Market Commentary

Newsletter – Quarter 2, 2020

In the world of investing, we are often told to be cautious when we hear market participants use the phrase “this time is different.”  The phrase is often used to justify some excess in the market.  For example, during the Dot-Com bubble of the late 1990s, the phrase was used by investors to justify paying sky-high prices and valuations for money-losing businesses.  Eventually, economic reality returned and left many of these investors holding the bag.  

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Market Update

Over the past two months, the coronavirus brought with it many economic “firsts” for investors.  For example, for the first time:

  • Significant components of the economy were forced to shut down;
  • The US government began purchasing corporate investment grade debt and a subset of high yield debt;
  • Weekly jobless claims were in the multi-millions for four consecutive weeks; and
  • The price for a barrel of oil went negative as storage has become increasingly scarce.
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Newsletter – Quarter 1, 2020

And they said March Madness was canceled.  While the college basketball postseason was indeed shut down, the coronavirus-induced chaos that has upended our lives, our economy, and our financial markets has, unfortunately, continued.  We’ll do our best to make some sense of the latter two in this limited space.

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Newsletter – Quarter 4, 2019

The stock market’s strong performance in 2019 capped a great decade for investors.  The S&P 500 had only one down year, in 2018, and it had double-digit years seven times, including three years when the returns exceeded 20%.  The returns are even more remarkable when you think back to what was happening ten years ago.  The old Wall Street adage proved accurate: It paid to be greedy when others were fearful. 

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An article by CNBC with quotes from Aram Schotts, CFP, and Rob Souza, CFA

Why advisors encourage these older investors to buy more stocks

PUBLISHED MON, DEC 2 20199:15 AM EST UPDATED TUE, DEC 3 201910:49 AM EST Darla Mercado


  • Low rates on fixed income investments, longer lifespans and the desire to leave a legacy might be some of the reasons why older investors could increase stock exposure.
  • An investor with a stream of guaranteed income — such as a pension or an annuity — could be better positioned to take equity risk and improve returns.
  • Stocks are a smart choice for money earmarked for the future, but they shouldn’t make up the entire portfolio. Always keep cash for emergencies.
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Our Chief Compliance Officer, Ashley Guerra quoted in an informative article by CNBC.

New client best interest rule raises standards but ‘muddies the water’ on advisor, broker differences

PUBLISHED MON, NOV 18 20198:00 AM EST UPDATED TUE, NOV 19 20191:12 PM EST Andrew Osterland

What is a suitable investment for someone? What is in an investor’s best interest? What is the difference between a securities broker and a financial advisor? If you have no idea, you’re not alone.

“There is still so much confusion with financial terms,” said Ashley Guerra, chief compliance officer for registered investment advisor Gamble Jones Investment Counsel, ranked No. 12 on the CNBC FA 100 list of top financial advisors for 2019. “I don’t see a lot more awareness of the issue among investors.

“I still have friends that call me their broker sometimes,” she added.

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