The investment markets have become more complex as the start of Fed interest rate hikes approaches, as the dollar continues to rise, and as oil prices keep falling.
The sharp drop in the price of oil since mid-year has depressed the prices of our energy shares and diluted our portfolio returns for 2014.
For the past two years the stock market has steadily climbed, interrupted only by relatively small corrections that have occurred around corporate earnings reports.
We began the year expecting bond yields to rise during 2014, but they instead declined by about 0.50% during the first half of this year.
Since 2007 the US economy has been deleveraging, and understanding how this process affects investment markets has been useful for successfully navigating this period.