State of Confusion

Terri Spath, Chief Investment Officer | 7/16/2019

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.

The Stealth Bull Market in Bonds of the Past Year

Terri Spath, Chief Investment Officer | 6/11/2019

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

Terri Spath, Chief Investment Officer | 5/11/2019

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

Terri Spath, Chief Investment Officer | 3/18/2019

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?

Terri Spath, Chief Investment Officer | 2/12/2019

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!