MFA Insights

2020 Q3: Should we adjust investment strategy for the upcoming election?

Posted by on Oct 6, 2020 in MFA Insights

It’s natural to question how the upcoming presidential election is likely to impact the economy and financial markets and to wonder how best to position your portfolio for the different potential outcomes.Fortunately, much research on this question offers us the answer: Just stay the course – there is no reliably predictable winner or loser from the changing political landscape. And all landscapes have rewarded investors over time.More specifically, election years have, on average, delivered positive returns in line with non-election years. The average return of the S&P 500 index during...

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2020 Q2: Phew…!

Posted by on Jul 8, 2020 in MFA Insights

Our last quarterly letter started with: “This will certainly be a quarter to remember.” Well, once again…”This will certainly be a quarter to remember!” This time, it’s good news…U.S. stocks just closed out their best quarter since 1998. After having been down as much as 34% for the year in March, the S&P 500 index now stands at about breakeven for the year. U.S., international, emerging market, global real estate stocks and bonds were all up in the second quarter. That’s one heck of a roller coaster ride. And it’s also a welcome relief and reward for disciplined investors....

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2020 Q1: Zooming Out

Posted by on Apr 5, 2020 in MFA Insights

This will certainly be a quarter to remember. With the global spread of Covid-19, we witnessed the fastest onset of a bear market ever. Performance figures for this quarter reflect that. We are not making too much of them and encourage you not to either. Fortunately, we’ve also experienced a fast and large rebound since the end of the quarter and yourcurrent numbers (which you can find on your private client portal) look better than those in yourquarterly report. While the word “Zoom” is now ubiquitous thanks to the rise of that now-popular videoconferencing service, we are writing about a...

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2019 Q4: The market has no memory.

Posted by on Jan 5, 2020 in MFA Insights

here were lessons learned in 2019 that apply not only to the year just passed but to the recently ended decade as well. Having just completed a high-return year at the end of what turned out to be a pretty normal decade, it is instructive to go back to where we started.

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2019 Q3: When in Doubt, Give us a Shout

Posted by on Oct 5, 2019 in MFA Insights

“I have a big problem…Do you know anyone at Bank of America?”
That’s the worrisome text I got from my friend at 8PM on a Saturday night.
His mother-in-law had just wired $300,000 to scam artist.

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2019 Q2: Keeping the Right Focus

Posted by on Jul 6, 2019 in MFA Insights

We live in a world where we often have a skewed perspective about risk and don’t realize it. For example, do you know people who wouldn’t swim in the ocean after seeing the movie Jaws? You might even know people who wouldn’t evenswim in a lake. That’s because somehow that dramatic (and terrifying) movie raised the perceived risk of sharks to totally disproportionate levels. (In case you are wondering, the odds of a shark getting you are 1 in 3.7 million.) It’s very easy to have dramatic events take on a heightened sense of riskiness or likelihood. For example, in our times, there exist...

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