June 17, 2014

TDG News: Greenwich Town Golf Tournament

The Dowling Group will be sponsoring the Men's and Women's Greenwich Town Golf Tournament again this year. The Men's tournament is celebrating its 70th year in 2014 making it one of the longest standing sporting competitions in Greenwich. This is our 5th year as a sponsor of the event. Vineyard Vines will be joining us again as a co-sponsor as well as Audi of Greenwich. The event will be held of the weekend of June 28th and 29th for the Men and Monday the 30th for the Women.

For any town resident that want to test their mettle against Greenwich's finest, there is still time to sign up. For the Men, you can visit this link to sign up: Visit Here. For the Women, you can visit this link to sign up: Visit Here

We look forward to a great competition and a fun weekend with friends at the Griff. See you there.

Foreign Affairs

Investors remain oddly complacent even in the face of unexpected events that have the potential to disrupt global markets.

Last week, news media reported civil war in Syria has boiled over into Iraq, and ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria), a Sunni extremist group, has seized control of hundreds of square miles. According to CNN.com, the group's ambition is to create an Islamic state that encompasses the Sunni regions of both Iraq and Syria. 1 The Economist pointed out the potential for volatility in world energy prices is enormous because significant portions of the world's energy reserves are controlled by Middle Eastern nations (factor in Russia and Venezuela, too). 2

Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, let markets know the United Kingdom's central bank may raise rates sooner than expected to help turn the country's recovery into a durable expansion. 3 His speech sparked speculation about the timing of rate hikes in the United States. President of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, James Bullard, told The Wall Street Journal the Fed is likely to raise rates sooner than expected if the U.S. economy meets performance expectations during 2014. 4

Russian politicians are encouraging a de-dollarization of their economy, and leaders of several Russian banks have indicated they are bypassing the U.S. dollar in their international transactions. 5 China and Brazil are settling some of their trade with their currencies, the renminbi and the real (respectively). According to Barron's, "The world is actively seeking an alternative to the greenback. Major nations don't want to pay the virtual toll in the cost of acquiring dollars to conduct trade. The maturation of their own financial markets increasingly allows them to bypass the dollar-centric financial system." 6

U.S. stock markets largely finished the week lower; however, the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) (the so-called fear gauge) remained at levels suggesting investors remain relatively unruffled. 6

Data as of 6/13/14 1-Week Y-T-D 1-Year 3-Year 5-Year 10-Year
Standard & Poor's 500 (Domestic Stocks) -0.7% 4.8% 18.3% 15.0% 16.0% 5.6%
10-year Treasury Note (Yield Only) 2.6 NA 2.2 3.0 3.7 4.9
Gold (per ounce) 2.0 6.0 -8.1 -5.9 6.4 12.7
DJ-UBS Commodity Index 0.8 7.2 3.6 -6.3 1.4 -0.7
DJ Equity All REIT Total Return Index -2.2 14.4 10.3 12.7 22.8 10.0

S&P 500, Gold, DJ-UBS Commodity Index returns exclude reinvested dividends (gold does not pay a dividend) and the three-, five-, and 10-year returns are annualized; the DJ Equity All REIT Total Return Index does include reinvested dividends and the three-, five-, and 10-year returns are annualized; and the 10-year Treasury Note is simply the yield at the close of the day on each of the historical time periods.

Sources: Yahoo! Finance, Barron's, djindexes.com, London Bullion Market Association.

Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Indices are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. N/A means not applicable.

Soccer...eh em...Football and the Economy

Paul, the German octopus oracle, did pretty well predicting outcomes of 2010 World Cup matches. Paul's approachwasn'ttoo scientific and, now that he is gone, a lot of folks are turning to animal prognosticators. China has a team of baby pandas and Germany has put Nelly the elephant on the task.7

In case you're not a soccer aficionado, The World Cup - soccer's version of the Super Bowl, World Series, Stanley Cup, etc., etc. - began last weekend. SBNation.com's soccer glossary describes the event like this:8

"The World Cup is the most important soccer tournament on the planet. It is contested over 64 games by 32 national teams every four years and tends to be watched by a significant fraction of the global population... Long story short: it's the most important trophy in the world's most popular sport."

The World Cup also provides a lesson on sentiment-driven markets. Market sentiment reflects the optimism or pessimism of investors on the whole - crowd attitude - and it can send markets higher or lower. It can affect markets even when there's no change in underlying fundamentals. 9

So, how does it work? Goldman Sachs publishes a 67-page report, complete with a dream team line-up and interviews, titled The World Cup and Economics. It could be a program brochure for the event. Regardless, the report includes data about the performance of countries' stock markets following a victory or defeat in the finals. 10

Stock markets in winning countries tend to outperform by about 3.5 percent for the first month after the win but gains fade by the three-month mark, and markets tend to underperform the following year.When you remove significant outliers, runner-up countries' markets typically underperform during the three months following the loss. It seems nobody is too pleased about coming in second. 10

Weekly Focus - Think About It

"Some people think football [soccer] is a matter of life and death. I assure you, it's much more serious than that."

