Quarterly Letters

Tariffs and Action on the Soccer (Football) Field

2018 Q2

The second quarter equity markets were dominated by headlines surrounding the Trump administration’s proposed tariffs. The tariff talk subsequently turned into action with new tariffs enacted by the US, China, Mexico, Canada, the European Union, India and Turkey.

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Defensive Investing and Recognizing Failure

2018 Q1

The first quarter could very well turn out to be a memorable inflection point in this 10-year bull market. The broad indices ended their nine-quarter streak of positive returns, volatility returned with markets moving up or down with much greater magnitude, and the bull market leaders Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google are not looking so bulletproof anymore.

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Everything is Relative

2017 Q4

It doesn’t get much better than this! Double digit gains across major stock indices, twelve straight months where the S&P 500 never went down (first time in its history), and record low volatility. The economy is finally out of second gear with GDP at +3%, unemployment levels at 18-year lows, consumer confidence at levels not seen since 2004, and tax rates heading lower.

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Value Investing: The Only Constant is Change

2017 Q3

Another quarter in the books and another quarter where equity markets had broad-based gains. Our benchmarks, the Russell 2500 and Russell 1000 Value, were up 4.7% and 3.1% respectively, while every sector in the S&P 500 was up except for Consumer Staples.

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Spoiled Investors

2017 Q2

We, as stock investors, have been spoiled as markets continue to go up with virtually no downside. The VIX, or CBOE Volatility Index, has been trading at its lowest level in 25 years. How long can this investment environment exist?

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A Quiet Start, Buying and Holding Stocks

2017 Q1

In sharp contrast to wild ride at the end of 2016, 2017 began in remarkably calm fashion. While U.S. stock markets were broadly higher, gains occurred with the least volatility since 1965. Over the entire quarter, there were only two days when the S&P 500 moved more than 1% from one day to the next and these movements were relatively unremarkable; once up 1.4% and once down 1.2%.

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Emotional Investing

2016 Q4

2016 was a tumultuous year for the election pollsters and odd makers. What was more improbable: the Chicago Cubs winning the World Series or a billionaire winning the White House?

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Riverwater Partners Invests Beside You and Our Three Pillar Approach

2016 Q3

Another quarter in the books and another quarter where equity markets had broad-based gains. Our benchmarks, the Russell 2500 and Russell 1000 Value, were up 4.7% and 3.1% respectively, while every sector in the S&P 500 was up except for Consumer Staples.

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Riverwater In The News

Companies’ Social Impact Increasingly Scrutinized by Investors

Biz Times Milwaukee, Feb 5, 2018

Last month, BlackRock Inc., the world’s largest asset manager, sent a letter to CEOs of the world’s largest public companies putting them on notice: they need to go beyond profits and do good for all of their stakeholders to gain its favor. “Society is demanding that companies, both public and private, serve a social purpose. To prosper over time, every company must not only deliver financial performance, but also show how it makes a positive contribution to society,” wrote BlackRock CEO Laurence Fink. These investment strategies are sometimes called socially responsible investment; sustainable, responsible and impact investing; and environmental, social and governance investing.

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Investing with Environmental and Social Impact

Milwaukee Business Journal, May 2018

More and more investors are looking beyond the bottom line when it comes to investing. They’re seeking out companies that have diverse leadership teams and are socially and environmentally responsible as well.

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Smarter Buildings On The Rise

Biz Times Milwaukee, August 18, 2017

If temperatures get a little too toasty in the offices at 1433 N. Water St. in downtown Milwaukee and they need to come down ASAP, there’s an app for that. “Our maintenance engineers and property managers are able to access real-time building information and the viability of each piece of equipment in the building through an app on a phone or through a dedicated secure laptop – one in the building and one they carry with them,” said Anne White, development executive assistant with Wangard Partners Inc., the developer and owner of the building.

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