Monthly Archives: November 2012

Market Commentary, November 26th

The Markets

What fiscal cliff?

Stock prices rose last week to their best weekly gain in five months as investors cheered the start of the holiday shopping season, encouraging economic data from Germany and China, improved housing data, and confidence from President Obama and Congressional leaders that the fiscal cliff will be avoided.

Is this the beginning of a “Santa Claus rally?”

Jordan Kotick, global head of technical strategy at Barclays, told CNBC, “We are about to head into the best seasonal time for the equity market.” Despite this seasonal tailwind, the market’s near-term direction may still depend on how Washington handles the pending budget and tax cliff. So far, the market seems to be pricing in a compromise that will avoid the worst-case scenario.

Beyond the fiscal cliff and a potential Santa Claus rally, what’s in store for the U.S. economy? Well, here’s a not-so optimistic take from famed money manager Jeremy Grantham:

The U.S. GDP growth rate that we have become accustomed to for over a hundred years – in excess of 3% a year – is not just hiding behind temporary setbacks. It is gone forever. Yet, most business people (and the Fed) assume that economic growth will recover to its old rates.

In his view, our economy will grow at a snail’s pace of about 1 percent per year after inflation for the nextseveral decades. Without getting bogged down in details, his gloomy case rests on population and productivity changes.

However, there are some potential bright spots on the horizon. Please read the second half of this commentary to learn about one important part of our economy that could turn Grantham’s pessimistic view upside down.

Data as of 11/23/12 1-Week Y-T-D 1-Year 3-Year 5-Year 10-Year
Standard & Poor’s 500 (Domestic Stocks) 3.6% 12.1% 21.3% 8.4% -0.4% 4.2%
DJ Global ex US (Foreign Stocks) 4.0 8.6 14.1 0.1 -5.8 6.9
10-year Treasury Note (Yield Only) 1.7 N/A 1.9 3.4 4.0 4.2
Gold (per ounce) 1.2 10.2 3.2 14.0 16.3 18.5
DJ-UBS Commodity Index 2.2 2.4 1.2 2.1 -4.8 3.2
DJ Equity All REIT TR Index 2.6 15.0 29.4 19.1 4.2 11.5

Notes: S&P 500, DJ Global ex US, Gold, DJ-UBS Commodity Index returns exclude reinvested dividends (gold does not pay a dividend) and the three-, five-, and 10-year returns are annualized; the DJ Equity All REIT TR Index does include reinvested dividends and the three-, five-, and 10-year returns are annualized; and the 10-year Treasury Note is simply the yield at the close of the day on each of the historical time periods.

Sources: Yahoo! Finance, djindexes.com, London Bullion Market Association.

Past performance is no guarantee of future results.  Indices are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly.  N/A means not applicable.

THE YEARS 2020, 2030, AND 2035 could turn out to be pivotal years for the United States and the geopolitics of global energy. Here’s why. The International Energy Agency (IEA) predicts the following will happen by those years:

·        2020 – The U.S. will overtake Saudi Arabia as the world’s largest producer of crude oil.

·        2030 – The U.S. will become a net exporter of crude oil.

·        2035 – The U.S. will become effectively self-sufficient in meeting its total energy needs through domestic sources.

Source: International Energy Agency World Energy Outlook 2012

Today, the U.S. imports about 20 percent of its total energy needs. Can you imagine a world in which the U.S. is energy self-sufficient and not beholden to foreign energy sources? This could deliver a huge boost to our economy.

Five years ago, the IEA predicted the U.S. would pump 10.1 million barrels of oil per day by 2020. In this year’s report, the IEA’s new estimate is 11.1 million barrels per day by 2020. This projected increase in production is, “driven by the faster-than-expected development of hydrocarbon resources locked in shale and other tight rock that have just started to be unlocked by a new combination of technologies called hydraulic fracturing,” according to MarketWatch.

So, we have Jeremy Grantham stating the bear case for the U.S. economy then we have the IEA publishing a report that puts the U.S. in the driver’s seat for the world energy market in the next couple decades.

Now, here’s the thing. Both Grantham and the IEA are making long-range forecasts based on data available today. Yet, we know things can change just as the IEA raised its oil production estimate from 10.1 million barrels of oil per day to 11.1 million.

