Investment Forecasts and Quarterly Letters

Quarterly Letter – 2nd Quarter 2020

Stocks around the world had a surprisingly strong second quarter, while the economic and societal healing
process post the pandemic-induced recession is just getting under way. The impairment to businesses
around the world from the virus has been significant and is commensurate with this being the most
disruptive global health crisis experienced in over a century.

Quarterly Letter – 1st Quarter 2020

The first quarter finally came to a close, leaving many unanswered questions about the global health pandemic and the state of the world economy.

Economic and Investment Forecast – March 2020

Coronavirus is on everyone’s mind with its effects being felt worldwide. The markets are extremely volatile, and we’re all concerned for the health and safety of our families, friends, and colleagues.

Market Update – February 2020

Given the volatility in the financial markets this week, we wanted to provide you an update on the current
market unrest. The Coronavirus is a key concern this week for obvious reasons.

Quarterly Letter – 4th Quarter 2019

The U.S. equity market capped off a banner year in December with further strength in major stock indices. Benchmarks such as the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 were up 25% and 31%, respectively, in 2019, despite member companies reporting negative earnings growth in the third quarter.

Economic and Investment Forecast – December 2019

The end of 2019 concludes an epic decade for stock investors. With this year’s equity returns close to 30%, the S&P 500 benchmark can now claim appreciation of nearly 250% since 2010, making this past ten-year period one of the all-time best. In fact, this bull market is now the longest since World War II as well as the best performing.

Quarterly Letter – 3rd Quarter 2019

Financial markets were mixed in the third quarter, with major asset class performance ranging from small negative returns to incremental positive gains. The primary U.S. stock and bond benchmarks rose by about 2% in the quarter, while small-cap and International equities fell by a similar amount.

Quarterly Letter – 2nd Quarter 2019

Stocks around the world climbed higher in the second quarter, adding to what has been a banner year
for equity investors. Global economic conditions continue to look promising, with the U.S. economy
in particularly good shape thanks to low interest rates and high consumer confidence.

Economic and Investment Forecast – June 2019

As we reach the half-way point in what has been a strong year in the financial markets, the Jay Powell led Federal Reserve is considering an important change in interest rate policy.

Quarterly Letter – 1st Quarter 2019

The decade-old bull market roared back to life in the first quarter, making up for what was a volatile
end to 2018 for financial markets.

Quarterly Letter – 4th Quarter 2018

The fourth quarter of 2018 did not provide much holiday cheer for investors, as major stock benchmarks
registered their worst December since the Great Depression (circa 1931).

Market Update – October 2018

In what is shaping up to be a volatile year in the financial markets, the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped into correction territory for the second time in 2018, while the S&P 500 Index was also on the cusp of a 10% retracement.

Quarterly Letter – 3rd Quarter 2018

After an uneven first half of the year in the equity and fixed income markets, U.S. stocks found their stride in the third quarter, prolonging what has been a historic bull run. The market was encouraged by second quarter GDP growth of 4.2% and found additional support from corporate earnings reports that beat expectations.

Quarterly Letter – 2nd Quarter 2018

With the first half of the year completed, investment returns across all asset classes were truly mixed through the June 30th period. U.S. stock benchmarks ended the quarter on a strong note, which pushed their performance for the year into positive territory after a poor first quarter.

Economic and Investment Forecast – June 2018

As steady as the U.S. economy has been of late, investor focus in 2018 has decidedly turned to geopolitics. The recently completed U.S. and North Korea summit in Singapore was truly historic, even if very little official business was completed by Supreme Leader Kim Jong-Un and President Donald Trump…

Quarterly Letter – 1st Quarter 2018

After several quarters of calm markets and steadily increasing stock prices, global equity markets became more volatile in the first quarter of 2018, resulting in minor losses for the period. The S&P 500 finished the quarter down less than 1% (first quarterly loss since 2009), while the major bond benchmark lost 1.8% of value on the heels of rising interest rates.

Market Update – February 2018

Following a 2.5% drop in the Dow Jones Industrial Average on Friday, the Dow fell over 1,000 points Monday, thus continuing a long overdue correction in the markets. The selloff represents the biggest decline in the Dow since 2011 and erases the 5% gain for the year. As to be expected, bond prices rose sharply, as investors pivoted into asset classes deemed safe.

