Spring 2019 Market Quarterly

Hurry Spring

Judging by the calendar spring is officially here. But the CT weather so far hasn’t cooperated much. So, my request is simple…spring, please hurry-up! I’m sure the weather will turn and things will start to warm, but the dusting of snow on our lawn on April 3rd didn’t help my mood. Let’s hope the turn is sooner rather than later. I hope you all had a safe and comfortable winter and are more patient than me waiting for spring. Enjoy it when it comes.

I am happy to announce that our advisor representative, John Seagrave, has been asked to join the Board of the Northwest CT Chamber of Commerce. John became involved at the Chamber very shortly after he joined our firm in March 2017. Since then he has been a near-tireless supporter of the Chamber’s programs and helped organize new ones. John is a young man with a bright future and we and the Chamber are happy to have his direct involvement. For more info on the Chamber check out their website at www.nwctchamberofcommerce.org/

Last Quarter Round Up

After a rough quarter at the end of 2018, the first quarter of 2019 was an almost complete reversal. The U.S. S&P 500 index was up +13.65%. The international market index was up +9.98% and emerging markets were up +9.93%. Bonds showed a nice recovery as well, with the aggregate index up +2.94% for the quarter. Short-term treasuries did reasonably well given their low level of risk at +0.99%.

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Winter 2018 Market Quarterly

Is It Winter?

According to the calendar winter came in December as always.  However, it has not been clearly defined by the CT weather, which has continued to be more fall-like with one early snow-storm in November, and lots of rain since.  Temperatures have generally been in the 30’s or 40’s.  It makes me nervous as to how January and February will shape-up.  I hope you all had a wonderful Holiday season and that you enjoy winter as much as possible while we patiently wait for spring.

The Holidays are a great time of year.  Seeing family and friends, some for only the first or second time of the entire year, is a real treat.  Sandra and I had opportunity to spend time with her local family, my Aunt and cousins in Florida (as seen in the photo), my brother and family in Baltimore, and of course, my Mom.  A busy travel schedule, but well worth it.  Holidays encourage family gatherings, and we’re happy for it.  We hope you had happy family and friend gathering as well.

Last Quarter Round Up

The fourth quarter of 2018 was difficult for both markets and investors.  The S&P 500 was down -13.52% for the quarter and -4.38% for the year.  Global ex-U.S. was down -11.46% for the quarter and -14.20% for the year.  Emerging markets were a bit better for the quarter, down -7.47% but for the year were down -14.58%.  Unlike earlier in the year, bonds did offer some buffering to stocks with the Barclays bond index up +1.64% for the quarter, but only +0.01% for the year.  Short-term treasuries were up +0.60% for the quarter and +1.89% for the year.

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Fall 2018 Market Quarterly

Goodbye Summer

The summer of 2018 here in CT had two versions. Version one through most of June had lots of sun and hot temperatures. The second version starting in late June was still very hot, but included a veritable flood of rain. All you can do is roll with it. I hope you all had an enjoyable summer and managed to stay cool and dry wherever you were. It’s time now to enjoy fall and prep for winter.

August 22, 2018 was Sandra’s and my 20th wedding anniversary. The photo above is a selfie we took in upstate NY where we celebrated on vacation. Being married for twenty years, and happy on top of it, takes effort from both of us. Working together to build and manage our business adds another dimension, but for us it’s exactly what we worked toward for many years. We consider ourselves very lucky to have each other, and we want to thank everyone for the kind wishes they sent for our anniversary. Note to friends: don’t be concerned, the beard is long gone.

Last Quarter Round Up

The third quarter of 2018 was a decent quarter for most markets. At the top of the list, the U.S., as represented by the S&P 500 index had a great quarter, up +7.71%. YTD for the U.S. is +10.56%. International markets were up +1.35% for the quarter, but down -1.43% YTD. Emerging markets continue to disappoint at -1.10% for the quarter and -7.68% YTD. The U.S. bond market was barely above flat at +0.02% and down -1.60% YTD. Short-term treasuries were up again at +0.49% for the quarter and +1.28% YTD. The rise in short-term treasuries could indicate a degree of uncertainty in riskier assets, especially riskier bonds.

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Summer 2018 Market Quarterly

Welcome Summer!

After what was a long and stubborn CT winter, then a spring with very limited weather improvement, it seems summer is finally with us. So much so, that CT has already had an official heat wave in late June. All our surroundings here in Goshen are lush and green. I hope you all are enjoying the weather and surroundings as much as we are. Have fun, stay safe.

