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Compass Watch, our quarterly newsletter, provides a helpful overview of economic trends, financial tips, and how marketplace issues may affect your investment portfolio.

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Mark On Money: Episode 5 with Craig Johnson

2022 | Podcasts

Click here to listen to Episode 5: Mark on Money: Episode 5 with Craig Johnson

Two Billion Thanks!

2021 | Newsletters

As of November 2021, Compass surpassed the $2 billion milestone for assets under management. We are delighted to have achieved this because it represents 33 years of successful effort by our Compass team. More importantly, it is a significant reflection of the trust our clients have placed in us over this time period. Thank you, […]

Inflation: Resiliency with High-Quality Stocks

2021 | Newsletters

In the wake of the COVID-19 economic and market shutdowns, both monetary and fiscal stimulus interventions appear to have successfully cushioned the world economy from the worst of the blow.

Mark On Money: Episode 4 with Pete Najarian

2021 | Podcasts

Click here to listen to Episode 4: Mark on Money: Episode 4 with Pete Najarian

Mark On Money: Episode 3 with Craig Johnson

2021 | Podcasts

Click here to listen to Episode 3: Mark on Money: Episode 3 with Craig Johnson

Mark On Money: Episode 2 with Mark Vangsgard

2021 | Podcasts

Click here to listen to Episode 2: Mark on Money: Episode 2 with Mark Vangsgard

Mark On Money: Episode 1 with Jim Paulsen

2020 | Podcasts

Click here to listen to Episode 1: Mark on Money: Episode 1 with Jim Paulsen  

Presidential Elections, Markets, and Staying the Course

2020 | Newsletters

In less than one month, Americans will head to the polls to elect the next president. While the outcome is unknown, one thing is certain—there will be a steady stream of opinions from pundits and prognosticators about how the election will impact the market.

Adapting Leaders

2020 | Newsletters

The onset and rapid spread of COVID-19 and the events that occurred in Minneapolis - the city in which many of us are proud to work, live, and play - have been an awakening.

Dividends Pay Dividends

2020 | Newsletters

As this issue was being written, quality bonds were providing modest yields.1 U.S. Treasury notes, for example, were yielding between 0.15% for the two-year maturity and 0.65% for the ten-year note.

Zooming In On 2020

2020 | Newsletters

Over the course of 2020 investors experienced new market highs (February), new market lows (March), and then a return to new market highs (November). Investors also witnessed a global  pandemic, national civil unrest in response to the death of George Floyd, many workers transitioning to work-from-home, and a presidential election.

Planning for a Transition

2019 | Newsletters

There is an old adage: “People don’t plan to fail, they just fail to plan.” Planning for a transition is an important service we provide at Compass. Many advisory firms have attempted to become comprehensive “financial planners,” providing one-stop legal and tax-related advice to their clients, as well as selling them insurance and expensive investment products and services.

Are there Positive Outcomes from Negative Rates?

2019 | Newsletters

Negative-yielding debt surpassed $13 trillion in June 2019, doubling since December and now making up around twenty-five percent of global debt (mainly in Europe and Japan)1.

Exceptional People Exceptional Companies

2019 | Newsletters

Warren Buffet wrote that he has “never succeeded in making a good deal with a bad person.” Our collective experience has been the same.

A Few Thoughts for Times Like These

2019 | Newsletters

Only 1  month ago, U.S. stock indexes were reaching record highs as the bull market was nearing its 11-year anniversary (from the March 2009 lows).

Compass Welcomes Maren Lapham

2018 | Newsletters

Personalized service and quality investment management have been cornerstones of Compass Capital Management since its inception thirty years ago.

The Ongoing Divergence Between U.S. & International Markets

2018 | Newsletters

It’s almost impossible to avoid international exposure in today’s globally interlinked economy. Nearly one-third of the revenues of U.S. companies in the S&P 500 Index come from outside the United States.

The Compass Bond Ladder or Bond Mutual Fund When Interest Rates Are Rising?

2018 | Newsletters

As bond investors already know, when interest rates rise, the price of existing bonds generally falls.

Volatility Brings Long-Term Opportunity; Focus on Fundamentals, Not Endpoints

2018 | Newsletters

Volatility has returned to the market with some of the most extreme monthly movements since the 2008 financial crisis. Investors were no doubt pleased to put 2018 in the rear-view mirror.

Equity Markets at New Highs: What Does That Mean for Investors?

2017 | Newsletters

Investors have had a lot to ponder in recent weeks. Everyone is aware that the economic expansion and bull market have endured for a long time. 

