Market Update through 11/30/11

as of November 30, 2011        
  Total Return
Index 12 months YTD QTD MTD
Stocks        
Russell 3000 7.00% 0.20% 11.21% -0.27%
S&P 500 7.83% 1.08% 10.68% -0.22%
DJ Industrial Average 12.38% 6.70% 11.02% 1.18%
Nasdaq Composite 5.99% -0.28% 8.77% -2.18%
Russell 2000 2.76% -4.80% 14.72% -0.36%
EAFE Index* -7.03% -13.93% 3.93% -5.16%
*EAFE index does not include dividends.        
         
Bonds        
Barclays US Aggregate 5.52% 6.67% NA -0.09%
Barclays Intermediate US Gov/Credit 3.67% 4.98% NA -0.24%
Barclays Municipal  6.53% 8.63% NA 0.59%
         
    Current   Prior
Commodity/Currency   Level   Level
         
Crude Oil    $99.74    $100.84
Natural Gas    $3.61    $3.42
Gold    $1,734.60    $1,770.90
Euro    $1.34    $1.34
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Market Update through 11/15/11

as of November 15, 2011        
  Total Return
Index 12 months YTD QTD MTD
Stocks        
Russell 3000 6.79% 0.93% 12.02% 0.46%
S&P 500 7.20% 1.82% 11.50% 0.51%
DJ Industrial Average 10.88% 6.87% 11.21% 1.35%
Nasdaq Composite 8.01% 2.14% 11.41% 0.19%
Russell 2000 4.55% -4.13% 15.53% 0.34%
EAFE Index* -12.21% -13.71% 4.20% -4.92%
*EAFE index does not include dividends.        
         
Bonds        
Barclays US Aggregate 6.13% 6.84% NA 0.07%
Barclays Intermediate US Gov/Credit 4.21% 5.34% NA 0.09%
Barclays Municipal  5.66% 8.25% NA 0.23%
         
    Current   Prior
Commodity/Currency   Level   Level
         
Crude Oil    $100.84    $93.19
Natural Gas    $3.42    $3.93
Gold    $1,770.90    $1,725.20
Euro    $1.34    $1.39

Mark A. Lewis

Director of Operations

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Veterans Day

Today is Veterans Day and speaking as a veteran, I can’t help but to think of my fellow brethren who served and are still serving our country.  It is with fondness that I reflect upon my military service.  I chose to join the Army, just as my father and grandfather did; though, my motives were to take advantage of the GI Bill, not the then-present day war.

One of my fondest memories is during the hurricane Andrew relief effort in 1992.  Initially it was thought that this was a category 4 hurricane, later upgraded to category 5.  I only mention this to try and build a sense of the aftermath and utter devastation I witnessed; I have never seen anything so horrible in my life.

Yet, there is a bright spot in this story.  Upon hearing of the need for help inFlorida, I volunteered to join a company of Combat Engineers (I was an Army Medic) and assisted with the clean up efforts.  We were working in an unknown neighborhood and while they took a break, I began walking around the neighborhood.  I remember seeing this 5 year old Hispanic boy watching me walk down the street.  It looked as if he had a stick in his hand and pretending it was a rifle.  I didn’t think much of it until I walked back up the street to find my unit.  His dad came outside and waved me over from across the street.  I couldn’t figure out why he had a camera in his hand and why the little boy was so antsy.  His father explained that his son wanted to be a soldier one day and asked to have his picture taken with me.  I can remember looking down at the boy and him looking at me with hopeful innocent eyes.  The father took one picture with his camera and one with mine.  Overjoyed for his son, he then thanked me and shook my hand.  To this day, I still have the picture of that little boy on my desk at home; judging by the expression on his face, there is little doubt that I made his day. 

With the holiday season quickly approaching, I have much to be thankful for.  I am very grateful for our nation’s heroes who are serving and served our country.  I hope you will take time to thank a veteran today.

 

Neal Nolan, CFP(R)

Financial Advisor

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Retired! Now What?

If your hobby is your job, then you will be frustrated in retirement. Even if you have a hobby or two, could you fill up your time with golf or boating every single day? Having little to do will could possibly lead to an early death by boredom.

We have busy clients doing all sorts of volunteer activities that bring much satisfaction to their lives. Meals on Wheels is a popular volunteer job, as well as helping out with the Asheville Symphony. I have a client who is a guardian ad litem and her husband volunteers at the VA hospital. Another couple has an RV and they travel all over having unbelievable adventures. This last year they served as guides in the Wyoming Territorial Prison (that’s guides, not guards). This is a prison that was built in 1872 and is now a tourist attraction. They have also cleaned litter off of trails at the Wyoming Green River Lakes and the Rails to Trails in Susanville, California. They have served as guides on cave tours in the Long Horn Caverns in Texas and next year they are planning to go to Houston to do tours on the Battleship Texas. In exchange for their labors, they get free camping privileges with their RV, but must pay for the gas to travel themselves.

There are unlimited volunteer opportunities, both locally and far away. I have clients whose children are helping out in Africa. So if you are sitting at home, watching television or surfing the internet (reading this article?), perhaps you could find some fun and exciting volunteer job that is just right for you!

