. Hyre Weekly Commentary<br />September 26, 2011<br />The Markets<br />The Federal Reserve did “The Twist,” but the financial markets ended up in “A Knot.”<br />In a much anticipated action dubbed “Operation Twist,” the Federal Reserve announced last week it would reshuffle its balance sheet by selling $400 billion of shorter-term Treasury securities and use the proceeds to buy longer-term securities. The Fed said it hopes the action will lower longer-term interest rates and, “contribute to a broad easing in financial market conditions that will provide additional stimulus to support the economic recovery.” <br />So far, as it relates to interest rates, the Fed’s action has worked. The yield on the 30-year Treasury bond declined from 3.2 percent the day before the Fed’s announcement to 2.9 percent just two days later, according to data from Yahoo! Finance. That’s a rather dramatic decline for such a short period.<br />Unfortunately, the stock market failed to respond positively to the Fed’s announcement as the S&P 500 index lost 6.4 percent for the week. The market’s drop, though, went beyond disappointment in the Fed’s action. The following also contributed to the market’s red ink:<br /><ul><li>Intensified fears of a Greek default.
Rising concern of a world-wide financial crisis, with sovereign debt at the epicenter.
Growing signs of sluggish economic growth in China, which had been one of the few countries immune to economic turmoil.
A 13 percent drop in the price of copper on Thursday and Friday of last week, which is concerning because the price of copper is often viewed as a proxy for worldwide industrial growth.</li></ul>Sources: Wall Street Journal, MarketWatch, Bloomberg<br />With the market’s blood pressure rising, it reminds us of what flight attendants often say, “Ladies and gentlemen, the Captain has turned on the fasten seat belt sign. We are now crossing a zone of turbulence. Please return to your seats and keep your seat belts fastened. Thank you.”<br />Likewise, as your “Financial Captain,” we know there may be market volatility along the way, but, as always, we’re focused on trying to help you arrive safely at your financial destination. <br />Data as of 9/23/111-WeekY-T-D1-Year3-Year5-Year10-YearStandard & Poor's 500 (Domestic Stocks) -6.5%-9.6% -1.1%-1.5%-3.0%1.3%DJ Global ex US (Foreign Stocks)-8.2-20.3-13.0-4.4-3.75.210-year Treasury Note (Yield Only)1.8N/A184.108.40.206.7Gold (per ounce) -5.919.830.923.423.619.3DJ-UBS Commodity Index-9.1-11.93.3-7.3-1.94.3DJ Equity All REIT TR Index-8.8-5.23.7-0.9-2.09.9<br />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.<br />Sources: Yahoo! Finance, Barron’s, djindexes.com, London Bullion Market Association.<br />Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Indices are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. N/A means not applicable or not available.<br />AN OFTEN OVERLOOKED ASPECT OF SUCCESSFUL STOCK INVESTING is the importance of dividends. In bull markets, investors tend to focus on price appreciation, meaning, they look for stocks that can increase in price. In heady times like the late 1990s, investors feasted on stocks that would double or triple in a matter of months. Watching a stock go from $20 a share to $40 or $60 a share is exhilarating and makes for good cocktail party chatter. On the other hand, watching a stock sit at $20 a share for several years while you collect and reinvest a 3 percent dividend is rather boring and not worth sharing on the social circuit.<br />However, just like the old story about the tortoise and the hare, the slow and steady growth of dividends plays a very important role in making money grow over time.<br />The past 10 years is a great example of how dividends have helped improve the returns of an otherwise disappointing stock market. Here’s the data:<br /><ul><li>For the 10 years ending September 23, 2011, the S&P 500 index had a positive average annualized return of 1.3 percent excluding reinvested dividends.
For the 10 years ending September 23, 2011, the S&P 500 index had a positive average annualized return of 3.6 percent including reinvested dividends.
As shown above, receiving dividends and reinvesting them added 2.3 percentage points per year to an investor’s return compared to the return generated by price appreciation alone of the underlying stocks in the S&P 500.</li></ul>Sources: Morningstar, Yahoo! Finance<br />In today’s environment of low returns, finding a way to possibly eke out an extra 2.3 percentage points of return per year is attractive.<br />Over a longer period, receiving dividends and reinvesting them has accounted for one-third of the total return of the S&P 500 index over the past 80 years, according to Standard & Poor’s.<br />Standard & Poor’s also points out the following benefits of dividends:<br /><ul><li>Dividends allow investors to capture the upside potential while serving as a hedge in down markets.
When bond yields are low, like they are now, dividend paying stocks might be a way to enhance an investor’s current income.</li></ul> <br />Just like any other investment, though, you need to figure out how dividends fit within your overall investment strategy. Are you looking for dividends to provide stability, income, or growth within your portfolio? Or, perhaps it’s some combination of all three. <br />Considering how dividends fit within our clients’ portfolios is just one more way that we’re trying to add value.<br />Weekly Focus – Think About It<br />“Do you know the only thing that gives me pleasure? It's to see my dividends coming in.” <br />--John D. Rockefeller <br />Best regards,<br />Jim Hyre, CFP®<br />Registered Principal<br />P.S. Please feel free to forward this commentary to family, friends, or colleagues. If you would like us to add them to the list, please reply to this e-mail with their e-mail address and we will ask for their permission to be added. <br />Securities offered through Raymond James Financial Services, Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC.<br />* The Standard & Poor's 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general.<br />* The Dow Jones Industrial Average is a price-weighted index of 30 actively traded blue-chip stocks. <br />* The NASDAQ Composite Index is an unmanaged, market-weighted index of all over-the-counter common stocks traded on the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation System. <br />* Gold represents the London afternoon gold price fix as reported by www.usagold.com.<br />* The DJ/AIG 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.<br />* 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.<br />* 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<br />* Yahoo! Finance is the source for any reference to the performance of an index between two specific periods.<br />* Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance. <br />* Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision. <br />* You cannot invest directly in an index. <br />* Past performance does not guarantee future results. mc101507<br />* This newsletter was prepared by PEAK for use by James Hyre, CFP®, registered principal<br />* If you would prefer not to receive this Weekly Newsletter, please contact our office via e-mail or mail your request to 2074 Arlington Ave, Upper Arlington, OH 43221.<br />* The information contained in this report does not purport to be a complete description of the securities, markets, or developments referred to in this material. 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