Remembering the Role of Bonds, Even in a Rising Rate Environment

2017 | Newsletters

Interest rates continued to surge as the strong January jobs and wages report was released on February 2. This rate surge indicated that robust global economic data is helping investors to overcome longstanding doubts about the staying power of the post-crisis recovery.

Staying the same has made Minneapolis investment firm new

2017 | Newsletters

Interest rates continued to surge as the strong January jobs and wages report was released on February 2. This rate surge indicated that robust global economic data is helping investors to overcome longstanding doubts about the staying power of the post-crisis recovery.

A Billion Dollar Thank You!

2017 | Newsletters

As of June 2017, Compass surpassed the $1 billion milestone for assets under management.  We are delighted to have achieved this because it represents 29 years of successful effort by our Compass team. 

Fiduciary Rule: Compass Has Always Put Our Clients’ Interest First

2017 | Newsletters

Effective June 9, after years of battling Wall Street and the insurance industry, the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Fiduciary Rule expands the definition of fiduciary under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”) and ...

Compass Capital Management Expands: Welcome Phil Stern!

2016 | Newsletters

Personalized service and quality investment management have been cornerstones of Compass Capital Management since its inception 28 years ago.  As Compass continues to grow, we are delighted to announce that Phil Stern has joined our firm to build upon that foundation.

What Have We Been Doing Lately? Going the Extra Mile: from Cleveland to Hong Kong

2016 | Newsletters

Over the past eighteen months, the performance of the S&P 500 Index has been modestly positive (primarily as a result of dividends) as ongoing news persists of slower growth in China, suspicious global central bank policies, the strong U.S. dollar and the sharp decline in oil prices.

The Dividend Trap

2016 | Newsletters

Historically, dividends have played an important role of the total stock market return as measured by the S&P 500 Index. In fact, reinvestment of dividends has accounted for approximately 40% of the stock market return since 19291.

Do Outcomes Improve by Benchmarking Your Portfolio?

2016 | Newsletters

At the time of this writing, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (Dow) has closed above 21000 for the first time; the latest milestone in the market’s post-election rally.

Give Me a (Tax) Break: Tax Implications of Mutual Fund Investing

2015 | Newsletters

Investors looking to commit capital to the stock market have two primary options.  They may choose either a pooled investment (e.g. mutual fund) or direct stock ownership.  Both options appear to be equal at face value. 

Investment Mistake #6: Allowing Public Perceptions to Drive your Fixed Income Portfolio

2015 | Newsletters

Many market pundits continue to declare that higher interest rates are coming, predicting bad news for fixed income investors.  As Compass bond investors already know, higher rates (yields) mean lower prices for most already-issued bonds (but for those holding bonds to maturity, like we do, this declaration is a moot point). 

Implications of a Strong U.S. Dollar: Is a Strong Dollar Good for the Stock Market & Economy?

2015 | Newsletters

Since mid-2014, the U.S. trade-weighted broad dollar index1 has appreciated nearly 20%2, with the largest gains against the Japanese yen, Mexican peso, Canadian dollar and the Euro. Currency movements have always been complicated both in their causes and consequences.

Taking Stock: A Few Thoughts for Times Like These

2015 | Newsletters

Just nine months ago, U.S. stock indexes were hitting all-time highs as the bull market was passing its six year anniversary (from the March 2009 lows).  Since then, the Federal Reserve has begun raising short-term interest rates, oil has continued its precipitous retreat (from its recent high, oil is down 68%) and ...

The Best Compliment

2014 | Newsletters

During the first quarter of 2014, we received a considerable number of phone calls from individuals who had been referred by clients and other friends of Compass.

The Wall Street Transcript, Managing Risk While Striving for High Returns

2014 | Newsletters

JAY JACKLEY, CIMA, joined Compass Capital Management, Inc., as a Senior Portfolio Manager in 2009. He has been in the financial investment industry for over 18 years..

Compass Portfolio Management Team Expands: Welcome Christopher Kelley!

2014 | Newsletters

While many other financial firms cut back during the economic downturn, Compass grew and continues to expand. We are delighted to announce that Christopher Kelley has joined our firm.

Navigating the Fixed Income Landscape: Staying the Course

2014 | Newsletters

As the equity markets continue to reach new highs (positive 200%1 from 2009 lows) and the current yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury hovering around 2.35%1, a number of highly-regarded publications have implied that stocks continue to be the only reasonable place to invest.

Compass Investing VS. Passive Investing

2014 | Newsletters

Passive investing or stock market indexing—investing in a fund which closely tracks a well-known index—has been one of the most popular trends in history.  Little surprise then, that during 2014, investors pulled $98 billion out of active U.S. mutual funds while ...