We attended the 20th annual Warner Theatre Gala in May, and as always, had a great time. This event is the biggest fundraiser for the Warner Theatre and it is planned, attended, and executed almost to perfection. Every detail is addressed, and all in attendance are made to feel special. As in years past, Barron Financial was a sponsor of the event, and our not-so-new advisor, John, and his wife, Marissa, joined our table. The auctions were exciting, though I admittedly got a bit carried away with bidding. No worry, all for a great cause. To learn more about the Warner Theatre, visit www.warnertheatre.org.


Last Quarter Round Up

The second quarter of 2018 was a mixed bag of market results. The U.S. took the lead as the S&P 500 rose +3.43% for the quarter. International stock markets didn’t fare as well, down –1.07% and the emerging markets were hit hard, down -7.83%. Bonds were down slightly at -0.16%, but short-term U.S. treasuries were up +0.43%. Tactical portfolios did well due to exposure to U.S. investments. Momentum shifted during the quarter from global to U.S. investments, though the signal didn’t come until June.

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Spring 2018 Market Quarterly

Where is Spring?

With only a couple of exceptions, spring 2018 has been quite cold here in CT. As I write this newsletter, I’m watching snow falling here in Goshen. Temperatures have consistently been in 30’s and low 40’s, which is a bit depressing. It was a long and snowy winter, so I admit to being a bit impatient for the change. I hope you all made it through the winter in good health and we wish you a pleasant and safe start to the warmer weather of spring.

John, our new hire last March, just celebrated his one-year anniversary, so, I guess I shouldn’t refer to him as “new” anymore. John has learned much about the financial planning process. He is diligently working to help build our collective business. We enjoy working together and our new office dynamic. Our business has grown, and we look forward to continuing our work with existing clients and bringing new ones into the mix.  We have much to be thankful for.

Last Quarter Round Up

The first quarter of 2018 marked the first negative quarter after nine consecutive positive quarters. U.S. stocks as represented by the S&P 500 index were down -0.76% for the quarter. Global stocks ex-US were down -1.33% for the quarter. Emerging market stocks were the only positive region up +1.28% for the quarter. Bonds were also down with the Barclays aggregate index at -1.46% for the quarter. Short-term US treasuries were up +0.34%, likely a result of being considered a safe-haven from the sale of riskier assets.

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Winter 2017 Market Quarterly

Winter is Here!

I would call this past November and much of December normal CT winter conditions. Temperatures were cold, but not frigid, and snowfall was manageable. By late December that had changed with an uncomfortable combination of frigid temperatures, strong wind and sporadic snow. Windchill values of -20 degrees F have been common. Weather professionals are using the term “Bomb Cyclone” to describe it. I’ve never heard that term before. I hope all of you have stayed warm and safe during this winter freeze.

The photo displayed is Sandra and I with a portion of my family for Christmas in Florida. In the photo is my aunt (sitting with the dog), cousins and friends who invited us to join in their family Christmas gathering. They are a great group of people who know how to have fun. Admittedly, it is a bit unusual for us to celebrate Christmas with palm trees and temperatures in the mid-seventies. But, unusual or not, we had a great time during our short visit. We hope they feel the same. 

Last Quarter Round Up

The markets finished 2017 on a strong note. U.S. stocks as represented by the S&P 500 index were up +6.64% for the quarter and +21.83% for the year. Global stocks ex-US were up +5.00% for the quarter and +27.19% for the year. Emerging market stocks outperformed developed international stocks for the year at +37.28% and +25.03%, respectively. Bonds were also up for the quarter with the Barclays aggregate index at +0.39% for the quarter and +3.54% for the year. Short-term US treasuries were up +0.23% for the quarter and +0.82% for the year.

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Fall 2017 Market Quarterly

Welcome Fall!

Although the current weather pattern here in CT has been warm and comfortable, the leaves are starting to change and fall is in the air.  I like fall, even though it inherently means winter is coming.  I hope you all had a great summer and are experiencing a smooth transition into fall.  Enjoy and be safe.

Our vacation at the end of August was terrific.  Sandra and I got in a lot of good reading, and our tradition held, the TV wasn’t turned on once.  The photo to the side is our oldest dog, Pharah.  We rescued her three years ago and she’s had six surgeries since then due to cancer.  And yet, to look at her, you’d never know.  Our vet estimates her age at about 13 years.  She struggled this vacation with longer hikes and steep inclines, but Pharah is a happy dog with plenty of affection for us and our other two dogs.  It’s hard to see her get older, but a great rescue story no matter what.

