Insights

Quarterly Commentary

All Things COVID – The News Remained the Same

All Things COVID – The News Remained the Same

The S&P 500 continued to reach new all-time highs in the third quarter as investors looked for a return to a pre-pandemic world. It was a similar story for small and mid- cap stocks, although their performance was mostly flat after record runs in the first half of...

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Theft by Another Name

Theft by Another Name

It seems every year the markets have some economic theme that dominates the news and drives volatility. These themes always vary in topic but are common in that they all relate to big picture issues such as Fed policy, the jobs market, elections, etc. This year the...

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It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.

It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.

What a difference a year makes. This quarter wraps up almost exactly a year since the whole COVID thing came on to the scene. During that stretch of time, we’ve witnessed a roughly forty percent decline in stocks to the record highs of today. It’s been a wild ride for...

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Who’d a Thought?

Who’d a Thought?

Despite all the terrible news from this past year, the U.S. stock and bond markets ended at all-time highs fueled by the largest government stimulus program in history and optimism that the economic shutdowns will soon be over. The S&P 500, Dow Industrial Average...

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When the Government Runs it All

When the Government Runs it All

The third quarter was relatively calm compared to the first half of the year. The second quarter’s rebound from the March lows has largely held firm or in many cases continued to advance. In fact, large cap stock indices are now positive for the year thanks to the...

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The Disease vs. The Cure

The Disease vs. The Cure

Despite all the anxiety and grim news, the stock market was able to retrace much of the losses suffered in the first quarter of the year. After bottoming out in late March with a roughly 40% decline, the broader stock market was able to move steadily higher throughout...

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Market Rx

Market Rx

Many of you have heard us talk about the fact that the stock market regularly goes through periods where it loses half its value. This happens roughly every ten years. The last episode was around 2009-2010 during the financial crisis. Ten years later we have our...

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Two Years, One Market

Two Years, One Market

2019 turned out to be one of those gangbuster years for the stock market that investors only see a couple of times in a decade. Or so it seemed. In reality, the rally was a continuation of the 2018 market expansion. Large cap stocks had the best performance with the...

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Reading the Fed’s True Intentions

Reading the Fed’s True Intentions

For those of us that pay close attention to the central bank’s policies and the expert’s interpretation of those policies, you’d think that a global recession is certain and just around the corner. Most notably, there’s been a lot of focus on the relationship between...

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Mixed Messages

Mixed Messages

In normal times, which we haven’t seen in over a decade, the markets would look at unemployment solidly under 4%, GDP above 3% and inflation around 2% and think the Federal Reserve is surely leaning towards a neutral or maybe even tighter monetary policy. After all,...

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Tennis Anyone?

Tennis Anyone?

One of the more comical images is the crowd at a tennis match; hundreds of people swinging their heads in perfect unison for hours. Synchronized swimming has never been this coordinated. This image comes to mind when I watch the daily financial news on TV. The pundits...

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The Christmas Bear, Part 2

The Christmas Bear, Part 2

In our last newsletter titled “The Christmas Bear”, we outlined the issues that we felt were driving the high levels of volatility in the stock market recently and shared our thoughts on how those may play out in 2019. That was only three weeks ago and now we’ve had...

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The Christmas Bear, Part 1

The Christmas Bear, Part 1

The past few months have been less than kind for stocks, but December has been outright awful. As with any newsworthy selloff, the pundits have been attributing this to a whole host of reasons. With all the volatility and bad news, it’s easy to get overwhelmed trying...

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Hitting the Wall

Hitting the Wall

We’ve been saying for a while that one of the big headwinds facing the stock market was going to be higher interest rates. But despite strong economic growth, falling unemployment and the Federal Reserve tightening monetary policy, interest rates have been stubbornly...

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This Means War (Maybe)

This Means War (Maybe)

As we noted in our last newsletter, the volatility that had returned to the stock market this year has been principally driven by the specter of higher interest rates and a trade war with what seems like the rest of the world. While interest rate concerns are still in...

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This Means War (Maybe)

This Means War (Maybe)

As we noted in our last newsletter, the volatility that had returned to the stock market this year has been principally driven by the specter of higher interest rates and a trade war with what seems like the rest of the world. While interest rate concerns are still in...

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A Remarkable Year for Stocks

A Remarkable Year for Stocks

The closely followed Dow Jones industrial average and Standard & Poor’s 500 index had a remarkable year in 2017. The Dow gained an impressive 25% while the S&P 500 rose 19%, their best years since 2013. The tech-heavy Nasdaq was the clear winner for the year,...

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Year of the Large Cap

Year of the Large Cap

Since last year’s presidential election, the stock market has been on an absolute tear. Most of the major U.S. stock averages are up roughly 17% since then. The biggest chunk of these gains came immediately after the election in November. However, just as the market...

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More Gains, More Risks

More Gains, More Risks

Stocks continued to rise through the second quarter, albeit at about half the rate of the first quarter. The large cap group had the best quarterly performance with the S&P 500 returning roughly 3%. Mid and small cap stocks increased as well but about a percentage...

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One Result We Can All Agree On

One Result We Can All Agree On

2016 will certainly go down as one of the more interesting years in recent memory. By far, the biggest story of the year was the presidential election results. Since the election, there have been quite a number reactions; not least of which has been in the financial...

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Where Did All the Volatility Go?

Where Did All the Volatility Go?

After more than a year of wild market swings, the third quarter ended up being the calmest we have seen in quite a while.  The S&P 500 finished up roughly 3% this quarter and had less than half the volatility than the previous nine months.  Most of the quarter’s...

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Record Highs – Well, Sort of…

Record Highs – Well, Sort of…

This month, the S&P 500 and Dow Industrial Average set all-time highs. And while the seems impressive, it’s also important to note that those two market averages are only 2% higher than they were over a year ago. More importantly is the fact that all of the big...

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The Long Journey to Nowhere

The Long Journey to Nowhere

If you had vacationed on a remote island for the first quarter of this year and hadn’t read the news, you’d be inclined to think it was a pretty boring three months. The majority of the major U.S. stock averages finished the quarter within two percentage points...

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