their celebration immediately after the November elections. On the other hand, fixed income investors made an initial exit from the bond market only to cautiously creep back in after November’s shock. The markets were reacting to President Trump’s determination to “make America great again”, partly by reviving an economy that never was […]

Fourth Quarter 2016 Market Review

Investors spent much of the last few years concerned that the economy might slip back into a recession given the slow growth environment we were experiencing. This perception changed abruptly during the fourth quarter as indicated by the surveys for consumer confidence, investor confidence and small business expectations which all turned strongly positive. Since better […]

Third Quarter 2016 Market Review

The stock market shifted gears during the third quarter as investor concerns over the economy faded. As a result, growth oriented equities (like Technology stocks) moved from the worst performing (-2.84%) economic sector during the second quarter, to the best (+12.9%) during the third period. And because higher inflation and interest rates are highly correlated […]

Second Quarter 2016 Market Review

In all our years of working in and studying the stock market, we cannot recall when so many investors got it wrong. “Power to the People!” was a widely heard slogan in the U.S. during the 1960s. The U.K. citizens seemed to reflect that sentiment in late June when they voted to exit the European […]

First Quarter 2016 Market Review

To say that the past three months have been a volatile period for the market is not an exaggeration. With terrorism in the background, oil prices plummeting, negative interest rates in Europe and Japan, and economic growth in question throughout most parts of the world, January got off on a terrible note, sending the Dow […]

Fourth Quarter 2015 Market Review

Having finally taken the plunge to initiate a cycle of rising interest rates, the question uppermost on many investors’ minds is whether or not the Federal Reserve will follow through and continue to raise rates over the course of 2016. While the recent performance of the US economy is less than uniformly supportive, policy makers […]

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), […]

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 […]