Learning Resources

At Jonathan Smith & Co. we enthusiastically share our stories with clients. Our clients tell us that good information is a family's most effective tool for preserving wealth, maintaining harmony, and ensuring financial security. Consequently, we produce a market commentary each quarter to communicate stories which interest us and how they relate to financial markets - and life.

We also have zeal for the education of current and future generations of clients in such subjects as the miracle of compounding, the value of benevolence, and the wisdom of budgeting and saving. White papers on these subjects may be found in this section from time to time.

2014
Saying Grace - Q2
"This leaves us with a Bull Market that has plenty of steam, but lacks headroom."
Chasing Returns and Wagon Wheels - Q1
"Brer Rabbit says he’s sort of between 'My gracious!' and 'Thank gracious!'"
2013
Worst Best Year - Q4
"Joining the yield-seeking fray will keep pressure on any risk asset with a yield or prospect for return."
America Inc. - Q3
"So this debt ceiling thing is routine or the end of the world?" "Both." - West Wing
Bonds Are Boring UNTIL They Aren’t - Q2
"Given the recent thrashing in bonds, we thought a Bond 101 might be helpful."
Margin of Safety and Used Car Salesmen - Q1
"…insurance against stupidity, overconfidence, and bad luck."
2012
U.S. Government Deficits: A broken record and a Record Broken - Q4
"For decades, bonds have been the Milk of investments."
Lessons from a Late Summer Sail - Q3
"…seeking a margin of safety is akin to keeping an open schedule when we go for a sail."
Opportunity Costs: From Fig-Leaf Underwear to Robert Frost - Q2
Featuring Jonathan Smith & Co.’s Not As Easy As It Sounds Guide to Refinancing
Bacteria and Normal Distributions - Q1
"If something cannot go on forever, it will stop."
2011
Remembering heartbreak and knowing yourself - Q4
"I can’t afford to lose this. I don’t have the ability to replace this capital. I don’t know how much further I can stand this."
If a Dividend Falls in the Forest, Does it Make a Sound? - Q3
"It dawned on me I had learned my first investing principle at age 2…"
Why a Checklist Won't be Saving Your Life - Q2
"When a jet loses power, a pilot’s hard-wired, emotional response is to hit the gas."
Interestingly enough, we see some bright spots - Q1
"'Ms. Market' is likely to 'pitch a fit' or two before running at full speed again."
2010
Stability Breeds Instability - Q4
"What we call complacency, Minsky called his Financial Instability Hypothesis…"
The Great Lane Change - Q3
"… more often than not, you aren’t the only driver to have that brilliant idea."
Looking at Investing Through the Eyes of a Landlord - Q2
"… a tenant started breeding Pit Bulls in the back bedroom."
When Emotions Get the “Worst” of Us - Q1
"It doesn’t matter if the advisor was their pastor, hairdresser, or bartender…"
2009
The Caution Flag Still Flies – Q4
"That’s when a pretty Christmas light display turned into something truly meaningful."
Caution is the Order of the Day – Q3
"If not for Veteran I have no place to come to."
What’s Important Part II - Dividends, Diversification, and Safety – Q2
"Danger is the safest thing in the world if you go about it right."
What’s Really Important: Price, Moat, and Uncertainty – Q1
"If you look straight ahead … you won’t see what’s straight ahead."
2008
The Worst Quarter Since 1931 – Q4
"At some point, panic will subside and . . . share prices will adjust."
The Worst Week in Market History – Q3
"So, what are we doing?"
Lessons from Sir John Templeton - Q2
"… the Land of Opportunity is still open for business."
Finishing Well - Q1
"… where opportunism and patience meet."
2007
Stick to Our Knitting - Q4
"Markets fluctuate and yarn gets tangled."
Subprime Sardines and Canned Mortages - Q3
"These are not eating sardines, they are trading sardines."
Sifting Through the Scrap Heap - Q2
"This man is going to be a winner."
A Visit to Montrose - Q1
"After 20 years, I'm beginning to know the soil."
2006
Predictions, Yields, and G. I. Joes - Q4
"Go to any swap meet or yard sale or eBay listing . . ."
Dog Days of Summer - Q3
"... how will we know when we stray off our course?"
Earn a Return on the Return - Q2
"... as thick and green and lush a daisy patch as you’ve ever seen..."
Gratitude Displaces Discontentment - Q1
"Life is not as serious as it seems but far more precious than any of us knows."
2005
Always learning, always evaluating - Q4
"He's 92 and still looking up words in the dictionary."
Reseeding - Q3
"Look Mr. Smith, I found 2 quarters and 4 pennies ..."
Patience, Perseverance and Stewardship - Q2
"Conway collects cans ..."
The Grass is Greener Right Here - Q1
"A fondness for ‘Refrigerator Art’ ..."
2004
Fingerprints - Q4
"One of our primary goals is to know our clients and ..."
Construction or Demolition? - Q3
"We wanted to help hurricane victims ..."
Summertime - Q2
"Time spent with family and friends revives us ..."
Me a Centenarian? - Q1
"She lived 22 days short of her 102nd birthday ..."
2003
Ingenuity - Q4
"A work of art that transmits telephone signals ..."
Can you hear me now? - Q3
"The representative called it a ‘Bag Phone’ ..."
Happy Days Are Here Again? - Q2
"At least they seem to be ..."
The Path of Most Resistance - Q1
"Should you ever sell out in a crisis ..."
2002
It's a New Day - Q4
"This year's downturn has been dramatic ..."
The Way It Is - Q3
"95% of the gains happen on just 1.2% of the days ..."
Redwoods and Markets - Q2
"Just as the redwood is a strong species ..."
Courage and Volatility - Q1
"Potter isn’t selling, Potter is buying!"
2001
It ain't over till it's over - Q4
"... short term certainty is not required ..."
How should we then live? - Q3
"On September 11 everything changed ..."
Evil, Goodness, and Heroes - 10/11/2001
"Special 9/11 Commentary"
What Now? - Q2
"What is happening is easier said than why ..."
Time for Action - Q1
"The human mind is a pattern-seeking device ..."
And Beyond
The Rules of Survival - Q4 2000
"How to escape from a bear: Step 1 ..."
Thanksgiving - 11/23/2000
"... gratitude is the healthiest of all emotions."
Learning to See (The Art of Overlooking) - Q3 2000
"The sky is falling ..."
The Pathfinder - Q2 2000
"Where am I heading? Will the storm come?"
Steadiness - Q3 1999
"In the time it took to write, mail, and read this ..."
Mr. Market - Q3 1998
"Please ring a bell whenever we hit a market top ..."

 

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The commentaries herein represented the views of Jonathan Smith & Co., Investment Counsel, LLC, as of the dates originally published. Readers acknowledge that any commentary may or may not represent the current view or views of Jonathan Smith & Co., Investment Counsel, LLC, and that management has no duty or obligation whatsoever to maintain, revise, or update the commentaries as to accuracy or for current relevance. Our Terms and Conditions of Use of this Website govern the use of these commentaries and no commentary shall be taken, interpreted, or used as investment advice.