NEWS & MEDIA
Stay current on Sierra Mutual Funds news, industry happenings, upcoming events, and much more.
State of Confusion
Financial markets don’t know if they are coming or going, telegraphing that investors are in a state of confusion. The U.S. stock market is tapping out historic highs, but as we write this, the reality is that the S&P 500 is a scant 2% higher than levels established 9 months ago. Along the way to that meager gain, buy and hold investors endured an agonizing and unrelenting free-fall at the end of 2018 and a sharp 7% loss in value in May.
CNBC Closing Bell
Fed doesn't have data to cut rates at this point, says CIO
Keith Bliss of Cuttone and Co. and Terri Spath of Sierra Mutual Funds discuss markets and what investors should watch with CNBC’s “Closing Bell” team.WATCH VIDEO
Where to Invest $10,000 Right Now
Six veteran investing experts share their best ideas. Spath: "U.S. stock and bond markets are in a state of confusion."READ THIS ARTICLE
Investment News: Market volatility is top of mind for your clients
How will markets move in 2019? Terri Spath of Sierra Investments sits down with Matt Ackermann to examine the movement more closely.Watch Video
The Stealth Bull Market in Bonds of the Past Year
For many, summer means days at the beach and, ideally, nights at the ice cream parlor. Picking a flavor of ice cream is never an easy decision. The same can be said for bonds. Like ice cream, bonds come in 31 flavors (or so). U.S. government bonds are really different flavors of vanilla, from just plain vanilla to French to New York. Interest rates are the driver of the prices of government bonds; a rise in rates pressures prices down and vice-versa. A risk of default is virtually nil so credit risk does not influence the price.
A Tactical Strategy for Current Volatility
From basketball to tennis or chess to tic-tac-toe, winning a game involves strategic decisions, probability analysis and math. The best teams and players are not passive, generating the same moves over and over, but tactically adjusting to make the next best move. Investing is much the same.
True Diversification is a Process, Not a Set of Assumptions
A simple definition of investment diversification is conveyed in the overused statement, “don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” The basic buy-and-hold, set-it-and-forget-it style of investing is often premised in a 60% global stock and 40% bond allocation (known as “60/40”) and sold as enough diversification to handle whatever market turmoil might come your way over the long-term.
After Last Quarter's Bloodbath, We've Had a Nice Rally. Is it Time to Pop the Corks?
So far in 2019, and really since Christmas Eve, we have seen a nice risk-on rally. Equities (as measured by the S&P 500® Index) were up about 8% in the month of January despite the U.S. government shutdown and international turmoil. While it is nice to have a breather from the march downward, it may be too early to pop the champagne corks and celebrate for the rest of the year. 2019 has only just begun, and (stop me if you've heard this) investing in a marathon, not a sprint!
A Portfolio Manager's Resolution for Investors: Trailing Stops
A new year brings with it the elation of a renewed start. We proclaim resolutions about how we will make this year better than the one that just concluded. After the volatile close to 2018, investors should now be doing the same. Fortunately, there is the trailing-stop.
Sierra Mutual Funds Introduces Sierra Tactical Municipal Fund
Income-Oriented Fund to Provide Benefits to High-Income Investors
Santa Monica, CA (January 2, 2019) – Sierra Mutual Funds, Inc., an emerging manager and a pioneer in tactical, low volatility, conservative investing, today announced the launch of the Sierra Tactical Municipal Fund.Read More
Four Indicators That A Recession Isn't On The Horizon
Wallace Forbes recently spoke with Terri Spath, CIO to discuss today's economy and her approach to investing.READ THIS ARTICLE
CNBC: There are 'four horsemen of the apocalypse' that could kill this market...
