Before I get to my annual sharing of a memorable video of the ‘Star Spangled Banner’ below I want to give an update on the markets and the upcoming transfer of accounts held at TD Ameritrade being moved to Schwab.

Market Update:

Whether you regularly read the multitude of different research firms’ material as I do or simply watched CNBC, 2023 thus far has been nearly the opposite of what many analysts’ forecasted at the end of last year.  The oddest thing this year so far is that big tech names like Apple, are not up on earnings or revenue growth but rather their P/E’s have increased, and not just a little either.  This is NOT normal in a rising or high interest rate environment.   Last week CFRA’s (formerly S&P Global research) long-time chief investment strategist, Sam Stovall, put out an encouraging note:

“Now that the first half is nearly complete, history again offers encouragement, since the S&P 500’s second half return typically doubled its normal 77-year average second-half return following a first-half gain in excess of 10%.” S&P 500 first-half rallies usually continue

YearFirst-half returnSecond-half return

Source: CFRA”

Obviously past performance does not guarantee future results.  Is this time different?  No one can say, but in my career thus far, I’ve rarely seen a recommendation that starts out “This time it’s different” work out well.  Make no mistake, I believe his market could dip in a flash.  ‘Dip’ being the key word here.  I don’t expect a significant sell-off, barring an unforeseen geopolitical event or mega natural disaster, but more like a normal 5-7% market dip which would actually be healthy in my opinion if it were to occur, as I believe earnings in general will continue to look solid through this year.  Having some cash on hand in accounts helps smooth out market volatility, especially when you can get 4-5% annual return on money markets and cash equivalents like short-term (<1yr) US Treasury offerings.   Earnings reports for the quarter ending June 30th will start rolling out soon.  Once earnings season is over, I believe the market volatility could pick up considerably for the remainder for summer providing opportunities to invest cash into growth potential. 

2nd Update: 
TD Ameritrade was acquired by Schwab in November 2019.  The two have been working together since then behind the scenes integrating the two firms and systems.  Effective Sept 1st, TD Ameritrade accounts and platform will convert to the Schwab platform with a new Schwab account number.  If you currently have a TD Ameritrade account this will be done automatically for you at no cost.  Your online log-in information will stay the same for the new account on the Schwab platform.  All account instructions (e.g. beneficiaries, bank links, systematic distributions) will remain in effect as well.  I am excited about this change especially with the addition of multiple research tools Schwab offers beyond what I had at TD.

In celebration of the 4th of July this Tuesday:

I’m again sharing this inspiring video of the history of the Star Spangled Banner as rarely is told.  I have watched this numerous times and still get chills each time.  You’ll likely not forget this 8mins of audio with images once you listen to it.  While it focusses on the commonly sung 1st Verse of the song, it pains me to see so much angst over lyrics in our national anthem (3rd verse) that seems as much from ignorance as misinformation.   If you’re not familiar with all of the verses of the Star Spangled Banner lyrics (written in 1814 by Francis Scott Key) please read below along with historical meaning of the verse per

 Star Spangled Banner Lyrics Verse 2

On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
‘Tis the star-spangled banner! Oh long may it wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

Meaning of Star Spangled Banner Lyrics Verse 2

● Francis Scott Key was describing the perspective from the land as American looked out to hazy images of the British ships
● The ‘foe’s haughty host’ lyrics describe the vessels of the arrogant British
● The lyrics ‘dread silence reposes’ express the view of the ships that look quiet and still as if resting, but are actually a hive of terrifying activity
● Francis Scott Key describes the high vertical position of the flag over Fort Henry in the lyrics ‘o’er the towering steep’ and the movement of the flag blowing in the wind, concealing then revealing the Star Spangled Banner
● The sun comes out and clearly shines on the Star Spangled Banner, ‘in full glory’ lyrics express the grandeur of the flag and a religious connotation
● Francis Scott Key almost makes the Star Spangled Banner lyrics ‘cheer’ using the patriotic words “Tis the star-spangled banner! Oh long may it wave. O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!”
● Meaning of Star Spangled Banner Lyrics Verse 2

Star Spangled Banner Lyrics Verse 3

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion,
A home and a country should leave us no more!
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps’ pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

Meaning of Star Spangled Banner Lyrics Verse 3

● Francis Scott Key describes the British as arrogant and boastful in the lyrics ‘that band who so vauntingly swore’
● He is venting his anger at the British with the “foul footsteps’ pollution” lyrics inferring that the British poisoned the ground on which they walked
● But the poison and corruption had been washed away by the blood of the British
● The Star Spangled Banner lyrics “the hireling ” refers to the British use of Mercenaries (e.g. German Hessians and African-Americans who fought for the British) in the American War of Independence
● The Star Spangled Banner lyrics “…and slave” is a direct reference to the British practice of Impressment (kidnapping American seamen and forcing them into service on British man-of war ships). This was a major cause of the War of 1812
● Francis Scott Key then describes the Star Spangled Banner as a symbol of triumph over all adversity

Star Spangled Banner Lyrics Verse 4

Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war’s desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav’n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: “In God is our trust.”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

The 4th of July is holiday marking the birth of the American Experiment: a government of the people, by the people for the people. 

Happy Birthday USA and Happy 4th of July to you.  

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Certain statements contained within are forward-looking statements including, but not limited to, statements that are predictions of future events, trends, plans or objectives. Undue reliance should not be placed on such statements because, by their nature, they are subject to known and unknown risks and uncertainties. The S&P 500 Index is a widely recognized index including a representative sample of 500 leading companies in leading sectors of the U.S. economy.
Past performance does not guarantee future results. Oxford Retirement Advisors is an independent firm. Securities and advisory services offered through Madison Avenue Securities, LLC (“MAS”), member FINRA/SIPC and a Registered Investment Advisor. Oxford Retirement Advisors and MAS are not affiliated entities.