We are very encouraged by the showings across our assets in September. After witnessing minor weakness in August, we saw a return to steady, positive performance in September. We continue to monitor bond and equity prices as we look for new opportunities providing value. Currently we are monitoring more than 60 prospective investment positions.
During the month of September some of our largest positions paid out dividends, providing our accounts cash for either income purposes or for reinvestment in new opportunities. The power of cash and flexibility is at a premium in a market that continues to push record highs. We are mindful of the possibility of a government shutdown in December, as well as the likelihood of another increase in interest rates this year.
A temporary extension of agency spending at fiscal 2017 levels until December 8 was enacted several weeks ago as part of a package also containing hurricane relief funding and an extension of the federal debt ceiling. Such temporary extensions are common when the end of a budget year approaches and Congress has not enacted regular appropriations bills–which for many years has been the rule rather than the exception. The government has not had a partial shutdown since the first two weeks of October 2013, but there have been numerous threats since then, and political leaders soon will be back in the familiar position of deciding on another temporary extension; passing at least some of the individual appropriations bills through next September and wrapping the rest into a catchall bill; or enacting a catchall bill covering everything. The House has passed all 12 of the bills in the form of two packages but the Senate has not passed any.
The Consumer Price Index (CPI) data for August came in stronger than expected. This the chances that we will have another interest rate increase this year. as opposed to last month’s data, which shows deflationary pressures. This is significant for our purposes as we have been monitoring various gold‐ or silver‐based investment opportunities to help diversity our accounts. When the CPI data was released precious metal prices dropped. The potential of a tightening monetary supply will put downside pressure on gold and silver in the short term, making this a potentially opportune time to invest. The US Dollar will appreciate in value as investors will be drawn to the higher interest rates that the Federal Reserve will offer.
Regardless of the political gridlock or monetary policy uncertainty, we strive to find investments that can provide us a consistent, steady return in times of volatility. Please review the following updates from some of our existing positions held in most of our accounts that we manage:
As always, please feel free to reach out to us with any questions that you may have. We are grateful for the trust that you place in us.