Barbara Gray, CFP®
Partner

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Market Update through 10/31/11

as of October 31, 2011        
  Total Return
Index 12 months YTD QTD October
Stocks        
Russell 3000 7.90% 0.47% 11.51% 11.51%
S&P 500 8.09% 1.30% 10.93% 10.93%
DJ Industrial Average 10.39% 5.45% 9.72% 9.72%
Nasdaq Composite 8.14% 1.94% 11.20% 11.20%
Russell 2000 6.71% -4.46% 15.13% 15.13%
EAFE Index* -6.89% -9.24% 9.59% 9.59%
*EAFE index does not include dividends.        
         
Bonds        
Barclays US Aggregate 5.00% 6.76% NA 0.11%
Barclays Intermediate US Gov/Credit 3.22% 5.24% NA 0.30%
Barclays Municipal  3.78% 8.00% NA -0.37%
         
    Current   Prior
Commodity/Currency   Level   Level
         
Crude Oil    $93.19    $86.68
Natural Gas    $3.93    $3.69
Gold    $1,725.20    $1,682.00
Euro    $1.39    $1.37
         
         
RECOVERY!        
  Since 3/09/09    
Index  Total Return TR annualized    
Stocks        
Russell 3000 100.34% 30.02%    
S&P 500 95.60% 28.85%    
DJ Industrial Average 96.21% 29.00%    
Nasdaq Composite 117.11% 34.03%    
Russell 2000 123.61% 35.53%    
EAFE Index* 65.13% 20.87%    
*EAFE index does not include dividends.        

Mark A. Lewis

Director of Operations

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Market Update through 10/14/11

as of October 14, 2011        
  Total Return
Index 12 months YTD QTD MTD
Stocks        
Russell 3000 6.03% -2.12% 8.63% 8.63%
S&P 500 6.47% -1.05% 8.35% 8.35%
DJ Industrial Average 7.75% 2.64% 6.80% 6.80%
Nasdaq Composite 10.66% 1.30% 10.49% 10.49%
Russell 2000 2.39% -8.17% 10.66% 10.66%
EAFE Index* -10.82% -11.74% 6.58% 6.58%
*EAFE index does not include dividends.        
         
Bonds        
Barclays US Aggregate 4.04% 5.80% NA -0.79%
Barclays Intermediate US Gov/Credit 2.47% 4.39% NA -0.50%
Barclays Municipal  2.62% 7.27% NA -1.04%
         
    Current   Prior
Commodity/Currency   Level   Level
         
Crude Oil    $86.68    $77.32
Natural Gas    $3.69    $3.64
Gold    $1,682.00    $1,656.00
Euro    $1.37    $1.33
         
         
RECOVERY!        
  Since 3/09/09    
Index  Total Return TR annualized    
Stocks        
Russell 3000 95.16% 29.33%    
S&P 500 91.05% 28.27%    
DJ Industrial Average 90.99% 28.26%    
Nasdaq Composite 115.73% 34.41%    
Russell 2000 114.91% 34.21%    
EAFE Index* 60.60% 19.99%    
*EAFE index does not include dividends.        

Mark A. Lewis

Director of Operations

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Market Update through 9/30/11

as of September 30, 2011        
  Total Return
Index 12 months YTD QTD Sept
Stocks        
Russell 3000 0.55% -9.90% -15.28% -7.76%
S&P 500 1.14% -8.68% -13.87% -7.03%
DJ Industrial Average 3.84% -3.89% -11.49% -5.91%
Nasdaq Composite 3.00% -8.32% -12.70% -6.31%
Russell 2000 -3.53% -17.02% -21.86% -11.21%
EAFE Index* -12.02% -17.18% -19.60% -9.86%
*EAFE index does not include dividends.        
         
Bonds        
Barclays US Aggregate 5.26% 6.65% NA 0.73%
Barclays Intermediate US Gov/Credit 3.40% 4.92% NA -0.12%
Barclays Municipal  3.88% 8.40% NA 1.03%
         
    Current   Prior
Commodity/Currency   Level   Level
         
Crude Oil    $77.32    $88.01
Natural Gas    $3.64    $3.80
Gold    $1,656.00    $1,806.30
Euro    $1.33    $1.37
         
         
RECOVERY!        
  Since 3/09/09    
Index  Total Return TR annualized    
Stocks        
Russell 3000 79.66% 25.70%    
S&P 500 76.32% 24.78%    
DJ Industrial Average 78.82% 25.47%    
Nasdaq Composite 95.25% 29.85%    
Russell 2000 94.21% 29.58%    
EAFE Index* 50.68% 17.36%    
*EAFE index does not include dividends.        

 

Mark A. Lewis

Director of Operations

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Perspectives

I recently finished reading a book that reminded me to keep things in proper perspective. I can’t say that the book is directly related to work matters, but there are parallels that can be drawn between the book’s message and our world’s current economic condition and how we feel about our financial condition.

