CKBlog: The Market

Friday, February 01, 2019

Look Out for Outlooks 2019 Edition

by Steve Haberstroh, Partner

It’s very difficult to successfully predict the future. Whether your expertise is in elections, the weather, or financial markets, if your profession requires you to make predictions, then your profession requires you to be wrong most of the time.

Read on: Look Out for Outlooks 2019 Edition

Friday, January 25, 2019

2018 Market Review

by The CastleKeep Team

2018 reminded investors that equity markets are unpredictable and volatile. As they should be. Otherwise, why should we expect 8-10% returns per year over the long run?

Read on: 2018 Market Review

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Things Move Fast. Slow Down. Our 2018 Q2 Market Review

by Charlie Haberstroh, CEO & CIO

In this era of social media, it is important to remember that events which used to take hours, days, weeks, or even months to reach the news are now shared with millions within minutes. Due to constant “breaking news” we are all subject to instant analysis, gut reactions, and ultimately superficial responses to events. It’s hard to block out the noise. Things seem to be moving too fast. What to do?

Read on: Things Move Fast. Slow Down. Our 2018 Q2 Market Review

Friday, April 20, 2018

Don’t Sleep on Non-US Stocks

by Steve Haberstroh, Partner

Over the last 14 years in the business ... one thing has become clear to me. Mean reversion is real and universal. Things that have been hot for a while tend to cool down. Likewise, things that have been out of favor eventually become the favorites. You earn the fruits of the good times by sticking through the bad times. What am I talking about?

Read on: Don’t Sleep on Non-US Stocks

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Is it Time to Break Up with the S&P?

by Steve Haberstroh, Partner

Many of you out there have committed nearly 100% of your investable assets to the S&P 500 index or have been contemplating doing just that. Given the recent correction (we officially hit a 10% sell-off in the index), on this Valentine’s Day, I ask “should you break up with the S&P?”

Read on: Is it Time to Break Up with the S&P?

Friday, January 19, 2018

2017 Market Review

by Charlie Haberstroh, CEO & CIO

Notes from our CIO on the Market in 2017, and some things to consider in 2018.

Read on: 2017 Market Review

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Look Out for Outlooks!

by Steve Haberstroh, Partner

Look Out, the 2018 Financial Outlooks are out!

Outlooks are rarely accurate. It is impossible to successfully and consistently predict the outcomes of the financial markets, especially in the near term. 2017 is a perfect example of why the markets have the habit of proving prognosticators wrong.

Read on: Look Out for Outlooks!

Friday, December 08, 2017

Bitcoin, FOMO, and the Greater Fool

by Steve Haberstroh, Partner

Over the last several weeks, I’ve fielded many inquiries about Bitcoin. “What is Bitcoin?” “Should I invest?” “How do I invest?” “Am I too late?” I have many conversations about Bitcoin with some of the smartest people I know who are also trying to figure this out. It’s starting to reach a fever pitch. What to do?

Read on: Bitcoin, FOMO, and the Greater Fool

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Black Monday

by Steve Haberstroh, Partner

What would’ve happened to a $10,000 investment made on Black Monday if you’d just left it in the market for the next 30 years?

Read on: Black Monday

Monday, July 31, 2017

2017 Semi-Annual Review

by Charlie Haberstroh, CEO & CIO

If someone stood before you on December 31, 2016 and told you that by June 30th, 2017 the S&P 500 Index would be up +9.34% including dividends, you’d likely have assumed that the Trump administration accomplished several key aspects of their “Pro Business” agenda. You might have expected that major tax reforms were passed, regulations were slashed, an infrastructure bill was moving through Congress and a reasonable solution to the Affordable Health Care Act was achieved. You’d be wrong.

In fact, despite the stalemate and dysfunction in Washington, D.C., the S&P 500 Index is up +14.74% since Trump was elected through June 30th 2017. So if the US stock market performance cannot be attributed pro-business legislation, what can we point to?

Read on: 2017 Semi-Annual Review

Friday, January 27, 2017

2016 Market Review

by Charlie Haberstroh, CEO & CIO

2016 was the year of surprises. 

