Read about the latest thinking from our portfolio managers pertaining to our business.

A Quick Note on the Tax Plan Impact

By Brian Zavalkoff, December 4, 2017

Now that it appears likely that the new Tax Plan will be passed into law, I thought you might be interested in a brief note as to some of its implications.

2017 Third Quarter Review

By William A. Goldstein, October 10, 2017

The big story in the economy and the financial markets this past quarter was that there was no big story. Corporate earnings and the global economy continued to improve, the U. S. economy continued to add jobs, while central bank behavior performed pretty much as expected.

2017 Second Quarter Review

By William A. Goldstein, July 12, 2017

The political, international and economic trends that have been in place, continue unabated.

2017 First Quarter Review

By William A. Goldstein, April 12, 2017

During the first quarter of this year, stocks continued their upward march, to the surprise of many investors.  The S & P 500 Stock Index was up 6.1%, although performance across various sectors of the market was quite uneven.  While the S & P Technology Index was up 10.2%, and the Health Care Index up 7.9%, the S&P Energy Index was down 7.2%.


By Joan M. Giardina, February 9, 2017

Never in the past forty years have I experienced a time when the political climate so dominated the investment discourse and my discussions with you, my clients. For those forty years one axiom has held true. The economy matters, not politics. Even politicians mostly know that. This time feels different. It isn’t.

2016 Fourth Quarter Review

By William A. Goldstein, January 6, 2017

Once again the equity markets surprised investors, with the Standard and Poor’s 500 Stock Index rising 11.96% for the calendar year 2016. All the more surprising, since pundits were unanimous in the opinion that a Trump election victory would result in a sharp market decline.

Trump – Where Do We Go from Here?

By Brian Zavalkoff, November 9, 2016

It goes without saying that the results of last night’s election were surprising. Not only did it seem unlikely that Donald Trump would win the election, the possibility that the Republicans would end up controlling the Presidency, Senate and the House was really not even on the radar.

2016 Third Quarter Review

By William A. Goldstein, October 7, 2016

The third quarter of the year was a volatile one, as the equity markets contemplated the impact of Federal Reserve action or inaction and election consequences.  These important issues provided plenty of uncertainty to foster investor concern.  However, in spite of these issues the Standard and Poor’s 500 Stock Index was up 3.3% for the quarter and 6.1% for the year to date.  This was indeed, a strong performance, considering the circumstances.

2016 Second Quarter Review

By William A. Goldstein, July 18, 2016

In 1974, while walking through a gallery in Evanston, I purchased a lithograph by Salvador Dali.  The subject was a bull fight.  The matador is depicted standing over the bull. The bull is full of picks, bleeding at the mouth, on his front knees, but not dead.  The bull had not given up the fight.

2016 First Quarter Review

By William A. Goldstein, April 12, 2016

We ended the first quarter of 2016 “back where we started.” Stocks were about unchanged with the S & P 500 Stock Index up 0.8% and short term interest rates little changed. Getting “back where we started,” however, was a roller coaster ride for stocks, as the S & P 500 declined 13% and then recovered.

A Brief Market Comment - China and the Markets

By Brian Zavalkoff, January 7, 2016

A client asked me today if I was nervous about the markets. I am not sure nervous would be the right word. I am annoyed though and somewhat cautious. That said, my comments about the full year do still stand.

2015 Year in Review

By William A. Goldstein, January 4, 2016

It is amazing! Six years of rising stock prices and so little optimism.  Since the stock market low of March 2009 (6469.95 for the Dow Jones Industrial Average), stocks have been in a generally rising trend, ending 2015 at 17425.03.

2015 Third Quarter Review

By William A. Goldstein, October 9, 2015

Concern about interest rates and their impact on earnings, currencies and global economic growth dominated the headlines and contributed to stock and bond market volatility during the third quarter.

Market Update

By Joan M. Giardina, August 25, 2015

There is no question that the stock market is, in the vernacular, correcting.  After hitting new highs in May, the momentum has gone from relatively stable to outright drop.

A Brief Note on the Markets - China, Greece and the U.S. Impact

By Brian Zavalkoff, July 8, 2015

Over the last few weeks, volatility has increased substantially in the global equity markets. I thought I would send a brief note discussing the two major culprits, Greece and China, as well as the ramifications for the U.S. markets and economy.

2015 First Quarter Review

By William A. Goldstein, April 10, 2015

During the past quarter, the S & P 500 Stock Index rose a modest .4% but marked the ninth consecutive quarterly increase.  Perhaps the lackluster market performance is a result of somewhat disappointing earnings by large global companies due to foreign exchange conversion. 

2014 Year in Review

By William A. Goldstein, January 7, 2015

“Bulls make money.  Bears make money.  Pigs get slaughtered.”  This old Wall Street adage comes to mind, as we end 2014 with the Standard & Poor’s 500 Stock Index up 13.7% following a 32.4% increase in 2013.

2014 Year in Review and 2015 Market Outlook

By Brian Zavalkoff, January 6, 2015

2014 turned out to be a very solid year for investors and the economy – if your sole focus was the United States. The truth is that 2014 was a year of great disparity. The greater your focus on the United States, the better that you performed.

Comments Regarding Recent Stock Market Volatility

By Brian Zavalkoff, October 11, 2014

Over the last three months, stock market gyrations have picked up substantially culminating with this week producing the largest weekly market decline (S&P 500 -3.1%) since May of 2012. I thought it might be timely to provide some perspective as to what has been driving the markets and what, if anything, should be done about it.

2014 Third Quarter Review

By William A. Goldstein, October 9, 2014

Stocks provided a modest return of 1.3% for the third quarter as measured by the S&P Index, while the year to date return has been 8.3%. 

2014 Second Quarter Review

By William A. Goldstein, July 11, 2014

What is the likelihood of a major stock market correction?   This is an often asked, but not unreasonable question.

2014 First Quarter Review

By William A. Goldstein, April 10, 2014

What are you worried about?  That is the question we are asked most often.

2013 Year End Review

By William A. Goldstein, January 5, 2014

2013 was a remarkable year for investors, as U. S. stock market indices reached all-time highs.  It does not seem that long since 2009, when the cover of “Business Week” proclaimed the death of stocks and many said equities and the U. S. economy would not recover for decades.

2013 Year in Review and 2014 Market Outlook

By Brian Zavalkoff, January 3, 2014

2013 proved to be another very interesting year. Investors entered 2013 concerned that rising tax rates and a potential government shutdown would put a halt to a still fledgling economic recovery.

2013 Third Quarter Review

By William A. Goldstein, October 1, 2013

The third quarter of 2013 was another good quarter for stocks.  The Standard & Poor 500 Stock index increased 5.2% during the quarter and 19.79% for the year through September 30th.

The Taper that Wasn’t - On to Government Shutdown?

By Brian Zavalkoff, September 19, 2013

Well, yesterday was a little bit of a surprise. After four months of prepping the markets for the beginning of tapering (slowing down Federal Reserve purchase of government bonds), the Federal Reserve elected to defer the tapering process for a little while.

Why the stock market has done so well this year, and a brief comment on the sequester

By Brian Zavalkoff, March 7, 2013

The stock markets have certainly started the year on a strong note with the S&P 500 up over 8% year-to-date and the Dow Jones Industrial Average hitting an all-time high. After several years of a market crisis mentality, there is much skepticism in the market place as to the rationality and sustainability of the stock market’s rise.

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