View From The Top

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Headline News Is In Control

Issue 73: October 29th, 2019

The headlines have driven much of the market action over the last few months.  The financial markets have moved up or down in any given day based on the latest news or sometimes rumors. read more >>


Will It Be Up or Down?

Issue 72: August 7, 2019

The answer to the question “will it be up or down” is yes. read more >>


The Roller Coaster is Back!

Issue 71:  April 30, 2019

Happy end of the first quarter of 2019. It was a definite improvement over the fourth quarter of 2018. read more >>


The Good, The Bad, and The Really Ugly!

Issue 70:  January 03, 2019

Happy New Year and welcome to 2019. Roller coasters are one thing but when the speed is so fast it truly does create that feeling in the pit of your stomach. read more >>


Here We Go Again!

Issue 69:  October 11, 2018

It is quite the roller coaster ride to read headlines these days. Sometimes they pull you into a really interesting story and sometimes they make you want to move on to the next story very quickly. read more >>


News and More!

Issue 68:  July 24, 2018

In March, 1985, we founded Lassus Wherley with a passionate focus on being available to our clients, to not just provide services but to address needs and goals over the long term. read more >>


The Roller Coaster is Back!

Issue 67:  April 13, 2018

It was really nice while it lasted but all good things must come to an end. read more >>


Happy New Year!

Issue 66:  January 12, 2018

Happy New Year and welcome to another year full of surprises and interesting times. read more >>


Is the World Coming to an End?

Issue 65:  September 29, 2017

No, the world is not coming to an end, but the world as we know it is definitely changing. Some of the changes are very unsettling and just a little scary to many of us. read more >>


Economics, Politics and Other Things!

Issue 64: July 3, 2017

In our last View from the Top, we talked about the chaos taking place since the election. It doesn't appear that that is going to change anytime soon.  read more >>

It Isn't Going To Be Dull!

Issue 63: February 14, 2017

Chaos is pretty much how it has felt since President Trump (our 45th President) took office. read more >>

Where Do We Go From Here?

Issue 62: December 16, 2016

For many of us 2016 has certainly been a year of surprises and of increased stress. Starting with the headlines around Brexit and then the results of the election here in the US. read more >>

Election 2016 and the Fed!

Issue 61: September 16, 2016

It seems like every time I have a discussion with someone these days the first question they ask is concerning the impact of the presidential election on the economy and the markets. read more >>

Brexit and the Financial Markets

Issue 60: June 24, 2016

We have continued to experience high volatility in the markets, and the vote by the citizens of Britain to exit the European Union has sent many of the financial markets into a pronounced downturn. read more >>

Another Kind Of March Madness!

Issue 59: April 22, 2016

We continue to see choppy markets both domestically and abroad as the year marches on. March was a refreshing change in direction leading to positive returns that we were very happy to more >>

Happy New Year????

Issue 58: January 13, 2016

Just as we were catching our breath from the crazy ride at the end of 2015, the roller coaster started picking up speed. This was certainly not the start to 2016 we were hoping for, but the financial markets have been pretty unpredictable recently. This is a really good time for remembering why we focus on long-term more >>

And Away We Go!

Issue 57: November 13, 2015

The financial markets have given us one heck of a roller coaster ride over the last few months. After a really ugly August and September, October turned into a resounding positive. As we discussed in our last View from the Top, only by staying invested did you get the benefit of the increased value in the markets in more >>

Here We Go Again!

Issue 56: August 27, 2015

The financial markets have given us one heck of a roller coaster ride over the last few weeks. Unfortunately most of it has been to the down side otherwise known as a loss of value. We know that times like this are painful no matter what we more >>

It Is All About Greece - Or Is It?

Issue 55: July 14, 2015

The story in Greece has pretty much dominated the headlines lately even if there are many other important stories to be told. Greek voters said “no” to austerity, but the recent agreement seems to have settled the financial markets for now. read more >>

First Quarter Wasn't Dull!

Issue 54: April 22, 2015

The fun noted in our last View from the Top, we do expect to see continued volatility in both international and domestic stock markets as the year marches on. We also expect to see continued divergence in returns between international and domestic equity investments. International equity markets have posted strong returns in the first quarter of more >>

Volatility Continues

Issue 53: January 14, 2015

Volatility seems to be the topic for discussion these days. We really did get used to the boring upward movement of the US stock markets, and now we are having to catch our breath periodically as the ups and downs increase. We see a lot of headlines in our financial press, but I will say one of my favorites was published on January 12, 2015, in MarketWatch. The title was "Engage sick bags as stormy markets show no signs of calm," and it was written by Shawn Langlois. His introduction was especially interesting. read more »

Is It Time to Worry?

Issue 52: October 29, 2014

Actually, it is time to take something for motion sickness. Volatility is back and probably back to stay for quite some time. The ups and downs of the financial markets are being driven by so many different factors these days.  read more »

And the Markets Finally Take a Break!

