2012 Review – January 2013

Two thousand and Thirteen! Yes it is…just like that another year has passed! And, we’d like to add, a very good year for share prices. It certainly seemed ‘nip and tuck’ for most of the year but the world did not end. Stories abounded throughout the year…Greece, presidential election, Mayan Calendar, and the “fiscal cliff” were all billed as the ‘big one’ but they were not. We’re beginning to think that some exaggeration may be involved.

The Economy

On a more serious note, the economy continues to grow. It’s certainly still not growing as fast as we would like but none the less we’ve now had 13 consecutive quarters of growth and the words ‘double dip’ are faded from the pundits memories. We continue to create more jobs but not at a clip fast enough to bring the jobless rate down quickly. As we have mentioned before, there are more than a few positive things going on. Interest rates remain very low and the Federal Reserve has indicated that we can expect rates to remain low for the foreseeable future. This should help our housing industry that is finally showing signs of a sustained turn around. Additionally, low interest rates helping anyone who can refinance – from homeowners to corporations and our federal government. Technology is bringing the productivity rate up on a regular basis and while this is not good for the creation of jobs, it travels quickly to the bottom line for corporations.

The Market

The overall market gained about 16% for 2012. This is not stellar but certainly a good solid gain. As we analyze the securities in portfolios that we manage we continue to see solid gains on the earnings and dividend fronts. As more companies have cash available we’re beginning to see a pick-up in mergers, acquisitions, and stock repurchases. While most stocks are no longer the extreme bargains they were in 2009, we continue to see lower than average valuations on the securities that we follow and feel that, barring an unexpected shock to the system, 2013 has the potential to be as good as 2012.

Performance

The chart below compares the return of Sycamore’s Growth and Income Composite to the S&P 500 TR index. We feel our strength has been to hold value better than the overall market during declines, so once again we are very pleased with our relative performance during a year where we had better than average returns for the S&P 500 TR. All returns are annualized through 12/31/2012 and gross of management fees.
………………………………………………………………………..1yr…….3yr……5yr….10yr
Sycamore Growth and Income Composite…….14.67….11.33….3.68….8.31
S&P 500…………………………………………………………16.0010.87….1.66….7.10

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Comments contained above are meant to be generic in nature and are not meant for specific action.

By |2013-01-20T16:48:47+00:00January 20th, 2013|Craig's Commentary 2012|0 Comments

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