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  • Quarterly Market Review : Oct 15, 2015

    John Gorlow | Oct 15, 2015

    The end of Q3 was a textbook example of why it pays to be a passive investor. Stocks swung wildly during the final week of August, only to be followed by a quick recovery in which the biggest losers bounced back fast. (Pity the poor investor who sold in fear early that week. But that wasn’t you.) October month to date, US markets have gained 3.8%, international developed markets 5.5%, and emerging markets 7.3%. 

    Read on for our Q3 review, advice about what to do during market corrections, and news about the latest financial come-ons from Wall Street.   
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  • Smart Beta Strategies: Beyond The Hype

    John Gorlow | Sep 28, 2015
    Reaching for BetaReaching For A Better Solution: Is Smart Beta Right for You?

    Wouldn’t it be great if you could reap equal or greater returns while lowering your risk? That’s the allure of new “smart beta” strategies. But are these strategies proven and reliable or simply the latest marketing gimmick to reel in gullible investors? Here we offer a quick primer on what smart beta investing is all about, and advice for those considering it.

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  • Market Update: Sep 2, 2015

    John Gorlow | Sep 02, 2015
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    The dog days of summer brought wild swings in the stock market, testing the fortitude of seasoned investors trained to hold on through market routs. Was August a harbinger of things to come? If so, what should you do now?  

    We’ve got insights and advice to share. Let’s begin with a review of August results. 
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  • Market Update: August 12, 2015

    John Gorlow | Aug 12, 2015
    behaviorMany investors are concerned about the news coming from Europe and China. How should investors behave in the midst of a financial crisis? Should one do something different with his or her portfolio? — Let’s look at July’s results before we answer these important questions.
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  • Quarterly Market Review : July 16, 2015

    John Gorlow | Jul 16, 2015

    The DJIA climbs above 18,000 but your portfolio performance is tepid. What’s up with that? Learn the answers in our 2015 Q2 review and commentary.

    Despite a bumpy ride throughout the second quarter, global markets remained calm and stocks traded in a narrow range as Wall Street weighed the debt crisis in Greece, credit problems in Puerto Rico, the see-saw in Chinese stocks and prospects for a U.S interest rate hike. Then, after approaching historic highs, the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index declined in the last few days of June, finishing the second quarter with a barely positive 0.28 percent return (dividends included). 

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  • Market Update: June 8, 2015

    John Gorlow | Jun 08, 2015
    What will happen when interest rates rise? How will it affect your portfolio and the economy at large? This month we consider the potential disruptive force of rising U.S. interest rates and suggest a time-tested strategy for protection. 
    In the latest bout of volatility, long-term interest rates in the United States climbed by almost 0.4 percentage points. Ten-year U.S. Treasury bonds are yielding 2.39%, up from 1.97% in late March. International long-term interest rates, particularly in Germany, have climbed even more steeply. The 10-year Bund yield briefly brushed the 1% level in early June after trading as low as 0.08% in April. 
    Some pundits suggest that a generation-long shift toward ever-lower global interest rates may have finally run its course. Have world bond markets reached the tipping point? Opinions are divided, and only time will tell. What’s the average investor to do?
    Our advice—regardless of what financial pundits suggest—is that the best defense against uncertainty is a sound financial plan.  Remain consistently disciplined and follow an investment strategy tailored to your goals and risk tolerance. Disregard the noise of the markets and so-called experts. Adopt a long-term focus. Be patient. And if the eventual departure from low interest rates triggers a downdraft, assume a rebalancing opportunity. 
    Below we take a look at the risks to financial markets in the aftermath of quantitative easing. But first, let’s review the numbers from May. 

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  • Market Update: May 7, 2015

    John Gorlow | May 07, 2015

    moneyThis month we take a look at the 21st annual Dalbar report, a large ongoing study measuring the effects of reacting to short-term market fluctuations and outlier events. Bottom line: when we behave emotionally and not rationally with our investments, the consequences can be surprisingly negative. We’ll show you the painful truth. But first, a look at April results. 

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  • Quarterly Market Review : APR 17, 2015

    John Gorlow | Apr 17, 2015

    IMG_2080THE NUMBERS DON’T LIE. Perhaps it’s in our nature to believe in hunches, or to think we know a winner when we see one, or that every stock and bond market move can be anticipated if only we have the right data. The evidence about actively managed funds suggests otherwise. This month we take a look at short- and long-term actively managed fund performance as measured by a large, ongoing study. It’s not a pretty picture. But first, the numbers.

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  • Market Update: Mar 8, 2015

    John Gorlow | Mar 08, 2015

    When exchange rate volatility takes a bite out of your portfolio, should you change your strategy or hedge your bets? This month we take a look at short and longer-term currency trends and offer our advice on what to do (and what not to do). As always, diversification is your strongest ally. 

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  • Market Update: Feb 9, 2015

    John Gorlow | Feb 09, 2015
    GettyImages_86071179As we move into February, forecast-beating U.S. payroll data sparked a jump in bond yields. The dollar gained. Month-to-date, stock returns erased January losses. Economists were pleased.
    As an investor, how should you react to good news like that? How about the negative news? And of course the financial press has plenty of baseless predictions and forecasts at the start of each new year. 

    Our advice is the same, no matter what the news brings. Remain disciplined and focused on a sound investment philosophy. If your situation has changed, do an allocation checkup. Never invest based on your emotions. And tune out the noise of financial pundits.

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