US, European And World Performance (Apr 5, 2013)

The S&P 500 and Dow Industrial Average indices posted fresh all-time records in the first quarter, as both indices boasted double digit returns in just a short three months. US stocks were ‘the place to be’, while many other investment areas were far more muted. The international equity markets offered a modest 3% return, with Japan as the big winner and emerging markets (primarily Brazil) as the laggard. The aggregate bond market was slightly negative as interest rates moved higher. Commodities were mixed, but slightly negative; in large part due to a pull back in gold. Overall, it was a rewarding first quarter, but with wide variations in performance among various types of investments.

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Investment Positives And Negatives (Jan 8, 2013)

Pleasant surprises materialized for investors during 2012, after a lackluster 2011. The prior year’s European debt crisis and fiscal concerns persisted, yet the investment markets rejoiced in the wake of much negative news. In fact, 2012 was dubbed ‘risk-on’ as the riskiest sectors enjoyed the largest returns. Domestically, the beleaguered financial and home building sectors posted the strongest performance while utilities fell to the bottom rank. Perhaps the largest surprise was in Europe, where Greece (yes, Greece!) captured the highest stock market gain.

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Europe’s Fiscal Stimulus Vs. America’s Fiscal Cliff (Oct 5, 2012)

The third quarter of 2012 provided handsome returns to risk-seeking investors, despite weak economic data that surfaced throughout the quarter. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added more than 500 points as investor sentiment substantially improved. International stocks also enjoyed strong growth, including among beleaguered European countries. Bond investors felt a little upside, but it was muted in relative terms, effectively helping to cover inflationary effects. With substantial year-to-date returns across major stock markets, the question as SageVest Wealth Management looks forward is can returns continue, particularly at the same pace?

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Elevated Investment Risks (Jul 9, 2012)

The opening quarter of 2012 was the finest quarter for U.S. stocks since the late 1990s; the second quarter was a markedly different story. After an all-but-flat April and an abysmal May, stocks finally managed to advance in June, much of which happened on the last trading day of the quarter when renewed hope emerged from Europe. The second quarter wasn’t as bad as it could have been, but institutional and individual investors contended with plenty of bumps in the road. These bumps reflect a continuing struggle to achieve recovery and growth against numerous headwinds.

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Spring Growth Across World Markets (Apr 9, 2012)

Spring arrived early in 2012 with a remarkable surge among world stock markets. In fact, it was the best first quarter for the U.S. stock market since 1998. Bonds on the other hand, posted stagnant returns as interest rates inched higher. The resurgence in equities reflects a sharp change in investor sentiment and regained confidence that the economy might not fall into the dire state that people began to expect throughout 2011. The reality is that many of the significant challenges of 2011 persist today; however, monetary actions in Europe have likely averted the most worrisome of outcomes

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Resilience In US Markets Rounds Out A Rocky Year (Jan 10, 2012)

It was a frustrating year on Wall Street, but the fourth quarter of 2011 was a real turnaround from the third. However, the stock market still posted a subpar year due to incredible events including an earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown in Japan, riots throughout most of the oil-producing Arab world, the first ever downgrade of the United States’ credit rating, and spreading debt problems throughout the European Union. The resilience of our U.S. markets throughout this period is somewhat astounding. Following is SageVest Wealth Management’s look at significant developments of the quarter, including improved economic indicators, and thoughts moving into 2012.

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Greece Is The Word: The European Debt Crisis (Oct 10, 2011)

The third quarter was difficult for equity investors as stocks suffered the largest declines since the first quarter of 2009. Double digit losses occurred throughout worldwide stock markets.

What is notable is that these events did not mirror economic or corporate results. Rather, they were instigated by a lack of political decision making, with political divides leading to the first ever downgrade to our U.S. Treasuries and to a worsening debt crisis in Europe, namely in Greece.

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From Stimulus Spending To Budget Cuts (Jul 12, 2011)

For the first time in four quarters, U.S. stocks did not advance. The S&P 500 lost 0.39% in second quarter as investors reacted to European debt concerns, the conclusion of the Fed’s quantitative easing program, high gas prices and indications that the recovery was stalling. Yet as June ended, encouraging domestic indicators and better headlines from overseas helped to renew the collective appetite for risk. Returns in the last week of June virtually erased losses that occurred during the quarter, allowing major equity indices to remain in positive territory for the year.

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Around The World In 90 Days (Apr 11, 2011)

No forecast for 2011 came close to the events unfolding in just the first quarter. Tensions in Tunisia unleashed widespread social unrest throughout North Africa and the Middle East, with ongoing conflict and military action. Catastrophic natural disasters in Japan shifted the earth’s axis and left the world on the edge of a possible nuclear disaster. Coupled with a worsening debt crisis in Europe, you might be surprised by the fact that world markets managed to post positive investment performance.

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Investor Holiday Cheer (Jan 11, 2011)

What amounted to be a choppy year fortunately finished with investor holiday cheer. Investment markets posted positive across-the-board returns among equities, bonds, real estate and commodities, rewarding those who held confidence throughout a number of challenges such as the BP oil spill, the May 6th Flash Crash, a mortgage foreclosure debacle, political turmoil and the continuing European debt crisis. All in all, a second year of recovery has further strengthened the economy and allowed many investors to regain financial stability, offering a strong start and outlook as we move into 2011.

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