Terri Spath, Sierra Investment Management chief investment officer, and Gabriela Santos, J.P. Morgan Funds global market strategist, discuss their market outlooks right here.Watch Video
Sierra Group's Dave Wright Named to Barron's List of Top 1200 Financial Advisors
The Managing Director has been recognized again
Santa Monica, CA (February 26, 2015 -- The Sierra group of companies today announced that Barron's named Dave Wright to its 2015 Top 1,200 Advisors list, which appeared in the February 23, 2015 issue.Read More
Sierra Named in 2018 Financial Times “300 Top Registered Investment Advisers in the US”
The firm has been recognized for the second time
Santa Monica, CA (July 24, 2018) -- The Sierra Group of Companies today announced that Sierra Investment Management has again been named to the 2018 FT 300, Financial Times’ list of the top U.S. registered independent investment advisors, assessed on traits desirable to clients.Read More
Barron's Ranks Sierra's Dave Wright among 2015 "America's Top 100 Independent Financial Advisors"
The Managing Director and Co-founder recognized for the second time
Santa Monica, CA (September 14, 2015) -- David C. Wright, Managing Director of Sierra Investment Management, Inc., was named to Barron's list of the "Top 100 Independent Financial Advisors" in its August 24, 2015 issue. This was the financial magazine's ninth annual ranking of top independent advisors. Mr. Wright also appeared on the magazine's 2013 list.Read More
Small-Caps Push Stocks Higher as Turkey Fears Wane
U.S. stocks halted their longest slide since March and the dollar reached a 14-month high as investors brushed off Monday’s Turkey-induced turmoil.READ THIS ARTICLE
Observations and Perspectives: Some of These Things Are Not Like the Others
Since early July 2016, the yield on the 10-year Treasury has rocketed from 1.38% to nearly 3%. Investors in intermediate Treasuries have lost more than 7% over that period as rising interest rates have resulted in falling bond prices.
There is no Bond Bear Market
I see it all across financial media; people talking about the bond bear market. Writers strike fear into the hearts of their loyal readers with dramatic language, and the fear that you stand to lose a considerable amount from your safe investments. What should you do?READ THIS ARTICLE
Observations and Perspectives: Show Me the Money
We are consistently hearing that bonds are making advisors and investors pull out their hair. Nearly three decades of generally falling interest rates has translated into a bull market for traditional bond strategies, but times have changed.
Observations and Perspectives: Trendless Volatility
The year 2017 went down in the record books as the calmest stock market in history. The worst decline from high to low (“drawdown”) was a scant 2.6% and the S&P 500 recorded just 8 swings of more than one percent, just about one every six weeks, all the while consistently moving to the upside.
Sierra Tactical Core Income Fund (SSIRX) Renamed
The Fund Has Been Renamed to Denote it's Mandate and Approach
Santa Monica, CA (May 14, 2018) -- The Sierra Group of Companies has renamed its Strategic Income Fund to better reflect the fund’s tactical approach to conservative investing. Now known as the Sierra Tactical Core Income Fund (SSIRX), the fund will continue to be managed as it has been since its inception.Read More
Investors Stuck Between Rock and Hard Place
Interest rate hikes and unfavorable trade policies hint at tough times ahead, leaving many investors looking to take cover—with potentially nowhere to go.READ THIS ARTICLE
The Keys to Successful Tactical Management
Chief Investment Officer, Terri Spath, interviewed about the keys to successful tactical asset management.READ THIS ARTICLE
Where the Best Bond Opportunities Are Now
Interest rates are generally higher since the end of last year—and the nearly decade-long economic recovery can’t last forever. Both are putting pressure on individual portfolios.READ THIS ARTICLE
This One Indicator Has Predicted Every Recession Since 1960—and It's Flashing a Warning
Uh-oh. The government reported on Friday that the number of home construction projects that broke ground last month fell 7% versus the prior month.READ THIS ARTICLE
Shaking Up the Market for Municipal Bonds
All politics are local, according to the famous dictum of Reagan-era House Speaker Tip O’Neill. But the municipal bond market has rarely been as roiled by national politics as it has been by the drama in Washington over tax reform.READ MORE
The Wall Street Journal
Transport Stocks Fall, But Market Shrugs Off Broader Concerns
Shares of planes, trains and automobiles are skidding, and that often spells trouble for the rest of the market. But some analysts and investors aren’t heeding the century-old warning sign this time around.READ MORE
Observations and Perspectives: Traditional Bonds = Risky Parachutes
During the short nine days of trading from late January to February 8, the S&P 500 fell like a skydiver leaping out of a plane: fast and down. In a classic flight-to-quality response, investors pulled their parachutes, socking billions into the largest ETFs tracking the widely-watched Bloomberg Barclays U.S. Aggregate Bond Index (the “Barclays Aggregate”). This time, though, it didn’t work.
Observations and Perspectives: Take It One Curve at a Time
Right now I am continually inspired by the competing Olympians and I just came across an obscure and just plain crazy sport: “skeleton.” In it, thrill-seeking competitors plummet headfirst down a twisting, frozen track at speeds over 80 miles per hour.
