June 3, 2013
As the first half of 2013 comes to a close, we as a country have been through a lot. From the attack at the Boston Marathon, to the horrific fertilizer explosion in West, Texas, or through the unleashing of Mother Nature’s wrath by the tornados in Oklahoma; it has been a long six months. We have all been united in grief and prayer for those in need whether or not we have been personally touched by these tragedies. I am sure you will join me in praying for a second half of the year that is a bit more reserved.
Turning to the financial markets, the S&P 500 Index is up over 15% through May 31st! The three-year average of the index is up just over 12% as I write this. However, if we dig a bit further back into the five-year return to include the infamous year of 2008, our favorite index’s return drops to a respectable but much lower annualized return of just 5.81%. This reminds us that what can go up can also go down. We are starting to hear the pundits say that maybe this market is overblown, or the bubble is upon us again. Just this past Friday, I had a prospective client in the morning tell me he had been on the sidelines for the last couple of years because he wasn’t comfortable with where the markets were going but is looking to get back in the game. Later that afternoon, I had a conversation with a friend who was convinced that with all the turmoil it was time to get out. A complete 180⁰ from my morning meeting!
Those of you who know me are well aware that I stand by the conviction that the globally diversified, passively managed portfolios we employ are the best way to obtain the returns we all seek. In addition, we continue to focus on ways to reduce risk, reduce risk, and reduce risk! After all, our job for most of you is to keep the money that you entrust us with, not to take unwarranted risks trying to hit the ball out of the park.
Thus, our approach is not to tinker with portfolios, time the market, or allow the pundits to sway our resolve. Our job is to keep your money, and to keep you invested appropriately for your risk tolerance. We take this job very seriously and appreciate the trust and confidence you have shown us over the years.
The attached article by Jim Parker applies a bit of Chinese “Taoist” philosophy to our passive investment management strategy. In short, Jim says the same thing that Benjamin Graham and Warren Buffet have preached for years, get invested in a diversified way and leave it alone….
Our best to you and your families for a great summer and a fantastic second half of the year!
Wiseman and Associates Wealth Management
Thomas R. Wiseman, II