”Don’t Let Perfect Be the Enemy of Good”

While it is unlikely that Voltaire had fossil fuels in mind when he wrote those words, several hundred years ago, the fit, for the US, is quite compelling. We use and need a lot of energy. We account for approximately 5% of the world’s population but contribute more than 20% of the world’s goods and … Continued

Weighing In at the SEC

Sigma Investment Counselors President and CEO, Bob Bilkie, CFA, recently submitted the following in response to the US Securities and Exchange Commissions’ Request for Comment regarding Duties of Brokers, Dealers, and Investment Advisers for those providing investment advice (Release No. 34-69013; IA-3558; File No. 4-606). Thank you for providing a comment period pursuant to your … Continued

Stay the Course

The Wall Street Journal carries a headline today titled “Growls Keep Coming From the Bear’s Den”. This article, which touts warnings from investment strategists about bad things to come for common stock investors, arrives on the heels of one of the best periods for investing in stocks (the four years and also the three months … Continued


Google partly defines alchemy as “a form of chemistry and speculative philosophy practiced in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance and concerned primarily with discovering methods for transmuting baser metals into gold”. Today, investors and their advisors are faced with historically low yields on fixed income securities. Many investors have generally assumed that their fixed … Continued

World Series Preview?

I spent the beginning part of this week in Florida watching the Detroit Tigers play the Washington Nationals. I think these two teams could meet again in the October Classic. The Detroit Tigers have a combination of incredibly good starting pitching and outstanding power hitting. The relief pitching is a question mark but notwithstanding the … Continued

The Rule of Law

Former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was convicted of corruption yesterday. There was widespread speculation that a jury of his peers might acquit in spite of compelling evidence to the contrary. This would have been a blow to the rule of law and the fortunes of cities with a culture of corruption that were/are attempting recovery. … Continued


No, this doesn’t refer to a sign of affection or to the musical band, but rather to another phrase that I will share in few moments. During my 20+ years at Sigma, I have been involved in two very unique situations that have produced the same results. One situation was a lottery winner and the … Continued

A Friendly Reminder

In view of the recent and well-publicized financial situation in Cyprus, investors may want to recall and consider that well known quotation, “A government big enough to give you everything you want, is a government big enough to take away everything you have.” All comments and suggestions are welcome. Walter J. Kirchberger, CFA

The Importance of Predictability or, Just Tell Us What the Rules Are

Long-term objectives typically require long-term solutions, which in turn, require a degree of predictability. Here at Sigma, we are primarily concerned with providing long-term investment results that are consistent with our clients’ long-term financial goals. We do not attempt to achieve investment objectives through short-term market maneuvering. We seek to provide a degree of certainty, … Continued

Understanding the ‘Bond Bubble’

Perhaps the most often question that I am asked of late is how does one protect him/herself from the pending burst of the bond bubble? It is a difficult question to answer as it depends on one’s perspective and what they are really trying to protect themselves from. Moreover, I am not even sure that … Continued