The best news of the 3rd Quarter is… that it is over. Severe stock market weakness characterized the period, highlighted by the dramatic mid-August three day 1000 point decline in the Dow Jones Industrial average. In our last, letter we mentioned that negative headlines from Greece impacted markets and yet the issue stabilized by the end of the quarter. This period, the focus has been almost entirely on worries about the impact of the Chinese slowdown, on the U.S. and the rest of the world, as well as a “paranoid” concern about the direction of U.S. Federal Reserve policy. It is useful to note that China represents only 3% of U.S. exports.
Happily, markets have recovered the majority of their summer declines, in just the first three weeks of October. Our stocks declined more than the averages in the quarter, as Small Cap and Value stocks underperformed Large Cap and Growth stocks in what we believe was a “capitulation” market sell-off. History has shown that three fourths of intra-year market corrections have been followed by fourth quarter rallies, which recover almost all of the declines. We expect history to repeat itself in 2015 and our views are bolstered, by fact that one third of our stocks have experienced significant insider buying in recent weeks. We believe that our companies are attractively priced for a recovery over the next several weeks.
We are excited to announce that our Winslow Asset Management website has been revamped and improved. We have updated discussion of our philosophy, process and people, and encourage you to view the new site. Kara Lewis has departed the firm; most of her Marketing and Client Service responsibilities will be taken over by Timothy Goldberg. Kim Summers has joined us to work in Operations and Administration. She brings years of experience working at firms including, BNY Mellon, and CM. Wealth Advisors.