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Blue Sheets: Strategy for Choppy Markets
The Blue Sheets: Strategy for Choppy Markets

Throughout 2013, a surge of demand for U.S. stocks swept the S&P 500 Index to a 32% total return! In that same 12 months, though, the earnings of those 500 companies only grew by about 5%. Hmmm.

Lyn Dippel
Lyn A. Dippel, JD, CFP® Receives the Women's Choice Award for Financial Advisors

As the leading advocate for female consumers, WomenCertified®, Inc. is pleased to announce that Lyn A. Dippel, President and CEO of FAI Wealth Management, has received the Women’s Choice Award® for Financial Advisors based on rigorous research, 17 objective criteria including a client survey to obtain feedback regarding service and practices.

J. Michael Martin
The Power of Portfolio Diversification

While understanding the past is crucial, investing is always about the future… the near future and the far future; our personal future and the future of the world we live in. When we make investment decisions, of course we cannot know how things are going to unfold... so we make assumptions, usually based on a notion that the future world will more or less resemble the one we have known. And it will …except when it won’t!

Curtis Gross
Pricey, Volatile Biotech Stocks Losing Favor

Disappointing clinical trials and steep prices are leading some advisers to split their bets on biotech stocks between funds focused on health care and technology.

"We like to invest in companies with innovative products, but at reasonable prices. Biotech has become too rich for our tastes," says Curt Gross, research director at FAI Wealth Management in Columbia, Md., with $325 million in assets

J. Michael Martin
Plotting A Course

FAI Wealth Management (formerly Financial Advantage Inc.), a Columbia, Md.-based firm that manages $330 million for approximately 220 families, shortened the duration of its bond portfolio at the beginning of both 2012 and 2013. “That’s the best defense against rising interest rates,” says J. Michael Martin, the firm’s chairman and chief investment officer.

“Our expectation, and that’s a lot different than knowledge, is that we have seen the low point in bond rates and it’s going to be a long, erratic uphill climb,” he says. Namely, he sees a continuing struggle between monetary policy and real-world supply and demand for capital.

To read the complete Financial Advisor Magazine article, please click here.

J. Michael Martin
Government "Shutdown" Memo

Inquiring Minds Want to Know...

Curtis Gross
Advisers Handle Hot Biotech Stocks With Care

Another way to view the market is by evaluating a biotech company's value relative to how much it's spending on research and development -- often considered the industry's real growth engine.

Those metrics show a market that's a bit split, says Curt Gross, research director at FAI Wealth Management in Columbia, Md., with $300 million under management.

He agrees large-cap biotech prices appear stretched. But mid- and small-cap stocks are trading at much more appealing valuations, Mr. Gross says.

To read the complete Wall Street Journal article please click here.

J. Michael Martin
Spring Strategy Update - May 2013

In the first five months of this year, the S&P 500 stock price index has soared 16.4%! To put that gain in some perspective, it’s five times the 3.2% average five-month price appreciation for stocks over the past 60 years!

What’s going on? Has the economic outlook brightened that much? Should we own more stocks? Inquiring minds want to know.

The question is especially poignant for FAI clients because we have been keeping our percentage allocations to equities lower than they might have been if we were more optimistic about future stock prices. In this Strategy Update we re-examine the reasons for this cautious investment posture.

Clouds on the Horizon
Clouds on the Horizon

In post-WWII America, business owners and employees luxuriated in a truly extraordinary economic climate. Many investors developed their investment expectations during the unparalleled stock market beneficence of the 1980’s and 1990’s.

In a Low-Yield World, Money Funds Lose Luster
In a Low-Yield World, Money Funds Lose Luster

Mike Martin, FAI’s Chief Investment Officer, is interviewed by the Wall Street Journal. Poor returns and looming rules spur interest in alternatives. Mr. Martin prefers to use short-term bond funds as a cash alternative over low-yielding money funds.