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Republican's Surprising Sweep
Republican's Surprising Sweep

After many months of contentious and extremely negative campaigning from both parties, the Republicans emerged as victors last night in several very close races.  This was a surprise to most, as polls and pundits alike had already given the White House keys to Mrs. Clinton.  Many have asked what FAI is doing in the portfolios given this surprising event.  

J. Michael Martin
FAI Investment Outlook 4Q 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!

Curtis Gross
Market Correction - August 2015

No doubt that the recent stock market volatility has captured your attention over the past few days.  To help clients process this information, we thought it might be helpful to offer a historical perspective to recent events.  Performance of the equity markets over the past 5 years has clouded investors prospective of how volatile the stock market can be.

J. Michael Martin
Our Portfolio Response to China's Devaluation

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).

J. Michael Martin
FAI Investment Outlook 3Q 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%!

J. Michael Martin
FAI Investment Outlook 1Q 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.

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...

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.