Last Quarter Round Up

Stocks around the world performed well again in the third quarter.  The U.S. rally continued with the S&P 500 up +4.48.  And for yet another consecutive quarter, international and emerging markets both outperformed the U.S. with international up +5.40 and emerging markets up +7.89.  This extends the global stock outperformance of U.S. stocks, and leads me more in the direction of global stock momentum being a firm trend.  The bond market was also up +0.85 for the quarter. Continue reading “Fall 2017 Market Quarterly”

Summer 2017 Market Quarterly

Happy Summer!

After what seemed an unusually wet and cool spring, summer is off to a great start here in Connecticut.  Temperatures and humidity have been moderate, and the rain consistent but not disruptive.  Very pleasant overall.  Hiking with the dogs has been great.  And Riley, our youngest at just two, is maturing into a good, reliable hiking dog.  I hope you all are having as nice an early summer as we are.  Enjoy and stay safe.

Barron Financial Group was again a major sponsor for the Warner Theatre’s annual Gala event in late May.  The Gala is the Theatre’s major fundraiser.  It is a fun, well-attended and extremely well-organized event.  I’ve been on the Theatre’s Board of Directors for two years, and have learned much about the Warner along the way.  Sandra and I attend a number of shows each year, and we remain firm believers in the Warner Theatre.  It is a community treasure and an important part of Torrington’s economy.  Learn more at www.warnertheatre.org.

Last Quarter Round Up

Stocks performed well across the world in the second quarter.  The U.S. rally continued with the S&P 500 up +3.09.  For a second consecutive quarter, international and emerging markets both outperformed the U.S. with international up +6.12 and emerging up +6.27.  Continue reading “Summer 2017 Market Quarterly”

Spring 2017 Market Quarterly

We’re Growing!

John, Sandra, JimOn March 7, 2017 Barron Financial Group hired its first new advisor.. John Seagrave joined our firm from a previous career in the Athletic Marketing department at UCONN.

Sandra and I spent much of 2016 developing and investing in our technologies and business processes to better accommodate this expected expansion. We feel it is time to bring our message to a broader audience. And we believe John can help us do that. John and his fiancé Marissa currently live in Vernon, Connecticut and John expects to be building his business towards the Hartford area. Please join me in wishing John the best of luck in expanding and refining his craft  of financial advising and building a robust base of clients.

As I write this newsletter, the temperature outside is climbing towards 80 degrees. I’m sure that temperature won’t last here in Connecticut in early April, but it’s a sure sign spring is here. I’m looking forward to getting outside to start the spring clean-up chores. I hope you all get a chance to get outside and enjoy the improving weather.

Last Quarter Round Up

The alleged “Trump Rally” continued in the first quarter of 2017. The S&P 500 index was up +6.07 for the quarter. In a notable shift from the past, the International EAFE index finished the quarter up +7.25 and Emerging Market index was up an impressive +11.44. Both foreign indices beat the U.S. market, which has been rare over the last 6 years. The Aggregate Bond index was up +0.82. Continue reading “Spring 2017 Market Quarterly”

Winter 2016 Market Quarterly

Winter’s Here!

Market QuarterlyAlthough winter officially arrived just a short time ago, it seems it’s in full swing already.  Of course, living here in Goshen, CT makes it all the more real.  We’ve got about six inches of snow on the ground and the recent temperatures have been below freezing all day long.  We’ve had to cut our hikes a bit short due to frostbite fear for our dogs.  We’ll make the best of it and we hope you all do as well.

The picture in the upper-left corner is of our nephew Anthony.  He’s three years old.  I put this picture up because it reminds me of how special it is to have a young one like this around during the Holidays.  He gets very excited with each and every gift put in front of him.  His world revolves around smiling and laughing.  Sandra and I have always enjoyed the Holidays, but having Anthony around makes them even better.  We hope you all had a fantastic Holiday season and wish you the best for the new year.

Last Quarter Round Up

Last quarter I said that we seemed to be moving away from the sideways market I’ve been talking about for so long, but that it was early to get too excited given what may occur in our November presidential election.  Well, Donald Trump walked away with a stunning, surprise victory in the election and U.S. markets have responded favorably.  Continue reading “Winter 2016 Market Quarterly”