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January 5, 2018
Onward. Upward?

Market peaks may seem particularly frightening. Like the crest of a roller coaster, they may incite panicked concern that the only course from here is down. Unlike roller coasters, though, such anxiety is unattached from observable truth. While we can see the coaster track, there is no rule in investing that determines future trajectories. Nonetheless, we may find comfort in market history. Though the answers to “by how much?” and “for how long?” only may be determined in hindsight, we may use market history to show probabilities of future outcomes given starting circumstances. For those wary of the fact that December 2017 marked yet another peak for the S&P 500 Index, this month we look to provide detail as to what the future held for past market peaks in hopes that these data will prove comforting support for a chosen level of market exposure.

Download PDF: 0118 SAM Commentary

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December 8, 2017
Future Fret

As the year comes to a close, prognostications for 2018 already are filling up our inboxes. We hope to spare readers another choice of whom to believe. Any meaningfully specific views we might share are no more likely to come true than the various others we’ll read over the next few weeks. The question on many minds, of course, is, “how will my portfolios perform next year?” We can only be abundantly honest and suggest that it’s impossible to know in absolute terms. Instead, we think a better idea would be to establish a level of ease with a range of market outcomes and align portfolios such that they might fall within that zone of comfort. Though the if-we-only-had’s are somewhat unavoidable, acknowledging potential fears and regrets in advance may leave us better off in the longer run and more relaxed in between.

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November 3, 2017
Time Can Mend

To date, the U.S. equity market has recovered from all major and minor downturns. Even so, a time will come again when we are in the middle of an extended downturn. That presents a conundrum: How do we prepare otherwise risk-tolerant individuals to remain in markets that have treated them badly? We think the answer includes regular reminders about past market volatility as well as the illustration of the idea that the achievement of long-term gains may well require enduring stretches of heightened market volatility and extended declines. In this month’s commentary, we seek to revisit the worst of what we’ve experienced over the past few decades. Our intention is to remind readers about past market tumult and those subsequent recoveries. The upshot is that our investment time horizon is an important consideration when estimating our tolerance for market risk.

Download the 1117 SAM Commentary

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October 23, 2017
Q3 2017: Quarter in Review

With few grand shifts in themes over the past three months, global investible markets provided reasonably generous returns for the inherent risks they present. Solid gains seen across the board, broad-market investors may have been pleased with the results, driven by coordinated global macroeconomic growth and durable corporate fundamental strength. It seems many continue to believe great risks lie just around the corner, and that markets will turn quickly and furiously once those risks come into view. With more than a few major market meltdowns in our mental history books, we know there are reasons to be both optimistic and vigilant. But, such always is the case, in our view. That thinking driving our approach to investment management, we continue to recommend careful review of tolerance for market risk. The intention of such reviews is to provide a source of confidence that, whatever path markets will take, we may participate in a manner appropriate to our individual goals for growth and appetites for volatility.

Download the Q317 SAM Market Review.

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October 13, 2017
Progress Documented

Managing client investments since 2007, Statera Asset Management[1] has generated nearly a decade’s-worth of investment management results. Chronicled in a series of individual total return histories, called composites, those past results may be viewed as representative of the market-relative performance of our style of investing. While not necessarily indicative of what returns we may expect to see in the future, we present our composites as demonstrative of the virtues of our investment philosophy and methodology.

Download the 1017 SAM Commentary

[1] Statera Asset Management is a division of Signature Resources Capital Management, LLC.

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September 8, 2017
Gliding Home

Risk is as much a part of investing as is return. Two sides of the same coin. In many cases, it is likely that individual tolerance for market risk will wane over time. Often due to age-induced pragmatism, we might like our portfolios to become less volatile as our demands for the security of the amount of those funds we have managed to accumulate grows. A progression in portfolio exposures from higher to lower overall expected portfolio risk can be labelled a “glidepath.” This glidepath expresses the past and potential future mix of exposures in the portfolio in order to set expectations for relative potential risk and return. In this month’s commentary, using the more recent past performance of U.S. equity and fixed income investments as a guide, we seek to show the relative potential risk and return impact of incorporating a glidepath into an investment process.

Download the 0917 SAM Commentary

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August 4, 2017
Horizon Beyond the Peak

All the talk about record market highs makes for a bit of discomfort. It can only be down from here, right? In truth, we can never be sure what the markets will do tomorrow, next week or next year. That in mind, we believe the proper approach seeks to invest according to an individual’s investment time horizon and comfort with market risk. With longer time horizons, in particular for those with continued future expected savings, even substantial near- and medium-term downturns may be resolved with time. And the prospects of missing out on additional gains may be seen as just as harmful to potential future wealth.

Download the 0817 SAM Commentary

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July 7, 2017
Q2 2017: Quarter in Review

The second quarter of 2017 proved fruitful as political trends in Europe were more favorable than some had feared, while aspirations for global macroeconomic growth remained positive atop seemingly more auspicious public policies. Risks both obvious and unknowable abound, but so do reasons for optimism with regard to the supports for potential further investment gains. Even so, such progress leads us to remind readers that returns do not come with guarantees and that now is as good a time as ever for an examination of portfolio allocations in the context of risk tolerances and investment time horizons.

Download the Q217 SAM Market Review

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July 7, 2017
Enhancing Tilts

The Statera Investment Team maintains a vigilant watch over the mutual fund and exchange traded fund (ETF) landscape to ensure that we may maintain what in our view are the most relevant and cost-effective investment exposures within our portfolios. In that tradition, the Team has identified a range of exposures that provide more attractive positioning, a more favorable overall expense proposition or both. While we remain true to our long-term, risk-conscious, fully invested investment philosophy, we believe that both watchfulness regarding present portfolio exposures and mindfulness to identify potentially more advantageous portfolio positioning should continue to benefit our clients.

Download the 0717 SAM Commentary

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June 3, 2017
Maintaining Perspective

On May 17, the S&P 500 Index dropped 1.82%. Day-after headlines were hardly subtle as breathless TV anchors whipped up anxiety like so much fresh cream. Compared to what’s proved a relatively tranquil year or so, the drop was noteworthy. But, while it might not have seemed such at the time, the day’s decline was not so far out of the ordinary as to be considered extreme in the context of the last near century’s-worth of market activity. This month’s commentary seeks to offer some of that longer-term context as a reminder that markets do sometimes experience substantial declines and that it’s been some time since we have experienced an onerous level of red. Though we may find solace in the equity market’s long-term positive bias, the shift in tenor highlights the need for regular reassessment of comfort with market risk.

Download the 0617 SAM Commentary

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