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”

Fall 2016 Market Quarterly

Goodbye Summer!

Market QuarterlyFall is here with its summer-ending cooler weather and shorter days.  I like fall, and all the hiking and outdoor activities that come with it.  But I must say that I will miss summer, especially after the absolutely beautiful summer we had.  Sandra and I enjoyed it immensely.  I hope you all had equal opportunity to enjoy the summer and now to enjoy fall to its fullest.

The picture in the upper-left corner is from our August vacation.  It is a great image of our happy family.  We rented a house in the Adirondack mountains in the small town of Keene, NY.  The area is very peaceful and relaxing, which is exactly what we need from our vacation.  Sure, we do some hiking, but once we get back to the house we can grab something to eat, read, or take a nap if we fancy.  The TV didn’t get turned on during vacation, and I didn’t miss it in the least.  A great vacation, we are very lucky indeed.

Last Quarter Round Up

Last quarter I said that I was concerned about market volatility as we move closer to the U.S. presidential election and deal with post-Brexit uncertainties in the International markets.  The markets were more volatile…fortunately in the positive direction.  This past quarter did not follow the sideways market I’ve been talking about for some time.  Continue reading “Fall 2016 Market Quarterly”

Summer 2016 Market Quarterly

Hello Summer!

Market QuarterlySpring this year seemed warm and short and now we’re fully into summer.  For the most part the weather has been beautiful, although the lack of rain here in CT has most lawns already going into dormancy.  Summer in New England is short, so I hope you are all able to go out and enjoy it as much as possible.  Have fun and be safe.

The picture in the upper-left corner is our adopted dog, Pharah.  Pharah has been with us since last March, and she just underwent her fourth surgery since then.  Pharah has cancer.  At an estimated ten years old, she has proven an incredibly resilient dog.  Pharah was placed for adoption at the Little Guild shelter in Cornwall, CT and we fostered her because of the medical treatments she was getting.  Sadly, her cancer will likely shorten her life, so we adopted her to make the most of her remaining years.  I think we’re all pretty lucky.  For more information about the Little Guild shelter check out their website at www.littleguild.org.

Last Quarter Round Up

Last quarter I held onto my view that we were in a sideways market that would continue for the foreseeable future.  I never mentioned the upcoming U.K. referendum on leaving the European Union (EU).  That was because I was convinced they would vote to remain in the Union and it was all just going to blow over.  So much for that!  Continue reading “Summer 2016 Market Quarterly”

Spring 2016 Market Quarterly

Welcome Spring!

After an unseasonably warm and mild winter we seem to be headed for an early spring.  Daffodils and Daylilies are already showing themselves even in the frozen tundra of Goshen, CT.  I can’t help but look forward to the warmer weather and going hiking in it.  I hope you all had a pleasant winter and are looking forward to spring as much as we are.

In this edition I will break from the norm of personal news and give you all a brief business update.  Since our start-up in 2006 we have seen major changes in the investment landscape across the globe.  We respond to those changes by modifying our investment analysis and implementation techniques.  In that spirit, we recently completed a new Portfolio analysis and management software system.  Working with a software developer we designed the system to work exclusively with our in-house developed portfolio techniques, resulting in a package that is proprietary to Barron Financial Group.  We believe this new system provides important new tools and capabilities often found only in much larger investment firms.  We believe this major upgrade will be good for our firm and our clients.

Last Quarter Round Up

Last quarter I put forth my thinking for 2016 that I did not see a driver for significantly up, or down, markets.  It certainly appeared I was far off in that assessment, considering that by the middle of February the S&P 500 index was down over 10.  Then the market turned around and finished the quarter up about 1.4.  Continue reading “Spring 2016 Market Quarterly”