From the Desk of Irwin Michael – May 22, 2015

As we approach the last week of May, so far, there has been no sign of the “sell in May” trade that the media frequently publicizes at this time of year. In fact, common stocks have been trending higher.

On the economic front, Wednesday’s release of the U.S. Fed minutes indicates that interest rates will remain low, at least until the early winter. Despite the considerable speculation as to when the Fed will initiate the first interest rate increase of this economic cycle, we expect rates to remain relatively stable for the balance of this year. Interestingly, adding to the ongoing interest rate confusion was an economic report this morning, which exhibited signs of American inflation heading toward the Fed’s elevated target. Nevertheless, we expect the monetary authorities will move both slowly and cautiously until they firmly believe that economic recovery is not in any jeopardy should an ill-timed rate increase occur. By extension, the present economic and monetary environment is generally positive for common stock performance and, in particular, for dividend-paying common stocks with capital appreciating potential.

With regard to our ABC Funds, all five portfolio prices have improved during the month of May. This appreciation is primarily due to our particular focus on undervalued, free cash flowing American common shares such as Carriage Services Inc., Foot Locker Inc., and Mentor Graphics Corp., which, this week, reported better than expected earnings and share buybacks. Furthermore, we are not ignoring Canadian equities. We continue to search and, in fact, we are currently accumulating several undervalued Canadian common stocks.

Irwin A. Michael Signature

Irwin A. Michael, President
I.A. Michael Investment Counsel Ltd.

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