Market Hotline

rss

Flexible Plan Investments


But in investing, what is the finish line?

Monday witnessed the 99th running of the Indy 500 car race. The winner was Juan Pablo Montoya. He finished the race in 3 hours, 5 minutes and 56 seconds at an average speed over the 200 laps of 161.341 miles per hour.

How do we know Montoya won? Simple, we saw him cross the finish line first! See how the winning pit crew uniquely celebrated this year.

Most races have finish lines, the crossing of which allows us to declare the winner of the race. There are ultra-running marathon events with no “finish line” that simply try to go the farthest in a time period. But even there, isn’t the time period really the “finish line”?

In investing, there is no actual finish line, unless you subscribe to the old line that, “He who dies with the most money wins.” But investing, like most activities in life, is improved by having goals.

It is said (although I cannot find a source for the quote) that “Life without goals is like a race without a finish line – you’re just running to nowhere.”

Goals focus our activities. As Yogi Berra said, “If you don't know where you are going, you'll end up someplace else.”

When we are focused on a goal, we tend to perform better. In a 1986 experiment, psychology researcher Dr. Michel Cabanac asked subjects to sit with their backs against a wall (without a chair) while he timed how long they could endure that position, he offered them an increasingly higher money reward each time they were asked to do the experiment.

As the chart from his paper demonstrates, when the goal was small or non-existent, they did not last very long, but as the goal became more significant, they were able to endure the position much longer.

Here's a graph from a classic study by French researcher Michel Cabanac, published in 1986 in the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior.

 

So if having a goal improves results, what should an investor’s goal be? For over 30 years I have begun presentations by explaining that investing is not some abstract concept or hobby for most people.

Investors invest for a reason, usually to reach some goal. That goal can be like a race to a finish line – financing a college education, or buying a house, for example. Or it can be like an ultra-running marathon race where it involves trying to survive for the time limit of the race – like funding retirement, where you don’t want your investment dollars to run out before you do.

I would submit that how one measures progress toward a goal can depend on which type of “race” you are in – one with a finish line or one without.

In the former, like the runner who is watching the mile posts go by and feels the necessity to speed up as he approaches the finish line, the need to reach that short-term goal of a college education or home down payment is likely to cause the investor to watch the shorter-term performance of the investment more closely and adjust as one gets closer to their goal. As songster Jimmy Dean once said, “I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.”

In the latter type of “finish line,” it is more important to keep your eye on the prize – the end result that will allow you to support yourself throughout your retirement years. Similarly, if you are already in retirement, your primary concern is preservation of your portfolio dollars and keeping ahead of inflation so that your standard of living is not adversely impacted. 

Flexible Plan provides a number of tools with a goal of enabling its clients to monitor their progress and win the race. Our dynamic, risk-management investment approach seeks to smooth out your investment experience so that you reach your own financial goals.

And our OnTarget Monitor lets you know each quarter how you are doing in reaching your goal. We do not do this by referencing some arbitrary benchmark with risk characteristics you could not endure (like the S&P 500), but instead, we report on your progress in reaching the goal set for your portfolio when you initially set up your account or chose the strategy you are now employing.

As master organizer Stephen Covey says, “Begin with the end in mind.”


Source: Flexible Plan Investments

In this week’s Indy 500, there were 37 lead changes. The winner led the race for only 9 out of the 200 laps. He took the lead for good in the 197th lap. What mattered was that by the race’s end he had achieved his goal – crossing the finish line first and winning the race.

All the best,

Jerry

PS—With regard to the present state of the markets, there is no change in our view of either the stock or bond market. The primary trend in stocks remains up, as we have been reporting for years now. While the mixed signals being given by earnings (neutral), economic reports (negative), interest rate trends (negative), sentiment (positive), and seasonality (positive) continue to offset each other and leave open the possibility of a mild correction, there has been no break in the short or immediate upward trend for stocks. In fact, an all-time high was registered in the S&P 500 just last week.

With bullish sentiment among stock investors declining for the fifth straight week and below average for the 12th straight week, it is surprising to realize that as of Friday’s close, the S&P 500 is up over 3.5%, which is better than its 2.82% YTD return at this point last year.