Issue 51: September 16, 2014

It has been quite some time since we have experienced volatility such as we have over the last few months. It is very easy to forget about things like "headline" risk when the markets just keep rolling along. I read somewhere that we had 62 straight days without a 1% daily move up or down from April to mid-July. I understand that is the longest stretch of such low volatility since 1995. read more »

An Interesting Start to 2014

Issue 50: June 5, 2014

On April 1st we welcomed some of our professionals to our ownership team at Lassus Wherley. This move is part of our plan for succession and making sure that Lassus Wherley continues to provide a high-level of quality service for many generations to come. read more »

Take A Deep Breath!

Issue 49: February 4, 2014

It has been an interesting start to the new year in terms of crazy weather and increasingly volatile financial markets. This is not exactly the way we wanted to kick off 2014, but this too shall pass. read more »

A Year to Remember!

Issue 48: January 2, 2014

This has been an exciting year in the US stock markets. We had great performance in both the S&P 500 (US large cap stock) rising at 32% plus and the Russell 2000 (US small cap stock) soaring close to 39%. Many of the international and emerging markets lagged the US in performance and we know bonds had a small negative return. Overall a pretty strong performance!  read more »

Back to School and...

Issue 47: September 13, 2013

It seems like back to school is almost equivalent to back to volatility. And here we go again—as we get closer to September—the markets always seem to find a reason for increased gyrations on a day-to-day basis.  read more »

Markets Are Never Dull!

Issue 46: June 21, 2013

June has become an exciting month as Chairman Bernanke again talks about beginning the process of "tapering" which the financial markets are obviously not happy about. This special issue discusses our perspective on this process. read more »

Another Interesting May

Issue 45: May 29, 2013

We are rolling out our new format for the VFT this month, and this issue is really packed with information and answers to some great questions. In this issue we discuss the economy, the markets and answer questions about highspeed trading and dark pools. In a new section dedicated to noninvestment topics, we discuss the new digital version of your Social Security Statement. read more »

One More Time...

Issue 44: March 22, 2013

We decided to send out one more issue before we make the changes to the VFT we discussed in Issue 43. People seem to be as worried now as the market goes up as they were when the market was going down. Obviously, we are never happy when we have a lot of uncertainty surrounding what is happening in the world, and some recent events have increased stress levels for everyone. read more »

Another Fine Mess...

Issue 43: February 28, 2013

So far it has been a very interesting 2013. The financial markets have been relatively happy in spite of continuing challenges in Washington and around the world. The election results in Italy triggered some negative results in the markets earlier this week and we had Fed Chair Ben Bernanke adding some to that negative thinking. His remarks yesterday seem to have made everyone a lot happier. read more »

There are no words...

Issue 42: December 19, 2012

I was working on fine-tuning this newsletter on Friday, discussing the fiscal cliff and other questions, when the news of the shootings in Newtown, Connecticut came in. There are no words to express the feelings we experienced as we watched this horrible story unfold. We went from shock to horror to totally heartbroken as we learned of the lives cut short by such a brutal act. read more »

Thoughts and Prayers...

Issue 41: November 5, 2012

Our thoughts and prayers go out to our clients, friends, neighbors and families who have suffered from the impact of Hurricane Sandy. We have spoken to many of you during the last week as our office was without power and we wanted to make sure everyone was safe and sound. If we have not spoken to you since Sandy hit, please drop us a line or give us a call just to let us know that you are okay. read more »

Don't Forget to Vote!

Issue 40: October 23, 2012

Who knew we could get such a convincing run up in the stock markets in September which is typically our flakiest month. For a while I was calling the latest stock market rally the "wishful thinking rally." It certainly felt like we were pushing the market up based on everyone being really tired of it going down. read more »

Who Hit Rewind?

Issue 39: June 14, 2012

This May didn't feel a lot different from the last May or even the one before. Is it that we all want to wrap things up for vacations or that we just don't expect back-to-back good quarters or …………..? read more »

Here We Go...

Issue 38: May 8, 2012

The reality is that the next few weeks and months are going to be difficult ones for the EU, and the challenges these countries face will probably create significant volatility in the markets over the short-term. read more »

Risk On Again...

Issue 37: February 24, 2012

Stock markets globally have been in “Risk On” mode so far this year. In our October VFT we discussed risk on - risk off which means that the market is being dominated by macroeconomic news (big picture) rather than by microeconomic news (company fundamentals). read more »

Risk On... Risk Off... Risk On...

Issue 36: December 30, 2011

Manic is the only term that seems appropriate in defining the extreme ups and downs we have experienced. We go from super downs because of the lack of action by European leaders to euphoria over some positive event like the recent unemployment numbers. read more »

A Really Bad Month All Around...