Portfolio Construction: The Importance Of Asset Allocation

2013 | Newsletters

As the equity markets advance to new highs (+145% from their March 2009 low) and bonds appear stodgy by comparison, investors have begun to wonder if they should continue to hold bonds in their portfolios while major financial media outlets suggest stocks are the only place to invest.

Quality is Beautiful Blue Chip Stocks Lead the Market Higher

2013 | Newsletters

Many investors have been led to believe that in order to make money investing in stocks; you must buy companies that have a great “story.” These stories are often the equivalent of putting lipstick on a pig.

Silver Edition

2013 | Newsletters

August 15, 2013 marked our 25th Anniversary. We are delighted to have achieved this because it represents the collective, successful effort by our Compass Team. More importantly, it is a significant reflection of the trust our clients have placed in us over this period.

Growing Income from Growing Dividends

2013 | Newsletters

At the end of 2013, quality bonds were providing modest yields. U.S. Treasury notes, for example, were yielding between 0.38% for the two-year maturity and 3.03% for the ten-year note.

The Wall Street Transcript, Money Manager Interview with David Carlson

2012 | Newsletters

DAVID M. CARLSON has been in the investment field for over 30 years and is one of the Founders of Compass Capital Management, Inc., in Minneapolis.

What Might Happen to Bonds if Interest Rates Double?

2012 | Newsletters

At the present time, the yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note is about 2%...near a historical low. The current assumption that rates must soon rise has many bondholders concerned because when interest rates rise, prices fall for the bonds they already own.

The Compass Investment Team

2012 | Newsletters

Meet the Compass Investment Team (emphasis on team)! August 15, 2012 will mark the 24th Anniversary of Compass Capital Management. In these days of frequent manager changes and Wall Street (large banks and brokers) bankruptcies, Compass is the exception.

Black Swans and Black Helicopters

2012 | Newsletters

It comes as no surprise to us, especially during periods of significant market stresses (think 2000 or 2008) or today’s startlingly low interest rates; pundits begin to emerge promising and promoting “solutions” with their clairvoyance.

Improving Investment Outcomes: Five Resolutions for your Portfolio

2012 | Newsletters

It’s a New Year. For many, this brings a renewed sense of reflection (and desire) to make resolutions for the future.

Municipal Bonds: Triple AAA or AAA-Larming?

2011 | Newsletters

The panic and recent sell-off in the municipal bond market that began in November 2010 and ended largely at the end of January 2011 wiped out all of the net purchases experienced in the first 10-months of 2010. What caused this panic?

Global Investing with U.S. Multinationals

2011 | Newsletters

Astute investors today realize that fundamental changes in the global economy will create investment winners and losers. But the answer to capitalizing on this shift is more complex than simply to “buy emerging markets.”

Compass Portfolio Management Team Expands: Welcome Mark Vitelli!

2011 | Newsletters

While many other financial institutions are cutting back during this economic downturn, Compass is expanding. We are delighted to announce that Mark Vitelli has joined our firm.

2012: Reasons for Optimism

2011 | Newsletters

If you touch a red hot stove and burn your finger and tomorrow you see the red hot stove again, chances are you would not touch it. Researchers call this the recency effect—satisfactory for human evolution, but not for investing.

Today’s Investment Landscape

2010 | Newsletters

It is obvious that we are living in a time of dramatic change in the U.S. economy. While some of this change results from the collapse of the housing bubble in 2007-2009, on a deeper and more pervasive level, there is a fierce battle going on...

The Importance of Discipline

2010 | Newsletters

Investment discipline means knowing what you are doing and why you are doing it. At the present time, discipline seems to be in short supply. With the economic turbulence of the last few years, many investors have become understandably confused.

Investment Mistake #5: Chasing Yields

2010 | Newsletters

Every so often, when large numbers of institutions and individuals seem to be making a major investment mistake, we write about it (largely to explain why we aren’t joining the stampede).

A One-Half Billion Dollar Thank You!

2010 | Newsletters

In October last year (2010), Compass surpassed the $500 million milestone for assets under management. We are delighted to have achieved this because it represents over 22 years of successful effort by our Compass team.

The Wall Street Transcript, Money Manager Interview with David Carlson

2009 | Newsletters

DAVID M. CARLSON is the Principal and Founder of Compass Capital Management, Inc. He has been in the investment field for nearly 30 years.

Balanced Accounts Can Be Beautiful

2009 | Newsletters

The financial turmoil of the last year or so has been sobering to say the least. Nevertheless, it has also been a good environment to observe which investment disciplines have proven to be sound and which have been less so.

Compass Portfolio Management Team Expands: Welcome Jay Jackley!