Most of the negative investor expectations seem to be based on fears of overvaluation based on many market gurus’ bearish citing of the current levels of price/earnings ratios in the market. Yet, while it is true that stocks are no longer the bargains they were at the market lows in 2009, historically they can go much higher than the current levels before a new bear market is called for on this indicator.


Source: Bespoke Investment Group

Bond prices continue in a sideways to downward trajectory. Our earlier guess that economics might not allow the Fed to move rates higher until next year has found support from the Fed Funds futures crowd, who now price Fed rates for a January, 2016 advance.

I continue to believe that the only reason for an increase in rates earlier (baring a substantial improvement in business conditions and/or an increase in inflation, especially in wages) is the need for the Fed to reload its tools for the next recession. That means getting out of the present zero rate environment as soon as possible. In any event, what the bond market is saying about interest rates is much more important than the Fed actions at this point. It seems to be saying rates will move higher and bonds will continue to tumble in price.

 




Sector Index Rotation is now available at Schwab Institutional and PCRA

Earlier this month, we announced that Self-adjusting Trend Following (STF) has been made available at both Schwab Institutional and Schwab PCRA, and can be selected as a stand-alone strategy or in a custom multi-strategy portfolio.

Sector Index Rotation has now also been added to the available strategy lineup at Schwab Institutional and Schwab PCRA for accounts as low as $5,000. Sector Index Rotation is a systematic strategy providing long and short exposure to market sectors or asset classes predicted to exhibit strong near-term performance, either on the upside or downside, using leveraged and short asset class and index funds. The strategy can trade daily with one-day to one-week holding periods.

 

Semi-Annual Sales Conference

Our semi-annual sales conference is approaching. All members of our Sales Department, along with staff from our Marketing, Compliance, and Executive groups, will be attending the conference from Wednesday, June 10th through Friday, June 12th. The off-site event will give all an opportunity to share news about upcoming programs, exchange ideas on best sales practices, and celebrate successes from the past year at our awards banquet. The sales team will be checking emails and voicemails periodically, and our Client Services and Broker Administration staff will be available for additional assistance. We thank you in advance for planning ahead and for your understanding and patience.


US equity markets were mixed last week. The NASDAQ Composite gained 0.81% last week, the S&P 500 was up 0.16%, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average recorded a weekly loss of 0.22%. Six of the ten S&P industrial sectors were up for the week. The move upward was led by Health Care (0.86%), Information Technology (0.54%), Financials (0.51%), and Utilities (0.51%). The Quantified Funds were mixed for the week: the Quantified Market Leaders Fund (QMLFX, 1.16%) and the Quantified All-Cap Equity Fund (QACFX, 0.50%) were up, while the Quantified Alternative Investment Fund (QALTX, 0.00%) was flat and the Quantified Managed Bond Fund (QBDSX, -0.32%) was down.

Last week the Quantified All-Cap Equity Fund (QACFX) shifted its weightings in four leading stock baskets, which were over 45% of the portfolio’s composition: “All-Cap Low Debt” (19%), “All-Cap Quality Acceleration” (10%), “Ultimate Dividend Portfolio” (9%), and “CPMS-Price Momentum” (8%). Among domestic sector distributions, Information Technology and Industrials led with portfolio allocations of 20% and 12%, respectively. The largest stock holdings in the All-Cap portfolio were in the common stock of II VI Inc. (IIVI, 2.30%) and the common stock of Chemed Corp. (CHE, 1.93%).

The cash level within the All-Cap Fund remained at 10% last week. The Fund’s daily pattern trading of S&P 500 futures started the week 8% long and remained there to begin this week. Our TVA-based futures hedge remained neutral throughout the week.

The Market Environment Indicator (MEI) remained bullish last week. On Friday, equity asset class allocations in the Quantified Market Leaders Fund changed to the following: Large-Cap Growth (9.60%), Mid-Cap Growth (19.20%), Developed Countries / World Stock (4.80%), and Small-Cap Growth (14.40%). Total sector ETF weightings remained at 52% from the prior week. Distribution of sector holdings and weights were as follows: Retail (13.00%), Electronics (13.00%), Internet (13.00%), and Biotech (13.00%). The individual ETF positions with the leading portfolio weightings were the First Trust Dow Jones Internet Index ETF (FDN, 13.00%), the ProShares Ultra Russell 2000 ETF (UWM, 8.00%), the ProShares Ultra Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (BIB, 6.50%), and the SPDR S&P Retail ETF (XRT, 6.28%).