Trends take time to develop and then, all of a sudden, they could change due to some new technology – as in the case of  “fracking.” We do keep an eye on these long-term trends, but we also understand that investment decisions to buy and sell have to be made based on what’s happening now. This “bi-focal” approach is one of the many tools we use to manage your assets.

Weekly Focus – Really?

“Whoever said money can’t buy happiness simply didn’t know where to go shopping.”

–Bo Derek, American actress

Best regards,

John Raudat
Canoga Wealth Management, LLC

Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC.

* This newsletter was prepared by Peak Advisor Alliance. Peak Advisor Alliance is not affiliated with the named broker/dealer.

* The Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general.

* The DJ Global ex US is an unmanaged group of non-U.S. securities designed to reflect the performance of the global equity securities that have readily available prices.

* The 10-year Treasury Note represents debt owed by the United States Treasury to the public. Since the U.S. Government is seen as a risk-free borrower, investors use the 10-year Treasury Note as a benchmark for the long-term bond market.

* Gold represents the London afternoon gold price fix as reported by the London Bullion Market Association.

* The DJ Commodity Index is designed to be a highly liquid and diversified benchmark for the commodity futures market. The Index is composed of futures contracts on 19 physical commodities and was launched on July 14, 1998.

* The DJ Equity All REIT TR Index measures the total return performance of the equity subcategory of the Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) industry as calculated by Dow Jones.

* Yahoo! Finance is the source for any reference to the performance of an index between two specific periods.

* Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance.

* Past performance does not guarantee future results.

* You cannot invest directly in an index.

* Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.

Sources:

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-11-23/u-s-stock-futures-rise-s-p-500-may-extend-weekly-jump.html

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-stocks-rise-on-positive-global-data-2012-11-23?dist=afterbell

http://www.cnbc.com/id/49921270/

http://www.gmo.com/websitecontent/JG_LetterALL_11-12.pdf

http://www.worldenergyoutlook.org/media/weowebsite/2012/factsheets.pdf

http://www.fypower.org/pdf/DOE_EnergyOutlook_2007.pdf

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-11-12/u-s-to-overtake-saudi-arabia-s-oil-production-by-2020-iea-says.html

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-set-to-overtake-saudi-in-oil-output-iea-2012-11-12?dist=beforebell

http://thinkexist.com/quotation/whoever_said_money_can-t_buy_happiness_simply/199549.html

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John Raudat is a Registered Representative with, and securities offered through, LPL Financial. Member FINRA/SIPC.

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Market Commentary, Nov. 19, 2012

The Markets

The announcement last week that Hostess Brands, the maker of iconic treats such as Twinkies and Ding Dongs, was going out of business highlights the need for investors to have a solid risk management strategy.

As you contemplate making an investment, here are three things important to know:

1.     The rationale for the investment and the research behind it.

2.     What constitutes “fair value” for the investment.

3.     What would trigger you to sell the investment.

Number three above is where many folks trip up –they don’t have a sell discipline. Although Hostess Brands long ago ceased being a publically traded company, it’s an example of how a company with well-known brands can run into trouble and fail. To avoid riding an investment all the way down to zero, it’s critical to have a system in place to monitor your investments and hit the sell button if there’s a material change that makes the original investment thesis no longer valid.

Sometimes a risk management strategy causes you to sell an investment only to see it turn around and go right back up. While frustrating, that’s better than not having any sell discipline in place and holding on to an investment that drops dramatically and never comes back.

Viewed another way, it’s better to take a small occasional loss than to hang on to everything forever and be exposed to a potential big loss down the road on your irreplaceable capital.

Risk management is back in the forefront as U.S. stocks continued their post-election slide last week. And, while we would all prefer to see the market go up, we remain focused on our risk management discipline as a key component of our overall portfolio management process.

