Mutual Funds for Uncertain Times

June 26, 2007

As the market moves higher, it is difficult to continually commit money to new investments. Concern over the potential for a market fall is ever present and this is when a select group of mutual funds may make sense. In total they are called Market-Neutral funds. Each will approach the strategy differently, but overall the goal is to have exposure to markets (Usually the S&P 500 index) and at the same time, hedge the portfolio to maintain a low risk profile.

Instead of trying to time the markets, these allow for Read more

Thin is in and Stout is out!

February 17, 2007

Well that is a catchy headline but in all truth, the brewers have been on a tear for the year ending Feb 15, 2007. The headline should probably read:
“A Cheer for Beer; No Grin for Thin”. While most Americans are dieting on a regular basis (especially beginning on Mondays and the required week long January “New-Year” diet) the fact is that they are much more hooked on the long term relationship they have with a cold one after a long day. While we usually see a cyclical return to the brewers in the months approaching summertime (for obvious reasons) they have not seen any significant slowdown at all over the past 12 months. Investors have been rewarding these stocks by pushing their share prices through the ceiling and outpacing both the broad S&P 500 as well as the NASDAQ by quite significant margins. Beer Companies that Trade in markets On the other hand, the companies that have the grand plans to help the human race lose unwanted, unsightly excess fat have been shedding some weight for themselves. Mainly the awful heaviness of high share prices. There is a much shorter list of companies that trade n the public markets within this sector. Perhaps the difference is the fact that most of these miracle plans just don’t work. AND come to think of it, the brewers have a much better track record with their product’s efficiency.Much of the reason for gains has been the extraordinary cost savings that have been achieved by the recent merger of Adolph Coors and Molson Brewing Company.
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2007 Changes – Investment Insights

January 15, 2007

December/January 2007 Investment Insights

This edition of Investment Insights will be the first time in a while that I have made a significant change to the overall subject matter that will become a staple of the monthly report. For the past two years, we have provided a smattering of economic and investment information in both table, graph and written format. Some of this is geared as informative and others are educational.

Investment SectorsWhile the core components of the newsletter are going to remain, there will be a significant addition to the back page. It will provide an in-depth look at the sectors that make up the markets and the performance of industry groups within those sectors. Each month there will be a different group highlighted and a commentary about the major catalyst that was driving performance.

Our goal is to continue to provide a good resource to help you better understand the markets and the underlying components. These will, in turn, give you a good vantage point to either a better understanding of why we have invested a certain way within your portfolio or, to help you with your own investment decisions. The ultimate objective is to keep you well informed about the markets.

As you can see, when you flip over to page four, there are two specific tables that will be highlighted. The first is the overview of the ten sectors that make up the S&P 500 index. These are considered to be the core areas within our economy and range from consumer related companies to technology and health care. Drill down more and you will find the specific industries that make up the sectors and below these are the specific companies represented.

January’s edition will start with consumer discretionary, and we will move forward alphabetically until all ten are covered and then we will start again.

In addition to the sectors, Investment Insights will continue to provide the latest economic trends as well as analysis of stocks. Each month we will highlight at least two specific stocks from within a sector. These are usually companies that we have an interest in buying, selling or shorting.

For example, last month we highlighted the digital photo area by showcasing Adobe and SanDisk. Each of these has the premiere products in their respective industries. SanDisk provides digital memory in the form of cards for use in many electronic devices while Adobe is a software manufacturer. Their software is by far the pre-eminent programs used by photographers, website developers as well as creative artists.

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On Target

December 25, 2006

It has been quite a year. Surely the downs and the ups have been memorable. The ups fortunately outlasted the downs and the year seems to be closing in with the Dow Jones 30 up over 15%. The S&P 500 also did well as did almost every growth oriented mutual fund. There have been a few surprises as well, even if the year is not yet complete.

Probably the most notable has been the fact that only a month ago, the Democrats took over the majority in the House and Senate. This has had mixed results on the markets.

On the positive side, it allowed for several Stem Cell related biotechs to move, actually rocket, higher. On the down side, this party was not received as well by “Big Pharma”, and we have seen a rather precipitous contraction of prices within these stocks over the same time period.

Once we hear the closing bell of 2006, it is probably going to be recorded as a victory for the Fed at the expense of the consumer.

For Horowitz & Company, 2006 was nothing short of wonderful. We have seen client accounts grow by a significant margin as they have been helped by a good dose of market cooperation and an even better selection of stocks. Even though there was a substantial downturn in the 2nd Quarter for many individual positions, we were able to see the way clear towards profits by utilizing good target price disciplines as well
as exercising patience.
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