Throughout 2014 consumers have proven that they can be extremely fickle, looking for superior products at the best possible price. They have been very selective how they spend their hard earned money forcing companies to be both creative and resourceful. When looking at consumer discretionary companies returns have been all over the board, separating the contenders from the pretenders. For a company to be successful they must provide a superior product with quality service at a competitive price. When it comes to the sporting goods/apparel industry there is a relatively young company that has emerged as a leader and is playing ball with the big boys.

Under Armour (UA) has burst onto the sports/fitness industry scene over the last decade. With bold marketing and innovative products they have become a force and have caught investors attention. UA is up over 34% YTD and has left many of its competitors in the dust: Nike (NKE, YTD =-1.87%), Lululemon Athletica Inc. (LULU, YTD = -33%), Adidas (ADDYY, YTD = -24%) and Columbia Sportswear (COLM, YTD = +3%). With impressive numbers like this investors are forced to ask themselves if the stock still has positive upside or if it is too late to take a position?

Company Summary:

The company was created in 1996 when CEO Kevin Plank began

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Last month we wrote about how “Sell in May and go away” did not work and for those expecting a correction…June would have to be the month something finally gives. Alas, for those in the bear camp we saw no such thing as a “June swoon” and the correction that has never come is still lurking out there somewhere. Everyone has telegraphed it by now and the longer we go without one the more severe it could be….or will it?

 

More importantly, is it even worthwhile trying to prepare for it? Can you prepare your portfolio for a market correction like you would your house for a natural disaster like an earthquake or a hurricane? Sure…you can but should you?

Far more money has been lost by investors preparing for corrections, or trying to anticipate corrections, than has been lost in corrections themselves." –Peter Lynch

Here’s the current summary of the MPG Core Tactical 60/40 portfolio mix, which is updated as of this writing (July 7, 2014):

Click here to compare our portfolio against the benchmark

What adjustments did we make?

As usual we enjoyed several dividends hitting the portfolio. Although we believe it’s futile to think one can prepare for a correction, we continued to whittle down positions we’ve done well on (profit taking) and added one that could bring some additional momentum with it. The two sells and one buy we made were

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We’ve certainly not held back with our opinion in the past when it comes to mutual funds. While they certainly can warrant a spot in many portfolios, they need to be reviewed and compared carefully to their peers and other investment options. Today we are going to take an in-depth look at a fund we see in many portfolios but very few individuals actually understand what it is. The Fidelity Contrafund (FCNTX) is one of the largest actively managed equity mutual funds there is with assets just

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Driving over to the Long Beach Yacht club was pleasant and relaxing. On this first day of summer I looked out over the bridge leading into Naples and Belmont Shore and I could see tons of people splashing in the water, kids building sand castles, and nearby boats sailing in and out of the marina. As I parked my car however, the reality of why I was going to the yacht club struck me harder than expected. I was going to see a client, or at least one of them. For the third time this month our firm lost another client to cancer. Today was to be a celebration of her life and although that’s what she and her family wanted, it sure was difficult to “celebrate”. After all these years a client becomes a friend and a part of your extended family.

Earlier in the day, family members boarded a boat and spread her ashes out at sea. Now everyone was gathered together to celebrate her life. As I walked in I was immediately introduced to friends and other family members as “the money guy” or “here’s our financial advisor”. Normally when one hears your title you assume you’re at a work function but that was the furthest thing on my mind and on this occasion it startled me to be introduced as such.

As the afternoon progressed I ended up bumping into other people I knew in the community as well as other mutual friends of my client. I also met another client who had initially referred and introduced me to this wonderful couple many years ago. She too had lost her spouse several years back, so seeing her suffer another loss was also difficult to digest. Before some of the speakers took the podium I was able to meet several family members; some of which I had met or at least knew by face and name. One of course always wishes that you are meeting in person under different circumstances.

After several touching speeches, a slide show accompanied by some music highlights an amazing life that was taken too quickly from us. All eyes are glued to the screen and

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