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November 2016 Performance Review

November was Donald Trump's month in the markets. Nobody saw him winning much less U.S. stocks going up in the wake, but weirdly many of the stocks that did well after the surprise Trump victory started doing so before the election. Maybe this oddity — which could be a mere coincidence — will show up in the fake news that permeates the conspiracy circles online. Talk about a bull market…

October 2015 Performance Review

October was a strange one — and not just for the elections. Pretty much everything that was recovering this year slipped in last month.

September 2016 Performance Review

September was one of the dullest months in quite some time in the markets. The only broader fund categories up more than 3% where China and Japan funds. Most fund categories were within plus or minus 1%. Even in sector funds no category gained or lost over 5%.

August 2016 Performance Review

August was not much of a month for bonds or stocks and was surprisingly tame given swings in global markets over the last year or so. Slightly rising interest rates pushed bond prices down, and with not much in stock market upside to overcome the drag, we had fractional losses in both portfolios. 

July 2016 Performance Review

July was another month that the Conservative Powerfund Portfolio outpaced our Aggressive Portfolio. This is largely because rates keep declining globally and the Conservative portfolio is heavier on bonds and rate-sensitive stocks. 

June 2016 Performance Review

With a sharp rebound following a fast drop, a casual market observer reviewing one-month performance numbers might not think much happened in June. But recent days have been anything but ordinary. The cause was Brexit, the British referendum to leave the EU not going as market players though it would.

May 2016 Performance Review

The U.S. stock market is back to beating global markets. Riskier U.S. assets have been strongest lately and interest rates remain low. In this environment we've just got too much short and too much abroad to keep pace with the U.S. market.

April 2016 Performance Review

The dramatic rebound seems to be running out of gas—or rather, oil. Recently, corporate earnings have been weak while stock prices have been strong. This can't continue for long. Either earnings will have to head back up or prices will have to head down—otherwise, we'll have late-1990s-style high P/E ratios, only without the expectation for high earnings growth. That's not going to happen.

March 2016 Performance Review

We lagged on the way up in March, but we fell far less on the way down. 

February 2016 Performance Review

The market slide turned around in mid-February but still left the S&P 500 down a fraction for the month. In the grand scheme of market slides, this is more of a snowslip than an avalanche — at least here in the U.S. Our stock market has largely avoided major drops since 2009, so this drop might seem a little more dramatic than it is.