Within the Quantified Alternative Investment Fund (QALTX), the Long/Short Market Neutral Alternative sub-portfolio increased allocations to the Dreyfus Dynamic Total Return Fund (AVGRX, 4.13%) and the Diamond Hill Long-Short Fund (DIAMX, 2.10%).

Among the largest ETF positions there were a few changes: allocations to the Market Vectors Agribusiness ETF (MOO, 4.61%) and the SPDR S&P International Utilities Sector ETF (IPU, 3.11%) increased, while allocations to the iShares S&P Global Financials Sector ETF (IXG, 3.17%) and the First Trust Utilities AlphaDEX ETF (FXU, 1.81%) decreased.

The cash level within the Fund increased to 12.81% last week. The daily pattern trading of S&P 500 Index futures with 10% fund capital allocation started the week 4% long and remained there to begin this week. The 7.5% capital allocation of the volatility-based systematic trading of NASDAQ 100 Index futures started the week 6% long, changed to 7.5% long on Monday’s close, 6% long on Tuesday’s close, 9% long on Wednesday’s close, and 10.5% long on Thursday’s close to begin this week.

The Quantified Managed Bond Fund’s (QBDSX) two leading broad-bond index ETF holdings, the SPDR Barclays Capital Short Term Corporate Bond ETF (SCPB, -0.28%) and the PowerShares Senior Loan Portfolio ETF (BKLN, 0.08%), were mixed for the week.

The 10-year US Treasury yield increased to 2.21% for the week. The Fund increased weightings in the SPDR Barclay’s Capital Short Term Corporate Bond ETF (SCPB) from 8.33% to 10.13% and in the iShares Barclay’s 1-3 Year Credit Bond ETF (CSJ) from 2.85% to 5.85%, while decreasing allocations in the iShares Barclays Intermediate Credit Bond ETF (CIU) from 10.68% to 7.00% and in the PowerShares Senior Loan Portfolio ETF (BKLN) from 12.13% to 9.98%. Cash decreased to 5.53%

 

Total Return

Fund (Inception) Symbol Qtr Ending 3/31/15 YTD Ending 3/31/15 1 Year Ending 3/31/15 Since Inception Ending 3/31/15* Annual Expense Ratio
The Gold Bullion Strategy Fund (7/5/13) QGLDX (0.39%) (0.39%) (9.92%) (4.11%) 1.66%
Quantified Managed Bond Fund (8/9/13) QBDSX 0.31%
0.31%
0.29% 1.31% 1.68%
Quantified All-Cap Equity Fund (8/9/13) QACFX 2.16%
2.16%
3.03% 3.83% 1.51%
Quantified Market Leaders Fund (8/9/13) QMLFX 4.86%
4.86% 6.77% 8.62% 1.71%
Quantified Alternative Investment Fund (8/9/13) QALTX 1.67% 1.67% 1.53% 6.46% 2.20%

*Annualized

As of the most recent prospectus, the expense ratios for the Gold Bullion Strategy Fund are as follows: Investors’ Class (No Load), 1.66%; Class A, 1.66%; Class C, 2.41%. The maximum sales charge imposed on Class A share purchases (as percentage of offering price) is 5.75%. An additional 2% redemption fee applies to all share classes, including Investors’ Class, when shares are redeemed within 7 days of purchase.

The performance data quoted represents past performance; past performance does not guarantee future results. The investment return and principal value of an investment will fluctuate and an investor’s shares, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than their original cost. Current performance may be higher or lower than the performance data quoted. To obtain performance data current to the most recent month-end please call 1-855-647-8268.

Risks associated with the Quantified Funds include active frequent trading risk, aggressive investment techniques, small and mid-cap companies risk, counter party risk, depository receipt risk, derivatives risk, equity securities risk, foreign securities risk, holding cash risk, limited history of operations risk, lower quality debt securities risk, non-diversification risk, investing in other investment companies (including ETFs) risk, shorting risk, asset backed securities risk, commodity risk, credit risk, interest risk, prepayment risk, and mortgage backed securities risk. For detailed information relating to these risks, please see prospectus. 

