Holiday Weekend Investment Update

As everyone is preparing for the long holiday weekend, we thought it would be prudent to share a few thoughts on the investment markets that you might keep in mind as you are celebrating the Birthday of America. Here are some high level points to consider

. • Although the most widely followed U.S. stock indices have gained effectively 0% so far in 2015, it is actually respectable that they have held their ground given the primarily negative news headlines of the year (interest rate spike, negative economic statistics, stagnant wages, ISIS, China, Greece, Puerto Rico).

• Let's not forget that the S&P 500 Index just hit a new high mark in May, and now sits only 2.6% below that level. The Russell 2000 Index of smaller companies also just hit a new high mark in June, and currently is 2.8% below its high. Our tactical portfolios have a heavier weighting toward small company stocks and that has helped them gain positive ground this year even with all of the head winds.

• There is a very real possibility of stronger economic growth in the second half of 2015. Several statistics are already hinting at this, and although our economy is certainly not humming along at full tilt, the weight of the evidence indicates that it is getting better. Overall, while the mildly positive returns of the last 6 months are not breathtaking, we feel very good about them given the backdrop of a zero percent stock market and negative bond market that was handed to us. More importantly, we are cautiously optimistic about the second half of the year and very comfortable with our positioning going into it, knowing of course that we will continue to monitor and adjust as things change.

We want to wish all of you a wonderful July 4th holiday weekend, and we'll be back in touch soon.

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