Creative Financial Group

2Q 2012 Asset Management Letter

July 16, 2012   ·   By   ·   No Comments   ·   Posted in Asset Management Letter, News, Newsletters

“Comfortably Numb”

One of our managers mentioned recently how the Eurozone drama reminded them of Pink Floyd’s song “Comfortably Numb”. You could substitute Euro for child in the lyrics “I cannot put my finger on it/ the child is grown/the dream is done” it would be completely appropriate in my mind. Of course, we are not saying the Euro is completely done but more specifically indicating that as it has evolved into something many politicians had not envisioned. Ayn Rand’s book “Atlas Shrugged” comes to mind as the Euro falters. For the unitiated, the moral of the story is simply this: Politicians invariably respond to crises, that in most cases, they created themselves- by spawning new government programs, laws and regulations. These, in turn, generate more chaos, poverty, and subsequent programs until the productive sectors of the economy collapse, i.e., Germany. It could only be more eerily similar if Europe had programs called “Anti Greed Act”, “Anti-Dog-Eat-Dog-Act”, or “Equalization of Opportunity Act”. In simpler terms Reagan may have said it best when he stated that the nine most terrifying words in the English language are, “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”

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1Q 2012 Asset Management Letter

April 13, 2012   ·   By   ·   Comments Off   ·   Posted in Asset Management Letter, News, Newsletters


Sunday April 8th was an epic day for Southerners, and in particular University of Georgia fans, as a native of Bagdad, Florida and UGA graduate, Bubba Watson won the Masters Tournament. Similar to the equity market in the first quarter, everything seemed to be aligned perfectly: putts were rolling in, iron shots from pine needles landed on the green and the gallery was electric. If only Sunday’s euphoria could continue unabated for the rest of the year. Right now the performance of the first quarter makes us all feel like donning “Green Jackets” but three months ago the market was more of a deflated bubble if anything. The question now is if this market is “Bubble-licious” or “Bubba-licious”. Is all of this a one-hit wonder or is it the beginning of something positive?

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Navigating Today’s Economy

January 26, 2012   ·   By   ·   Comments Off   ·   Posted in News

Financial Consultant, Crystal Stevens is quoted in the Peachtree Paper article, “Navigating Today’s Tumultuous Economy” – Fall 2011. A PDF Download is available for your review.

4Q 2011 Asset Management Letter

January 25, 2012   ·   By   ·   Comments Off   ·   Posted in Asset Management Letter Archive

Despite heightened volatility, the S&P 500 index ended the year where it started, with its 2% return coming from dividends. Smaller and mid-cap stocks closed the year down 4.2% and 1.7%, respectively, despite also posting double-digit fourth-quarter gains. Fear over Europe and slowing growth in China dragged foreign stocks down 11.8%, with China concerns and a flight from risk hitting emerging-markets stocks even harder; they fell 18.8%.

High-quality bonds were on the other side of the volatility, with sharp flight-to-safety rallies that helped net the Barclays Aggregate Bond Index a 7.4% full-year gain. Our allocations to flexible bond and absolute-return-oriented fixed income funds hurt performance in our portfolios because they provided less of the short-term protection of high-quality long term bonds, but we remain confident in our belief that our bond allocations will provide better longer-term returns than the pure high-grade benchmark at still-acceptable risk levels. In addition, with the consensus forecasts among the 74 economists polled by Bloomberg at the beginning 2011 for the year-end closing yields of the 2-, 10-, and 30-year Treasuries of 1.10%, 3.75%, and 4.75%, respectively, we did not see a reason to extend duration and purchase long term Treasury bonds. The fact that the actual levels were 0.26%, 1.88%, and 2.90%, respectively, highlighted the under performance of some our active managers. In our opinion this shows the folly of short term forecasts, not a breakdown in logic. Over shorter periods in which investors’ decisions about getting in and out of stocks are driven by macro headlines (often referred to as “risk-on, risk-off”) there is less consideration for fundamentals of individual stocks and bonds. Our experience suggests this creates long-term opportunities, but this can be frustrating over shorter periods.

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3Q 2011 Asset Management Letter

October 18, 2011   ·   By   ·   Comments Off   ·   Posted in Asset Management Letter Archive

The roller coaster ride of the market against the backdrop of harsh global news coverage makes us happy to say “goodbye” to the third quarter of this year, which posted the worst third quarter S&P 500 loss since 2002. The S&P 500 was down 14.33% for the quarter and is down 8.68% for the year. Foreign stocks fared worse than the S&P 500 as the MSCI EAFE Index was down 14.98% for the quarter and 19.01% for the year. Even worse than the S&P 500 and the foreign market, the Russell 2000 Small Cap Index was down 21.9% and is down 17% for the year. Fixed income was the saving grace as the Barclays Aggregate Bond Index was up 3.82% for the quarter and is up 6.65% for the year. That being said, it is hard to get excited about the long term prospects of a ten year Treasury yielding less than 2%. From a safety and total return standpoint the Treasury trade has worked out over the short term but we are frankly confused by the attraction of an investment that ties up capital at 2% for the next ten years and this is part of the reason we continue to drift towards equities (many with debt levels at 20 year lows and substantial cash flow to boot).

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2Q 2011 Asset Management Letter

July 22, 2011   ·   By   ·   Comments Off   ·   Posted in Asset Management Letter Archive

The risk we alluded to in previous letters hit a tipping point in the second quarter as volatility returned to the market. The headlines were dominated by the fear of a Greek default on their outstanding debt, wildly fluctuating oil prices, death of Osama bin Laden, and the on-going political battle over the US debt ceiling. Of course, a late month rebound helped boost the market as it became increasing likely that the EU and IMF would manage to kick Greece’s debt “can” down the road at least one more time. When the dust settled, stocks wound up roughly flat for the quarter. The large cap S&P 500 Index was up 6% for the year. The small-cap Russell 2000 was down 1.6% for the quarter but still up 6.2% for the year. The MSCI World ex-USA was up 1.1% for the quarter and rests at positive 5.1% for the year, in spite of the European contagion fears. Fixed income provided a calmer ride as the Barclays Aggregate Bond Index was up 2.37% for the quarter leaving it with a year-to-date gain of 2.36%.

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Summer 2011 Issue: A Creative Life

June 30, 2011   ·   By   ·   Comments Off   ·   Posted in News, Newsletters

The Summer 2011 edition of A Creative Life, our quarterly newsletter, is now available for download (PDF).

Winter 2011 Issue: A Creative Life

January 10, 2011   ·   By   ·   Comments Off   ·   Posted in News, Newsletters

The Winter 2011 edition of A Creative Life, our quarterly newsletter, is now available for download (PDF).

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Creative Financial Group (“CFG”) is a division of Synovus Securities, Inc (“SSI”), member FINRA/SIPC. Prior to January 1, 2011, CFG was a separate registered investment adviser affiliate of SSI. Investment products and services are not FDIC insured, are not deposits of or other obligations of Synovus Bank, are not guaranteed by Synovus Bank and involve investment risk, including possible loss of principal amount invested. Synovus Securities, Inc. is a subsidiary of Synovus Financial Corp and an affiliate of Synovus Bank. You can obtain more information about Synovus Securities, Inc. and its Registered Representatives by accessing BrokerCheck