July 1, 2014
TDG News: Town Golf Tournament Recap
The 70th Annual Greenwich Town Golf Tournament was another success! With a 20% increase in participants this year, the competition was intense. As a sponsor of the event, we're glad to see more people getting involved in one of the longest standing Greenwich community events and hope to continue with the tradition for years to come. Vineyard Vines once again showed their support and donated their new golf line shirts to all participants. Thanks to New Country Audi of Greenwich, golfers also had the chance of winning a brand new Audi A4, for making a hole-in-one at the 11th hole. Although no one made it this year, a few came close. There is always next year. Check out the following link for a video on this year's tournament: Greenwich Town Golf Tournament on It's Relevant. Look for pictures from the event on our Facebook Page and Website soon!
Looking Back and Forward on Recent Market Data
Last week, the U.S. Department of Commerce delivered news that was about as welcome as a report of a great white shark sighting off a popular beach during the Fourth of July holiday. The Commerce Department's third revision of its estimate for economic growth in the United States during the first quarter of 2014 was revised downward - by a lot. Instead of contracting by 1 percent, the economy shrank by 2.9 percent. It was the worst single-quarter contraction in five years.
According to Barron's, "The number was so bad... it suggested that something more than the weather was to blame for the plunge in economic activity - and that a recession could be in the offing." Other factors did contribute to the economy's first-quarter reversal including a reduction in healthcare spending sparked by the Affordable Care Act and the end of emergency unemployment benefits in January.
However, experts warned against making too much of backward-looking data. ING economist James Knightley told The Guardian reaction to the news should be fairly muted as many economists expect second quarter numbers to show significant improvement. PNC Financial Services senior economist Gus Faucher, who was also quoted in the article, concurred:
"The contraction in the first quarter is old news, and things are looking much better for the rest of this year. Most importantly the labour market remains solid... Job gains are allowing households to increase their spending, with higher stock prices and home values also helping. Recent data have been solid, with big jumps in new and existing home sales in May, and consumer confidence recovering after it took a hit in the winter. An expanding global economy will help boost exports..."
Comments from St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard reinforced the view that economic growth remains steady. Last Thursday, he predicted the Fed would raise interest rates early in 2015. Bloomberg.com reported Bullard expects the jobless rate to drop below 6 percent and inflation to close in on 2 percent by the end of 2014.
|Data as of 6/27/14||1-Week||Y-T-D||1-Year||3-Year||5-Year||10-Year|
|Standard & Poor's 500 (Domestic Stocks)||0.1%||6.1%||21.6%||15.3%||16.2%||5.6%|
|10-year Treasury Note (Yield Only)||2.5||NA||2.5||2.9||3.5||4.7|
|Gold (per ounce)||0.4||9.7||6.9||-4.2||7.1||12.5|
|DJ-UBS Commodity Index||-0.5||8.1||8.4||-4.2||1.7||-0.6|
|DJ Equity All REIT Total Return Index||0.2||16.4||12.5||12.7||23.6||9.6|
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.
Bond History Primer: Quick Look at the Past and Future of Bonds
The bull market in bonds has persisted for more than 30 years. It began when The Cosby Show was in its heyday, when the first Apple Macintosh computers arrived in homes, and when Clara Peller famously asked, "Where's the beef?" in a popular television commercial. The bull market began late in 1981 when 30-year U.S. Treasury bond rates hit an all time high of 15.2 percent and 10-year Treasuries topped out at 15.8 percent. Thirty-three years later, in mid-2014, 30-year Treasuries and their 10-year brethren offered rates in the low single digits.
MarketWatch.com says the lengthy bull market in bonds has important implications:
"... Assuming the typical investor doesn't seriously start thinking about investing until he is 25 or 30 years old, especially about investing in bonds, that means that anyone today not in, or very close to, retirement has only known a bond bull market. That's an amazing historical and psychological fact, the significance of which cannot be overstated. It means that very few investors today have the long-term perspective with which to properly assess whether bonds are likely to suffer major declines in coming years."
After 30-odd years of declining interest rates, some experts believe investors should prepare for a period of rising rates. Since there is an inverse relationship between bond prices and interest rates, higher rates could mean declining bond prices. How much could the price of a bond decline? It all depends on the bond's duration. Duration is expressed as a number of years and measures the sensitivity of a bond to interest rate movements. The longer the duration of a bond, the more sensitive it is to changing rates, and vice-versa. Investopedia.com describes duration like this:
"The duration number is a complicated calculation involving present value, yield, coupon, final maturity, and call features. Fortunately, for investors, this indicator is a standard data point provided in the presentation of comprehensive bond and bond mutual fund information. The bigger the duration number, the greater the interest-rate risk or reward for bond prices."
If rates move higher, a portfolio with long-term, long-duration bonds may experience a significant reduction in value.
Weekly Focus - Think About It
"Hard work spotlights the character of people: some turn up their sleeves, some turn up their noses, and some don't turn up at all."
—Sam Ewing, American baseball player
Sean M. Dowling, CFP, EA
President, The Dowling Group Wealth Management
- 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.
- 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.
http://blogs.barrons.com/incomeinvesting/2014/06/25/bonds-gain-on-awful-gdp-data/ (or go to http://peakclassic.peakadvisoralliance.com/app/webroot/custom/editor/06-30-14_Barrons-Bonds_Gain_On_Awful_GDP_Data-Footnote_2.pdf)
http://online.barrons.com/news/articles/SB50001424053111904544004579642472212243800?mod=BOL_hp_we_columns (or go to http://peakclassic.peakadvisoralliance.com/app/webroot/custom/editor/06-30-14_Barrons-For_Stocks_Good_News_Beyond_GDP-Footnote_3.pdf)
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.