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Recent blog from IFS featured on Morningstar Perspectives:

Once upon a time the economy seemed to drive the stock market. Now we tend to think the opposite holds true. Wall Street trading and Main Street business in fact remain disturbingly distinct – which you forget at your peril when investing.

The following headline caught my attention recently: “American Stock Markets Are Surging, So Why Do Americans Feel Like It’s Still Recession?” I hoped to read about the need for investors to understand the difference between stock markets and the economy, to read that traders react to headlines and long-term investors stay the course.

Instead, the article touches on investors’ confidence, suggesting that good feelings plummeted as a result of the Great Depression and then that falling investor confidence caused our Great Recession in 2008-2009.

“Surging” exemplifies how easily you can get suckered into using the same data to support two completely different opinions about two different entities: the economy and the stock market.
 
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In light of the recent data breach at Target that impacted many of you, we wanted to share some additional thoughts on managing and protecting your online presence. These tidbits are by no means comprehensive, but are steps to consider in order to better protect yourself.  

While the target data breach is among the largest and most severe breaches in history, it is certainly not the first, nor is it the biggest. The following link will provide a visual, interactive display of some of the biggest data hacks of all-time: http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/visualizations/worlds-biggest-data-breaches-hacks/.

As you can see from the link, these events are more common than most of us realize, they are becoming more common, and they are unlikely to ever go away. While a large portion of these data breaches will not directly impact you, it is still important to ensure that you are taking the steps necessary to minimize your exposure and protect yourself to the extent you can. As the Target example has shown us, it is extremely difficult to keep your information completely safe, but you can establish layers of protection to make it hard for anyone to use it.

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Intelligent Insights - February 2014

I Don't Trust the Market

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Intelligent Insights - January 2014

Surprise! No selloff in 2013

 

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The January 2014 IFS Client Letter is now available for download at: http://ifs-advisor.com/resources/quarterly-newsletters.html

 

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