Quarterly Commentary

While the calendar has now turned to fall, it never hurts to be reminded of the joys of summer. June 21st is technically the first day of the season, but for many people, July 1st marks its unofficial kickoff. The thermometer is rising, the kids are out of school, Independence Day is right around the corner, and ice cream has assumed its spot as a primary food group. But for...

Last year the great screenwriter William Goldman passed away at the age of 87. Goldman was a prodigious talent, the award-winning scribe behind classic films like All the President’s Men, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Marathon Man, and The Princess Bride, the latter two based on his own novels. He is also famous for his 1982 book about the inner workings of the film business, Adventures in the Screen...

The early autumn of 2018 was an interesting and exciting time for a certain progressive utility company, which had some very forward-looking initiatives as part of a strategy to evolve in the wake of climate change, the most pressing environmental issue of our time. While conservation had not traditionally been a part of its business, and the safety of some of its old-line equipment had been called into question in...

Few people remember this given the company’s outsized success today, but in the mid-1990s, Apple was on death watch. Co-founder Steve Jobs had recently returned to the company, but one of the greatest turnarounds in corporate history hadn’t yet taken shape and the company was hemorrhaging cash. At a technology conference, Michael Dell, the founder of personal-computer powerhouse Dell Computer, was asked what he would do if he were CEO...

In 1986, an [wpdm_package id='28947']English illustrator named Martin Handford created a character named Wally. Wally appeared in double-page-spread illustrations and displayed an affinity for situations in which lots of activity was occurring around him, so much so that it became difficult for Wally himself to be located. He always wore the same red and white striped shirt and cap, but to better camouflage him, items with a similar color scheme...

Four-letter words have always enjoyed a distinct reputation in the global lexicon. Often labeled "bad words," these well-known expletives have a harshness to them, even when used casually, and those on the receiving end of such invective will always take particular notice, as intended. Of course, all words with four letters are not four-letter words, but we do tend to put a magnifying glass on words with four letters because...

During the past 17 years, managers of endowment and foundation investment assets have experienced more than their share of events impacting their ability to achieve their investment goals. The dotcom bubble saw the NASDAQ rise 580% between 1995 and 2000 before declining by 87% over the next two years, triggering a bear market in which the S&P 500 declined 49% from its peak. This was followed in 2008-09 by the...

Since our inception over 30 years ago, Colonial Consulting has pursued one simple goal: providing exceptional investment advice and services via our nondiscretionary advisory model. Over the past decade, much of our industry has migrated to a discretionary (sometimes called Outsourced Chief Investment Officer or “OCIO”) model while we’ve elected to maintain our original focus. Yet, we have also observed a trend in which a greater number of clients are...

Predicting the impact of macro factors is one of investing’s greatest temptations. Turn on the news and topics like commodity prices, interest rates, and currencies are being discussed constantly, with pundit after pundit confidently offering commentary on how these factors are going to impact equity markets. And in the short term, sometimes they get it right. When Hurricane Harvey hit Texas and it became clear that major production and refinery...

We know great innovation when we see it. It creates the sensation of the never-before conceivable, a new idea that seems inevitable once it’s revealed but was almost unimaginable prior to its creation. Innovation, a word first used in the 15th century, refers to the act or process of introducing new ideas, devices, or methods, but we know it as an intention to not just improve the prior generation of...