Market Commentaries

2015 in review

As the year draws to a close, I wanted to go over some of the high (and low) points.  The bottom line is that 2015 was a tough year to be a diversified investor: Commodities and the energy sector are down sharply due to oil dropping by about 32% year to date International emerging markets

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Crude Economics

That’s the best title I could come up with today.  I’ve been looking for something significant and non-controversial to write about (as there is a lot of controversy in the news right now), and then I saw this on Yahoo Finance:                         So, which

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Down but not out

First, the bad news: The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 8.8% for the quarter, and 9.8% year to date (YTD). The S&P 500 index is down 8.6% for the quarter and 8.4% YTD. Small and mid-cap stock indices haven’t fared much better, down 7.7% and 6.9% YTD respectively. Internationally, most all of the developed

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Greece, oil, and other lubricants causing the market to slide

Now that it has finally reached 100 degrees in Texas, and the stock market is gyrating like a roller coaster, things are truly uncomfortable. On a daily basis for over a month now the news has spouted grim information, but which isn’t always grim when you take a closer look: Greece – raise your hand

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Fed Rate Hike

“But about that day and hour no one knows…Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come.” Mark 13:32-33 The above quote from the Bible certainly has nothing to do with the prospect of the Federal Reserve raising rates for the first time since 2006, but it was the first

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Happy Tax Day!

…well, maybe not so happy. But I wanted to share a couple of things with you that may make you feel a little bit better, anyway. First, this article, from Yahoo! Finance, called “Your Tax Bill Isn’t as Bad as You Think”, compares U.S. taxes to taxes in other developed countries. The bottom line is

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Strong dollar

You’ve probably heard by now that the dollar has strengthened significantly over the last few months. In fact, it is up 18% since last summer and 12.5% for 2014. But what does that mean to you? If you are planning to travel abroad, your dollars will now buy more products and services than they would

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Proud to be an American

I say it a lot: I’m glad that I was born in the United States. We have so much to be thankful for, and even when I’m mad at politicians, tax policies, etc., I realize just how good we have it here. Right now, I’m also glad to BE in the United States. While most

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A Shaky Start to 2015

After a very positive year in 2014 where the market was up ~12%, the first real day of 2015 saw the market down by nearly 2%. Those that have been on vacation the last two to three weeks are suddenly skittish, wondering what to do. Oil is down now below $55/barrel, nearly half of what

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Texas Tea

The price of oil dropped below $60/barrel today, which represents a 40% decline in just a few months.  Those of us in Texas have mixed feelings about this: on the one hand, it’s nice to pay less at the pump, but on the other hand our economy has boomed recently due to the Eagle Ford

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