Quarterly Letters

Quarterly Letter, January 2015

Tony had some ideas and observations he wanted me to share, but I thought it made sense for him to tell you directly in this edition of our Quarterly Letter. -— Ron
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Quarterly Letter, October 2014

My first draft of this letter, which I wrote three weeks ago began with: Europe has not solved its problems; Nor has Japan; Nor has China; Nor has the U.S. The rest of that draft is now obsolete. Since mid-September, several items have changed—some economic, some market-related, some psychological.
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Quarterly Letter, July 2014

In Europe, Banco Espirito Santo, the largest bank in Portugal, has defaulted on interest payments on its bonds. Europe has not solved its problems. In the U.S., for at least the fourth consecutive year, estimates of real GDP (Gross Domestic Product) growth, which exceeded 3% prior to the beginning of the year, have been reduced to 2% or less by midyear (now). The U.S. continues on a slow path.
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Quarterly Letter, April 2014

Most of the economic and market trends we’ve been discussing for the past few years remain in place. Russia’s action in the Ukraine/Crimea may have long-term implications, particularly for Europe, but the near-term economic implications are modest. It remains to be seen whether this gets added to our long-term worry list or not.
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Quarterly Letter, January 2014

Some of the things we’ve been talking/warning you about in recent years came to fruition in 2013. Specifically, medium- and long-term interest rates rose and commodity prices declined. While the U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed) continues to hold short-term interest rates near zero, rates in the intermediate to longer term, (5-30 year) increased substantially during the year, driving bond prices down.
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Quarterly Letter, October 2013

Since 2008, the Federal Reserve (Fed) has been a huge manipulator of the money supply and of interest rates. Beginning with TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program) in 2008—and continuing through Quantitative Easing II (QE2), Operation Twist, and QE3, the Fed has added over $2 trillion to our money supply (nearly $20,000 per household) and purposely bought U.S. Treasuries and mortgaged-backed securities to keep prices of these securities up and keep interest rates artificially low.
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Quarterly Letter, July 2013

In a world where the U.S. economy is growing at 2% and most other economies are also growing well below potential, we expect that the stocks of companies that can report good revenue and earnings growth will do well. The great disappointment is that the improvements in the U.S. stock market and Federal income tax receipts (and in European bond markets) have given politicians on both sides of the Atlantic an excuse not to rein in government spending in a meaningful way.
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Quarterly Letter, April 2013

For two years or more, we’ve been discussing Europe, China, and U.S. politics as drivers for the financial markets. These drivers continue. Europe has reentered recession. That was expected. But it was also expected that, by now, Europe would have found an approach to deal with its problems. It has failed to do so, both politically and financially. Elections have been inconclusive (Greece and Italy), and the responses to the recent banking problem in Cyprus (a tiny country) were more problematic than the banking problem itself.
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Quarterly Letter, January 2013

2012 was a year of mixed results on the economic front, but generally good investment returns as measured by the S&P 500 Index. Some progress was made in Europe and China, and some clarification in direction was made in the U.S. We presented our thoughts on these topics at our December 6 seminar. A brief review follows.
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Archive of February 19, 2015 Conference Call

An archive of the conference call with our portfolio managers, Ron and Jeff Muhlenkamp is available.  They discuss the economy,...
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Winter Seminar 2014

Be sure to visit our seminar archive page to view our November 12th seminar on Game Changers in Biomedicine. More ›

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