Issue 35: October 4, 2011

The weather has been crazy and so many people have been hurt by hurricanes and earthquakes on the East Coast, and the drought and horrible fires out west. The financial markets have only added to this pain with pretty ugly performance over the entire period. read more »

A Crisis of Confidence...

Issue 34: August 12, 2011

I definitely prefer the boring market of the past to the current roller coaster ride. The volatility has been driven by many things, including a lack of confidence in both our leaders in Washington and those in Europe. It has also been driven by concern about a possible double-dip recession both in the US and Europe. read more »

Here We Go Again...

Issue 33: August 5, 2011

Payroll jobs were up 117,000. May and June were revised upward by 56,000. The 117,000 new jobs added compares to the latest consensus expectation of 75,000. Private sector jobs grew 154,000 in July, following a 80,000 increase in June and a 99,000 increase in May. Markets are opening up (greenarrows) on this news. read more »

Two Steps Forward and...

Issue 32: June 20, 2011

We are all challenged with how to get people to read what we write. Headlines can really tell a story when you are watching them on an ongoing basis. Here's one that ran in Business Insider on June 7, 2011: "6 Reasons Housing Prices Aren't Rising," written by Bearemy Glaser. read more »

The Wall of Worry Continues!

Issue 31: April 8, 2011

Our thoughts and prayers are with the brave workers who continue to battle to get the nuclear power plants under control and make it safe for others. We will discuss the economic impact of the many events that have occurred and that continue to evolve, but I would like to take a minute to discuss the human cost of these events. read more »

Hard to Believe it is 2011!

Issue 30: January 27, 2011

Someone asked me for the names of the best companies to buy this year. I responded that we don't recommend individual companies, but if we did—I would buy any company that manufactured or sold snow blowers or ice melt. read more »

QE2 Is Not A Ship

Issue 29: November 18, 2010

We haven't fixed everything. In fact we have many challenges still remaining, including the issues with debt not only here in the US but in Ireland and other countries in Europe. read more »

Two Steps Forward and One and a Half Back = Very Slow Progress

Issue 28: August 27, 2010

The stock market has continued to be pretty much a roller coaster ride this year as investors deal with the uncertainties surrounding the housing market and the not–so–great jobs picture here at home, as well as sovereign debt, high levels of government deficits around the world, and the global economic outlook. read more »

And For Our Next Act We Have...

Issue 27: July 15, 2010

We continue to hear all the discussions about whether we really are in a bull market or if we are going to experience a true double-dip recession driving the markets back down. read more »

Dr. Doom Rides Again!

Issue 26: May 26, 2010

Many of you know that Nouriel Robini, otherwise known as Dr. Doom, is not one of my favorite prognosticators. But the reality is I just have trouble with many of these "talking heads" who spend a lot of time on national television telling us what their crystal ball says is going to happen in the world. read more »

The World Is Not Coming to an End!

Issue 25: May 11, 2010

The great run we have had over the past 13 months seems to have abruptly ended with what I can only call the inability of Greece to face reality in its economy and the delay on the part of the European leaders in moving to deal with the crisis. read more »

Off and Running: For Now!

Issue 24: April 8, 2010

Happy end of first quarter! I have no complaints about what has occurred in the financial markets over the past 12 months including the 1st quarter of 2010. In fact, I am thrilled that we have seen a pretty consistent move up in many of the asset classes. read more »

A New Year and a Clean Slate: Not Quite!

Issue 23: January 28, 2010

Happy New Year and welcome to the year "Twenty Ten." I certainly am one of those people who was really happy to say goodbye to 2009 and hello to 2010. 2009 didn't turn out to be quite as bad as it could have been but the extreme volatility in the market certainly created more stress than I look forward to having in life on a day-to-day basis. read more »

Taking Deep Breaths Really Does Help!

Issue 22: November 16, 2009

I have had a few people comment that since I'm not sending these commentaries out quite so often, it must mean I'm not as worried about the markets. The reality is this newsletter was originally intended to be distributed on a quarterly basis. read more »

Nothing Like a Good Roller Coaster in the Summer!

Issue 21: September 3, 2009

One of my favorite things as a child (and even today) was riding roller coasters and high speed rides that created a huge adrenalin rush and made me feel really alive. The last year in the market has reminded me of those roller coasters. read more »

Let's Take a Deep Breath!

Issue 20: June 17, 2009

Sometimes it's hard to figure out where to start writing one of these newsletters. There are so many things I want to review and discuss and share that I struggle with where to begin in deciding how to overview the world we are seeing and how it will impact the economy, the markets and us as individuals. read more »

New Bull Market or a Reprieve from the Bear?

Issue 19: April 17, 2009

I did an interview with a writer from a major consumer magazine a couple of weeks ago on the similarities between the grieving process and the experience we have gone through with the market. read more »

Not Again!

