What a difference a year can make. Last April, we were discussing the uncertainty and unprecedented events of the early pandemic. The daily headlines seemed to rotate between record unemployment claims, increasing infection rates, a locked down economy, and a wildly volatile stock market. In contrast, our attention today is focused on millions of new jobs being added to payrolls, ever-higher vaccination rates, an economy that is opening up, and one of the strongest one-year stock market returns ... [Continue Reading]
Updates and articles on timely topics from the Investment Team.
Reflecting on a year gone by is often, at least to some extent, an exercise in revisionist history. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing; many of the differences between our memories and experiences are minor and inconsequential. In some cases, the variations in these realities can help us persevere and move out of the past and into future endeavors. But as investors, revising the memories of the past can be problematic and potentially hinder future success. Behavioral finance is the study of ... [Continue Reading]
The upcoming U.S. election is proving to be one of the most highly contested and polarizing in recent history. With control of the presidency, house, and senate on the line, in addition to a multitude of key state and local races occurring across the country, the stakes are clearly high. Adding further complexity and complication to the mix, we continue to navigate the challenges of a global pandemic, where the health and safety of the electorate are at risk. It may come as no surprise that ... [Continue Reading]
For investors who recall the experience of 1999, it was either a fantastic year or a difficult one, depending on the types of stocks in their portfolio. Investors who concentrated their portfolio among growth companies, which earned little or no profits, remember 1999 as a fantastic year, delivering a return of 41%. Investors with the opposite philosophy, such as Warren Buffett, chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, did not fare as well. Their focus on value companies with large profits lost ... [Continue Reading]
As the chart below shows, 2020’s second-quarter rise in equity market performance was as dramatic as the previous quarter’s decline. With plenty of bumps along the way, the S&P 500 is now up more than 40% from the bottom on March 23. 1 If we view these recent extreme market events as isolated time periods, we can see the sharp contrast between the first two quarters of 2020 (Chart 1, below). These quarters were truly “tail events.” Q1 produced the fifth worst return, and Q2 ... [Continue Reading]