Third Quarter Appraisal Letter

24 October, 2014 by Mark O'Brien in Quarterly Letters
The feel of the market has changed.  To use a Wall Street term, investor sentiment has swung from complacency at the beginning of the quarter to an emotion bordering on fear at the end of the period.  Thus a piece of routine bad news that would have made little impression on stock prices in ... read more...

Second Quarter Appraisal Letter

10 July, 2014 by Mark O'Brien in Quarterly Letters
In this appraisal letter, as with earlier ones, we identify what happened in the capital markets in the quarter just ended.  The underlying assumption is that we cannot predict the next turn in the market (nor can anyone else), but that we can spot trends and then decide if we want to join them ... read more...

First Quarter

15 April, 2014 by Mark O'Brien in Quarterly Letters
It was a seemingly uneventful quarter for investors.  The stock market went up, then down, then up to where it started, in a pattern that people who work in the industry call “range-bound.”  Compared to last year, the first quarter 2014 was disappointing if not just boring.  But healthy markets ... read more...

Fourth Quarter

17 January, 2014 by Mark O'Brien in Quarterly Letters
The best account of 2013, and the outlook for 2014, may come from the late mutual fund pioneer and philanthropist Sir John Templeton: Great bull markets are born in pessimism, grow on skepticism, mature on optimism, and die in euphoria. Along with colleagues Sally Sulcove, Ben O’Brien, Matthew ... read more...

Third Quarter

11 October, 2013 by Mark O'Brien in Quarterly Letters
If 2013 could only end now! Then our report for the year would tell a happy tale of Chicken Little warnings proved wrong, of the prices of “fear assets” like gold and government bonds plummeting in response to the good times, and the prices of growth  assets like stocks registering solid price ... read more...