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Investment Newsletter - June 2015 

I hope you are doing well, and looking forward to Summer. It is time once again for our Newsletter, and we hope that you find it at least somewhat informative. If you have any questions on this or anything else, feel free to reply back.

A brief overview of recent market activity and expectations follows below. Our investment topic for this month is Comparing ETF's (Exchange Traded Funds) to Closed-End Funds.  

You will find past investment articles, and recent stock market commentary and reviews, by clicking on the relevant Quick Links on the right, or peruse past investment topics by clicking the Articles tab above or directly on our website. If there is a topic of interest you would like to see covered in the future, please reply back to this email to let me know, or click here.

Investment Topic:
Comparing ETF's (Exchange Traded Funds) to Closed-End Funds

For our investment topic, we focus on comparing two investment vehicles:  ETF's (Exchange Traded Funds) and Closed-End Funds. The advantages, disadvantages, and factors to consider. To read the article, please click here

Recent Market News and Activity
Here are some of the top market news headlines of the past few weeks:


(Reuters) - Wall Street opened lower after data showed that U.S. job growth accelerated sharply in May and wages picked up, signs of momentum in the economy that could revive expectations of an interest rate hike in September.

Non-farm payrolls increased 280,000 last month, the largest gain since December, and above the 225,000 that economists polled by Reuters had expected. Average hourly earnings grew by eight cents.


U.S. GDP Contracts 0.7% but Corporate Profits Rebound

Real GDP fell 0.7% (SAAR) last quarter, revised from a 0.2% gain estimated initially. The decline compared to expectations for a 0.9% fall in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. It was the third quarterly decline since the economic recovery began late in 2009. Each occurred in the first quarter of the year. Greater deterioration in net exports contributed the most to the GDP downward revision. It sapped 1.9 percentage points from growth versus the initial estimate of a 1.3 point subtraction. Exports fell at a 7.6% rate (+2.9% y/y), compared to last month's estimate of a 7.2% fall. Reflecting recessions abroad, West Coast port shutdowns and the stronger dollar, the decline was the first in a year.


U.S. Pending Home Sales Surge To 2006 High

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported that pending sales of single-family homes increased 3.4% during April following a little-revised 1.2% gain during March. The latest level was the highest level since December 2006.


U.S. Gasoline Prices Inch Higher; Crude Oil Slips

Gasoline prices rose to an average $2.77 per gallon at the pump (-24.5% y/y) last week from 2.74 in the prior week. It was the highest level of prices since early-December and prices were roughly one-third higher versus the low of $2.04 late in January. 


U.S. Initial Unemployment Insurance Claims Remain Near 2000 Low 

The job market remains on solid ground. In the week ended May 2nd, initial claims for jobless insurance increased to 265,000 from an unrevised 262,000, the lowest levels in fifteen years. 

Major Market Indices


Below is a summary of May's performance of some of the major indices:


Index May 2015 YTD
US Treasury 3 Month T-Bill
0.01% 0.03%
Barclay's US Aggregate Bond Index
-0.24% 1.00%
Barclay's Municipal Bond Index
-0.28% 0.21%
S&P 500 Index
1.29% 3.23%
Dow Jones Industrial Average 1.35% 2.14%
MSCI EAFE (International Equities) -0.51% 8.60%
MSCI Emerging Markets -4.00% 5.69%
Russell Mid Cap 
1.46% 4.52%
Russell 2000 Index (Small-Cap Stocks)
2.28% 3.98%
Bloomberg Commodity Index
-2.70% -3.23%
Dow Jones US REIT Index
-0.04% -1.39%

Quick Links

This month's investment topic: 
Comparing ETF's to Closed-End Funds

Recent reports available from Morningstar:

Stay Connected
On the Investment Horizon

Summer Sojourns or Soirees!

June traditionally represents the beginning of the vacation travel season, which for many who work all year round, affords the opportunity to get away and recharge the batteries.  Many individuals save during the year, make detailed travel plans, and eagerly circle the dates on their calendars counting down the days to fun and sun!  From a financial planning perspective however, the danger is in the balance between some well-deserved time off vs. over indulgence and spending beyond the allocated budget.  Many people underestimate the true total costs of what that vacation may actually be, often just looking at the cost of travel and hotel.  Often overlooked is the cost of food and drink, travel upon arrival, and the entertainment once at the destination point.  Also overlooked is how was the trip paid for?


While it is very easy and convenient to put the costs on a credit card, is one factoring the interest payment on top of the purchase, and how much extra that compounding interest will add to the vacation once finally paid for?  Additionally, how much money did it cost to "prepare" for the trip, for items such as new clothing, pet watching expense, tune-ups for the car, to name a few. It is not uncommon for people to spend a lot of money in just preparing for the trip, vs. the actual cost incurred once on the trip.  All of these items must be factored in to the "total" travel budget.   Lastly, it is very easy for people once on vacation to overspend, psychologically telling themselves, "Hey, I am on vacation, let me buy it now and treat myself, and worry about how I will pay for it later".   From a financial planning view, travel and vacations are always a key discussion point and one that if properly planned for can lead to a rewarding and enjoyable experience, without having to result in financial pain to your long term savings plan. 

On the Investment Horizon
Upcoming Key Dates on the Economic Calendar 
  • Friday, June 5: Unemployment report for the prior month, released at 8:30AM.
  • Friday, June 12: Consumer Sentiment, released at 10:00AM.
  • Tuesday June 16-Wednesday, June 17: The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meets, and releases their announcement at 2PM.
  • Wednesday, June 17 at 2:30PM: Fed Chair Janet Yellen to hold her quarterly press conference to explain the FOMC's latest quarterly economic projections.
  • Friday, July 3: Stock market closed in observance of Independence Day.

If you desire an appointment, have any questions on any of this material, or any other financial subjects may relate to your own financial circumstance, please reach out to us at the contact information below:






Brian Cohen, CCO; email:; phone: 631-923-2487
Joe Favorito, CFP?; email:; phone: 631-930-5336

Direct office email: 

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