What a difference a quarter makes! In my year-end letter I bemoaned the fact that volatility had all but disappeared from the markets, and trillions had been invested in index funds with little regard to valuation. Much has changed in the first quarter of 2018, with market volatility returning with a vengeance and stock market indexes struggling to surpass January highs.
As you can see on your enclosed statement, we had a strong quarter in all of our portfolios. I believe the tide has turned, and you will see a shift in investor behavior with value stocks once again being in favor. It’s interesting that each of the high flying “FANG” stocks all the sudden are having issues. Apple for the first time is facing negative growth in worldwide smartphone sales. Google is facing European and American government concerns over their near monopoly with digital advertising. Amazon has been in the crosshairs of President Trump, and Facebook’s issues with customer privacy breaches will be a case study at Harvard Business School for years to come.
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