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Emerging Markets Poised To Outperform

 April 22 2017     David Templeton
In our Spring 2017 Investor Letter we briefly commented on first quarter investment changes we initiated in client accounts, specifically, adding exposure to emerging markets. Expanded commentary follows on some of the rational for this change. Simply because an asset class or stock is cheap does not necessarily suggest the asset should be purchased; however, valuation does tend to matter in the l...

Brick & Mortar Retail Struggles Attributable to Growth In E-Commerce

 April 21 2017     David Templeton
Today another retailer announced it will be closing up shop, Bebe Stores, Inc. (BEBE), making it the 15th retailer to go under this year. By the end of May BEBE plans to liquidate its approximately 180 stores. This nearly matches the 18 retail bankruptcies for all of 2016.Source: S&P Global: Market IntelligenceWith the consumer accounting for nearly 70% of economic growth in the U.S., are the stru...

Widespread Bearishness Indicating Market Nearing A Turning Point?

 April 14 2017     David Templeton
Bearish sentiment has over taken what was a bullish environment that unfolded after last year's election. The sentiment change can be attributed to a number of factors, such as continued gridlock in Washington, U.S. bombing campaigns in several countries overseas, etc. Most of the return generated by the equity market over the past two years has occurred since the election in November of last yea...

Higher Oil Prices Face Strong Headwinds

 April 8 2017     David Templeton
Since March 27 spot WTI crude oil has moved higher by 11% increasing from $47.02/bbl to $52.25/bbl. This rise in price has occurred during a period when crude inventory levels in the U.S. continue to rise. This increase in crude inventory levels is taking place at a time when the drilling rig count continues to increase as well. Historically, an increase in rig count has coincided with higher crud...

Spring 2017 Investor Letter: A Stable First Quarter

 April 6 2017     David Templeton
Our Spring 2017 Investor Letter reviews the low volatility first quarter. Prior to March 21st, the S&P 500 went 109 straight days without closing down more than 1% en route to a 6.07% gain for Q1 2017. The first quarter market gains also came with unusually low volatility as measured by the VIX Index; the key index for measuring short-term volatility. Pundits have largely attributed the steady p...

The Special Earnings Test

 March 20 2017     Anna Pfaehler
A client recently received a 5-figure bill from Social Security requesting that he pay back all benefits paid to him last year within 30 days. Such a notice will make anyone apoplectic. Luckily, we were able to sort out the confusion and eliminate the client’s bill.  According to the Social Security administration, our client had violated the earnings test. If you are under full reti...

GDP Growth Above 3% Is Attainable

 March 19 2017     David Templeton
One component of the Trump administration policies is to improve the growth rate of the economy through an infrastructure spending policy, reducing taxes and regulations and increasing spending on rebuilding the military. While campaigning he stated his policies would return the economic growth rate, GDP, to 3%. A number of economists, along with the Federal Reserve, indicate moving the growth rat...

Market Advance May Have Stalled On Concerns Around Timing Of Tax Reform

 March 12 2017     David Templeton
For the first few trading days in March, the equity market seems to be consolidating the gains achieved in February. Sideways or small market pullbacks have been a common pattern for the market since the election. For the most part the market has corrected over time (sideways movement) versus a steep contraction during the post election advance. This type of market pattern can be frustrating to in...

Better Investing Members Net Sellers Of Apple

 March 5 2017     David Templeton
Periodically I provide a review of what individual members of Better Investing are purchasing. My last review or update was in August last year and BI members reported their top purchase was Apple (AAPL). Another purchase back in August was Southwest Airlines (LUV), so BI members seemed to be ahead of Warren Buffett's interest in airline stocks. In regards to Apple, BI members are reporting they a...

Time To Reduce One's Equity Exposure?

 March 1 2017     David Templeton
The U.S. stock market has been on a steady climb higher since the November election. From 11/8/16 to 3/1/17 the S&P 500 Index has moved higher by 11.96%. This double digit return in a short period of time has some investors asking if this is an appropriate time to reduce equity exposure.An initial action investors can benefit from at this point in time is to evaluate the overall asset allocation i...
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