David Fleer
Bristlecone Value Partners, LLC
12301 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 320
Los Angeles, CA 90025 USA
Work 1-877-806-4141

2015 in Review: “Oil, Commodities & Currencies… Oh My!” The Sequel

January 30th, 2016

During the fourth quarter, global equity markets recovered from a sell-off in Q3, though the impact was modest (and from today’s vantage point, short-lived). The S&P 500 index rebounded 7% during Q4, yet barely eked out a positive return for the full year (+1.4% including dividends, the index’s worst performance since 2008). In fact, the only domestic equity category to generate meaningfully positive returns last year was Large Cap Growth, which was up in the mid-single digits. Moreover, leadership within that category was heavily concentrated in a handful of large technology companies known as the FANGs. Stripping out the performance contributions of Facebook (+36%), Amazon (+122%), Netflix (at +131% the top performing U.S. large company stock last year) and Google’s parent company, Alphabet (+49%) would have resulted in a negative return for the rest of the S&P 500. The FANGs’ average price-to-earnings ratio soared from 49 to 120 times, according to Bloomberg. Read the rest of this entry »


Ignore the Scary Headlines and Stick to Your Plan

January 27th, 2016

2016 is off to a historically poor start, with the S&P 500 down 9% from its May 21 record of 2130.82 as we write this commentary. Although corrections of 10% are fairly common, below the surface, the picture looks even worse. Through January 13th, the average stock in the index is down more than 20% from its 52-week high. This is probably why it already feels like a bear market to many investors (the common definition of a bear market is a decline of 20% or more from a recent high).

When stocks begin to fall hard after a lengthy bull market, it inevitably leads to some anxiety and soul-searching, which may trigger a need to do something about it. So it is important to remember a few things: Read the rest of this entry »

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