Indeed there are plenty of things wrong with the US economy and that of the world right now. It’s difficult to ignore the lackluster post recession recovery that media outlets seem to have no problem speaking of. Even more prevalent are the problems in Europe and Greece. Admittedly, we must acknowledge these problems and face a real possibility of continued slow moving growth. The problems with the United States’ ongoing debt crisis and those of our neighbors across the ocean seem easy enough to understand on the surface. However, fixing these problems and the ripples that will be felt around the world is entirely something else.

In the face of such concerns, we are often asked “What should I do?” To answer that, it goes without saying that fear often grips us and can cause us to make some very unwise decisions, such as allowing our fear to consume our thoughts and force us to become a seller of investments when we should be a buyer. The counsel we provide for our clients often includes a discussion of what our clients already know and in times like this, can not be reinforced enough: diversify.

Simply put, when we are planning a strategy with an unknown outcome, our plans tend to include a way of “hedging our bets.” In my opinion, this is just another way of saying that we “diversify the outcome” of a particular situation. As investment managers, we do the same thing with the investments we buy and sell for our clients. This diversification includes constructing portfolios comparable to a relevant benchmark, not overweighting the portfolio in favor of one particular asset class or investment, and not attempting to second guess the stock market. Instead, we build portfolios based on a client’s tolerance to take risk by including a broad range of stocks, equity mutual funds, cash, and as appropriate, fixed income mutual funds, and individual issues.

But what do we do after we have diversified? Is there anything else? I would offer that we can shift our focus on what we can control. That is, limit and decrease debt, increase savings, and monitor our spending habits. Beyond that, it is my desire that investors focus beyond their current financial situation and begin to focus on more important matters. And this brings me back to the book I mentioned above. Yes, our investments, earnings, savings, diversification, matters that we can control, are all important. But at the end of the day, I believe we need to set these aside and focus on being the most important person we can be to the people that love us the most.

In closing, I offer the following thought about a plaque I have in my office. A colleague once jokingly commented that I need to get it “compliance approved” (that is to say, be able to prove that it is true). The plaque reads: “The best investment: Time with a child, a good morning kiss, a simple I love you.”

Neal Nolan, CFP®

Financial Advisor

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Market Update through 9/15/11

as of September 15, 2011        
  Total Return
Index 12 months YTD QTD MTD
Stocks        
Russell 3000 10.18/% -3.06% -8.85% -0.76%
S&P 500 9.65% -2.46% -8.00% -0.70%
DJ Industrial Average 11.01% 0.66% -7.29% -1.45%
Nasdaq Composite 14.43% -1.07% -5.79% 1.10%
Russell 2000 10.69% -8.17% -13.54% -1.75%
EAFE Index* -6.95% -14.05% -16.56% -6.45%
*EAFE index does not include dividends.        
         
Bonds        
Barclays US Aggregate 5.62% 6.29% NA 0.39%
Barclays Intermediate US Gov/Credit 4.36% 5.06% NA 0.02%
Barclays Municipal  3.87% 8.08% NA 0.74%
         
    Current   Prior
Commodity/Currency   Level   Level
         
Crude Oil    $88.01    $84.56
Natural Gas    $3.80    $3.87
Gold    $1,806.30    $1,895.20
Euro    $1.37    $1.40
         
         
RECOVERY!        
  Since 3/09/09    
Index  Total Return TR annualized    
Stocks        
Russell 3000 93.30% 29.88%    
S&P 500 88.33% 28.55%    
DJ Industrial Average 87.30% 28.27%    
Nasdaq Composite 110.70% 34.40%    
Russell 2000 114.91% 35.46%    
EAFE Index* 56.39% 19.41%    
*EAFE index does not include dividends.        

Mark A. Lewis

Director of Operations

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Market Update through 8/31/11

as of August 31, 2011        
  Total Return
Index 12 months YTD QTD August
Stocks        
Russell 3000 19.30% -2.32% -11.77% -6.00%
S&P 500 18.50% -1.77% -10.76% -5.43%
DJ Industrial Average 19.03% 2.15% -8.95% -3.96%
Nasdaq Composite 23.32% -2.15% -6.82% -6.28%
Russell 2000 22.19% -6.54% -12.00% -8.70%
EAFE Index* 6.86% -8.12% -10.80% -9.30%
*EAFE index does not include dividends.        
         
Bonds        
Barclays US Aggregate 4.91% 6.26% NA 1.55%
Barclays Intermediate US Gov/Credit 4.25% 5.35% NA 1.13%
Barclays Municipal  3.00% 8.26% NA 1.93%
         
    Current   Prior
Commodity/Currency   Level   Level
         
Crude Oil    $84.56    $86.46
Natural Gas    $3.87    $3.97
Gold    $1,895.20    $1,778.80
Euro    $1.40    $1.43
         
         
RECOVERY!        
  Since 3/09/09    
Index  Total Return TR annualized    
Stocks        
Russell 3000 94.77% 30.85%    
S&P 500 89.66% 29.45%    
DJ Industrial Average 90.06% 29.56%    
Nasdaq Composite 108.40% 34.47%    
Russell 2000 118.73% 37.12%    
EAFE Index* 67.17% 23.03%    
*EAFE index does not include dividends.        

 

Mark A. Lewis

Director of Operations

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