2009 | Newsletters

While many other financial institutions are cutting back during this economic downturn, Compass is expanding. We are delighted to announce that Jay Jackley has joined our firm.

Is “Buy And Hold” Really Dead?

2009 | Newsletters

The 57% decline in the stock market (S&P 500) from October 9, 2007 to March 9, 2009 as well as the collapse of some of America’s largest companies during this time caused many investors to conclude that the “buy and hold” approach to investing is dead.

Compass Dividends

2009 | Newsletters

The severe recession we have been experiencing has been very difficult for many U.S. companies - - but not equally. Many of the weaker ones have been forced to preserve capital by reducing or even eliminating the dividends on their common stock.

What We Have Been Doing

2008 | Newsletters

These are interesting, though challenging, times - - falling home prices, war in the Middle East, skyrocketing commodity prices, plummeting interest rates, a collapsing U.S. dollar...

Investment Mistake #4: Investing in Things You Don’t Understand

2008 | Newsletters

Every now and then, when the times seem to warrant it, we write about “investment mistakes” and how to avoid them.

A Few Words of Perspective and Encouragement

2008 | Newsletters

As this newsletter is being written (October 27, 2008), the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index is down in price about 40% so far this year.

Managing the Downside — an Important Consideration in Good Portfolio Management

2008 | Newsletters

Investment professionals and investors themselves seem to devote most of their efforts to striving for “outperformance” when individual securities and the markets are moving up.

Retirement Income Planning (Assets Aren’t Enough)

2007 | Newsletters

Investors are currently being reminded that simply accumulating assets such as homes is not enough to prepare financially for retirement.

What We Mean By “Quality” Investments (And Why We Invest In Them)

2007 | Newsletters

Those familiar with how we manage money for clients know we invest in “quality” stocks and bonds. We are investors, not speculators. But what, precisely, do we mean by “quality”?

Plain Vanilla VS. Snake Oil

2007 | Newsletters

Over the last twenty-plus years, we have occasionally been questioned about our “plain vanilla” approach to managing bonds. (Not so often we minded, just enough that we noticed).

Making Performance Results Meaningful

2007 | Newsletters

Thanks to today’s excellent computers and portfolio management software, it is no longer difficult to provide clients with accurate and timely performance information.

Investment Mistake #2: Ignoring Risk

2006 | Newsletters

Our spring 2005 Compass Watch (Volume 17, Number 1) was the first in a series entitled, “Investment Mistakes.” This article* is closely related and seems timely in view of the many investors today who seem to be ignoring risk while pouring money into more speculative energy stocks, hedge funds, etc.

Performance Goal #1: Having the Money You Need When You Need It

2006 | Newsletters

The primary performance goal for most investors is very simple - - to have sufficient funds when these funds are needed.

Eighteen and Growing

2006 | Newsletters

On August 15, 2006, Compass celebrated eighteen years in business. Assets under management have grown steadily during this time, so that as of September 30, 2006, we managed over $415 million in stock, bond and cash assets for our clients.

Investment Mistake #3: Lack of Discipline (From Too Many Choices)

2006 | Newsletters

Americans love having choices: Having many is an important part of how we define freedom. We want choices in the clothing, homes and cars we buy.

Investment Mistake #1: Chasing Returns

2005 | Newsletters

Chasing returns is one of the worst and most common mistakes made by investors. There are, of course, many reasons why investors do this.

Foreign Investing with U. S. Company Stocks

2005 | Newsletters

Wall Street has been highly successful at creating, packaging and delivering a bewildering array of investment products. Having choices is great, but too many can lead to confusion, gridlock or worse.

Large Growth Stock “Bargain Bin”

2005 | Newsletters

Energy stocks have been the undisputed market leaders in the S&P 500 index for the first nine months of 2005. Although they had begun to tire a bit in the third quarter, Katrina and Rita provided additional “fuel” to keep them advancing.

Are Homes Good Investments?

2005 | Newsletters

Much has been made of the run-up in U.S. single-family house prices over the last several years. Many advisers and the general public see single-family housing as a great investment; particularly during this period when stock and bond returns have seemed modest by comparison.

Legal disclaimer: This commentary contains the current opinions of Compass Capital Management, Inc., an SEC-registered investment adviser. Such opinions are subject to change without notice as economic and market conditions warrant. This commentary is for general educational purposes only and should not be considered as personalized investment advice or a recommendation of any particular security, strategy or investment product. Certain information contained herein is derived from third-party sources and is believed to be reliable at the time of publication, but is not guaranteed as to accuracy or completeness. Historical performance shall not be relied upon as a predictor of future performance.

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