After a rocky start to the year, 2016 proved to be a decidedly positive one for the broad U.S. equity markets as well as the portfolios in Stolper Asset Management’s managed programs. Contrary to most predictions, the November 2016 American Presidential election victory went to the Republican candidate Donald Trump and the equity markets reacted favorably to the change in regime. The new presidency brings with it plans to cut personal and corporate taxes, increase defense and infrastructure spending, reduce regulation in a number of sectors, and bring changes to healthcare and immigration. Concurrently, the expectation is for more interest rate rises going forward. The hoped-for result is accelerated growth and a more robust domestic economy. Positive macro changes are always welcome but, as always, regardless of the prevailing environment we are committed to seeking to identify quality investment opportunities based on fundamental analysis. May the coming year be healthy and prosperous for you!
Any opinions are those of Jon Stolper and not necessarily those of RJFS or Raymond James. Expression of opinion are as of this date and are subject to change without notice. The information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete. There is no assurance that any of the trends mentioned will continue in the future.
2015 proved a bumpy period for the U.S. equity markets with record highs in May preceding a significant late summer drop followed by an end-of-year rally that recouped market losses. Most sectors were down for the year with the notable exception of a limited number of large growth stocks. The same forces that weighed on 2015 – tepid global growth coupled with domestic strength, falling commodity prices (especially oil), a strong American dollar, foreign tensions, and pressure on corporate profits – have all spilled into 2016, precipitating market dips followed by an early March “relief rally” as investors’ pessimism abated. Stolper Asset Management believes it is at times like this that a disciplined approach, combined with a long-term strategic investment plan, can benefit from investment opportunities offered by quality companies caught in market and sector downturns.
We are pleased to introduce Zack Keeling as a recent addition to our team. In Zack’s short time so far with Stolper Asset Management, he has rigorously applied himself and passed all the requisite exams to become licensed as a financial advisor. Zack grew up in Tulsa, attending Cascia Hall School, and graduated from Oklahoma State University with a degree in Business Administration. Prior to joining us, he had completed a training program with another financial services firm. As Zack’s knowledge and experience grows under Jon’s close tutelage, he will play an important role in managing client relationships, enhancing our ability to better serve our customers’ needs.
2014 saw equity markets in the U.S. repeatedly surpass previously set hights. All of Stolper Asset Management’s managed programs made gains for the year although, as with the benchmarks we track our performance against, performance was subject to periodic pull-backs and overall returns are more muted than 2013. Volatility can create investment opportunities and we approach 2015 with optimism as we continue to identify securities that we view as priced below their intrinsic value and are capable of producing interesting returns over time.
Stolper Asset Management’s managed Equity Value Portfolio ended the year ahead of its benchmark, the S&P 500 Index, and produced the best absolute gain since its inception approximately eleven years ago. Our Company also was pleased to complete our first full year of managing the Strategic Income Portfolio.
In November 2012, Stolper Asset Management added a third portfolio, the Strategic Income
Portfolio, to its managed program. The portfolio’s primary objective is maintain a high level
of current income through selective investments in a range of securities.