As growing uncertainties fuel investor angst, the stock market has been extremely volatile to begin 2016. The S&P 500 got off to one of the worst yearly starts on record by declining 10.5% by mid-February. The market then staged an equally impressive rebound to finish the quarter slightly positive. Amidst this whipsawing market, the underlying economic data has reinforced existing trends. The U.S. economy continues to chug along at roughly a 2% growth rate while various indicators out of China and the other emerging markets show an increasingly stressed environment. Given the downside risks, the major central banks around the world continue to implement very aggressive monetary policies as they overcompensate for dysfunctional political leaders. We are concerned this one-sided battle will have unintended consequences that may show up in the financial markets. As such, we believe it is appropriate to be positioned very conservatively in only the highest quality stocks along with a healthy amount of cash on the sidelines.