January 2016 started with concerns of de-escalating economic growth in China which triggered an historic sell-off in the first five weeks of the year. Extreme pessimism reigned as global growth worries were paramount. Petroleum prices were weak and bonds rallied. Investors grew more and more concerned. Headlines extrapolated short-term weakness into a prolonged correction which amplified investor anxiety. On February 11th, the S&P 500 Index was down 10.27%. But by mid-March, the S&P 500 Index was trading in positive territory. Surprise! The pundits were wrong.

Read on: 2016 Market Review

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Trump Victory and the Markets

by Charlie Haberstroh, CEO & CIO

As the pundits say, elections have consequences. But then again, they’ve said many things that didn’t come true during this election cycle. Like Brexit, almost everyone’s prediction on the results of the US election were wrong on all fronts; most notably, very few predicted the Trump victory and the Republican control of both houses of the US Congress. It is hard to read the tea leaves when there have been few policy pronouncements by Trump or his campaign. As in the US election eight years ago, the American voters wanted change and have spoken loudly.

Read on: Trump Victory and the Markets

Friday, June 24, 2016

BREXIT:  What Now?

by Charlie Haberstroh, CEO & CIO

That’s the pertinent question.

Folks in the Western Hemisphere are now waking up to the news that the UK has narrowly voted to leave the European Union. Global markets are showing their displeasure as most equity indexes are facing steep losses. As I write this (6:45 am EST), the UK’s FTSE is off by 5%, the German DAX is off by 7%, Spain’s IBEX is off by 10%, and the S&P 500 Index futures are signaling a 3% loss at the open (2.5 hours from now). If each of the markets closed at these levels, they’d erase the last week of gains. So that is where we are now. What happens next?

Read on: BREXIT:  What Now?

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

MLP Analysis

by Steve Haberstroh, Managing Director

It was a rough year for Master Limited Partnership securities, commonly known as “MLPs”.

The largest MLP Index Fund, the JP Morgan Alerian MLP Index Fund, (which we have written/spoken about in the past) was down 32.96% including dividends in 2015. The price of WTI Crude was down 37.41% in 2015. Based on published research, less than 15% of the pipelines contained in this ETF have direct oil or natural gas price risk. 85% of the companies within the fund make revenues much the same way that toll roads do. The more volume that passes through their pipes, the more revenue they collect. We have found no credible evidence that the demand for oil or natural gas in this country has dropped enough to warrant such a dramatic sell off in the prices of these securities ...

Read on: MLP Analysis

2015 Market Review

by Charlie Haberstroh, CEO & CIO

As we entered 2015 we believed that the US equity markets were “fully” valued and that the European markets showed better equity values. We also believed that traditional fixed income would not be a winning investment. In addition, we believed that investors should avoid emerging markets’ debt and equities. We continued to maintain exposure to US equities principally (1) through managers who bought equities which they believed were undervalued compared to their intrinsic value (in some cases by an estimated 30%) and (2) through two proprietary strategies: (a) one of which purchases companies’ equities which are valued 25% lower than the average market price earnings ratio but have above average growth prospects; and (b) the other identifies high quality companies which have increased dividends consistently over the last 10 years. Interestingly enough, 2015 proved to be one of the “worst best” years in terms of the performance of major asset classes ...

Read on: 2015 Market Review

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Market Unrest

by Charlie Haberstroh, CEO & CIO

This past week, after moving sideways for almost six months, the world’s equity markets have plunged. Well, plunged is a bit dramatic. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is “in correction,” since technically it is down over 10% since the market high in May 2015. Many other markets, especially equities in emerging markets, are down more than 10%. Volatility is up, commodities in general are down. Bonds have rallied from very low interest rates. Gold has even moved higher (a sign of market instability or possibly enhanced inflation)!

Read on: Market Unrest

Monday, January 12, 2015

2014 Market Review

by Charlie Haberstroh, CEO & CIO

It may be surprising that in a year where the S&P 500 Index and the Dow Jones Industrial Average were both up more than 10%, 2014 was a challenging year for the global investor.

Read on: 2014 Market Review