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2013 Clear Harbor Quarterly Market Outlook

Clear Harbor Outlook: Q4 2013

September 28, 2013

Though free of the outright market turmoil of other recent summers, the third quarter of 2013 offered plenty for market participants to consider as uncertainty rose on several fronts. On the geopolitical front, civil war and the reported use of chemical weapons raised the specter of U.S. military involvement in Syria. On the other hand, Germany offered a note of stability as Angela Merkel won another term as the leader of her party and country. This bodes well for further stabilization in the Eurozone, even as the German leader seeks a coalition partner to advance key initiatives throughout the Continental economy.

On the monetary front, the Federal Reserve’s decision to delay “tapering” of its historic policy of quantitative easing took markets by surprise. The Fed’s next chapter, too, remains a mystery: the President has yet to name his choice to succeed Chairman Ben Bernanke after the withdrawal of former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers from contention. Meanwhile, Congressional sparring over the budget and debt ceiling has put the risk of a government shutdown back in the financial headlines yet again.

The ultimate driver of any investment outlook—economic performance—has also been mixed. The developed world is showing signs of stability and in many cases even growth, while emerging markets have alternated between signals of economic recovery and fears of 1970s-style inflation.

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Clear Harbor Outlook: Q3 2013

June 27, 2013

For a third consecutive year, we find ourselves at the midpoint of the calendar with improved economic and market performance from the first half giving way to abruptly renewed concerns among global market participants. Rather than Congressional bickering over spending or debt ceilings, the questions this time revolve around the duration and scale of global monetary policy—a persistent area of focus at Clear Harbor.

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Clear Harbor Outlook: Q2 2013

April 1, 2013

Warren Buffet once warned that those investors who wait for the robins will miss the spring. That has certainly been the case so far in 2013: with less than a single week of the new season under our belts, we already find the major averages at new all-time records.

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Clear Harbor's Outlook for 2013

December 27, 2012

As I complete my outlook for the new year from the Green Mountains of Vermont, fickle weather once again proves a fitting metaphor for financial markets. The week started with sunshine; since then, a Nor’easter has dumped a foot of snow overnight and throughout the day.

In retrospect, 2012 provided investors with a world of reasons to keep the foul-weather gear at the ready. The Eurozone debt melodrama and geopolitical uncertainty in the Middle East flared continually. Important economies such as Brazil and Japan raised more questions about growth than answers. China, which had promised to be a lonely outpost of continued optimism early in the year, suddenly threatened to stall.

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