The principal risks of investing in The Gold Bullion Strategy Fund are Risks of the Sub-advisor’s Investment Strategy, Risks of Aggressive Investment Techniques, High Portfolio Turnover, Risk of Investing in Derivatives, Risks of Investing in ETFs, Risks of Investing in Other Investment Companies, Leverage Risk, Taxation Risk, Concentration Risk, Gold Risk, Wholly-owned Corporation Risk, Risk of Non-Diversification and interest rate risk. “Gold Risk” includes volatility, price fluctuations over short periods, risks associated with global monetary, economic, social and political conditions and developments, currency devaluation and revaluation and restrictions, trading and transactional restrictions. 

An investor should consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses of each Quantified Fund and The Gold Bullion Strategy Fund before investing. This and other information can be found in the Funds’ prospectus, which can be obtained by calling 1-855-647-8268. The prospectus should be read carefully prior to investing in The Quantified Funds or The Gold Bullion Strategy Fund. 


There is no guarantee that any of the Quantified Funds or The Gold Bullion Strategy Fund will achieve their investment objectives.

Flexible Plan Investments, Ltd., serves as investment sub-advisor to The Gold Bullion Strategy and Quantified Funds, distributed by Ceros Financial Services, Inc. (member FINRA/SIPC). Ceros Financial Services, Inc., and Flexible Plan Investments, Ltd., are not affiliated entities.

Advisors Preferred, LLC, is the Funds’ investment adviser. Advisors Preferred, LLC, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Ceros Financial Services, Inc.

 

For more information on the Quantified Funds, sub-advised by Flexible Plan Investments, Ltd., please review the prospectus and fund performance.

Current or historical holdings of the funds

 


 

Over last week, the gold spot price declined 1.52% as the US Dollar Index rallied 3.00%. The Gold Bullion Strategy Fund (QGLDX) lost 1.91% for the week, its difference against the gold spot price due partially to QGLDX’s early close at 1:30 PM (rather than 4:00 PM for the gold spot price). The prices of short-duration fixed income ETF holdings moved lower, on average, over last week, while the value of the COMEX gold futures, which has the same early 1:30 PM close as the Fund, shed 1.75%. The Fund continued buying into short maturity individual bonds and Certificates of Deposit last week.

Total Return

Fund (Inception) Symbol Qtr Ending 3/31/15 YTD Ending 3/31/15 1 Year Ending 3/31/15 Since Inception Ending 3/31/15* Annual Expense Ratio
The Gold Bullion Strategy Fund (7/5/13) QGLDX (0.39%) (0.39%) (9.92%) (4.11%) 1.66%
Quantified Managed Bond Fund (8/9/13) QBDSX 0.31%
0.31%
0.29% 1.31% 1.68%
Quantified All-Cap Equity Fund (8/9/13) QACFX 2.16%
2.16%
3.03% 3.83% 1.51%
Quantified Market Leaders Fund (8/9/13) QMLFX 4.86%
4.86% 6.77% 8.62% 1.71%
Quantified Alternative Investment Fund (8/9/13) QALTX 1.67% 1.67% 1.53% 6.46% 2.20%

*Annualized

As of the most recent prospectus, the expense ratios for the Gold Bullion Strategy Fund are as follows: Investors’ Class (No Load), 1.66%; Class A, 1.66%; Class C, 2.41%. The maximum sales charge imposed on Class A share purchases (as percentage of offering price) is 5.75%. An additional 2% redemption fee applies to all share classes, including Investors’ Class, when shares are redeemed within 7 days of purchase.

The performance data quoted represents past performance; past performance does not guarantee future results. The investment return and principal value of an investment will fluctuate and an investor’s shares, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than their original cost. Current performance may be higher or lower than the performance data quoted. To obtain performance data current to the most recent month-end please call 1-855-647-8268.

Risks associated with the Quantified Funds include active frequent trading risk, aggressive investment techniques, small and mid-cap companies risk, counter party risk, depository receipt risk, derivatives risk, equity securities risk, foreign securities risk, holding cash risk, limited history of operations risk, lower quality debt securities risk, non-diversification risk, investing in other investment companies (including ETFs) risk, shorting risk, asset backed securities risk, commodity risk, credit risk, interest risk, prepayment risk, and mortgage backed securities risk. For detailed information relating to these risks, please see prospectus. 

