TGIF January 6, 2012

2011 investment markets finished flat for the first time ever as measured by the Standard and Poor’s 500 Index.  Strange but true, the S&P ended the year exactly where it began: at 1257.


This phenomenon fails to tell the real story of 2011.  We all know how volatile it was.  Global markets behaved like bucking broncos last year, and the U.S. faired the best by a long shot.  However, there was a 20% decline between the April highs and the October lows.  The year-end rally brought it back to even.


We entered 2012 facing many of the same issues that caused the volatility and weakness last year: Europe; gridlock in Washington; and worldwide Geo-Political tension.  One thing is clear: The quieter Europe becomes, the better Markets behave.  Equally important is the realization that theUScontinues to demonstrate recovery.


Today’s jobs report validatesU.S.economic recovery. We read today that the unemployment rate fell again to 8.5%.  It’s still high, but continues to move in the right direction.  There’s a vestige of recession left, but it is virtually behind us.  Economic growth creates jobs, and job creation creates more economic growth.  Pretty basic stuff!  So far it’s working.

By: Mike Frazier

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