Archive for the ‘Insight’ Category

2012 4th Quarter Commentary

January 17, 2013  |   Insight,News & Press   |     |   0 Comment

We have remarked to many of our clients recently that this has been a year of conflicting realities. While politically and internationally “turbulent” seems to be an appropriate adjective, the capital markets have painted a different scene. Despite a close Presidential election, a “Fiscal Cliff,” countless European Summits and Sovereign Debt debates, both the stock and bond markets posted respectable returns. The economy continues its slow march towards recovery and ...

2012 3rd Quarter Commentary

October 19, 2012  |   Insight,News & Press   |     |   0 Comment

We are surprised the markets were so strong last quarter given the negative headlines that typically cause market volatility. Our year-end expectations have been exceeded. Year to date we have double digit gains in the S&P and the Nasdaq and high single digit gains in the Dow Industrials. Even our friends across the pond have seen high single digit gains in their major indices. This quarter only added to the ...

2012 2nd Quarter Commentary

July 27, 2012  |   Insight,News & Press   |     |   Comments Off on 2012 2nd Quarter Commentary


In the first half of the year we have seen some of the best and the worst that the markets have to offer. The dichotomy is noteworthy: the first quarter was the best in 14 years while during the second quarter the Dow posted the worst May performance since 1940! With the same surprising speed that confidence was restored in the first quarter, fear and uncertainty returned in the second. ...

2012 1st Quarter Commentary

April 19, 2012  |   Insight,News & Press   |     |   0 Comment


The following are some significant events that occurred in the 1st quarter:

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above 13,000 for the first time since May 2008.
The S&P 500 also had its highest close since 2008; in fact, it had its best first quarter since 1998.
Parliaments in Germany and Finland approved the second bailout package for Greece.
The ECB's (European Central Bank) 3 year Long-Term Refinancing Operation (LTRO) was initiated and served ...

2011 4th Quarter Commentary

January 26, 2012  |   Insight,News & Press   |     |   Comments Off on 2011 4th Quarter Commentary


2011 was a wildly volatile and emotionally taxing year for investors worldwide. After an attractive first quarter, the Japanese tsunami devastated a portion of our manufacturing supply chain which damaged production, sales and ultimately, GDP. Following that natural disaster, we experienced a man-made one when politicians seemed intent on creating a financial crisis over America’s very large debt. Their indecisiveness contributed to a decision by the ratings agencies to lower ...

2011 3rd Quarter Commentary

October 13, 2011  |   Insight,News & Press   |     |   Comments Off on 2011 3rd Quarter Commentary


Instability, uncertainty, and overall headline risk drove stock prices for the last three months. While many of the concerns we have written about earlier this year persist, the drama in Europe supersedes everything right now. On the whispers of agreements or dissensions between the deal makers/politicians in France and Germany, equity markets have moved hundreds of points upward or downward. Sentiment is quite negative these days and sentiment is driving ...

2011 2nd Quarter Commentary

July 12, 2011  |   Insight,News & Press   |     |   Comments Off on 2011 2nd Quarter Commentary


The second quarter of 2011 had an all too familiar feel. After a strong start to the year, investors “sold in May and went away.” However, this time rather than an oil spill and the ensuing disaster, it was global supply chain issues caused by the Japanese tsunami, massive flooding in the US, a slowing growth rate in China and continued European debt concerns that caused investors to pull back. ...

2011 1st Quarter Commentary

April 14, 2011  |   Insight,News & Press   |     |   Comments Off on 2011 1st Quarter Commentary

“He that can have patience can have what he will.”
Benjamin Franklin


The first quarter of 2011 closed with an upward trend in stock prices. A rally that began in December continued through March with the final day of trading in the quarter testing the highs set on February 5th. This type of behavior shows the extreme resilience of investors; that despite the prevalence of intense “noise,” the fundamentals that drive ...

2010 4th Quarter Commentary

January 26, 2011  |   All Else,Insight   |     |   0 Comment

“Everyone takes the limits of his own vision for the limits of the world.”
Arthur Schopenhauer

Last quarter we discussed our take on the future of the economy, noting that economics is a dismal science and thus we are required to take a less apocalyptic and more measured approach to our forecasts than the soothsayers in the media. We noted that economic forecasts over the last 12 months have been anything but ...

2010 3rd Quarter Commentary

October 25, 2010  |   Insight   |     |   0 Comment

“The mind is its own place, and in itself, can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven.” John Milton

A recent story we read captures the idea of how many people think in linear ways that can lead us to underestimate the future – be careful how you think:
“In 1898, the first international urban-planning conference convened in New York. It was abandoned after three days because ...

2010 2nd Quarter Commentary

July 08, 2010  |   Insight   |     |   Comments Off on 2010 2nd Quarter Commentary

The second quarter marked a pause in the 18 month rally in the equity markets. International markets performed substantially worse than domestic ones, particularly when translated into U.S. Dollar terms. Much of this correction stemmed from the uncertainties in Europe and lackluster domestic indicators of economic activity.

The last three months have brought market participants to a point where many feel we are evenly balanced between economic decline and growth. ...

Time to Panic? (or Why you Need an Advisor)

May 11, 2010  |   Insight   |     |   Comments Off on Time to Panic? (or Why you Need an Advisor)

by H. Brian May

Last week we experienced a selloff reminiscent of the days of Lehman Brothers’ failure in 2008. While some claim a trading error may have been responsible for a portion of the massive decline on Thursday, we know that fears of a European collapse and Greek contagion gave speculators and traders a reason to sell.

It’s clear the markets have risen substantially from ...

2010 1st Quarter Commentary

April 14, 2010  |   Insight   |     |   Comments Off on 2010 1st Quarter Commentary

During the last month, we passed the one year anniversary of the stock market’s most recent crisis low. We remember quite clearly that ugly Monday in March (3/9/09), 3 days after the S&P 500 hit an intraday low of 666, then closed at 676.53, reflecting a point where in the wake of the credit crisis, panic selling appeared to capitulate. At that point the S&P 500 traded at the same ...

Experience the SS&A Difference

February 28, 2010  |   Featured,Insight   |     |   Comments Off on Experience the SS&A Difference

Today's financial landscape can be confusing. We believe both the regulatory structure and Wall Street have made it this way. In our opinion, looking at recent history, Wall Street is not in the advice business, as most investors think. Instead, Wall Street is in the business of manufacturing and selling products. In our minds there ...

Know Your ABC's: The Impact of Fees on Investment Performance

August 18, 2008  |   Insight   |     |   0 Comment

By G. Gregory Smith, Jr.

As a follow up to our study on how taxes can impair investment returns, we thought it only logical to address how fees are another “hidden pitfall” for investors. The following discussion is intended to be a primer on how investment managers are compensated. The multitude of investment vehicles on the market today prohibit a comprehensive explanation, but ...

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