Sierra Group of Companies Reaches over $3 Billion in Assets
The firm has experienced rapid growth over the last two years
Santa Monica, CA (February 13, 2018) -- The Sierra Group of Companies ("Sierra") is proud to announce that as of 12/31/17, the firm has reached over three billion dollars in combined assets under management and assets under advisement.Read More
The Re-Named Sierra Tactical All Asset Fund (SIRRX) Marks 10-year Anniversary
The Fund has a Track Record of Demonstrated Risk Management and Upside Participation
Santa Monica, CA (January 29, 2018) -- The Sierra Group of Companies is proud to announce that Sierra Tactical All Asset Fund (SIRRX), formerly known as Sierra Core Retirement Fund, celebrated its 10th anniversary on December 24th, 2017.Read More
A Fool's Errand - 1st Quarter 2018 Commentary
As Yogi Berra famously quipped, “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.” Nowhere is this truer than in the stock and bond markets around the world. It is a fool’s errand to make bold market predictions, but here we are at the beginning of 2018 and, as usual, economists, market pundits and fortune tellers alike are offering their best guesses for the next 12 months.
Barron's Names David Wright of The Sierra Group to 2017 "Top 100 Independent Financial Advisors" Rankings
The Managing Director and Co-founder lands on list for third consecutive year
Santa Monica, CA (September 20, 2017) -- The Sierra Group of Companies today announced that managing director and co-founder David Wright has been named to Barron's Top 100 Independent Financial Advisors for the third consecutive year. Mr. Wright and Sierra are ranked 23rd out of 100, up from 42nd in 2016 and 56th in 2015. The Barron's rankings formula is based on three general categories: assets. revenue, and quality of practice as of June 30, 2017.Read More
Observations and Perspectives: Playing Whack-a-mole in Wacko Season
A widely followed bond guru recently declared that investment markets have entered “wacko season.” Some of his reasons include bitcoin mania and also European junk bonds that yield the same as U.S. Treasuries (which would you invest in)? We do not disagree and would add to his already long wacko and confusion list:
Observations and Perspectives: Passive ETF Investing & Sleepy Markets. Stay Alert!
“The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated”, quipped Mark Twain after being told a newspaper had published his obituary when he had fallen ill. The death of active management has also been prematurely announced and is rooted in the herds of investors pouring money into passive ETF funds mimicking indexes.
Observations and Perspectives: Canaries in the Coal Mine: What to Watch as Stocks Continue to Make New Highs
Stocks continue to teeter at all-time highs and the out-sized profits enjoyed since November of last year are really a continuation of the bull market that turned 8 years old this past March. Low starting valuations, improved economic growth and employment, increased corporate earnings and low interest rates have driven the moves upward.
Clouds over Trump tax plan may curb appetite for U.S. stocks
Wall Street has tempered its expectations for sweeping U.S. tax cuts in the wake of President Donald Trump's stinging healthcare defeat, a move that could push investors to embrace cheaper global stocks after the heady U.S. rally of recent months.READ MORE
Wright: For 10% Bond Returns, Look to Munis
It's time to take profits in high-yield corporate bonds and buy high-yield municipals, says Sierra Strategic Income Fund co-manager David Wright.Watch Video
Junk bonds, emerging markets corporate debt and municipals looking attractive
David Wright appeared this afternoon on CNBC's 'Closing Bell' program in a segment with anchor Kelly Evans and on-air editor Rick Santelli, and ETF Trends founder Tom Lydon.Watch Video
Investors should be paying attention to rising rate environment
Terri Spath appeared this afternoon on CNBC's 'Closing Bell' program in a segment with anchors Kelly Evans and Bill Griffeth, and JK Investment Group chief investment officer Chris Johnson.Watch Video
Sierra Investment Management Appoints Colin Barber Senior Key Accounts Director
Mr. Barber will oversee home office relationships for all the firm’s third-party broker/dealer focused businesses
Santa Monica, CA, March 7, 2017 -- Sierra Investment Management today announced that industry veteran Colin T. Barber has been appointed as Senior Key Accounts Director for the firm’s third-party broker/dealer focused businesses, Sierra Mutual Funds and Ocean Park Asset Management, Inc.Read More
Observations and Perspectives: Look Out Above! Rates Are Going Up.
About fifty days into the new administration and the trend we have observed since July 2016 remains intact: interest rates are going up.
Here's what ended the Dow's flirtation with 20,000
This is not a kiss and tell story: The fact is the on-again, off-again romance between the Dow and the 20,000 milestone is officially on hold.READ MORE
Observations and Perspectives: Is the Sugar High Wearing Off?