Quarterly Letter – 4th Quarter 2017

The widely followed S&P 500 equity benchmark registered a 6.6% return in the fourth quarter, capping a terrific 2017 for investors. It was also one of the calmest years in the market, with all twelve months registering a positive gain (last achieved in 1958). Not to be left out, the Dow Jones also posted record highs, with the index hovering near 25,000 at year end.

Economic and Investment Forecast – December 2017

The signing of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is a significant development and caps a terrific period for investors, with
2017 marking the ninth year of this enduring bull market and economic expansion. While there is much to parse
through in this major tax legislation, corporations will find a substantially lower tax rate of 21%…

Quarterly Letter – 3rd Quarter 2017

The equity markets extended their gains in the third quarter, continuing an orderly rise in stock prices around the world. The key pillars of the global economy are hitting on all cylinders, with the highlights being strong job creation bolstering consumer spending that is on the rise.

Quarterly Letter – 2nd Quarter 2017

With the year halfway complete, the world’s largest economies are growing in a synchronized way and looking past
the various distracting political controversies. While the U.S. consumer was given much credit for driving the initial
years of economic expansion, we are now seeing the industrial sector take the lead…

Economic and Investment Forecast – June 2017

Whether measured by the overall health of the global economy or by returns earned by stock and bond investors, the first half of 2017 is shaping up to be very strong with good momentum going forward. U.S. stocks benefited from a 12% increase in earnings per share in the first quarter…

Quarterly Letter – 1st Quarter 2017

Upon the inauguration of our 45th President, Donald J. Trump, coupled with the Republican sweep of Congress, investors were expecting new policy direction for our country and an increase in market volatility that is typically associated with this type of uncertainty and change…

Quarterly Letter – 4th Quarter 2016

From a market perspective, the 4th quarter of 2016 was quite volatile, only to conclude with very rewarding returns – particularly for equity investors. It was a strong finish to a year that began with a less than auspicious start. In the first half of 2016, investor sentiment was low…

Economic and Investment Forecasts – November 2016

One of the most memorable and divisive U.S. presidential elections culminated in the unexpected victory of the populist and anti-establishment candidate Donald Trump. The win for the Republican nominee came as a great surprise, as most national polls had Hillary Clinton…

Quarterly Letter – 3rd Quarter 2016

Financial markets pushed higher in the third quarter, sustaining or establishing new all-time highs along the way. In the U.S., stocks continue to find support from an economy that is neither too hot or too cold. For example, first half of the year GDP growth hovered around 1%, which is sluggish by historical standards.

Quarterly Letter – 2nd Quarter 2016

Solid second quarter returns for the major stock and bond benchmarks were overlooked by both media and investors alike, as attention was diverted to Britain’s referendum and tumultuous decision to exit the European Union.

Economic and Investment Forecasts – June 2016

As we go to press with this edition of our Economic and Investment Forecast, the United Kingdom has voted to leave the European Union (EU), reversing their decision to join this organization some forty years ago. The EU was born as a geo-political entity in 1950, and had an articulated…

Quarterly Letter – 1st Quarter 2016

On the heels of a choppy year in the markets, investors were confronted with more volatility at the start of 2016. In the first week of trading, U.S. stocks fell 6%, followed by an additional 5% decline by mid-February, only to stage a strong rally through the close of the quarter…

Quarterly Letter – 4th Quarter 2015

A roller coaster year for the markets has finally come to an end, as most major stock and bond benchmarks registered small gains or losses for the full year. While the fourth quarter saw rebounding stock prices following the summer correction, the final days of December were less cheery…

Economic and Investment Forecasts – August 2015

After four years of steady stock market appreciation in the U.S., investors were confronted with a rapid 1,700 point fall in the Dow Jones, along with a 10% correction in the S&P 500…

Quarterly Letter – 3rd Quarter 2015

After several years of relatively smooth sailing in equity markets, the third quarter hit investors with a full-blown correction. In our August letter to you, we discussed the market pullback at length, as well as the probable causes for the volatility in stocks: slowing growth in China…

Quarterly Letter – 2nd Quarter 2015

Following a modestly positive first quarter for stocks and bonds, major asset classes stumbled in the second quarter due to turmoil overseas. The month of June was particularly weak, with problems in both Greece and China capturing investors’ attention…

Economic and Investment Forecasts – March 2015

With a snowy New England winter finally transitioning to spring, global financial markets are also going through a period of change and transformation. While equity and bond markets are slightly positive for the year, investors can still find plenty to worry about.

