Welcome to our new website!  You can review our market commentaries right on our website from this point forward.  We’ll be sure to archive old commentaries as well.  Feel free to poke around the site, we made a lot of changes. A section in particular we want to draw your attention to is our Trusted Referrals page (http://www.summitfc.net/resources/trusted-referrals/). If you are interested in creating or updating your estate planning documents, have tax questions, or would like to shop out your auto and homeowners insurance, this page could benefit you greatly! If you have any suggestions or questions about the website, we’d love to hear from you!

2014 has been an interesting year so far with plenty of ups and downs.  The market swung down in January, then rebounded in February, and has been hovering between a slight gain and a slight loss for most of March depending upon whether you’re watching the S&P 500 or the Dow Jones (Source:  Finance.yahoo.com).

We believe the biggest reason for uneasiness is the inflation we’ve experienced so far this year.  The index that we use to measure the cost of food, the CRB Foodstuffs Index is up over 18.1% year to date as of March 24th (Source:  www.hedgeye.com).

The cost of coffee beans?  Up over 30% since the first of the year according to the International Coffee Organization (Source: www.ico.org/coffee_prices.asp).

Bacon for breakfast?  The cost of lean hog prices are up 31% since the first of the year according to Hedgeye.com.

We are barely three months into 2014 and the cost of many items have gone up considerably.  It may cost more to feed your family, and that leaves you with less money to spend elsewhere.

As we said in our last market commentary, the politicians have been agreeing recently when it comes to the budget, but they have agreed to spend more money and go further into debt as a country.  This hurts the value of the US Dollar, which we believe contributes to higher costs (inflation).  We’ll be keeping a watchful eye on the US Dollar, inflation, and the stock/bond markets.

One of our goals as a firm was to become more nimble in our portfolio management.  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.

Please note,  we have additional interesting notes and quotes below.



 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 03-28-14 0.12 -0.97 0.11 -0.38 14.71 13.12 19.14
NASDAQ Composite PR PR 03-28-14 -2.83 -0.50 -3.54 -0.02 27.18 15.03 21.88
NYSE Composite PR 03-28-14 0.41 0.33 0.09 0.79 14.58 7.94 15.41
Russell 2000 TR TR 03-28-14 -3.45 -0.71 -2.48 -0.48 22.64 13.50 23.50
S&P 500 TR TR 03-28-14 -0.44 1.00 0.04 1.40 20.89 14.82 20.43
S&P MidCap 400 TR 03-28-14 -1.53 1.51 -1.11 2.01 19.45 13.70 24.00

Interesting Notes

Family Time is Important – A recent wave of research shows that children who eat dinner with their families are less likely to drink, smoke, do drugs, get pregnant, commit suicide, and develop eating disorders. Additional research found that children who enjoy family meals have larger vocabularies, better manners, healthier diets, and higher self-esteem – Bruce Feller, “The Secrets of Happy Families”

Minimum Wage – Raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour would take 3.5 million people off the food stamp rolls and cut federal spending on the program by $4.6 billion per year. – The Wall Street Journal, March 5, 2014 

Cold – On January 6, it was colder in Chicago than in Antarctica – CBS Chicago, January 6, 2014 

Where is Crimea? – “War is God’s way of teaching Americans geography.” – Ambrose Bierce 

Tax Time – Last year, the IRS answered only 61% of calls from taxpayers, and the average wait time to get an answer was nearly 18 minutes – USA Today, January 31, 2014

Baggage Costs – According to an analysis based on airline data, carriers expend about $2 worth of jet fuel to transport a piece of luggage that they typically charge $25 to check – Detroit Free Press, February 2, 2014

Largest Car Market – 20 million cars were sold in China in 2013, a 14% increase that makes it the world’s #1 car market – Business Insider, January 9, 2014

Good News ­­- “More tears are shed over answered prayers than unanswered ones.” – Saint Teresa of Avila

Lent ­­- Among Christians giving up something for the 40 days of Lent, 31% say they are “fasting from technology.” – Time, March 11, 2014