Greetings! I hope readers enjoyed a relaxing respite from the day-to-date grind over the Independence Day holiday weekend! It is always such a blessing to spend quality time with family and close friends.
Financial markets have been digesting a slew of headlines from whether the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates later this year to the reemergence of Greece back into the global financial consciousness. As the Greek financial crisis continues to unfold, we will be regularly monitoring our portfolios’ unique risk levels closely should volatility in global financial markets escalate further in the future.
It is hard to believe, but 2015 is more than half over! Thus far in 2015, the S&P 500 Index has managed to gain a measly 4.21 points through the end of June and the Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 203.56 points over the same time period.
Consequently, the S&P 500 Index return through the first two quarters of 2015 is up 0.21%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has returned -1.14% over the same time frame. U.S. large-cap stocks have not produced strong returns thus far in 2015. Unlike large-cap stocks, oil prices are positive year-to-date which underscores the importance of portfolio diversification.
Oil prices have been under selling pressure since July of 2014, but prices have rebounded since the March 2015 lows. In fact, oil prices have actually advanced higher year-to-date through the end of June by about $5.33 per barrel. Oil prices have moved higher by 9.97% during the first two quarters of 2015, but have rallied by more than 30% since the March 2015 price lows.
While asset class performance the rest of the year is uncertain, the investment discipline that my staff and I use is focused on a strategy that is committed to diversification and uncorrelated alternative assets. While these strategies do not ensure a profit, they have been shown to help reduce overall portfolio risk and to enhance portfolio returns over long periods of time.
As many of you know, Wamhoff is celebrating 40 years in business this year. We have been through a myriad of changes since 1975, and have gone through many life transitions with our clients. It also means that I am 40 years older than I was when I started this business.
For the last few years, clients have been asking me if I am preparing to retire. The simple answer to that question is no. I love my job, the great team here at Wamhoff, and my clients. I do work long, hard hours and travel quite often to visit clients and fund managers. In a few years, I plan to slow down just a bit, but I plan on being a part of Wamhoff for a long time coming.
Before closing, I wanted to thank all of our clients, business partners, and friends that helped make the annual Just Because We Care Golf Tournament a huge success. Everyone seemed to have a wonderful time and together we raised the necessary funds to begin feeding our special children in Honduras 5 days a week beginning later this year! Thank you all for your generous donations and support! Hopefully the rain will slow down and we can enjoy some nice summer weather soon, but in the meantime stay healthy, wealthy, and wise, and certainly . . . stay tuned.