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The Markets – Unplugged XII

Markets Unplugged – XII Conference Call November 12, 2014 Welcome to our 6- year anniversary of Market’s Unplugged, our bi-annual Conference Call. On behalf of our team, it’s a pleasure to be sharing time with you this evening. Our goal is to provide timely market perspectives and where we think the markets may be headed, given the evidence presented to us by the markets themselves. We’ll start with a short discussion on market seasonality, what seasonality means and why your portfolios might benefit, given a new season has begun. From there, we’ll review where the equity markets have taken us since our last conference call in May 2014. We will examine recent statements from the U.S. Federal Reserve, deciphering potential market implications as a result of these statements, and review possible, market moving government economic statistics. We’ll touch upon the direction of bonds, stocks and commodities, examine the global markets and wind up this evening discussing potential implications as a result of the U.S. mid-term elections. That’s a lot to cover, so let’s get started… For you historical scholars and music buffs that may be tuning in this evening, there is a saying that has resonated throughout human history, “To everything, turn, turn, turn, there is a season and a time for every purpose unto heaven.” These words are lyrics to a song written by the American icon, Pete Seeger in the 1950’s, and later performed by the rock music group, and The Byrd’s in the 1960’s. But you scholars in the audience know that the original saying comes from the Hebrew Bible and the book of Ecclesiastes. Some scholars attribute this saying to King Solomon, who was known for his great wisdom. King Solomon is also noted for his saying in the book of Ecclesiastes, “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.” And the reason there is nothing new under the sun, even though this was written thousands of years ago, is because human kind is still operating the same way after all these years. We love, we lose, sometimes we are kind, and often times we go to...

Markets Unplugged XI

Markets Unplugged – XI Conference Call May 14, 2014   Welcome to our 11th Market’s Unplugged, our bi-annual Conference Call. On behalf of our team, it’s a pleasure to be sharing time with you this evening. Our goal is to provide timely market perspectives and where we think the markets may be headed, given the evidence presented to us by the markets themselves. Tonight we’ll start by reviewing where the markets have taken us since our last call in November 2013. We’d be remiss not to examine Janet Yellen’s current statements as the new U.S. Federal Reserve Chair. From there, as part of the educational portion of the program, we’ll comment on the once-every-four-year phenomena; the “mid-term election” market cycle and its possible implications for the broad market. After that, we will discuss the current inter-market relationships between bonds, stocks and commodities. We’ll examine the evidence pointing to possible inflation and analyze the state of the U.S. dollar, and finally conclude with what we might expect by year end.    There’s a lot to cover, so let’s get started… When we spoke in mid-November, last year, we had just started the beginning of what some call the “favorable” six-month window where prices historically rise. The stock market rose until the end of 2013 and turned in a very strong fourth quarter, relative to performance. But, since the beginning of 2014, stock market prices have trended sideways. Right now they are bumping their heads against the ceiling of 16,600 on the DJIA and 1890 on the SP-500. The “sluggish” price action we’ve experienced in the equity indices since March is a microcosm of the overall equity price action we’ve experienced in 2014. Logically, one would expect a pause in rising prices in 2014, given that 2013 was a banner year, driven by smaller-cap momentum issues.   Currently, both the SP-500 and DJIA-30 are holding their 50-Day Moving average levels; a line which offers price support in what we consider a “trading range” market. Not so with the less conservative, more speculative, momentum driven, mostly non-dividend paying NASDQ issues. The NASDAQ index is much weaker. The 26-week new-highs/new- lows ratio is still supportive and suggests the...

Markets Unplugged X

Markets Unplugged – X Conference Call November 13, 2013    Welcome to our 10th Markets Unplugged, our bi-annual Conference Call. On behalf of our team, it’s a pleasure to be sharing time with you this evening. Our goal is to provide timely market perspectives and where we think the markets may be headed, given the evidence presented to us by the markets themselves. Tonight we’ll start by examining the timely topic of debt, its effect on society and examine four possible solutions that could put this country back in the black, not to be confused with AC/DC’s album from 1980.  After this discussion we’ll move on to the market’s response to monetary policy since our last Conference Call in May. We’ll examine where we are regarding our financial barometers and where we see “the sweet spot” for investors. We’ll briefly examine stock sector relationships and speak to Dow Theory and why this theory may be important for the continuation of the “bull market.” Then we will turn our eyes overseas to discuss Europe and finish by noting where we are in the market’s seasonal cycle.  There is a lot to cover, so let’s get started… With our law makers meeting in less than 3 months to discuss the debt ceiling, again, we’re going to examine the subject of debt; its definition, its components,   possible solutions to overcoming indebtedness and most importantly, what our central bank is trying to do to mitigate our debt problem.  First off, debt is something, typically money, that is owed or due. Debt is not necessarily bad, as I recently explained to my college- aged children. Most folks have to secure debt to buy a house, a car or other “big ticket” item. I told my kids, “You can finance debt, pay it off over time and improve your credit rating.”  That’s a good thing! If a business incurs debt; for example, borrowing money to build a plant or buy equipment, than the expected return later comes from the goods and services produced as a result of building the plant or purchasing the equipment. That’s also a good thing! The difference between the sale of what is produced and the...

Archive of Non-Profit Cooperation Circle Presentations

  March 2012 Nonprofit Board Governance: Fiduciary Responsibilities and Liability Issues May 2012 COSO Internal Control – Integrated Framework May 30 June 2012 Fraud Awareness and Risk Assessment Fraud Risk Best Practices Checklist September 2012 Avoiding legal Pitfalls in the Current Form 990 October 2012 The Myth of Asset Allocation The Myth of Asset Allocation (text) January 2013 Mobile Applications: A Top and Bottom Line Hero for your NPO March 2013 What Makes Markets Move, and How to Profit From It (presentation available by request) May 2013 Board Engagement and Sustainability June 2013 Timely Tax Topics for Non Profits July 2013 UBIT and Executive Compensation Lessons for All Non Profit...

Markets Unplugged IX

Markets Unplugged – IX Conference Call May 8, 2013     Welcome to our 9th Market’s Unplugged, our bi-annual Conference Call. On behalf of our team, it’s a pleasure to be sharing time with you this evening. Our goal is to provide timely market perspectives and where we think the markets may be headed, given the evidence presented to us by the markets themselves. Tonight we’ll start by examining why investor psychology is the main ingredient contributing to stock market “tops” and “bottoms” and why this is important for you to understand. After this discussion we’ll review the market’s response to monetary easing and how this might be affecting the stock market. We’ll review the current relationship between bonds, stocks and commodities and how these asset classes are affecting the stock market’s major sectors. We’ll comment briefly as to why the Federal Reserve Policy is a “doubled-edged sword” and finish with some observations on market seasonality for the next few quarters and how far we might go in the on-going cyclical bull market.  Let’s begin… We are going to start with a short lesson in investor psychology. There are two Wall Street sayings, “Prices are made in people’s minds” and “Markets climb a wall of worry.” Both these messages correlate with investor psyche and provide pertinent information to help us understand where we are in the stock market right now. First, market participants don’t trade the financial markets; they trade what’s between their ears. Think about it. People trade their perceptions; what they think they see, not necessarily what is, but how they feel it is. Something moves market participants to buy or sell. Picture a chart of any market; let’s say the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock market index. Prices are labeled on the left side of the chart and time is labeled on the bottom of the chart. In between price and time you would see a squiggly line. That squiggly line is “price.” It moves up and down over time, doesn’t it? That line reflects how money is moving. Price reflects buyers and sellers coming to an agreement, right? So, who makes price? You make price. All active participants in the...