MFA Quarterly Commentaries

2017 Q2: Reversion to mean

Posted by on Jul 21, 2017 in MFA Quarterly Commentaries

In past letters, we have talked about reversion to the mean. In recent months, we are experiencing it.

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2017 Q1: The Fiduciary Rule – Does it affect me?

Posted by on May 3, 2017 in MFA Quarterly Commentaries

We wanted to bring an important development in the financial services industry to your attention: The Fiduciary Rule. To put it briefly, the Fiduciary Rule is a regulation that requires advisors to act in their clients’ best interests. With the new administration, the rule has been delayed and there is a great deal of confusion and uncertainty about its future. Whether you have never heard of it until now or are deeply familiar with it, we want you to be aware of what it is and understand our position on it. In the following pages, we have a Question and Answer piece to further explain the proposed advisor Fiduciary Rule and how it might affect you. If this raises any questions or you have comments, please let us know.

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2016 Q4: Trump and Bond Prices

Posted by on Jan 6, 2017 in MFA Quarterly Commentaries

In a backdrop of all kinds of unusual and unexpected news, not the least of which was the largely unanticipated Trump presidential victory, the US Stock market had one of its few “normal” year in over nine decades. Allow us to explain.

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2016 Q3: Presidential Elections and the Stock Market

Posted by on Oct 25, 2016 in MFA Quarterly Commentaries

Next month, Americans will head to the polls to elect the next president of the United States. While the outcome is unknown, one thing is for certain: There will be a steady stream of opinions from pundits and prognosticators about how the election will impact the stock market. As we explain below, investors would be well-served to avoid the temptation to make significant changes to a long-term investment plan based upon these sorts of predictions. Short-Term Trading and Presidential Election Results Trying to outguess the market is often a losing game. Current market prices offer an...

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2016 Q2: Our Approach vs. Index Funds

Posted by on Jul 15, 2016 in MFA Quarterly Commentaries

In response to one of the questions raised in our recent client survey, we will address how our investment approach differs from buying simple index funds and what are the results...

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2016 Q1: Time, Diversification & Volatility of Returns

Posted by on Apr 15, 2016 in MFA Quarterly Commentaries

Although it didn’t start that way, the first three months of 2016 produced moderately positive returns for client portfolios.  At the midpoint of the quarter we saw headlines in the Wall Street Journal such as: “Stocks Tumble as Investors Flee to Safety”.  At times like this it can appear that we aren’t earning the returns we typically use in our long-term financial planning.  Investment returns are disappointingly low after two severe market corrections in the last fifteen years. Being diversified among different types of stocks as well as fixed income (bonds) allows us to ride...

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