Data as of 11/16/12 1-Week Y-T-D 1-Year 3-Year 5-Year 10-Year
Standard & Poor’s 500 (Domestic Stocks) -1.5% 8.1% 9.9% 7.0% -1.4% 4.2%
DJ Global ex US (Foreign Stocks) -2.1 4.5 2.2 -1.6 -6.8 6.6
10-year Treasury Note (Yield Only) 1.6 N/A 2.0 3.3 4.2 4.0
Gold (per ounce) -1.4 8.8 -2.4 14.9 16.8 18.3
DJ-UBS Commodity Index 0.1 0.2 -5.5 1.2 -5.0 3.1
DJ Equity All REIT TR Index -2.0 12.1 17.4 17.4 3.1 11.3

Notes: S&P 500, DJ Global ex US, Gold, DJ-UBS Commodity Index returns exclude reinvested dividends (gold does not pay a dividend) and the three-, five-, and 10-year returns are annualized; the DJ Equity All REIT TR Index does include reinvested dividends and the three-, five-, and 10-year returns are annualized; and the 10-year Treasury Note is simply the yield at the close of the day on each of the historical time periods.

Sources: Yahoo! Finance, djindexes.com, London Bullion Market Association.

Past performance is no guarantee of future results.  Indices are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly.  N/A means not applicable.

ARE LOW INTEREST RATES GOOD OR BAD for the stock market? As you are painfully aware, interest rates in general are very low. There are three main reasons for this:

1.     Consumer demand for interest-bearing products is relatively high.

2.     Business demand for loans is relatively low.

3.     Central banks in many developed nations are engaged in an “easy money” policy.

Source:The Economist

All three of the above are associated with the fact that our economy is relatively weak. In difficult economic times like today, central banks have a vested interest in keeping rates low. The thinking is low rates will reduce the “hurdle rate” for businesses to reinvest and, as a result, encourage them to expand and hire new people. As businesses expand, the economy will grow and begin a new virtuous circle.

So, let’s see if this virtuous circle of low interest rates applies to the stock market, too.

Using data from the Barclay’s Capital Equity-Gilt study,The Economist took a look at U.S. stock market returns between 1926 and 2011 and sliced the data into periods when the real rate on Treasury bills (the rate after subtracting inflation) was positive and negative. What they discovered was startling:

“In the 33 years where real yields have been negative, the average gain from equities has been 2.3%; in the years when real yields were positive, the average gain was 6.2%.”

In other words, low real interest rates (which we have today) have typically been associated withlow stock market returns.

As we all know, data can often be presented in ways that support whatever position you’re taking (just like in the past election cycle!). So, putting that aside, the key is to interpret the data. Since we’ve been in a low rate environment for a long time, stock prices have likely had time to adjust accordingly. The key now is to watch for the turning point – the time when rates start a new rising trend.

When rates start to rise, that could signal the economy is on the mend as businesses start demanding more money for loans to expand and central banks pull back on the easy money policy to avoid too much inflation. This would be a “good” reason for rates to rise. Alternatively, rising rates could signal investors are losing faith in our country’s ability to pay its bills. This would be a “bad” reason for rates to rise.

We’re watching interest rates closely for any sign of a new trend and, importantly, the reason behind that trend. It’s just one of many indicators we monitor as we keep a close eye on your investments.

Weekly Focus – Ode to an Icon…

“I love Twinkies, and the reason I am saying that is because we are all supposed to think of reasons to live.”

–Stephen Chbosky, novelist, screenwriter, director, and author of The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Best regards,

John Raudat

Canoga Wealth Management LLC

Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC.

* This newsletter was prepared by Peak Advisor Alliance. Peak Advisor Alliance is not affiliated with the named broker/dealer.

* The Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general.

* The DJ Global ex US is an unmanaged group of non-U.S. securities designed to reflect the performance of the global equity securities that have readily available prices.

* The 10-year Treasury Note represents debt owed by the United States Treasury to the public. Since the U.S. Government is seen as a risk-free borrower, investors use the 10-year Treasury Note as a benchmark for the long-term bond market.

* Gold represents the London afternoon gold price fix as reported by the London Bullion Market Association.

* The DJ Commodity Index is designed to be a highly liquid and diversified benchmark for the commodity futures market. The Index is composed of futures contracts on 19 physical commodities and was launched on July 14, 1998.

* The DJ Equity All REIT TR Index measures the total return performance of the equity subcategory of the Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) industry as calculated by Dow Jones.

* Yahoo! Finance is the source for any reference to the performance of an index between two specific periods.

* Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance.

* Past performance does not guarantee future results.

* You cannot invest directly in an index.

* Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.

