By J. Michael Martin | October 2015
First Nine Months of 2015: China & Fed Worries Weighed on Stocks.
The slow-growth economic outlook and gentle fluctuation of stock prices during the first half (when stocks earned 3%, including dividends) was overwhelmed in the third quarter by increased worries about China’s drag on global business. The S&P 500 stock index plunged 10.7% in the last week of August alone!
By J. Michael Martin | August 2015
Last Wednesday, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) announced a 1.9% devaluation of its currency, the largest in its history! The Dow Jones Industrial Average quickly plunged to a new low for 2015, down about 1.5% in just a couple hours! The dollar price of the 10 yr. U.S. Treasury bond rose +1.2% on the news, and European stocks closed down -2.7% on the day (London closes at 11:00 AM New York time).
By J. Michael Martin | July 2015
Before the markets opened on Monday, June 29th, the S&P 500 was sporting a ho–hum YTD total return (e.g. price change plus dividends) of 3.1%. But the last two trading days of 2Q were bogged down with worries about unmanageable debts in Greece and Puerto Rico; falling prices smacked the total return for stocks in the first six months of the year down to just 1.2%!
By J. Michael Martin | February 2015
Broadly speaking, both stocks and bonds are quite expensive by most historical metrics: they are valued at the high end of the range that they enjoyed when expectations for economic growth were twice our current reality.
By J. Michael Martin | January 2015
Investment disciplines have a lot in common with weather forecasting. Both are a mixture of art and science. Both try to anticipate future developments completely beyond their control. And professionals in both fields are closely observed by millions of people who make plans based on their prognostications.
By J. Michael Martin | October 2013
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!
By Jerilyn Klein Bier, Financial Advisor Magazine | October 2013
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.