Hutchens Investment Management: 2012 Investment Review

With only December remaining, a quick review of 2012 is in order.
Dec. 4, 2012 - PRLog -- With only December remaining, a quick review of 2012 is in order.  While the US markets will most likely finish up for full-year 2012, it is the ETF breakdown by major US markets, investment style, S&P sectors and international markets that reveals the full picture.

Interestingly, the U.S. stock market performance, as measured by the S&P 500 (13.3%), was eclipsed by a number of foreign country exchanges including Germany (22.3%), Hong Kong (23.5%) and India (26.8%) among others.  The return by the investment-orientation shows almost equal performance of the S&P 500 Growth (13.2%) and the S&P 500 Value (13.1%).  The major S&P sectors were lead by Consumer Discretionary (21.8%) as the American consumer returned to satisfy pent-up demand despite the still high level of unemployment.  Technology, led by Apple, rose 14.5%, reflecting both corporate capital spending and individuals’ penchant for smart phones, tablets and internet related devices.

Europe, teetering on recession from sovereign debt issues, still managed a respectable equity performance and the euro rallied and by the end of November was marginally ahead of the dollar. Gold was up 9.3%, but was outdistanced by silver, which was ahead 20.1%.  U.S. Treasuries, the investment of choice for conservative investors, rose 2.9%.

Based on our analysis of the investment environment, we maintain a cautious investment strategy.  Despite some improvements in the direction of European sovereign debt policy initiatives, the mechanics have not been employed.  Not until improvement in U.S. domestic economic growth and a viable resolution of the fiscal cliff will we become more aggressive.  We maintain a balanced portfolio of domestic equities, fixed income, ETF’s, including housing (ITB), MLP’s, gold (GLD) and silver (SLV).
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Location:Naples - Florida - United States
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