Sources:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324556304578122632560842670.html?mod=WSJ_hp_LEFTWhatsNewsCollection

http://www.economist.com/news/finance-and-economics/21564845-low-real-interest-rates-are-usually-bad-news-equity-markets

http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/319265-i-love-twinkies-and-the-reason-i-am-saying-that

1-119236

John Raudat is a Registered Representative with, and securities offered through, LPL Financial. Member FINRA/SIPC.

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Market Commentary, November 12, 2012

The Markets

Special Post-Election Analysis

With the election behind us, what’s next for the economy and the financial markets? In this special analysis, we’ll take a look at what the election means, how the markets are reacting, and where we go from here.

What the Election Means

For starters, the political makeup of the country hasn’t changed much. President Obama remains in the White House, the Democrats are still in charge of the Senate, and the Republicans retain the House. With no significant change in the balance of power, both parties will have to find ways to compromise in order to keep the country moving forward and to avoid the economy falling off the looming fiscal cliff.

Economically, our politicians need to tackle two major issues – the fiscal cliff and unemployment.

The fiscal cliff is perhaps the biggest and most immediate of the two. As a result of previous legislation, deep, automatic federal spending cuts and tax increases will take place in January unless the President and Congress agree to some alternative plan. If they fail to reach an agreement, going over the cliff, “would not only risk another recession, but would intensify anxiety about the dysfunction of the U.S. political system,” according toThe Wall Street Journal.

On a related note, our ever-growing national debt is deeply entwined with the fiscal cliff issue. If Washington can effectively solve the cliff issue, it might also put the deficit on a path to sustainability – and that could be great news for the economy and the markets.

The second issue is unemployment and it is deeply entwined with economic growth. While the unemployment rate has come down, it’s still too high as, “roughly 3.6 million Americans have been without work for a year or more and are still looking,” according to The Wall Street Journal. Government policies and regulations have a major impact on corporate America’s desire to hire and expand. If our leaders can enact pro-economic growth policies, it might encourage businesses to reinvest and hire more people.

Here are several other things to keep in mind as a result of the election:

·        Health care overhaul. Love it or loathe it, it’s here to stay. Among other things, companies with 50 or more full-time equivalent employees will be required starting in 2014 to provide health-insurance benefits or pay a penalty. While small businesses may not be happy about that, at least they can now plan for it.

·        Tax increases. President Obama has said he’d like to see taxes rise for couples earning more than $250,000 a year. Also, tax rates on dividends and capital gains may rise. Of course, these won’t happen unless Congress passes them.

·        Tax breaks. Both sides seem to agree that certain tax breaks and loopholes will have to go as part of any compromise. And, while this might avoid raising tax rates, it would mean a tax increase for those affected.

·        Entitlement reform. Any “grand bargain” on the deficit will likely mean changes to Social Security and Medicare. In other words, we could see Democrats agreeing to reductions in benefits in exchange for Republicans agreeing to tax increases or closing tax loopholes.

·        Easy money. With the President’s reelection, Federal Reserve policy is likely to remain “easy.” This could mean more rounds of quantitative easing and continued low interest rates.

The economic issues facing our country are serious and the folks in Washington know it. They also realize it will take compromise to get things done. As CNN said, “Both sides agree the best outcome would be a broad deal addressing the overall need for deficit reduction, including reforms to the tax system and entitlement programs such as Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.” Let’s hope our politicians put politics aside and do what’s best for our country to get us growing strongly on the road to economic prosperity.

How the Markets Are Reacting

With the polls showing the President in the lead going into Election Day, the financial markets shouldn’t have been surprised when he won – but it appears they were. U.S. stocks dropped 3.6 percent in the two days after the election before finishing slightly higher on Friday, according to data from Yahoo! Finance.

Looking at history, it’s interesting to note that the stock market performed quite well during President Obama’s first term. The S&P 500 index rose 76 percent from inauguration day to last week’s Election Day. By contrast, it declined 13 percent during George W. Bush’s first term, rose 60 percent during Bill Clinton’s first term, and rose 25 percent during Ronald Reagan’s first term, according to MarketWatch. How much of those returns can be attributed to each President’s policies is anybody’s guess, so it’s hard to draw solid conclusions from them.

In terms of sectors to monitor, MarketWatch says the following might benefit from the election results:

·        Healthcare. Drug companies and insurers might benefit from the healthcare mandate as coverage expands over time.