Issue 18: March 4, 2009

There are many words to describe what we all felt Monday as the financial markets once again moved to lower levels but most of them are not printable in this newsletter. I decided to do another newsletter right behind the one I just did because of the awful week and a day we just had and the ending of another depressing month in the financial markets. read more »


Issue 17: February 23, 2009

So let me see if I can walk through the last 2 weeks. We finally got a congressional bill to "stimulate" the economy to try to get us out of this mess. That was good news. The bad news is there are many things in it that won't necessarily promote the growth of jobs that we need. read more »

Kicking Off 2009!

Issue 16: February 2, 2009

January has turned out to be a continuation of 2008 instead of the New Year we were looking for. We started off good but fell right back into the up and down and sideways market we have come to know and dislike intensely. President Obama hasn't even had a chance to take a deep breath and neither have we. read more »

The Markets, Madoff, and a New Year!

Issue 15: January 5, 2009

Our challenges will continue in 2009 and will include high unemployment, slow economic growth and continuing issues with regulation of the financial industry. We are optimistic that we will be able to at least get a good start in solving some of the issues in 2009. read more »

Looking Forward to the New Year!

Issue 14: December 9, 2008

There was tons of news this week and some of it was really ugly and some of it was not so bad. The unemployment numbers have continued to rise as expected. We know that the fastest way for companies to cut expenses is through reducing the number of employees. read more »

So Much for Boring!

Issue 13: November 22, 2008

There was tons of news this week and none of it was interpreted as positive until late Friday. The Federal Reserve Meeting minutes came out with doom and gloom and the markets tanked. Even with positive earnings reports, we couldn't seem to attract buyers. The real question is why. read more »

An October for the History Books!

Issue 12: November 4, 2008

This has been a market and a month that will go down in the record books as the worst single month since October, 1987. I remember the two days when the market dropped 30% in 1987 but it was like ripping the band-aid off and it was over. This October was like trying to slowly remove the band-aid and created a lot more pain in the process. read more »

Now What??

Issue 11: October 27, 2008

As we are sending you quarterly reports for the quarter ending 9/30/2008, in October we are living through one of the most painful bear markets since the early 1980s. I was speaking to a friend of mine this morning who has been in the advisory business for 37 years. read more »

What Are They Thinking? Part II

Issue 10: October 2008

There is no way to reduce what happened last week to a few words but I am going to try. We have continued to see hedge funds that are being forced to sell. We are also seeing mutual funds that have higher redemptions having to sell holdings to raise cash. read more »

What Are They Thinking?

Issue 9: September 30, 2008

Our political leaders failed to pass the "Economic Rescue Plan" today. Although many don't believe that this plan will solve all of the problems we are facing, it was pretty obvious that those in the financial markets were very disappointed with the end result. The financial markets opened down and ended up closing significantly lower with the DOW ending up down over 775 points. read more »

Is It Over Yet? Part II

Issue 8: September 2008

The action over the weekend with Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch is moving us closer to a throw in the towel stage in a very volatile market. We have gone from being worried about inflation to being worried about the Wall Street model known as the investment bank or brokerage. read more »

Is It Over Yet?

Issue 7: June 2008

I wish I could say that it is over. Unfortunately, there are still many unknowns hanging over our heads. We have begun to see some positive signs that the subprime mess may be working through the financial system but we are also seeing some earnings reports that are less than expected. Every week the news is something different. read more »

It's That Time Again

Issue 6: December 2007

It is hard to believe that we are approaching year end and the holiday season. So far 2007 has been a very challenging year for investors. We almost need motion sickness pills with the fast up-and-down movements in the financial markets. This is truly a market where we have to keep reminding ourselves that the fundamentals of investing are more important than ever and........... We are long-term investors. read more »

No Issue

Issue 5


The Roller Coaster is Back

Issue 4: August 2007

So far 2007 has been a very challenging year for investors. We almost need motion sickness pills with the fast up-and-down movement of the financial markets. read more »

The Next Chapter

Issue 3: July 2007

Over the last year we have experienced just about everything you can think of. We have gone through an inflation scare, rising interest rates, a positive economic outlook turning to slightly negative, housing prices continuing to fall, and it is beginning to look as if there is no short-term solution to the war in Iraq. read more »

A New System, New Opportunities, and Expanded Service

Issue 2: August 2006

Over the years we have improved our quality and our efficiency by constantly looking for ways to upgrade and streamline our investment review and trading processes. read more »

Inflation, Interest Rates, and the Markets

Issue 1: Summer 2006

The May and June financial markets reminded us in a pretty convincing fashion that they remain unpredictable and that volatility is alive and well. The benchmark S&P 500 returned –1.54% YTD through 6/26/06. With higher inflation and slower economic growth, the expectation was that 2006 would provide a lower investment return.......... and it looks like that expectation will be met. read more »

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