Matthew Young, President and CEO, writes his clients letters keeping them abreast of changes that can affect the portfolios with Richard C. Young & Co., Ltd. You can sample some of these letters below.
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One of the simplest economics lessons I received came decades ago from my dad. He would tell me to look at copper to gauge the economy. When copper prices are rising, the economy is probably expanding. Falling prices could signal trouble ahead. Dr. Copper is what he called the metal because it has a PhD in economics.
The anxiety-ridden days of the financial crisis get pushed further back in the minds of investors as the Dow and S&P 500 hover around all-time highs. Fear is no longer the dominant theme on Wall Street. Greed is back in favor. Investors appear convinced the next major move in the stock market will be up rather than down.
It’s hard to believe the S&P 500 has not kept pace with inflation during the past 15 years. Since year-end 1999, the index had an average annual return of just 2%. Even with an impressive rally since 2009, the broad-based index has been unable to recover significantly from two vicious bear markets during this period. And looking ahead does not inspire total confidence among investors, who see a lack of fiscal discipline from politicians and a Fed willing to continue with a monetary policy punitive to savers and potentially inflating another asset bubble.
Are you familiar with the U-6 unemployment rate? The “U-6” rate is one of many different unemployment numbers released by The Bureau of Labor Statistics each month. However, the unemployment number referenced by the government and the media is known as “U-3”. The differences between the two numbers are significant.