May 30, 2014

D3 Business Update:

David Felden, a sophomore, majoring in financial planning, from the University of Illinois, is working with us as an intern this Summer.  If he answers the phone when you call, please welcome him.

Also, it is official, Sharon Wallyn, a D3 client, passed her Series 65 exam and is now also a D3 employee. Her focus is on new business development.  If you know of anyone that could benefit from the services we provide, give Sharon a call and she would be glad to share her D3 experience with them.

Besides monitoring your investments, we are focused on completing all of the financial plan updates for our family office clients by June 30, 2014.  So far we have received back about 40% of the update questionnaires we sent out.  If we do not receive your update by June,6th (and you do not tell us otherwise), we will use your most recent tax return to update your financial plan.  If it is easier, please don’t hesitate to call us to go over your plan update questionnaire.

Investment Outlook:

We’ve seen consistent returns across almost all major asset classes year-to-date.  As of May 30th, the S&P 500, Barclay’s aggregate bond index, MCSI EAFE (developed international) index, and MCSI emerging markets index have all returned between 3.70-4.75% year-to-date.  Within the U.S. stock market, large cap, high quality value stocks have outpaced the overall market (Russell 1000 value up 5.41%), while small cap growth stocks, after outstanding performance in 2013, have pulled back and are the only major asset class to have negative returns year-to-date (Russell 2000 growth down 3.04%).

The economy continues to slowly and steadily improve.  In our last letter, we stated that “the winter weather during the first quarter was a 2 standard deviation event compared to a normal winter.  It had a significant slowing effect on the economy which should be reversed in the second quarter.”  When the revised 1st Quarter GDP number came in at an annualized growth rate of -1.0%, it was no surprise to us, or other investors who shrugged off the news and sent the S&P 500 to new all-time highs. We continue to see better signs in both the labor and housing markets.

Investment Strategy:

Nothing over the past month has changed our slow, steady growth thesis. We continue to research potentially better investment products to be used in your portfolios.

If you know of anyone that has questions about their financial future, please refer them to D3 for an hourly second opinion. As always, thank you for your confidence in D3 Financial Counselors where “We serve our clients by providing Integrity, Trust, Wisdom and Confidence.”

                             By: Donald Duncan MBA, CFP®, CPA, CFA™ – April 9th, 2014