Investing

Stock market chart

Market Commentary

The U.S. stock market reached new highs to close out 2017. The S&P 500 stock index was up over 21% last year and already another 6% in January before experiencing some decline in February. Given that the long term average return for the stock market is around 10%, future price appreciation is likely to be much lower. Not to mention that the market has not had a significant drop in almost a year and a half – far from the…

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Market Commentary

 In investment circles it is often said that “You make your money when you buy.” The basic notion is that the investor buys the stock of a good company that is temporarily selling at a low price and holds onto it until it can be sold at a much higher price.  So, to have a good chance to make a profit one needs low prices as a starting point.The problem is that seldom has there been such an absence of…

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roller coaster

The Rollercoaster Returns

Over the last month or so, stock markets have tacked on another 2-3% gain. This rise came on the heels of an abrupt 6% drop in the market immediately after the surprising vote in Britain to leave the European Union. What is going on? Volatility has returned to the markets in the last year after several years of positive market action, as shown in this five-year chart of the New York Stock Exchange Index.  Cited causes of recent market declines…

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There is No Such Thing as a “Best Investment”

An article published in the USA Today titled “Warren Buffett: This is the best investment most people can buy” was forwarded my way recently. I find it interesting to read statements attributed to Warren Buffet, even if the journalists covering them sometimes rephrase or take things out of context.  Judging by the quotes in the article, all Warren actually asserted was that the Vanguard 500 Index fund is a great choice if you are looking for passive exposure to the “American…

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bucking bronco

Wild First Quarter Ride

It was a wild ride in the stock market during the first 3 months of the year. January started out with one of the biggest drops ever for the month. The market continued to decline into mid-February reaching about a -10% decline for the year at that point before essentially recovering all the ground it had lost by the end of March. European and Asian stock markets were down about -2.5% on average for the quarter and U.S. and overseas…

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Kicking the Tires at T. Rowe Price

Journey Tree is always on the lookout for the top mutual funds in a variety of asset categories in order to construct the portfolios that best meet client needs. Our research process involves occasionally meeting with company representatives to get all of our questions answered. Jonathan recently returned from a visit to T. Rowe Price, an investment firm located in Baltimore, Maryland. T. Rowe Price mutual funds have begun popping up with some regularity in the results of our recent…

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An Overview of 529 College Savings Plans

A number of our clients have been asking how they can help provide college funding for their kids or their grandkids, so we thought we would provide a quick overview of 529 college savings plans. With nearly a quarter of a trillion dollars invested in these plans, Americans are increasingly using the 529 plan as a tool to save for future education needs. The basic idea behind a 529 plan is to allow families to save for college costs with…

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Market Commentary

It’s a Capital Preservation Market… “Today I feel it is important to pay more attention to loss prevention than to the pursuit of gain.” – Howard Marks, Oaktree Capital 2015 was the first year in several years that nearly every major investment category lost money. All four stock indices we track (the New York Stock Exchange and indices for Europe, Asia, and Emerging Markets) dropped in price by a percentage ranging from -1.85% to -18.30%. The four bond indices we…

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It’s Time to Play Defense

The current investment landscape is one of the most challenging we have faced in the last 25 years. The US stock market is not far from an all-time high even though profit and revenue growth have been declining and interest rates appear to be headed higher, thus setting up the distinct possibility of a significant drop in stock prices. And with unprecedented low interest rates that are likely to start rising soon, bonds, money markets and other fixed income investments…

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Morningstar Conference

  We make it a habit to attend industry conferences each year to keep abreast of the best thinking in our field. In June, I ventured to Chicago in search of current insights at the Morningstar Investment conference. Here are just a few of the highlights you might be interested in: Active vs. Passive Investing – Passive investing through index mutual funds and exchange traded funds has enjoyed immense popularity during the last several years. This is largely due to…

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