Ours and Theirs

Hi folks,


As I work to complete my final portfolio reviews for all of this year’s clients with an eye towards tax planning, two things become quite apparent. First, our investment performance in all sectors has been quite strong. Second, our elected officials have dropped the ball all year on tax reform. 

No Shortage of Enthusiasm

Hi all, we seem to be caught up in a general feeling of euphoria when it comes to the stock market at the moment. Despite some difficult news dominating the news headlines daily, investors seem content to stay invested and buy on the dips. The President’s announcement today of Jerome (Jay) Powell to succeed Janet Yellen should signal the extension of Yellen like steadiness at the Federal Reserve. He is described by those who know him well as a skilled consensus builder who demonstrates a profoundly reasonable approach in driving decisions. I think it’s safe to assume that rate hikes will be gradual and the process of unwinding the FED balance sheet will be gradual as well.

Black Monday in the Rearview

Well folks, the best thing about the anniversary of “Black Monday”  was that not many Americans seemed to care or remember. For the original event, I was in my office at 10 Hanover Square huddled with some of my staff in front a screen watching the free fall. As I remember it, there were a lot of nervous comments being made by the younger watchers while the older veterans were busy plotting what to buy and when during the selloff. There is nothing like a good selloff to bring out the real sharks.

I also remember well how quiet the elevators were as people quietly departed for home. I am sure that the most of the group was focused on what Tuesday might bring. "Was this drop going to continue?" was probably the biggest held fear.

Solid Growth and Low Inflation

In all areas where we have investments, solid growth and low inflation is a constant.  The New Global Manufacturing Order Index has surged from 50 to 54 while inventories have been declining, suggesting the trend should continue. Leading the pack, the US and China have shown steady improvement, Japan is growing at a faster pace, and Europe’s gains lead in the group. Technology seems to be the driver of the low inflation expectations. It is my opinion that this is probably the most important reason for the resilience of the major securities markets. These conditions certainly favor the equity markets absent other major roadblocks.

But the roadblocks are out there and are daunting as well...

Market Conditions Surprise on the Upside

The old adage that the “Stock Market Climbs a wall of worry” still seems to be as accurate as the day the expression was first coined. The big news events of the last several weeks including the devastation being brought by Hurricane Harvey, the anticipated highly contentious debt limit and budget negotiations in Washington, and yesterday’s  1.2%  mini sell-off haven't derailed a long period of relative stock market calm. In fact, we haven’t seen a 1.2% daily decline for over 100  straight trading days.

Look Forward and Back Before Rapidly Changing Direction

Look Forward and Back Before Rapidly Changing Direction

Harry and the Donald

Hi All, what used to be the format for major network world news seems to have been hijacked full time by coverage of the daily antics from the folks in the White House. 

The Expansion Continues But More Slowly

Nine years running and our economy is still expanding...reminds me a bit of the Energizer Bunny.  This, however, has been the third longest expansion since the Civil War.  Each expansion has looked somewhat different and has certainly prospered on the new technology and trends of the time. In that period around the Civil War, our use of slaves in agriculture was being ushered out not by just abolitionists alone, but aided with the development of early farm machinery that was more productive.