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Jul
20
Chasing Returns
Over the past few months, you have probably heard more than a couple of Trump Administration officials tout the fact that the stock market is at an all-time high. This should not come as a particular surprise, as you can just go back to 2013, when the market was seemingly hitting all-time highs on a daily basis, to see the Obama Administration taking the same victory lap. Now we can argue the merit of any President taking credit for market performance (I happen to believe that their responsibility, good or bad, is limited), but that is not today's topic. Today, let's look at the danger that exists in constantly hearing about how great the market is doing. First, some facts. Yes, by virtually all measures, the U.S. market is at, or near,...
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Mar
20
March Commentary: I Have Seen the Market Top
If you have been a client for any measurable amount of time, you have probably heard me say something to the effect of, "we don't know when it is going to be, but we have now been in a bull market for several years, so there is no question that we are due for a market correction sooner rather than later." Sound familiar? It should...because I feel like I have said it about 1,000 times in most client meetings since 2013. I haven't gone out on this limb in hopes of timing the next market correction—God knows that if we have learned anything over the past few months, it is that prognostication of any kind is really a losing game. The truth is, we are now more than 8 years into a bull market, making this the second longest bull market in...
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Jul
18
July Commentary: Brought to You by the Word Volatility
The first half of 2016 has certainly not had any shortage of headlines. From terrorist attacks in Dallas, Orlando, Paris, Istanbul and now Nice, to continued tensions between police departments and communities of color across the country, to Brexit and the most contentious Presidential primary campaign in at least 40 years, it is hard to feel something other than exhaustion when it comes to the world stage. It is therefore understandable that investment market performance has largely gone unnoticed. Despite being under the radar, there has been plenty to talk about. The year started with a mini-crash, which saw markets drop around 10% during the first six weeks of the year. That was followed by a rally of equal proportion. And after a...
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Jun
28
How to Handle Brexit
By the time you read this article, you will probably be sick and tired of the word Brexit. If you are like me, you probably spent the weekend hearing friends, family, and Facebook bemoaning the journey that one of our closest geo-political allies is about to embark on. I am very sensitive to the fact that there is a great deal of information out there, so instead of offering another opinion of whether the vote to leave the European Union (EU) was good or bad, I am going to attempt to offer some perspective on the economic ramifications of Britain's new reality. The first, and most important, piece of perspective I can offer is that nothing that happened in the Market on Friday or today sheds light on the long-term implications of the...
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Mar
29
While You Were Sleeping...
The sky is falling! The sky is falling! Remember? It was only two months ago, in January, when markets opened the year down nearly 11%. Gas prices reached a multi-year low and recession fears abounded on virtually every financial news network. In fact, if it hadn't been for the incessant coverage of Presidential primaries and the 20+ debates on both sides of the aisle, we may have had an all-out panic on our hands. But guess what? Now, with just three days left in the first quarter of 2016, we have virtually climbed out of the hole the year started in and may, just may, end the quarter with small gains in US markets. Given the current geopolitical and economic climate, it seems somewhat surprising that the Dow and S&P 500 are on the...
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Jan
15
Quarterly Commentary: What to Expect in 2016
For the first time since 2008, December ended a year where both the Dow Jones and S&P 500 finished with negative returns. Couple that with struggles in the international market and minimal gains in bond funds, and you have a year that saw many with results on the wrong side of the line.  Unfortunately, things didn't get better when we turned the page to 2016, as global markets, including the United States, have already seen more than a 7% decline this year (Source: Bloomberg Business). So where do we go from here? Honestly, the jury is out. Everything points towards a year not so dissimilar to the past two, which ended up slightly and down slightly, respectively. The major problem for most investors is finding spots to achieve gain and/or...
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Dec
28
December Commentary: The Wait is Over!
It finally happened! On December 16th, for the first time in nearly a decade, the Federal Reserve raised interest in what represents a hesitant, but real, vote of confidence for the United States economy. The rise amounts to a small but significant move, with rates ticking up from zero to a range of 0.25 and 0.50 percent. This begins the process of closing the books on an era of easy money which helped our nation avoid further consequence of the Great Recession. Truthfully, the move surprised no one. Short of actually tattooing the words on her forehead, Federal Reserve Board Chairwoman Janet Yellen did everything she could to let us know the move was coming. I would say she really did all of us a favor. The lack of surprise likely had a...