Anticipation of lower taxes and higher infrastructure spending initially pushed investor enthusiasm and stock prices higher for several weeks following the election of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States. At the same time, a sea of change from central bank dominated markets to a focus on fiscal policy sparked inflationary fears, a stronger dollar prompted a melt-up in interest rates. As the Dow inches toward the historic level of 20,000, the sharp runs in stocks have begun to consolidate while rates have retreated. The sugar high is wearing off.
Barron's Names David Wright of The Sierra Group to 2016 "Top 100 Independent Financial Advisors" Rankings
The Managing Director and Co-founder lands on list for second consecutive year
Santa Monica, CA (August 29, 2016) -- The Sierra Group of Companies today announced that managing director and co-founder David Wright has been named to Barron’s Top 100 Independent Financial Advisors for the second consecutive year. Mr. Wright and Sierra are ranked 42nd out of 100, up from 56th in 2015. The Barron's rankings reflect the volume of assets under management, revenues, and quality of the advisors’ practices as of June 30, 2016.Read More
Tech stocks soar as growth trumps Trump fears
So much for fears of Donald Trump's presidency hurting tech stocks.READ MORE
Observations and Perspectives: Do You Smell That?
What’s that smell? No political jokes. No celebrity ones either. That smell you smell is the faint whiff of inflation seeping into the economy. It’s also one of the big reasons for the cruel October bond selloff.
Observations and Perspectives: Your Client Doesn't Care About Standard Deviation
All else equal, given the choice between a 10% gain or a 5% gain, most (all) investors prefer the 10%, right? A degree in math or a course in probability and statistics isn’t needed to figure that out.
Observations and Perspectives: Sell Everything? Even the Kids?
A very smart investor (more than one very smart investor, actually) is saying to sell everything. These “smart guys” are very likely smarter than me. They most certainly are wealthier than I am. Some may argue they are also better looking than me.
Observations and Perspectives: Right Back Where We Started From
In an emotional vote against crony capitalism, immigration fears and the widening gap between haves and have-nots, the UK voted on Thursday to leave the European Union, shocking pollsters and market makers the world over. The psychological damage on Friday was jarring: the British pound touched a 30-year low, European bank stocks plunged close to 20% and jittery investors rushed into gold and anything U.S., including bonds and the dollar (but not stocks or high yield bonds….yet).
Observations and Perspectives: Pass the Pepto-Bismol
As stocks reach record highs, it’s worth re-visiting the ride to get here. It’s not unusual to see pullbacks in stocks, but over the past 12 months, investors in U.S. stocks have suffered two 12+% drops in the S&P 500 and in the process made a full 2.85%. That includes dividends. As you likely recall, the U.S. market had the worst start ever to a calendar year in 2016. Happy New Year and please pass the Pepto-Bismol.
With Fed rate rise more likely, U.S. dollar again weighs on earnings
A healthier U.S. economy which leads the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates again soon may dampen spirits at companies which are just starting to see some relief from the strong dollar of the past two years.READ MORE
The Dove, the Fed and the Tanker
Since the Federal Reserve raised its borrowing rate by 25 basis points (bps) this past December, the U.S. dollar keeps dropping to lower and lower levels relative to other currencies. The tanking dollar is the exact opposite of the predictions of economists’ models. Here's what most economists say: if rates are higher and rising in the U.S. versus Japan, people want U.S. bonds, so they sell yen to buy dollars. This should push up the value of the dollar versus the yen. In fact, the opposite has occurred.
Seeing rally as fragile, some funds back away as U.S. stocks near record
The rally that has sent the benchmark S&P 500 up more than 15 percent from its February low is prompting U.S. diversified funds to sell shares as the market nears its record high.READ MORE
Stocks Rally 2%, Spurred by Good News From Banks
Good earnings lifted financials, helping shares rise broadly; in a bullish sign, market breadth hit an all-time high; and, American Express looks cheap.READ MORE
The Wall Street Journal
Record for Stocks: So Close but Hard to Reach
The momentum of the recent stock rally could carry U.S. indexes to fresh records, but they have been close before without success.READ MORE
Best Yield Now: Emerging Markets Top MLPs?
Sierra Investment Management says its best income ideas today are among emerging market bonds.READ MORE
Junk Bonds Look Attractive
With market turmoil easing, income investors should begin to think about getting into high-yield junk.READ MORE
Observations and Perspectives: Are We Out of the Woods Yet?
