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Welcome John Weinstein CFP®, MBA

April 27th, 2012

Decision Investments is pleased to announce that long time friend and colleague, John Weinstein CFP®, MBA has accepted a Managing Partner and Portfolio Manager position effective today. John brings with him 14 years experience working with a large Wall Street firm and an established base of clients, relationships and assets.  John joins a growing number of successful Financial Advisors who appreciate the many benefits of working with a smaller independent  firm.

As a Managing Partner, John’s primary focus is on Financial Planning and Portfolio Management. John holds a Cerified Financial Planner CFP® designation and earned a Masters in Business Administration MBA from George Washington University. Beyond his overall investing capabilities, John focuses on identifying investments that pay above average dividends while still trading at attractive valuations.

John is civically minded and has been an active volunteer with the La Jolla Town Council, La Jolla Newcomers, Voices for Children, Big Brother/Big Sister, It’s all about the Kids Foundation and with the San Diego Film Festival.

John’s passion for the industry and for helping others shows every day. In addition to his extensive knowledge in Financial Planning and Investing, he prides himself on a client-centric mindset which includes same day responses to client questions, offering client education events and providing truly individualized investing solutions. Decision Investments and our clients are fortunate to benefit from all that John will be able to contribute in his new role.

Market Stats

August 8th, 2011

The chart below highlights just how fast, furious and widespread the decline has been over the last couple of weeks.  Among other ugly stats, you will notice that Small cap companies as well as the Telecom, Materials, Industrials and Financials sectors all sold off near 20% from recent highs. The declines in Brazil, Australia, Italy, France and Germany were even steeper. 

The broad based selling, resulting (in large part) from the S&P downgrading US debt, caused trillions of dollars in lost market capitalization for US Equities. Where did the money go?  Ironically, most of it went into the “safe haven” of US government debt pushing treasury prices higher and yields lower.

All of the market gains that took place during the period that the Fed was conducting “QE2” have been wiped out and the yields on stocks compared to bonds hasn’t been this high since 1962. No investor, institutional or otherwise, knows what is going to happen next but seasoned investors don’t sit idle in volatile markets.  Whether it’s selling names that have broken down technically or buying oversold opportunities, the key is paying attention and being active. 

c/o Bespoke Investments

We encourage you to revisit Dow 12,000, Now What?, which we wrote in January when we posited that the “big Bounce” from market lows was over and offered strategies to help protect and grow portfolios in volatile markets.  We do feel strongly that there are opportunities to exploit at current levels but would like to see the S&P stabilize before we make any more purchases.

In the coming weeks we will try to identify companies who have been unduly punished as a result of the broad sell off…companies down 20% or more that  likely won’t be selling 20% fewer burgers, servers, coffee, mobile phones or services (as a result of  an S&P downgrade, or European debt crisis)  than they were poised to sell three weeks ago when the markets turned.

Dow 12,000…Now What? Part II

June 10th, 2011

Yes… the image you see is what Dow 12,000 looks like coming from the other (less desirable) direction. Today marks the sixth time the Dow Jones Industrial Average has crossed the 12,000 level since the first time on October 19th 2006 (no relation to Black Monday, October 19th 1987).     We felt this was an opportune time to revisit our post from January 27 of this year entitled Dow 12,000…Now What?’ and to share our sentiments on the current environment for the economy and the financial markets. 

The market has declined now for six straight weeks and the decline accelerated recently when a trifecta of negative indicators came in worse than expected.  These areas of weakness included housing, employment and consumer confidence.  As of this writing, the tech heavy NASDAQ composite has slipped into negative territory for the year as the technology, materials and financial sectors have declined the most over the last month.  Utilities, healthcare and consumer staples have held up best over the last several weeks.  Read the rest of this entry »

Are you LinkedIN?

May 19th, 2011

-Tim Dyer

Equity markets are adding another name to their network today with the IPO of  internet sensation LinkedIN (ticker: LNKD).  The deal was originally priced at $32 – $35, by lead banker Morgan Stanley, but quickly jumped to $45.  This raised approximately $353 million from investors for the company.   On this first day of trading the shares opened at $83 and are now trading well over $100 a share.  Investors burned in the past internet bubble seemed to have dismissed the valuation concerns as the IPO values LKND at a whopping $4.25 billion. Not bad for a company with only $243 million in revenues and net profits of $3.4 million in 2010.  I guess you can’t discount the company’s 100 million subscribers, far less than Facebook’s 500 million but noteworthy none the less.  Todays public offering has the feeling of euphoria that Google (GOOG) had on its IPO in Aug 2004. Google originally priced at $85 and soared to over $711 in 3 years. The shares are currently trading in the $530 area for an almost 400% gain since the IPO. We will never know if shares of LNKD will be as successful as GOOG but for those that believe in the power of social media it may be time to get ….LinkedIN.

Where is the silver lining?

May 17th, 2011

-By Tim Dyer

One year ago today, the popular commodity Silver (as measured by the index fund: SLV) was exchanging hands at $18.50 a share. Fast forward to today and you will see those same shares of SLV trading at a little over $33.  That is a pretty healthy gain of 78% vs the 20% return of domestic stocks over the same period.  What is even more eye popping is not only where SLV sits currently but where it has been. The current price is down 30% from the recent high of  $48 that was achieved on April 28th. The move from $18.50 to $48 was a move of over 150% in less that a year!  Volume on this index traded over 180 million shares at the high as the Federal Reserve issued a statement that interest rates were destined to stay low in the near term. Is that a lot you ask? YES! The most widely traded index is the SPY (S&P500) which had volume of 120 million. SLV had traded 60 million more shares that the SPY index traded for the day! 60 million times $48 a shares is a LOT of money to change hands.

Silver has had a historic run, the chart has gone parabolic ( Wall Street jargon for “looks like a hockey stick curve”).  It is not surprising that investors have been scratching their heads wondering if this is a pullback or the start of a new downtrend.  The risk level is now elevated and investors should use caution if they want to allocate money to this asset.

The silver lining here: “The trend is your friend, till the bend at the end.” The move from here, up or down,  is not for the faint of hearted and protecting profits may result in lost opportunity cost but not loss of capital.