The SD-PFS*Ticker

Vol 3, Issue 4December 2013
Dear Clients and Friends: 
Time goes by so fast it hardly seems possible we find ourselves at year end again! It's the perfect time to not only wish you, our clients and friends, the best of the holiday season, but to thank you for your trust and confidence throughout the year. As we say goodbye to 2013 and look ahead to 2014, we're taking a light-hearted approach this year by sharing with you some of our team's "predictions" for 2014. 

We hope you enjoy this holiday greeting from our team. As always, please feel free to call us with any questions or comments at 412-697-5200.

Our team from left to right: Vicky Rogers, Nancy Skeans, Karen Werley, Don Linzer, John Anke, Theresa Sekely, Julie Ann McMillan and Beth Lynch.


And now for our team's predictions for 2014!


Nancy Skeans:  As we all know, no one can predict what will happen to security prices, even though prognosticators attempt to do so. As we look forward to 2014, here is what we do know today:  


  1. The global economy is expected to grow at a higher rate in 2014. The International Monetary Fund projects global gross domestic product (GDP) to be 3.5%, compared to an approximate 2.9% annualized growth rate in 2013.
  2. It is also projected that the largest economies in the world, both developed and emerging, will have positive growth. Several Euro-zone economies are coming out of recession and China's economic growth (although still much lower than its boom years) appears to be improving.
  3. The US economy is forecast to grow between 2% and 4% in 2014. Automobile sales and housing construction and sales are starting to pick up. Household net worth is knocking on its 2007 high. Interest rates, while higher than the last several years and expected to gradually increase, are still low enough to promote economic growth. Inflation is low.


All of these collectively provide a tailwind to global corporations and consumers. Ultimately securities are prices based upon the projected environment. US equities have had a great run in 2013 and are valued fairly to slightly above fair value as compared to historic averages. Many Developed International and Emerging Markets equities are still valued below historical averages. Barring a shock to the US or global economy, my prediction for 2014 is that equity market prices will be more volatile because valuations are much higher, i.e. there is less room for error. But that being said, 2014 should reward equity investors with positive, although lower returns. Bond prices will continue to struggle due to interest rate uncertainty and somewhat higher yields, but bonds continue to play an important defensive role in one's overall asset allocation. If there is a shock to the US economy or a global shock, all bets are off - the best reason to remain diversified!


I am going to go out on a limb with my "non market" prediction. The snow total in Western PA is already well above the average. Brace yourselves and make sure that your snow shovels are in good repair.  This spring, we are going to experience one of those dreaded 2 footers! Remember 2010?




Beth Lynch:  Based on the things we know, as mentioned by Nancy above, I will comment on a few other areas of the economy. I believe that US unemployment will continue to drop throughout 2014. The rate in November 2013 was 7% -- I will say it will drop to 6.5% by the end of 2014. With that being said, I also believe that housing will also improve.

For my personal prediction: As many of you know, I am a huge hockey fan. It is by far my favorite sport to watch. So, I've decided to make a prediction for our wonderful Pittsburgh Penguins for 2014. I predict that the Pens will make it into the Stanley Cup Finals! 


John Anke:  For the vast majority of 2014, emerging market stocks will trail developed market returns. As the year unfolds improving economic trends, a weaker U.S. dollar, and market digestion of stimulus unwinding will result in a late year double digit rally for emerging markets stocks. This late rally will result in emerging markets leading all stocks sectors for the year. 


In stunning fashion, 2014 will be the year the state of Pennsylvania, its municipalities and Penn Dot will provide excellent care to our roadways. Our state and city will benefit from less pot holes due to improved maintenance of the roadways.  


At least we and our cars can all hope!

On a more personal n
ote, I predict that my wife and I will finally enjoy a full night's sleep, and maybe even a nice meal together, since at the moment our home is filled with the blessings of a three-year old and a one-month old!


Vicky RogersDue to the unprecedented consensus found in the latest budget negotiations, 2014 will continue the bi-partisan accord. Although still far apart philosophically, Republicans and Democrats will begin to find ways to work together to get the country back on track, and to get themselves re-elected. That and world peace. (My Pollyanna side is showing!) 


And, because of this adorable, tiny, Grinch-like addition

to our family, I predict I will not have any lights, ribbon

or ornaments on the bottom half of the Christmas

tree by New Year's Day! 


Theresa Sekely:  Based on statistics provided from FINRA's website, as of December 16, 2013, the number of investor complaints received has drastically decreased since 2008. In 2008 there were 5,405 investor complaints received, versus 2,785 received in 2012. Even though the number of investor complaints received has decreased, during this same time period the number of individuals suspended from FINRA increased from 321 in 2008 to 549 in 2012. I predict this trend will continue, in which there are less complaints, but harsher disciplinary actions. FINRA and the SEC will continue to look out for the investor; advisors will increase their awareness in protecting client assets; cyber fraud, in the investment industry, will be brought to the forefront; and advisors and individuals will increase their awareness as we work together to protect ourselves.


I predict that in 2014 Christmas will fall on December 25th. I also predict that you will receive another fun-filled and silly newsletter from the SD Wealth Management Team. Enjoy the holiday season with your family and friends!


Karen Werley:  Isaac Asimov made several predictions in 1964 about what life would
be like if you visited the World's Fair in 2014. He was 
frighteningly accurate! Included in his predictions was this:  "Communications will become sight-sound and you will see
as well as hear the person you telephone. The screen can be used not only to see
the people you call but also for studying documents and photographs and reading passages from books."  Have you used FaceTime or Skype to talk with a friend lately? Wouldn't Mr. Asimov be pleasantly surprised by the accuracy of his predictions
50 years ago!  

As for my personal life, while I hardly feel old enough (ahem!), I'm hoping to become a grandmother for the first time in 2014. How exciting to know my family will be growing! Assuming that prediction is realized, I also predict an uptick in the value of all baby item-related stocks!

We're such a photogenic group!

If you haven't visited our website in awhile (SD Wealth Management), please stop by to see our updated team pictures. We continue to add talented new folks to the team.

Our beautiful new space!  

The new to our beautiful and bright new space in One PPG Place was completed on
Monday, October 21. Here are a few pictures, for those of you who haven't had a chance to visit us here yet.


The Schneider Downs Wealth Management Team

Don, Nancy, Beth, John, Vicky, Theresa, Karen and Julie Ann.

Links within this newsletter are for informational purposes only.   
Material does not necessarily represent the views of SDWMA, and all information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, we make no representations as to their completeness or accuracy.