The principal risks of investing in The Gold Bullion Strategy Fund are Risks of the Sub-advisor’s Investment Strategy, Risks of Aggressive Investment Techniques, High Portfolio Turnover, Risk of Investing in Derivatives, Risks of Investing in ETFs, Risks of Investing in Other Investment Companies, Leverage Risk, Taxation Risk, Concentration Risk, Gold Risk, Wholly-owned Corporation Risk, Risk of Non-Diversification and interest rate risk. “Gold Risk” includes volatility, price fluctuations over short periods, risks associated with global monetary, economic, social and political conditions and developments, currency devaluation and revaluation and restrictions, trading and transactional restrictions. 

An investor should consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses of each Quantified Fund and The Gold Bullion Strategy Fund before investing. This and other information can be found in the Funds’ prospectus, which can be obtained by calling 1-855-647-8268. The prospectus should be read carefully prior to investing in The Quantified Funds or The Gold Bullion Strategy Fund. 


There is no guarantee that any of the Quantified Funds or The Gold Bullion Strategy Fund will achieve their investment objectives.

Flexible Plan Investments, Ltd., serves as investment sub-advisor to The Gold Bullion Strategy and Quantified Funds, distributed by Ceros Financial Services, Inc. (member FINRA/SIPC). Ceros Financial Services, Inc., and Flexible Plan Investments, Ltd., are not affiliated entities.

Advisors Preferred, LLC, is the Funds’ investment adviser. Advisors Preferred, LLC, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Ceros Financial Services, Inc.

 

For more information on the Quantified Funds, sub-advised by Flexible Plan Investments, Ltd., please review the prospectus and fund performance.

Current or historical holdings of the funds

 


As we noted last week, the World Gold Council report for Q1 2015 showed “positive inflows for the first quarter since Q4 2012, as Western investor attitudes towards gold improved.” This was reflected in the recent breakout in gold prices on the daily charts, shown below:

The good news is that the retracement back to the resistance-turned support levels appears to be holding. This up trend in the daily charts was confirmed with the same break out and support in the weekly gold charts:

Rick Andrews is the President of Avant Capital Mgmt, LLC.



A minor advance for the S&P 500

A fairly placid trading week saw the broad benchmark rise 0.16% to 2,126.06. From May 18-22, the Dow lost 0.22% while the Nasdaq gained 0.81%. The Nasdaq settled Friday at 5,089.36, the Dow at 18,232.02.5

% Change Y-T-D 1-Yr Chg 5-Yr Avg 10-Yr Avg
DJIA
+2.29
+10.21
+15.77
+7.32
NASDAQ
+7.46
+22.51
+25.66
+14.75
S&P 500
+3.26
+12.34
+19.09
+7.81
Real Yield 5/8 Rate 1-Yr Ago 5-Yrs Ago 10-Yrs Ago
10Yr TIPS Yd
0.34%
0.35%
1.33%
1.65%

  April YTD returns
DJIA +0.10%
NASDAQ +4.34%
S&P 500 +1.29%

Sources: wsj.com, bigcharts.com, treasury.gov - 5/22/15 6,7,8,9
Indices are unmanaged, do not incur fees or expenses, and cannot be invested into directly.
These returns do not include dividends.


Homebuying slows, construction accelerates

The National Association of Realtors offered some good news and some bad news last week. While existing home sales decreased 3.3% in April, they were up 6.1% from a year ago. Along with the annual improvement in the pace of resales, the median home price rose 8.9% year-over-year to $219,400. April also saw a 20.2% leap in housing starts, taking groundbreaking to a high unseen since November 2008; the Commerce Department also noted a 10.1% increase in building permits last month.1,2


Consumer prices barely rise

April brought just a 0.1% advance for the Consumer Price Index, a development influenced by a 1.7% fall in gasoline costs. (The average price for a gallon of unleaded was $2.73 as of Memorial Day weekend, nearly a dollar lower than a year ago.) In the bigger picture, the headline CPI declined 0.2% year-over-year. The Labor Department did report an 0.3% increase in the core CPI (which excludes energy and food prices); it rose 1.8% in a year.3


Gold slips, oil stays under $60 a barrel

With the dollar recovering from a brief slump and Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen commenting Friday that the Federal Reserve is still likely to raise interest rates this year, metals were hurt last week. Gold lost 1.7% on the COMEX, silver 2.9% and copper 3.9%. Oil settled at $59.72 on the NYMEX Friday, moving only $0.03 higher on the week.4



