October 2015 Investment Strategy

The U.S. stock market suffered a correction of more than 10% for the first time since 2011. This long overdue event was triggered by the troubled emerging market economies, most notably news from China. Although we believe this is a normal correction, China’s response to their stock market bubble and the rapid market movements that followed have been revealing. Notably, China took extreme and disjointed measures in an attempt to halt the crash of their stock market bubble. Meanwhile, the U.S. market stayed relatively calm until a six day slide in late August resulted in a 10.9% decline in the S&P 500 Index. We believe a great deal of computer-driven trading coupled with the explosive growth of exchange traded funds (ETFs) exacerbated this decline. These sharp moves shake investor confidence and may foreshadow similar events in other markets, specifically the bond market. While the potential for volatility to spread is concerning, it is clear that the most attractive place to invest for long-term gains is still in high-quality dividend-paying U.S. stocks.

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