It was Historically Difficult to Make Money in 2015

Written by Andy Pratt on .

If you thought it was a tough year in 2015, you are not alone.  According to CNBC, 2015 was the hardest year to make money in 78 years.  The stock market's meager return was actually the best of the major asset classes with bonds losing money, commodities off 23% and even Warren Buffet down 11% on the year.

With the Federal Reserve set to gradually raise rates in 2016, bond return expectations should be tempered for the foreseeable future and commodity prices will be subject to volatility ahead as well.  The good news is stocks have a history of performing well after rate hikes and earnings are projected to expand.  We're glad to put 2015 in the rear view mirror and are looking forward to a better 2016.

Is Santa (Rally) Real?

Written by Andy Pratt on .

You may have heard of a long documented market phenomenon, aptly called the Santa Claus Rally, referring to the markets history of outsized returns during the last five days of the year and the first two days of the New Year. During this time frame, the market rises 77% of the time with an average return of 1.7%.

No one really knows why this pattern exists; though some attribute it to year-end portfolio tax related adjustments, vacations and plain old holiday optimism. The amazing thing is, despite being known for decades, the rally continues to persist.

It seems in good and bad years alike, the year ends with a bang.

Our Favorite Links in the Wake of the Rate Hike

Written by Andy Pratt on .

In what is a good sign for the overall economy, the Federal Reserve announced today it would hike interest rates from the current near 0 level to 0.25%.  The widely expected move is sigificant because it marks the first time the FOMC will raise rates off of 0 since its unprecendented move to lower rates to stimulate the economy in December of 2008.

This is an historic decision and one market watchers have been anticipating for years.  As a result, coverage of the announcement has come in from all angles.  Below are a few of our favorite articles:

Stocks Perform Well Following Rate Hikes

Written by Alex Shen, CFA and Edited by Andy Pratt on .

When the Federal Reserve hikes interest rates for the first time this recovery – and all signs point to a December liftoff – it will mark the end of the Fed’s easing policy but not the start of tightening. Tightening has been in motion since the Fed ceased its Quantitative Easing program in 2014. Still, many investors fear the Fed will be raising rates too soon despite the fact the stock market historically rallies following interest rate hikes.

Stocks Following Rate Hikes