·        Home construction and real estate. Continued quantitative easing and low interest rates may bode well for the housing market. This could be very beneficial for the economy as housing plays a significant role in economic growth.

·        Precious metals. Gold prices rose last week as investors think continued quantitative easing could be bullish for the shiny metal.

Where We Go From Here

Putting the election behind us has removed one hurdle to moving the country forward. With campaigning out of the way, Washington can get back to work.

As Congress and the President engage in posturing and gamesmanship over the fiscal cliff and the tax and entitlement reform issues, be prepared for volatile stock prices over the next couple months. Ironically, politicians may not take decisive action on these issues until forced to through the pressure of lower stock prices.

Aside from the pressing issues, is there a reason for optimism on the economy? Yes. According to Bloomberg, “The median prediction of 37 economists surveyed by Blue Chip Economic Indicators is that during the next four years, economic growth will gather momentum as jobless people return to work and unused machinery is put back into service.” Bloomberg also pointed out the following positive indicators:

·        Banks have strengthened their balance sheets.

·        Most households, which borrowed too much during the housing bubble, have pared their debt back to normal levels through a combination of frugality and default.

·        Upper-income households’ balance sheets are in good shape, although mortgage debt remains a heavy burden at lower-income levels, says Mark Zandi, chief economist of forecaster Moody’s Analytics as quoted by Bloomberg.

·        Housing prices have gone from falling to rising, buoying confidence.

·        Increased consumer spending should induce more business investment in a virtuous circle.

·        There’s pent-up demand for residential and commercial construction.

Stepping outside the U.S., we still have major economic and budget issues in Europe, China is going through a once in a decade leadership change while its economy slows down, and the Middle East, as always, is a wildcard.

As you can see, we have a lot on our plate to monitor! And, as your advisor, we’re doing our best to keep you well positioned to benefit no matter what Washington throws at us.

Data as of 10/9/12 1-Week Y-T-D 1-Year 3-Year 5-Year 10-Year
Standard & Poor’s 500 (Domestic Stocks) -2.4% 9.7% 12.3% 8.1% -1.0% 4.7%
DJ Global ex US (Foreign Stocks) -1.9 6.8 3.1 -0.3 -6.8 7.1
10-year Treasury Note (Yield Only) 1.6 N/A 2.0 3.5 4.2 3.9
Gold (per ounce) 3.2 10.4 -2.6 16.2 15.9 18.4
DJ-UBS Commodity Index 0.3 0.1 -5.3 1.8 -5.3 3.2
DJ Equity All REIT TR Index -2.0 14.4 20.3 19.6 3.6 11.7

Notes: S&P 500, DJ Global ex US, Gold, DJ-UBS Commodity Index returns exclude reinvested dividends (gold does not pay a dividend) and the three-, five-, and 10-year returns are annualized; the DJ Equity All REIT TR Index does include reinvested dividends and the three-, five-, and 10-year returns are annualized; and the 10-year Treasury Note is simply the yield at the close of the day on each of the historical time periods.

Sources: Yahoo! Finance, Barron’s, djindexes.com, London Bullion Market Association.

Past performance is no guarantee of future results.  Indices are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly.  N/A means not applicable.

Weekly Focus – A Salute to Our Veterans

As we honor our Veterans, we’d like to share an excerpt from the President’s Veterans Day Proclamation:

“Whether they fought in Salerno or Samarra, Heartbreak Ridge or Helmand, Khe Sanh or the Korengal, our veterans are part of an unbroken chain of men and women who have served our country with honor and distinction. On Veterans Day, we show them our deepest thanks. Their sacrifices have helped secure more than two centuries of American progress, and their legacy affirms that no matter what confronts us or what trials we face, there is no challenge we cannot overcome, and our best days are still ahead.”

Thank you to all who are serving, who have served, and to the families and friends supporting our Veterans. We truly appreciate all you do for our country.

Best regards,

John Raudat

Canoga Wealth Management LLC

Securities offered through LPL Financial Member FINRA/SIPC.

* This newsletter was prepared by Peak Advisor Alliance. Peak Advisor Alliance is not affiliated with the named broker/dealer.

* The Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general.

* The DJ Global ex US is an unmanaged group of non-U.S. securities designed to reflect the performance of the global equity securities that have readily available prices.

