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“Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.”

Albert Schweitzer

Market Updates and Economic Monitor

January 14

Investment Strategy Quarterly

by Raymond James
Volume 11, Issue 1, January 2019

Download the latest ISQ from Raymond James
January 14

Investment Strategy: Retests, Recessions, and Rallies

by Jeffrey D. Saut
Recently, much has been written, and said, about a retest. The reference is about the major indices pulling back to their recent December closing lows, creating a double-bottom in the charts. In the case of the S&P 500 (SPX/2596.26) that would mean a pullback and retest of the December 24, 2018 closing low of 2351.10. As often written, our sense is that is not going to happen given the sequence of events the equity markets have been through over the past three months. Moreover, as we have also written:
January 7

Investment Strategy: “Losses!?”

by Jeffrey D. Saut
Most people acknowledge that losses will happen regardless of the type of business venture. A light bulb manufacturer knows that two out of three hundred bulbs will break. A fruit dealer knows that two out of every one hundred apples will rot. Losses per se don’t bother them; unexpected losses and losing on balance does. Acknowledging that losses are part of business is one thing, taking and accepting those losses in the markets is something else entirely. In the markets, people tend to have difficulty actively (as opposed to passively as in the case of the fruit dealer and bulb manufacturer) taking losses (i.e., accepting and controlling losses so that the business venture itself doesn’t become a loser). This is because all losses are treated as failure; in every other area of our lives, the word loss has negative connotations. People tend to regard the word loss, wrong, bad, and failure as the same; and win, right, good success as the same. For instance, we lose points for wrong answers on tests in school. Likewise, when we lose money in the market we think we must have been wrong!
. . . What I Learned Losing A Million Dollars by Jim Paul and Brendan Moynihan
December 26

Investment Strategy: This Will Be the Last Letter Until Next Year

by Jeffrey D. Saut
Winter officially began last Sunday, with the arrival of the winter solstice. Recall that solstice means "standing-still sun;" and on December 21 at 5:23 p.m. EST the sun stood still over the southern Pacific Ocean (Tropic of Capricorn). At that time the sun's rays were directly overhead, giving the impression the sun was truly standing still. No one is quite certain how long ago humans began heralding the solstice as a turning point, but a turning point it is; the sun will set a minute or two later each day from here until the summer solstice (June 21). As always, I paid tribute to this year's turning point by facing the sky and screaming at the top of my lungs, which once again caused my neighbors some duress. I began this ritual decades ago, doing as the ancients did in a time long, long ago, and a place far, far away.
December 18

Investment Strategy: “My Baby Wrote Me a Letter”

by Jeffrey D. Saut
"Give me a ticket for an aeroplane
I ain't got time to take no fast train
Oh, the lonely days are gone
I'm coming home
Oh, my baby she wrote me a letter"
. . . The Box Tops: The Letter
December 10

Investment Strategy: “Certainty vs. Growth”

by Jeffrey D. Saut
"After 28 years at this post, and 22 years before this in money management, I can sum up whatever wisdom I have accumulated this way: The trick is not to be the hottest stock-picker, the winning forecaster, or the developer of the neatest model; such victories are transient. The trick is to survive. Performing that trick requires a strong stomach for being wrong, because we are all going to be wrong more often than we expect. The future is not ours to know. But it helps to know that being wrong is inevitable and normal, not some terrible tragedy, not some awful failing in reasoning, not even bad luck in most instances. Being wrong comes with the franchise of an activity whose outcome depends on an unknown future (maybe the real trick is persuading clients of that inexorable truth). Look around at the long-term survivors at this business and think of the much larger number of colorful characters who were once in the headlines, but who have since disappeared from the scene.”
. . . Peter Bernstein, author, historian, economist (2001)

Monthly Newsletter


Why You Need a ‘Business Plan’ for Your Family

When business owners start a new venture or seek out funding, they always create a detailed business plan first. But chances are, most parents have never once thought about creating a similar type of plan for their most important asset: their families.


The Value of Multigenerational Family Meetings

If you’ve amassed sizable wealth, or are on the right path and getting there, it may be time to consider how to pass on some of that money to children and grandchildren—without creating big problems that could harm their futures and destroy family harmony.

The fact is, family wealth—how it’s managed, transferred and used—can generate major drama among family members. As wealth grows, so does the potential for that money to foment conflicts and bad financial decisions that can reduce a family’s financial position and even ruin intra-family relationships forever.


The Importance of Personal Umbrella Policies

What would happen if you or your child caused a car accident that resulted in serious injuries or the deaths of others?

How would you pay for the treatment and damages of someone who was hurt in your home and claimed negligence? What happens when they claim to have suffered greatly because of the injury?

What if your dog was attacked by a stranger on your property and bit the person in self-defense—but you were still sued?


The first television spot of the “Tales of Financial Pragmatism” campaign for Raymond James, entitled “The Woman Who Lived Longer Than Any Person Who Has Ever Lived,” tells the story of fastidious librarian Emily Skinner who, at the age of 187, still enjoys life to the fullest thanks to careful planning with her Raymond James financial advisor.

Brilliantly practical scientist Harriet Tuttle’s tireless search for a more efficient life concluded with the most unorthodox solution. Harriet created four more Harriets. Together, they were a model of efficiency, accomplishing any number of tasks each day. However, while they looked identical, they were actually quite different.