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WHAT'S NEW? Our Latest Updates!

July 2002 Trade Alert!

The BlackRock International Bond fund, Service class (CIFIX), is closed to new investors. The only classes left are load classes, which we do not recommend. We are replacing the Blackrock International Bond Fund with the American Century International Bond fund (BEGBX). This fund is an excellent low fee fund that is available for No Transaction fee (NTF) through many discount brokers.

May 2002 performance review

Our other value stock pick besides the strong fund is the American Century Equity Income fund. We liked this fund a heck of a lot more a year ago, before it was flooded with new investor assets, but the fund still has some room to grow before it really begins to suffer. We're watching two things right now: asset levels and performance. If this fund breaks about $1.3 billion or so, or if we start seeing a slide in performance, we'll move into one of our backup choices.

April Showers

Any way you slice and dice it, the market is expensive. This is not a new thing. The market has been expensive for at least the last decade, if not longer. We've been complaining about valuations being sky high for years, but that doesn't mean there aren't good categories of funds in which to put your money. You can still invest in a historically overvalued market, and probably should.

April 2002 performance review

The portfolio as a whole has been essentially flat, up just .022%. Stocks were weak this month, but this portfolio has a mere 25% stock position, and that in safer value type stocks. One large move was a - 4.49% pullback for the Strong Dividend Income fund. Since the fund is only 10% of assets, this didn't destroy the portfolios return. 

More of the Same

It wasn't all bad news. Small cap value indexes rose around 3 - 4%. For those keeping track, these types of stocks are now up well over 50% since the large cap indexes hit the skids. That's a pretty big move... for stocks that aren't really growing earnings, broadly speaking.

March 2002 Performance Review

The Conservative portfolio reflects the areas of the world financial markets in which we feel an investor can safely earn a yield with some opportunity for appreciation. We are weighting toward out-of-favor areas like foreign and high-yield bonds, and passing on areas that are traditionally a larger part of a low-risk portfolio (like longer-term US government bonds). We feel those areas have run up to the point where the future potential is weak.

10,000 Forever?

Is it me, or does it seem like the Dow has been kicking around 10,000 forever? Forever actually started in 1999 when the Dow first broke 10,000. It's been kicking around in the 9,000 - 11,000 range ever since.