I’ve had a relatively low position in stocks for clients for quite some time, but I’ve decided to lower it even further. I’m quite concerned about the correlation between Europe and the US, emotion/news driven volatility, and the uncertainty about what the Fed will do.

The risk just doesn’t warrant having as high a percentage as I’ve had.

On the flip side, profitability, efficiency, and cash balances have all been rising in the firms that comprise the S&P 500.

Is the return worth the risk?

Click on video to hear more.


Hi there, Mike Brady with Generosity Wealth Management, here in Boulder, Colorado and the question is “where do we go from here?” And we’re getting a lot of conflicting information.  In the last month or so we’ve had huge volatility. We’re basically in a trading range, we have been for the last three or four weeks, but it’s been a trading range that’s extremely volatile.  And we’re talking a half percent to one percent up over a few days and then “Boom!” a negative two, three, four percent.

We’ve seen the correlations between the European markets and the U.S. and Asia; very high. And as we look back, five, ten, twenty years, the correlations for the international market have become increasingly correlated. We’re a global market now. And so what happens in Europe is, irritatingly, affecting our situation here today.

We’re also seeing a lot of emotions. And we’re seeing a lot of news driven markets- which just absolutely irritate the heck out of me. We as a market, as investors, keep waiting for some bail out, some news from the government: and that just absolutely distorting things.

Philosophically, I’m going to go off on a kind of a slight tangent here. I understand that the government will always be a part of our free market system. It’s never been 100% free. However, the interaction we’re having now, it’s like this 900 pound gorilla in the room; that makes things kind of difficult.

Kind of on the flip side, as we’re looking at some of the positive things. We’ve got almost all of the S&P 500 have done their earnings for their second quarter. And year over year growth is about 12% over the previous year. And if we take out some of the financials, we’re talking almost 20% earnings, net earnings growth.

You’ve got net margins, back in 2008, that’s efficiency of almost 6%. Now we’re going all the way up to 9.27. So when you look at companies, at balance sheets, Apple’s got 76 billion dollars in cash. I mean a lot of these companies have cash on the side-lines, they have been very efficient. Unfortunately, the negative effect of that is they have trimmed their work forces. But as you’re looking at some of the larger companies, the S&P 500, they’ve become very efficient over the last three or four years. They’ve kind of trimmed, as they see it, the fat, and they’re sitting on huge sums of investable assets that they can redeploy at some point. They’re just not redeploying it right now. And so that’s very frustrating.

I am, long term, when I say long term, we’re talking three to five years, bullish on the market. I think that, you know, we’re set up for that. But on the flip side, I mean, I hear all the arguments about how Europe is imploding- which it is. How that’s going to drag our financial system down. What’s going to happen with the EU and the Euro is anybody’s guess. And so, there’s a lot of reasons right now where it could go either way. I mean I just want to sit here and admit that.

What I’m doing, in my portfolio, is I am decreasing some of the equity positions that I have. I’m absolutely going to continue to have some. But from the very conservative to the very aggressive models that I have for clients, I am decreasing the equity positions. Most recently, most likely in the next week or two, we’re going to hear what, if anything Bernanke and the Fed is going to do. We’ve been talking about a little bit about this twist where they buy a bunch of medium to long duration treasuries- to shore up…, well to keep interest rates low.

So, you know, there’s a lot of things in play but I’m just telling you that right now I’m going to decrease my equity position. The market could go up. Once again, I’m going to be happy three to five years from now. But right now, it’s kind of hard to analyze which way it’s going to go. And in that particular case, are you getting the return for the risk that you’re taking and right now I’m questioning that. So I’m going to reduce some of my equity positions and decrease the percentage, of course still stay in the game.

Anyway, Mike Brady, Generosity Wealth Management, here in Boulder, Colorado, my phone number is 303.747.6455.

I have a new blog on my web site, www.generositywealth.com. And I highly encourage you to go there and look at it. I’m going to have archives going back a number of years. And I think it hopefully will be, I think it will be very helpful and very interesting as you go back maybe two years of weekly or every other week, videos like this or other things that I’ve found interesting and (some) analysis. So you can go and get a flavor of what I’ve been talking about for the last couple of years.

I am taking new clients I would love it if you gave me a call or passed this video along to someone who might be interested in a comprehensive wealth management firm, Generosity Wealth Management, that’s me. You have a wonderful week, we’ll talk to you later, bye, bye.