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  • Third Quarter Investment Outlook

    By: Dennis Fulmer, CFA
    Friday, October 14, 2016

    The goals of the law were to reduce the number of people without health insurance and to improve health outcomes.  Passed in 2010, it overhauled the healthcare industry by incentivizing insurance coverage, expanding Medicaid and reforming Medicare, and established insurance exchanges in many states. The Medicare reforms probably are the most significant parts of the law, as they wish to move the industry away from the “Fee For Service model” (FFS) and encourage the development of “integrated healthcare providers,” also known as Accountable Care organizations—Medical Homes which are similar to what you may know as “Managed Care Organizations.”  The Medicare reforms also include moving towards “bundled payments,” meaning a provider pays one lump sum per episode of care, such as a hip replacement, and the provider figures out the best way to treat the patient and keep the costs below the lump-sum amount.   In the FFS model, the providers get no reward for good outcomes and bear no risk for bad ones.  This contrasts with the Accountable Care Organizations where doctors, hospitals, and specialists work together to meet quality and cost targets.   Doctors would be salaried and, therefore, would have no financial incentive to order unneeded procedures.

  • Third Quarter Investment Outlook

    By: Lynn Hamilton
    Friday, October 14, 2016

    As one can see from the included chart, the stock market tends to do best the year before a Presidential election.   Reason: a first-term president would like to be re-elected, and a two-term president would prefer their party wins the election, as sort of a “confirmation.”   It is very rare for any president to win more than 60% of the popular vote.  The “swing voter” mostly tends to “vote the economy,” so the incumbent president wants the economy to be performing well that year.  There also might be a desire to “get the painful stuff done” during the first year of the term.  Since the stock market leads the economy by about a year, it makes sense that the third year of a president’s term has the best stock market returns.

  • Third Quarter Investment Outlook: Market Recap

    By: Nick Perini, CFA
    Friday, October 14, 2016

    The third quarter was a rather boring one. The equity markets started the year with a real correction, pulling back more than 10% in the first quarter. Then, in the second quarter, the market had a hiccup on the Brexit vote, but bounced right back into quarter end. Now, here we are, looking back at the third quarter—the most boring of the three. 

  • Repository Feature: How Will the Election Impact the Stock Market?

    By: Ryan T. Fulmer
    Monday, October 3, 2016

    Whether on the evening news, workday commute, or your Facebook newsfeed, one central theme has been dominating the news--the 2016 Presidential Election.

     

     

     

  • Repository Feature: Local Public Company Feature Part 2: Smucker's Transformation

    By: Ryan T. Fulmer
    Wednesday, August 31, 2016

    Over the last 14 years, The J. M. Smucker Company has transformed their business. We all know them best for their jams and jellies, but they now operate in three segments: coffee, consumer foods, and pet foods. While you, the consumer, may have missed the transformation, shareholders certainly have not as the market capitalization has risen from $2 billion in 2002 to $15 billion in 2016. 

    Smucker’s has a strong foothold in almost all of the categories in which they compete. Let’s take coffee for example. They own and license brands such as Folgers, Dunkin’ Donuts, and others. Smucker’s estimates they have 55% market share in ‘mainstream’ coffee, 29% in instant coffee, and 15-16% in premium and one-cup coffee.

  • Repository Feature: How has the Timken Company transformed their business after the spin-off of TimkenSteel?”

    By: Ryan T. Fulmer
    Tuesday, July 26, 2016

    Over the last few years, we have been asked many questions about the Timken Company. Are they better or worse off after the spin-off? Has the company been able to improve operations?

    As a bit of background, the Timken Company (TKR) spun off TimkenSteel (TMST) in the summer of 2014. Since then, Timken has worked hard to transform the business and improve operations.

     
  • Ask the Investor: “I am unhappy with my 401(k) plan and am 60 years old. Is there anything I can do?

    By: Ryan T. Fulmer
    Friday, July 15, 2016

    Many individuals who participate in their company-sponsored 401(k) plan are unsatisfied. Reasons for dissatisfaction can range from how much the company contributes to the plan, to limited investment options, to high expense ratios (or cost).  

     

  • Will the Easy Money Train Ever Derail?

    By: Dennis Fulmer, CFA
    Friday, July 15, 2016

    Has it worked? Yes. Jobs have been created, and the real estate and stock markets have recovered strongly. The easy monetary policies of the last eight years have worked to some degree, but the recovery has been slower than average due to both the high debt levels and the increased regulatory burdens.

     

  • The Best Option in an Uncertain Market

    By: Nick Perini, CFA
    Friday, July 15, 2016

    We continue to watch the same key factors we were watching last quarter, including interest rates, oil prices, and consumer health. All three continue to point to a moderately-positive market in the United States.

     

  • Second Quarter – The Resilient Market

    By: Nick Perini, CFA
    Friday, July 15, 2016

    After the wild swings of the first quarter, this quarter was shaping up to be far more boring--that is until the dreaded Brexit vote on Thursday, June 23, 2016. In the weeks leading up to the vote, all of the polling seemed to show it was a dead heat, but the markets revealed a different story.

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