Q1 2017 Investment Review

David W. Lemons, CFA
Senior Managing Director, Portfolio Manager

“A man who tells lies, like me, merely hides the truth. But a man who tells half-lies, has forgotten where he’s put it.” Mr. Dryden – played by Claude Raines – in Lawrence of Arabia (1962)

In large part, the first few months of this year have been a continuance of the post-election rally last year. Global stock markets have generally been positive performers, as seen in the exhibit below. The bulk of these returns, however, occurred in January and February (+5.9% for the S&P 500 and +5.7% for the MSCI All Country World Index), with relatively little progress in March. The momentum that had built up in most U.S. stock indices, and many abroad, fizzled as March unfolded… Read more >

2015 Year-End Letter – Twin Lights

Twin Lights Blueprint

Gloucester Daily Times – February 24, 1919: Steamer George Washington bearing President Wilson and party returning from abroad and her destroyer escort might have come to grief on Thacher’s Island yesterday afternoon at 3 o’clock while the craft and convoy were making for Boston, but fortunately the danger was discovered in time. The craft was coming nearly head-on in the snow squall which set in about that time when the danger was learned and the big liner stopped, sent full speed astern and anchored… Read PDF »

Dusting Off Your New Year’s Money Resolutions

East Coast Asset Management’s John Slupski was quoted in this excellent story about how to stay on track to meet your goals.

U.S. News & World Report
By Geoff Williams

It’s not too late to improve your financial picture in 2015.

“2015 is my year to… SAVE MONEY”
You probably said this at the beginning of the year. Have you been sticking to it?

Remember all those financial goals you set for yourself right around New Year’s Day? How’s that going?

This would be the year, you said, that you would get serious about saving for retirement and fattening up your emergency fund. You vowed to write a will, buy more life insurance or save for a house.

If you didn’t stick to your resolutions, you’re not alone. Continue reading

First Quarter 2015 Update: Mr. Market Revisited

ecam_2015_q1_artThe Palindromic Mind:
Curiosity is often the genesis of human achievement. The desire to solve for the unknown is deeply embedded in our DNA – the engine driving evolution. This observation is a likely explanation for why humans love detective stories, are obsessed with puzzles, and are captivated by unsolved mysteries and the hunt for hidden treasures. In mental and physical feats, the human drive to do what was thought impossible by breaking the “code” is a daily quest. Since we are solving puzzles from our first breath to our last, continuously improving one’s ability to problem solve can have great utility. Read PDF »

CNBC Ranking – East Coast Ranked in the Top 100 Fee-Only Wealth Management Firms for Second Year in a Row

We are pleased to report that for the second straight year, East Coast Asset Management was selected by CNBC as one of the Top 100 Fee-Only Wealth Management firms in the country, and one of only four in New England.

The list can be found on CNBC’s web site at the following link:

The ranking methodology scored firms using a proprietary formula that included criteria such as assets under management, professional designations (CFA and CFP), working with third-party professionals such as attorneys and CPAs, average account size, growth of assets, and years in business.

We appreciate the objective criteria used by CNBC and their focus on fee-only firms. We often look at these professional lists with a skeptical eye as many solicit a fee and are little more than advertisement, comingling fee-only wealth management firms, like East Coast, with commissioned brokers. We also appreciate that the rankings highlight firms working with third-party professionals, as the quality and depth of our working partnerships have been integral to helping our clients achieve their wealth management objectives.

ECAM Qtr Yr Illustrations

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Fourth Quarter 2014 Update: All Is Well Since All Grows Better

All Is Well Since All Grows Better Twenty-Four Lessons I Learned From Andrew Carnegie:

Andrew Carnegie was born in 1835 to a poor weaver. At the time of his death in 1919 he had built America’s steel industry and amassed the largest store of wealth the world had known to that point. Prior to his death, Carnegie gave the majority of his wealth back to mankind by establishing various institutions and building 2,509 libraries. I feel Carnegie was not just heroic for his business acumen but also a worthy hero for how he understood and embraced humanity. An exceptional leader with a head as well as a heart and whose legacy will endure. Read PDF »

Third Quarter 2014 Update: Grove of Titans

Grove of Titans Coastal Redwoods as a Model of the Enduring Business

The Grove of Titans is home to the largest ecosystem of redwood trees that has been discovered to date. Long hidden in plain sight off a popular hiking trail in Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, the Grove boasts the Lost Monarch, the largest coastal redwood on earth. The Lost Monarch and the nine other Titans that surround her have stood and observed nearly two thousand years of geological time: the rise and fall of Rome, the discovery of America, two World Wars, industrial and technological revolutions and the growth of the population on Earth from 200 million to 7 billion. The Grove of Titans was discovered in 1998 by explorers Dr. Steve Sillett and Michael Taylor. A handful of others have found the Grove since then, but none have revealed its location, even though hikers walk by it every day. The hikers are unable to see the Grove of Titans for the density of the trees before them… Read PDF »

Second Quarter 2014 Update: Horse in Motion

2014 Q2 ECAM Muybridge Image

In 1851, William Rysdyk, a farm hand in Sugar Loaf, Orange County, New York bought the colt he had cared for since birth (along with his mother) for $125. He bought them from his boss, Mr. Jonus Seely, and named the colt Hambletonian. The story of Rysdyk’s Hambletonian illustrates the powerful mental model of an owner mindset. 

With two creatures dependent on him, William Rysdyk’s work had a new strength and purpose. Sleeves rolled, he faced each season like a giant refreshed – splitting logs, hauling, plowing, as if he were made of iron…

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