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Nov
23
The Economic Impact of ISIS
On November 13, the world watched in horror, as 129 mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, husbands, wives, and children were senselessly murdered by a group of radical Islamic militants that we have become all too familiar with. There is absolutely nothing we can do to dry the tears of the families of those lost, nor quell the fears that all of us feel today as a result of what we witnessed. Like you, I have spent much of the last week wondering what's next. A natural fear related to a perceived increase in global terrorism is how will it impact the market. I spoke to many colleagues and clients on Monday who were concerned that the Paris and Beirut attacks would flip the switch on another market correction.  With fear so rampant these...
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Oct
21
Back to the Future!
As you have probably already seen on social media, today is Back to the Future Day. For those not familiar with the 1989 classic film, today, October 21st, 2015 was the "future" date that Marty McFly visited in Back to the Future II. It is somewhat funny to watch that movie and see how much the world has changed since 1985. While we may not have hover boards or flying cars, and while the Mets are currently doing a good job of making sure the Cubs don't win the World Series, there is much that the movie got right. Most importantly, the movie accurately predicted the technology would represent the largest economic revolution of the 21st century. As 80s kids like yours truly celebrate Back to the Future Day, I thought it would be a good...
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Aug
24
Understanding Last Week in the Market
The work-week isn't more than a few hours old and the phone has already rang more today than it usually does in the course of a week. While I would love to believe that this is an indication that my clients miss me, there is really only one thing it can mean--the market went down. And down it went...more than 1,000 points in three days. If you are keeping score, that is a loss of nearly 6.5% for the Dow Jones Industrial Average between August 19-21st, and a year-to-date loss of more than 8.3%. The S&P 500, a broader U.S. index, was not spared either-- falling below the psychologically important 2,000 mark. It was down 3 percent on the day and more than 7 percent below its recent peak. That is more doom and gloom than anyone really wants...
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Apr
22
April Commentary: A Review of the First Quarter
As we headed into 2015, many wondered if the stock market could achieve a seventh consecutive year of growth. With interest rates still at or near all-time lows, housing and job markets still in flux, and Europe in a state of disarray, there certainly was a lot of unknown as we set sail on the new year. Well, with one quarter in the books, the only thing that has become clear is...it is going to be quite a ride. Many, including yours truly, anticipated volatility on our way through the year, and that is exactly what we got. No matter how you look at the market results from the first quarter, there were ups and there were downs. As has become a trend, there were a number of occasions when the markets hit all-time highs, but those were...
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Dec
30
December Commentary: A Happy or Not So Happy New Year?
Well, we are here. The last three days of 2014. I am sure you, like me, have some wonderful memories of the past year, and some that you will be glad to bid farewell to as the calendar turns. From an economic perspective, 2014 has been as up and down as everything else this year. So as we seal the book on the current year and look forward to 2015, here are some of the measurables that will help determine how much we all enjoy the next 12 months. To 18,000 and Beyond! In a month that saw the biggest single day drop in the New York Stock Exchange since 2011, the Dow Jones rebounded for a Merry Christmas, hitting an all-time high of 18,024.17 on December 23rd, and creeping up a few more points in the days that followed. What does this mean?...
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Oct
29
October Commentary: Don't Lose Your Balance
I have always been a fan of this quote by Brian Tracy, a business development expert whose teaching have been instrumental to many in the financial industry. Brian says, "Just as your car runs more smoothly and requires less energy to go faster and farther when the wheels are in perfect alignment, you perform better when your thoughts, feelings, emotions, goals, and values are in balance." No matter what we are talking about, he could not be more right. Balance is an important issue, whether we are talking about parenting, work/life balance, psychological balance or even financial balance. Earlier this month, the S&P 500 was down 7.4% during a two-week selloff (Bob Veras, Client Article Why Losses Matter, 10-25-2014), and there was...
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 Securities offered through American Portfolios Financial Services, Inc. Member FINRA/SIPC (FINRA/SIPC). American Portfolios Financial Services, Inc. and American Portfolios Advisors, Inc. are not affiliated with any other named business entities mentioned.

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