Investment Comments


January Investment Comments

Investors hoping for a year-end rally have instead been treated to increased market volatility.  A near 5% decline in its first week was the market’s worst start to December since 2008, though this drop followed what was the S&P 500’s best week in almost seven years.  The recent turbulence is […]


December Investment Comments

Despite October’s market drama, anxiety over the recent election, and hand-wringing over the durability of the economic expansion, the stock market seems to be on sound footing.  Economic growth appears solid and valuations are reasonable thanks to the impact of lower corporate tax rates. Third quarter Gross Domestic Product (GDP) […]


November Investment Comments

November’s midterm elections are likely to result in a divided congress.  Forecasting website FiveThirtyEight.com currently predicts an 85% chance that Democrats win control of the House but only a 19% chance the Senate swings blue as well.  A surprise sweep by one party could cause further asset price volatility as […]


October Investment Comments

Against a backdrop of tariffs, Federal Reserve interest rate increases, and emerging market struggles, the S&P 500 steadily advanced to a new all-time record in late August.  This has now become the longest bull market in history, measuring 9½ years from the low of March 9, 2009. Common sense would […]


September Investment Comments

U.S. economic indicators appear quite strong and supported an impressive 4.1% annualized growth rate in second quarter Gross Domestic Product.  Underlying growth would have been 5.1% excluding inventory de-stocking; ups and downs in inventories typically correct themselves the following quarter. Retail sales growth also remains solid, up 6.4% from last […]


August Investment Comments

Through mid-July, the S&P 500 is up nearly 5%, a respectable start following 2017’s strong performance.  The move higher has come despite what appears to be slowing, but still solid, global growth and concerns surrounding trade.  President Trump recently proposed tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods after Beijing responded […]


July Investment Comments

The S&P 500 mostly sputtered through the first five months of 2018, but a strong start to June has pushed its year-to-date performance up to +5.5%.  Renewed volatility has made this year’s gains feel hard-earned, even grueling.  It is somewhat difficult to believe that we are currently on pace for […]


June Investment Comments

Investors in 2018 haven’t had much to cheer about.  The stock market is about flat.  The resumption of normal volatility seems abnormal because prior years were so placid in comparison.  Normally investors can seek relief in the bond market, but with both the Federal Reserve and a stronger economy pushing […]


May Investment Comments

To date, one could make the case that the return of volatility is the market story of the year.  The Cboe Volatility Index, or VIX, spiked in February to a high of 50 before settling in at a level below 20. Despite the February surge, the current level of the […]


April Investment Comments

Stock investors as a group seem like a bunch of manic depressives, present company excluded of course.  We worry when the economy doesn’t grow much because recessions accompany bear markets and we certainly don’t like those.  But we also fret when the economy does too well because that could result […]