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All-Time Highs ? Yes, but ...

The beginning of summer is upon us and the last week of May had many financial media outlets buzzing with the news that the U.S. stock market was again hitting 'all-time high' levels. While that is certainly true of some market indexes, we thought it important to bring perspective to the current conditions as we enter the typically slower summer months of the calendar.

The Bull Turns 5 (Risk Management Mathematics)

By now you have probably heard quite a bit in the media about March 9, 2014 being the 5 year anniversary of the bull market in U.S. stocks that started in March of 2009. The stock market has certainly experienced a long and powerful move upward over that time frame, with the most recent calendar year of 2013 being especially strong.

Roller Coaster 2014

The erratic action that characterized most major investment markets in January of this year continued in February, but in almost exactly the opposite direction. Equity markets that were in a meaningful selloff and bond markets that were branded as out of favor both roared back in February, leaving the financial media unsure what to make of the first two months of 2014.

STILL Not So Happy New Year for Stocks

We don’t normally like to comment frequently on short term movements of the global investment markets, but with the stellar results for U.S. stocks in 2013 being followed by a disappointing start to 2014, we felt the need to continue providing perspective to counteract the dramatic reports you are probably seeing in the financial media.

Not So Happy New Year for Stocks

With 2013 year-end celebrations disappearing quickly in the rearview mirror, the New Year has been more grumpy than cheery for most global stock markets. While most of the selloffs have occurred in foreign stocks, the U.S. stock market has started to feel some pressure in the last week. We have discussed several times that 2014 could very well bring the first meaningful drawdown in the U.S.

Bond Fund Investors Timing Results

An interesting chart showed up in our research this week that we wanted to share with you. The first graphic below shows the net amount of money flowing into and out of stock funds (on the left) and bond and income oriented funds (on the right) The red circles in the bottom right corner show first a trend over many months of investors adding significant money to bond funds.

Government Shutdown Market Results are In!

It’s over! As we wrote to you in September, no U.S. Government ‘shutdown’ in recent history has lasted more than 21 days, and this one fell right in line, ending at day 16. We also shared with you that most shutdowns tend to be minor events in the investment markets, and this one was even weaker than most.

Perspective on Government 'Shutdown' #18

While we would rather just ignore the ongoing shenanigans of our 535 ‘leaders’ in Washington, D.C., the non-stop media coverage this week will be impossible to get away from, so we wanted to offer one additional piece of perspective now that a budget compromise has not been reached (yet).

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