We are happy to say that after 11 years at our current location, we have decided to move our office.  Our main phone number (586-226-2100) will remain the same and is active, but our main fax number (586-226-3584) and fax to e-mail number (586-569-4312) are temporarily down while we transition. Our new address is:

43409 Schoenherr Road
Sterling Heights, MI 48313

It’s located just north of 19 mile on Schoenherr, only a few miles from our current office.

Please feel free to stop by for a tour, or schedule a formal review meeting to discuss our big moves earlier this year with TD Ameritrade and Gradient Securities/RBC.

Now, here is our market commentary:

As summer is winding down and the fall is nearly upon us, the last month has been very difficult for many invested in the markets.  The S&P 500, which is 500 of the largest companies in the world, has decreased in value.  The Russell 2000, which is 2,000 different company stocks and represents the broader health of the stock market, has actually swung to a loss for the year after losing nearly 5.5% in the past four weeks (Source: http://news.morningstar.com/index/indexReturn.html?msection=IdxReturns).  Another concern is how well the S&P 500 has lasted without significant volatility.  Things almost seem too quiet.  Hedgeye Risk Management reported today that the S&P 500 has now gone over 33 months without a 10% correction, which is one of the longest streaks ever. (Source:  https://app.hedgeye.com/feed_items/37061-fleeting-emotions?page=1 ).

What many of our clients are wondering is where exactly the market is headed?  Will we experience the same growth that we experienced in the 2013?  While last year we saw strong growth, this year we have been experiencing slow growth and inflation.  We still believe that inflation is going to slow down the economy, especially the cost of food.

The challenge is to find investments that have the potential to profit in an environment like this.  Bonds were certainly not an all-star last year, but this year most bonds have held their own, although they have struggled the past week.  Typically in a slow growth environment defensive equities tend to become more attractive.  In many of our portfolios we have added Gold, dividend paying stocks, interest paying bonds, and Indian equities to help diversify the portfolio.  July has not been a great month, but we believe our portfolios are well positioned for what lies ahead in the 3rd quarter.

Instead of calling us bearish or bullish, we say you can call us flexible. This is the position our process and strategy has suggested. That being said, some portfolios are more flexible and nimble than others, so if you would like to discuss your portfolio with us, we would be happy to help, just give us a call.

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Interesting Notes

China has a check book – Overall foreign purchases of U.S. residential real estate skyrocketed 35 percent last year. China spent $22 billion alone, accounting for nearly a quarter of all foreign sales – Politico, July 16, 2014

We love government – Americans’ confidence in all three branches of government has slumped to record lows, with just 30% expressing confidence in the Supreme Court, 29% in the presidency, and only 7% in Congress.  – Gallup, July 2014

Time for reform – From 1984 through 2008, the Social Security payroll taxes paid by Americans exceeded the benefit payments made by Social Security. However since 2009, benefits paid have exceeded taxes collected, including a $51 billion shortfall in 2013.  – www.ssa.gov

Channel Surfing – A new report from Nielsen says that, on average, American audiences watch just 9%, or roughly 17, of the 189 TV channels available to them – Variety, May 7, 2014

Use glass bottles and bring your water – Currently, Americans consume roughly 50 billion plastic bottles a year, using 1.5 million barrels of crude oil annually to manufacture them – Smithsonianmag.com, April 24, 2014

Movies – Just 8% of big budget Hollywood films were made in LA in 2013, down from 65% in 1997 – Marketplace Morning Report, April 23, 2014

Trouble in paradise – ”This week it was announced that golfer Phil Mickelson is under investigation by the FBI for insider trading of Clorox stock. By the way, insider trading of Clorox stock by a professional golfer is perhaps the whitest, white collar crime possible.” – Seth Meyers

Market Performance

Name Type As of Date 1-Week YTD 4-Week 13-Week 1-Year 3-Year 5-Year
DJ Industrial Average TR TR 08-01-14 -2.74 0.77 -2.62 0.19 8.03 13.68 15.44
NASDAQ Composite PR PR 08-01-14 -2.18 4.22 -2.38 5.46 18.42 16.62 17.08
NYSE Composite PR 08-01-14 -2.67 2.81 -3.21 0.59 10.53 9.96 10.73
Russell 2000 TR TR 08-01-14 -2.59 -3.50 -7.50 -0.65 6.57 13.62 16.45
S&P 500 TR TR 08-01-14 -2.66 5.36 -2.33 2.73 15.15 16.89 16.72
S&P MidCap 400 TR 08-01-14 -2.71 2.64 -5.32 1.00 10.29 15.13 18.55