—Bill Shankly, Scottish footballer and manager of Liverpool Football Club 11

Best regards,
Sean M. Dowling, CFP, EA
President, The Dowling Group Wealth Management

Please feel free to forward this commentary to family, friends, or colleagues. If you would like us to add them to the list, please reply to this e-mail with their e-mail address and we will ask for their permission to be added.
  • The Standard & Poor's 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general.
  • Government bonds and Treasury Bills are guaranteed by the U.S. government as to the timely payment of principal and interest and, if held to maturity, offer a fixed rate of return and fixed principal value. However, the value of fund shares is not guaranteed and will fluctuate.
  • Corporate bonds are considered higher risk than government bonds but normally offer a higher yield and are subject to market, interest rate and credit risk as well as additional risks based on the quality of issuer coupon rate, price, yield, maturity, and redemption features.
  • The 10-year Treasury Note represents debt owed by the United States Treasury to the public. Since the U.S. Government is seen as a risk-free borrower, investors use the 10-year Treasury Note as a benchmark for the long-term bond market.
  • Gold represents the London afternoon gold price fix as reported by the London Bullion Market Association.
  • The DJ Commodity Index is designed to be a highly liquid and diversified benchmark for the commodity futures market. The Index is composed of futures contracts on 19 physical commodities and was launched on July 14, 1998.
  • The DJ Equity All REIT TR Index measures the total return performance of the equity subcategory of the Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) industry as calculated by Dow Jones.
  • Yahoo! Finance is the source for any reference to the performance of an index between two specific periods.
  • Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance.
  • Past performance does not guarantee future results.
  • You cannot invest directly in an index.
  • The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index. Unmanaged index returns do not reflect fees, expenses, or sales charges. Index performance is not indicative of the performance of any investment.
  • Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.
  • This newsletter was prepared by Peak Advisor Alliance. Peak Advisor Alliance is not affiliated with the named broker/dealer.
  • Economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted and there can be no guarantee that strategies promoted will be successful.
  • Stock investing involves risk including loss of principal.

1 http://www.cnn.com/2014/06/12/world/meast/who-is-the-isis/

2 http://www.economist.com/blogs/buttonwood/2014/06/geopolitical-risk-and-markets?zid=308&ah=e21d923f9b263c5548d5615da3d30f4d

3 http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/publications/Documents/speeches/2014/speech736.pdf (Pages 3-4)

4 http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2014/06/09/feds-james-bullard-fed-is-much-closer-to-its-policy-goals/ (or go to http://peakclassic.peakadvisoralliance.com/app/webroot/custom/editor/06-16-14_WSJ-Feds_Bullard_Says_Central_Bank_May_Raise_Rates-Footnote_4.pdf)

5 http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2014/6/9/russia-banks-currency.html

6 http://online.barrons.com/news/articles/SB50001424053111903583804579614252099387332?mod=BOL_hp_we_columns (or go to http://peakclassic.peakadvisoralliance.com/app/webroot/custom/editor/06-16-14_Barrons-Surprise-Side_Economics-Footnote_6.pdf)

7 http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/world-cup/wholl-succeed-paul-octopus-world-cup-oracle-its-anyones-bet-n124971

8 http://www.sbnation.com/soccer/2014/6/12/5802424/soccer-glossary-2014-world-cup#worldcup_worldcup

9 http://www.investopedia.com/terms/m/marketsentiment.asp

10 http://www.goldmansachs.com/our-thinking/outlook/world-cup-sections/world-cup-book-2014-equity-markets.html?cid=PS_01_84_07_00_00_01_01

11 http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/b/billshankl312046.html

IRS Circular 230 Disclosure: Pursuant to requirements imposed by the Internal Revenue Service, any tax advice contained in this communication (including any attachments) is not intended to be used, and cannot be used, for purposes of avoiding penalties imposed under the United States Internal Revenue Code or promoting, marketing or recommending to another person any tax-related matter. Please contact us if you wish to have formal written advice on this matter.

ADV & Investment Objectives: Please contact The Dowling Group if there are any changes in your financial situation or investment objectives, or if you wish to impose, add or modify any reasonable restrictions to the management of your account. Our current disclosure statement is set forth on Part II of Form ADV and is available for your review upon request.