January 2015 Investment Strategy

Volatility finally returned to the market during the fourth quarter, although not where most investors expected. While the stock market made new highs in December and finished 2014 up 11.4%, the really big news was in the oil and currency markets. As most consumers now realize when refueling their car, the price of oil has tumbled to levels not seen since the financial crisis. Less apparent to U.S. consumers is the strengthening of the dollar against every major currency in 2014. Both of these large moves will have significant and different ramifications for countries, economies and investments going forward. A stronger dollar and lower oil prices will also suppress inflation for the foreseeable future. Given these developments, capital is flooding into the U.S. while many international markets are becoming increasingly hazardous.

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