* The 10-year Treasury Note represents debt owed by the United States Treasury to the public. Since the U.S. Government is seen as a risk-free borrower, investors use the 10-year Treasury Note as a benchmark for the long-term bond market.

* Gold represents the London afternoon gold price fix as reported by the London Bullion Market Association.

* The DJ Commodity Index is designed to be a highly liquid and diversified benchmark for the commodity futures market. The Index is composed of futures contracts on 19 physical commodities and was launched on July 14, 1998.

* The DJ Equity All REIT TR Index measures the total return performance of the equity subcategory of the Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) industry as calculated by Dow Jones.

* Yahoo! Finance is the source for any reference to the performance of an index between two specific periods.

* Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance.

* Past performance does not guarantee future results.

* You cannot invest directly in an index.

* Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.

Sources:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323894704578105260044138592.html

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324073504578104464153878672.html?KEYWORDS=the+long-term+economic+to-do+list

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324439804578105282226015270.html?mod=ITP_marketplace_1

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/what-obamas-re-election-means-for-gold-2012-11-09

http://www.cnn.com/2012/11/09/politics/obama-fiscal-cliff/index.html?hpt=hp_t2

http://finance.yahoo.com/q/hp?s=^GSPC+Historical+Prices

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/where-to-put-your-money-if-obama-wins-2012-11-06?link=MW_popular

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324073504578105243589748584.html?mod=ITP_moneyandinvesting_6

http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2012/11/09/boehner-obama-start-to-agree-limiting-tax-breaks/

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-11-08/obama-s-economy-seen-gaining-in-new-term-regardless-of-policies.html

http://www.va.gov/opa/vetsday/

John Raudat is a Registered Representative with, and securities offered through, LPL Financial. Member FINRA/SIPC.

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Market Commentary, November 5th

The Markets

Special Note:

As the week wore on, the devastation from Hurricane Sandy became ever more apparent. And, while we talk about the financial markets in this commentary, we know that what happens on Wall Street pales in comparison to the tragedy and hardship facing many people in the northeast. Our thoughts and prayers go out to them.

**************

In addition to the human toll, Hurricane Sandy caused the New York Stock Exchange to close for two days. This closure reminded us of a quote from Warren Buffet who said, “I never attempt to make money on the stock market. I buy on the assumption that they could close the market the next day and not reopen it for five years.”

This quote contains a couple important lessons:

1)     Think long term. Rather than flipping investments on a frequent basis, it makes sense to approach investing with a five-year or longer time frame.

2)     Don’t check your investments daily. Imagine you planted some tulip bulbs. Would you pull them out everyday to check and see if their roots grew? Likewise, give your investments time to grow.

Keep in mind that stock prices tend to fluctuate much more than changes in the intrinsic value of the underlying companies, according to Investopedia. Unfortunately, these daily fluctuations often scare people into making bad investment decisions. To overcome this tendency, try to ignore the daily noise and take comfort in knowing we are focused on monitoring any changes to the long-term, underlying value of your investments.

And, yes, it’s finally election week. The good news… no more annoying robo calls and attack ads!

Data as of 11/2/12 1-Week Y-T-D 1-Year 3-Year 5-Year 10-Year
Standard & Poor’s 500 (Domestic Stocks) 0.2% 12.5% 14.2% 10.7% -1.3% 4.5%
DJ Global ex US (Foreign Stocks) 0.8 8.8 4.6 1.7 -7.0 7.0
10-year Treasury Note (Yield Only) 1.7 N/A 2.0 3.4 4.3 4.1
Gold (per ounce) -1.8 7.0 -3.3 16.6 16.2 18.2
DJ-UBS Commodity Index -1.8 -0.2 -4.9 1.8 -5.3 3.1
DJ Equity All REIT TR Index 2.0 16.7 19.3 22.3 3.4 11.8

Notes: S&P 500, DJ Global ex US, Gold, DJ-UBS Commodity Index returns exclude reinvested dividends (gold does not pay a dividend) and the three-, five-, and 10-year returns are annualized; the DJ Equity All REIT TR Index does include reinvested dividends and the three-, five-, and 10-year returns are annualized; and the 10-year Treasury Note is simply the yield at the close of the day on each of the historical time periods.

