Fourth Quarter 2017 Appraisal Letter

16 January, 2018 by Mark O'Brien in Quarterly Letters
The year was of course a very good one for the stock market.  At the close on Friday, December 29, the last trading day of the year, the financial media erupted with the happy statistics.  Perhaps you saw some of them: the best this in ten years, the most that in twenty.  Accompanying the ... read more...

Third Quarter 2017 Appraisal Letter

19 October, 2017 by Mark O'Brien in Quarterly Letters
In early 1987 I quit my job at the private bank of Brown Brothers Harriman & Co., where I had learned the money management trade, to go out on my own. Somewhat in the Whig tradition of Alexander Hamilton, Henry Clay and Abraham Lincoln, I was progressing from day laborer to business owner. ... read more...

Second Quarter 2017 Appraisal Letter

11 July, 2017 by Mark O'Brien in Quarterly Letters
Yet another quarter of good stock market performance! Close readers of this report will note that I used the same words to begin my last appraisal letter to clients, that for the period ending March 31, 2017.  And in the appraisal letter for the quarter before that, the one ending December 31, ... read more...

First Quarter 2017 Appraisal Letter

Another quarter of good stock-market performance!  It is still with a little wonder that I report this, for no one saw this rally coming, its size or duration.  Yet here it is: stocks up 5.5% for the quarter, making that up 11% for the five months since the presidential election.  The latter is ... read more...

Fourth Quarter 2016 Appraisal Letter

2 February, 2017 by Mark O'Brien in Quarterly Letters
Whoa! The 4th quarter was something, but then the whole year was something, with important lessons to remember. Let me start exactly one year ago. Just as 2016 was getting under way, the stock market imploded in its worst ever start to a year. Stocks appeared to be cascading into a repeat of ... read more...