We’ve had a year’s worth of trading moves already in 2016. Seven weeks into the trading year and global markets, from commodities to stocks, went on a tear to the downside. Most recently, many market benchmarks have reversed course, posting solid gains. The big question now is whether this newer move is sustainable. Are we out of the woods yet?
Markets in Focus: January 2016 - What the Heck?!
Equity markets around the world ended January down substantially, and the declines in the major U.S. stock indices, in the first week and as well as the first two weeks of the year, were the worst in over 100 years. (The month as a whole was the worst January since 2009.)
Observations and Perspectives: Global Confidence is Fragile
Kicking off the start of the second full week of trading for 2016 did little to calm investors. The year started in an ugly way when The People’s Bank of China depreciated the value of its currency, the renminbi, causing shares to tumble in Shanghai. The descent in Chinese stocks was so sharp that circuit breakers were triggered, halting trading. Just like when you are fighting with your spouse, or getting ready to hit the send button in an angry email, a short pause can often stop destruction.
Buying Munis & High-Grade Corporate Bonds 'With Both Hands'
Dimitra DeFotis of Barron's talks with Sierra's Portfolio Manager, David Wright.read more
2015-06-30 Does Greece Need Adult Supervision?
Events on Saturday in Europe, regarding the "final" proposal by the ECB, IMF and Germany, roiled the global markets on Monday, June 29. The Greek leadership team and teh Eurogroup negotiating team have traded proposals for the past ten days. But the ECB and IMF negotiators finally set Saturday as the deadline for their final offer - and Greece whiffed.
Observations and Perspectives: Is it Time to "Live Happily Ever After"?
Stocks have rallied back into the green for 2016, recovering completely from the January collapse. The market breadth is convincing. Last year, we highlighted that “risk-on” assets were in fact at risk. One reason we held this view was the serious lack of breadth in the broad stock market. While the FANGS (Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, Google and Starbucks) were dazzling in their meteoric returns, the average stock was in negative territory for 2015. In fact, over 400 of the stocks in the S&P 500 lost ground in 2015, a terribly low level of market breadth.
Wealth Strategies: Time to gradually move back into bonds
Rhonda Schaffler, Reuters Insider, with Sierra Fund's Portfolio Manager, David Wright.
Closing Bell Exchange
Discussing current equity and bond market conditions, with Quincy Krosby, Prudential Financial; Anthony Chan, Chase; Michael Robinson, Money Map Press; and David Wright, Sierra Funds.
Closing Bell Exchange: US not running like it should
Discussing the impact of today's jobs report on the economy...
Sierra Group Named to Financial Times' List of 300 Top RIAs
The Sierra group of companies today announced that it has been named to the Financial Times' FT 300 Top Registered Investment Advisers in the US, based on data gathered by The Financial Times from over 2,000 RIA firms that manage over $300 million.
"We are deeply gratified to be included on this list," said David Wright, Managing Director of Sierra. "Since our inception...
Closing Bell Exchange: Fed appropriate?
After Fed Chair Janet Yellen commented on social media and biotech stocks being overpriced, Michael Block, Rhino Trading Partners; Kelly Connelly, JHS Capital Advisors; David Wright...
Munis Offer Value, Stocks Scary
Gregg Greenberg interviews Sierra's David Wright on a segment of TheStreet.Watch Video
High Yield Munis Better Than Stocks as Economy Slows
The Dow Jones Industrial Average may be back above 18,000, but the bell weather equity index does not reflect the true problems underlying the economy, said David Wright, portfolio manager for the Sierra Strategic Income Fund (SSIIX) .Watch Video
Sierra Strategic Income Fund Marks Fifth Anniversary
Since inception, the fund has outperformed its Morningstar category
Santa Monica, CA (February 3, 2017) -- Sierra Investment Management today announced that the Sierra Strategic Income Fund has reached its fifth anniversary. The fund is managed with two goals: to limit downside risk (or drawdowns) of the overall portfolio, and to provide satisfying risk-adjusted returns for clients.Read More
Sierra Strategic Income Fund Reclassified by Morningstar
We think the new category better represents the fund's absolutely flexible investment approach and philosophy.
Santa Monica, CA (January 4, 2016) - Sierra Investment Management today announced that Sierra Strategic Income Fund has been reclassified by Morningstar, Inc., the mutual fund rating service, in the "Nontraditional Bond" category. It had previously been classified in the "Multisector Bond" category.Read More