Sources: Yahoo! Finance, Barron’s, djindexes.com, London Bullion Market Association.

Past performance is no guarantee of future results.  Indices are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly.  N/A means not applicable.

“TODAY, WE’RE LOOKING AT SCIENCE FICTION BECOMING TOMORROW’S REALITY,” said California Governor Jerry Brown in late September at Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, CA. So, what “science fiction” was the governor referring to and what are the investment implications?

About 120 years ago, a German mechanical engineer named Karl Benz coupled an internal combustion engine with a chassis and four wheels. Today, we know it as the automobile. While the internal combustion engine was the transforming technology that made the modern automobile possible, we don’t define, value, and think of cars in terms of how well they process gas. Instead, we think of what cars can do for us.

Cars dramatically changed our lifestyle. They allowed the rise of suburbs. They enhanced the family vacation. They played host to many dates and first kisses. They created millions of jobs in road construction, manufacturing, dealerships, repair shops, and, in fuel exploration, processing and distribution.

Likewise, Governor Brown’s announcement of a new law making it legal for driverless – yes, driverless – cars to travel on public roadways in California could dramatically reshape the impact cars have on our lives.

Here are a few ways society could change:

1)     With no need for steering wheels, pedals, and other manual controls, manufacturers of those parts would be out of luck.

2)    With no driver and very few road accidents, say goodbye to expensive car insurance policies.

3)     With few road accidents, say goodbye to most of the roughly 2 million hospital visits per year in the U.S. caused by car accidents (many lives saved!) and say goodbye to all the time and resources spent by doctors, nurses, and staff, devoted to helping these accident victims.

4)     Say goodbye to taxi drivers and limo drivers and hello to a driverless “Zipcar” or similar type service.

5)     Say hello to electronics and software companies who will provide the sensors and computing power needed by these cars.

6)     Say hello to an expanding suburb and rising suburban housing prices as the driverless car will make a long commute more palatable since you can work or play while the car goes on its merry way.

7)                 Say hello to increased mobility for people with certain disabilities.

Sources: The Economist; Forbes

The driverless car is no longer science fiction. Google already has a fleet of them and some of its employees “drive” them to work.

From an investment standpoint, this is an example of the type of deep research and thinking we do on your behalf as we strive to meet your goals and objectives.

Weekly Focus – Think About It…

“The best way to predict the future is to create it.”

Peter Drucker, management consultant, educator, author

Best regards,

John Raudat

Canoga Wealth Management LLC

Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC.

* This newsletter was prepared by Peak Advisor Alliance. Peak Advisor Alliance is not affiliated with the named broker/dealer.

* The Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general.

* The DJ Global ex US is an unmanaged group of non-U.S. securities designed to reflect the performance of the global equity securities that have readily available prices.

* The 10-year Treasury Note represents debt owed by the United States Treasury to the public. Since the U.S. Government is seen as a risk-free borrower, investors use the 10-year Treasury Note as a benchmark for the long-term bond market.

* Gold represents the London afternoon gold price fix as reported by the London Bullion Market Association.

* The DJ Commodity Index is designed to be a highly liquid and diversified benchmark for the commodity futures market. The Index is composed of futures contracts on 19 physical commodities and was launched on July 14, 1998.

* The DJ Equity All REIT TR Index measures the total return performance of the equity subcategory of the Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) industry as calculated by Dow Jones.

* Yahoo! Finance is the source for any reference to the performance of an index between two specific periods.

* Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance.

* Past performance does not guarantee future results.

* You cannot invest directly in an index.

* Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.

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Sources:

http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/w/warrenbuff149682.html#pKrmxViwOzq3FAxq.99

http://www.investopedia.com/university/stockpicking/stockpicking1.asp#axzz2B64u9sfX

http://www.forbes.com/sites/joannmuller/2012/09/26/with-driverless-cars-once-again-it-is-california-leading-the-way/

http://inventors.about.com/library/weekly/aacarsgasa.htm

http://www.economist.com/news/business/21564821-carmakers-are-starting-take-autonomous-vehicles-seriously-other-businesses-should-too

http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/p/peterdruck131600.html#TjTqPlmQdAkFMO2E.99

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John Raudat is a Registered Representative with, and securities offered through, LPL Financial. Member FINRA/SIPC.

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