Quarterly Letter – 1st Quarter 2015

After underperforming most asset classes in 2014, international equities led the way in the first quarter of 2015, up close to 5% for the period, and well ahead of the S&P 500 stock index…

Quarterly Letter – 4th Quarter 2014

With 2014 representing the sixth year of the economic recovery, U.S. stock and bond markets pushed higher despite sluggish global GDP growth and increasing concerns about deflation. As in recent years, investment returns across asset classes were not homogenous, with large cap stock and REIT benchmarks far outpacing smaller company investments and international equities.

Economic and Investment Forecasts – October 2014

After approximately 1,000 days of mostly unabated market appreciation, we are now experiencing a long overdue correction across many asset classes. This should not come as too much of a surprise, for looking back historically to 1980, the S&P 500 Index has recorded an average intra-year drop of over 14%…

Economic and Investment Forecasts – September 2014

With the summer behind us, and second quarter earnings results revealed, investors find themselves with satisfying returns in both the equity and fixed income asset classes for 2014. Our cautiously optimistic leaning has proven correct, as the U.S. economy shook off the harsh winter weather and regained its footing.

Quarterly Letter – 3rd Quarter 2014

An important investment theme in the third quarter was the variation in returns across asset classes. Large cap U.S. equities managed a small positive return in the quarter, while smaller company stocks and international equities saw meaningful declines of 7.3% and 5.88%, respectively.

Quarterly Letter – 2nd Quarter 2014

Investors have enjoyed yet another profitable period in both global equity and fixed income markets during the first half of 2014. Key drivers of the U.S. economy, such as automobile sales and the housing market, continue to strengthen…

Economic and Investment Forecasts – March 2014

Following a strong U.S. stock market in 2013 that saw record highs, 2014 is off to a sluggish start thanks to uninspiring economic data, disruptive weather in the U.S., and geopolitical tensions overseas. Looking past the choppy beginning to the year, expectations are for improving economic growth in the months ahead and an extension of the 5-year-old bull market.

Quarterly Letter – 1st Quarter 2014

On the heels of a stellar year in the stock market, the 1st quarter of 2014 has presented investors with increased volatility, new geopolitical crises in the making, and renewed skepticism regarding the health of the world economy.

Quarterly Letter – 4th Quarter 2013

For the second consecutive year, most developed country equity markets delivered double digit returns, with U.S. stocks turning in a particularly strong performance. A year that began with congressional infighting, uncertainty over a stampeding budget deficit, sequestration…

Quarterly Letter – 3rd Quarter 2013

The U.S. equity market continued its upward trend in the third quarter, supported by the Federal Reserve’s $80 billion monthly quantitative easing program (QE3), corporate cost controls, and continued housing strength. However, the overall fiscal situation in the country is less bullish…

Economic and Investment Forecasts – July 2013

The U.S. stock market registered the best first half of a year since 1999, as the S&P 500 tallied a 13.8% return. Conversely, the broad bond index registered a return of -2.4% through the same period…

Quarterly Letter – 2nd Quarter 2013

While the second quarter featured an extension of higher U.S. stock prices, up 2.9% in three months and 13.8% for the year, the attention of investors was drawn to quarterly losses in bonds as well as a correction in overseas equity and fixed income markets…

Quarterly Letter – 1st Quarter 2013

The U.S. stock market continued its upward trend in the 1st quarter of 2013, with the S&P 500 Index posting a 10.6% return. Investors shrugged off on-going fiscal issues, including new tax increases, and instead concentrated on improving prospects for companies…

Post-Election Market Update – November 2012

In the three days following Barack Obama’s election victory for a second term as President of the United States, the U.S. stock market fell 3.4% and is continuing to drift lower. Investor concern centers around the impending “fiscal cliff” which can be summarized as follows…

Economic and Investment Forecasts – September 2012

More than halfway through the year, investors are confronted with conflicting economic and market signals: positive returns in equities, real estate, and commodity investments, contrasting with weakening economic indicators and continued policy gridlock here and in Europe…

Economic and Investment Forecasts – February 2012

More than halfway through the year, investors are confronted with conflicting economic and market signals: positive returns in equities, real estate, and commodity investments, contrasting with weakening economic indicators and continued policy gridlock here and in Europe…