What's Going on in Greece?

Written by Andy Pratt on .

The standoff between the European Central Bank and Greek government came to a tipping point early last week when the two sides couldn’t agree on the way Greece should do austerity. The Greek government called a nationwide referendum to allow the people to vote on the ECB’s bailout package but the ECB subverted that vote by refusing to offer additional emergency loans to Greek banks, causing Greece to miss a scheduled payment to the IMF and forcing its banks to close.

Burney Company Named to 2015 Financial Times 300 Top Registered Investment Advisers

Written by Andy Pratt on .

June 18, 2015 – Burney Company, is pleased to announce that it has again been named to the Financial Times 300 Top Registered Investment Advisers, as of June 18, 2015. The list recognizes top independent RIA firms from across the U.S.  

FT 300 Advisers Logo 2015This is the second annual FT 300 list, produced independently by the FT in collaboration with Ignites Research, a subsidiary of the FT that provides business intelligence on the investment management industry. More than 2,000 elite RIA firms were invited to apply for consideration, based on their assets under management (AUM). The 630 RIA firms that applied were then graded six criteria: AUM; AUM growth rate; years in existence; advanced industry credentials; online accessibility; and compliance records.  

The “average” FT 300 firm has been in existence for 23 years and manages $2.6 billion in assets.
The 300 top RIAs hail from 34 states and Washington, D.C., and, on average, saw their total AUM rise by 18% in 2014.  

The FT 300 is one in series of rankings of top advisers that the FT developed in partnership with Ignites Research: the FT 401 (DC retirement plan advisers); the FT 400 (financial advisers from traditional broker-dealer firms); and the FT 100 (women financial advisers).

Sell in May and Go Away?

Written by Andy Pratt & Alex Shen on .

One of the oldest and longest lasting Wall Street adages goes sell in May and go away. Proponents of this strategy argue for going to cash in May, skipping the summer months altogether before buying back in October.

The adage gained popularity of late due to the subpar summer returns during the 2000s.

Monthly Returns 2000 2014

This may seem like compelling evidence but an investor employing this strategy sacrificed 6.1% annually since the Financial Crisis ended. This result is consistent with other studies that show positive – if weaker – historical returns from May to October.

Monthly Returns 2009 2014

There may be times when Sell in May works but like other market timing strategies and as we found in 2012, the results do not hold over time. If two investors invested $1,000 in the S&P 500 in 1990 but one of them went to cash from May to October and the other stayed the course, the investor who stayed the course would be $3,919 richer at the end of 2014.

Sell In May Stay The Course

No one knows which direction the market is going to go this summer but history shows that the patient investor who keeps her money in the market wins out in the long run.

Lowell Pratt one of Barron’s Top 1,200 Advisors

Written by Andy Pratt on .

Barrons 2015 Top 1200For the second year in a row, Burney Company President Lowell Pratt Jr. has been honored as one of Barron’s Top 1,200 Financial Advisors.

The annual list, broken down by state, aims to highlight America’s top financial advisors based on assets under management, revenue produced for the firm, regulatory record, quality of practice and philanthropic work. All 50 states plus the District of Columbia are represented.

In addition to a questionnaire completed by advisors, Barron's analyzes regulatory records and internal company documents to rank advisors.  Performance is not explicitly reviewed since some advisors' clients may have different goals for their portfolios.

Lowell moves up 5 spots on the list to number 14 in Virginia.

"We're proud to be recognized by Barron's once again for the important work we do for our clients," Lowell said upon receiving the recognition.

A Bullish Pattern for Stocks

Written by Andy Pratt on .

JP Morgan publishes a quarterly comprehensive market summary and one chart from January was particularly striking.

Bullish Pattern

Following the Great Depression, the S&P 500 has demonstrated a pattern of 10 year plateaus followed by 20 year market advances. If the pattern holds, the most recent plateau phase ended in 2013 and we would be in the beginning stages of a 20 year advance.

Will the pattern hold? Who knows.

One thing we do know is investors who stuck it out through past plateaus were rewarded for their patience.

Download our market commentary here.