Summit Financial Consulting LLC has decided to make a major change, and as a result, you’ll receive some paperwork in the mail if you haven’t already.

For years we have been working with Sigma Financial and Fidelity but over the past six months we have been negotiating with TD Ameritrade and Gradient Securities.  We realized that if we made the change we would need to send out paperwork regarding every single investment account we help manage, over 1,400 accounts, so we did not make this decision lightly.  However, we believe the benefits of this move outweighs the inconvenience of the required paperwork for everyone.

The benefits of this move are completely dependent upon your specific situation but a few of the potential benefits are:

1.  TD Ameritrade and RBC have lower fees than Fidelity and National Financial (Sigma) in many cases.  In some circumstances the fees are drastically lower, over 35%, depending upon which portfolio and products you are using.

2.  TD Ameritrade has more investment options that have no buying or selling cost, no hold times, and no short term redemption fees.  With more options, we believe we have the potential to earn more.

3.  We are adding additional performance reporting online.  With many websites they only show you the performance since your last trade, which does not give you a good idea of your “since inception” performance.  This will help you measure our performance in the future.

Due to the changes that are taking place, our e-mail server has been down for a few days.   We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you and feel free to call us at the office if you need anything or have any questions.

Many of you have received our packets of paperwork to sign and return and we want to thank all of you for your continued patience and cooperation during this transitional period. We appreciate you!

Now, here is our market commentary:

After what feels like a quick four and a half months chalked up in the market this year, there is not much to show for it. The well known stock market indexes such as the S&P 500, Nasdaq, and Dow Jones Industrial have only small gains or small losses to speak of.

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. Natural Gas prices are up over 14% since the first of the year and the cost of food (as measured by the CRB Foodstuffs index) is up over 22% since the first of the year, we believe inflation has the potential to hurt the economy and the markets (Source:

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.  Typically in a slow growth environment defensive equities tend to become more attractive. That is why we added utility funds into many of our portfolios in March. While growth sectors like consumer cyclical are down year-to-date, utilities are up over 12% (

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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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 05-13-14 2.07 1.70 4.52 4.80 13.43 12.79 18.15
NASDAQ Composite PR PR 05-13-14 1.21 -1.11 3.26 -2.61 20.11 13.45 19.94
NYSE Composite PR 05-13-14 1.27 2.91 4.10 4.64 13.41 8.53 13.56
Russell 2000 TR TR 05-13-14 1.22 -3.25 0.95 -2.01 16.64 11.84 20.50
S&P 500 TR TR 05-13-14 1.71 3.43 4.68 4.21 18.61 14.84 19.00
S&P MidCap 400 TR 05-13-14 1.27 2.39 3.86 2.32 16.86 12.89 22.08