A Correction?

As I have reported recently, it is not unusual for the stock market to have a correction after a lengthy time on the rise. Yesterday we saw that a correction can still be painful. The stock market dropped a little over 2% yesterday, meaning that anyone in the market at that time lost money. Although you are a long-term investor, that is your money. A correction is usually about a 10% drop in the value of stocks. This usually sets the stage for another increase in value.

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Doing its own Thing

Last year, equities were up significantly. Some wondered what would happen this year. As I am writing this, the S&P 500 was back to the December 19th level of 1805. On January 15, 2014, the S&P hit a record high of 1848. Interestingly, this record high for 2014 is the same as the closing point of the S&P at the end of the last year, meaning that the S&P is down about 2.5% since the end of 2013. Given that the stock market was up 28% last year, this change is barely a blip on the radar screen. So where is the money that is leaving the stock market going?

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Non-correlation

Non-correlation of investment assets may seem to be complicated, but it is very important to the long-term success of an investment portfolio. To understand non-correlation, we must first understand what we mean when assets are correlated. Investment assets are referred to as being highly correlated when they show a tendency to vary together. For example, U.S. stock classes--large, medium and small-- tend to increase and decrease in value together. For many years, large international stocks were not considered to be correlated to U.S. stocks, but they are now 92% correlated.

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