Citations

1 - nasdaq.com/article/us-existinghome-sales-decline-33-in-april-20150521-01387 [5/22/15]
2 - marketwatch.com/story/housing-starts-surge-20-in-april-2015-05-19 [5/19/15]
3 - usatoday.com/story/money/2015/05/22/consumer-prices-april/27737861/ [5/22/15]
4 - proactiveinvestors.com/companies/news/61602/gold-drops-01-to-settle-at-1204-wti-drops-17-to-5972--61602.html [5/22/15]
5 - markets.on.nytimes.com/research/markets/usmarkets/usmarkets.asp [5/22/15]
6 - markets.wsj.com/us [5/22/15]
7 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=5%2F22%2F14&x=0&y=0 [5/22/15]
7 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=5%2F22%2F14&x=0&y=0 [5/22/15]
7 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=5%2F22%2F14&x=0&y=0 [5/22/15]
7 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=5%2F21%2F10&x=0&y=0 [5/22/15]
7 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=5%2F21%2F10&x=0&y=0 [5/22/15]
7 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=5%2F21%2F10&x=0&y=0 [5/22/15]
7 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=5%2F23%2F05&x=0&y=0 [5/22/15]
7 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=5%2F23%2F05&x=0&y=0 [5/22/15]
7 - bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=5%2F23%2F05&x=0&y=0 [5/22/15]
8 - treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/Pages/TextView.aspx?data=realyield [5/22/15]
9 - treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/Pages/TextView.aspx?data=realyieldAll [5/22/15]

 



Subscribe
Disclosures

To our readers
Everything in the newsletter pertains to strategies available on our Strategic Solutions platform at Trust Company of America. The same strategies are implemented on many other products: mutual funds, variable annuity, variable life and retirement platforms. Therefore, we expect the strategic discussion may be of interest to you. Note, however, that since these products have their own subaccount and fund universes and different internal expenses, the results and trading of the same strategy on other platforms may differ substantially from those described herein.

Managed Retirement Plan Participants:
Most of you are managed using Lifetime Evolution and our sub-advised funds, so those topics will be most applicable to your account. But, more and more of you are in plans using Market Leaders. If so, that newsletter section may interest you

Tags

“fiscal cliff” 2008 2011 2012 Active Investing Active Investment Management Active Management actively managed strategies all-cap equity all-cap equity fund all-cap fund alternative investment fund Apple asset classes Bank of Japan Black Swan Bonds bull market bullion Buy and Hold buy and hold investing Buy the dips Chairman Bernanke China comex consumer confidence consumer price index consumer sentiment consumer sentiment index deflation diversification diversified portfolio DJIA dollar dow Dow Jones Industrial Average Dynamic Risk-Managed Investing earnings earnings reporting season earnings reports economic reports election year etf ETFs Euro Europe European Central Bank European Union Federal Reserve financial advisor flexible plan investments FUSION GDP Gold Gold Bullion gold bullion strategy fund gold etf gold futures Google Government Shutdown greece holiday hours home sales inflation interest rates investing investor sentiment ira Italy janet yellen japan jerry wagner jobs report Last week in the market managed bond fund MAPS market environment market environment indicator market leaders market leaders fund market volatility mei Microsoft Modern Portfolio Theory Multi-strategy Allocation Portfolios mutual fund naaim NASDAQ NASDAQ 100 National Association of Active Investment Managers Netflix nymex Obamacare oil oil prices OnTarget OnTarget Investing OnTarget Monitor passive investing Political Seasonality Index President Obama Presidential Election Year producer price index qaltx QGLDX qmlfx quantified all-cap equity fund quantified alternative investment fund quantified funds quantified managed bond fund quantified market leaders fund Quantitative Easing retail sales risk management Russell 2000 S&P 500 S&P 500 Index s&p S&P 500 SAS schwab self-adjusting trend following Spain stock market Stocks strategic diversification strategically diversified portfolios Tag Thanksgiving The Gold Bullion Strategy Fund The Gold Bullion Strategy Fund (QGLDX) Trust Company of America Ukraine US Dollar us dollar index us equity markets VIX volatility Warren Buffett world gold council