KFA Blog

Senior Trading and Research Specialist


Influenced at an early age her father who often talked about investing and actively bought and sold stocks, Lisa developed a love of the markets. This passion lead her to a career in financial services. Lisa started in the financial services industry after college.  She began in 1990 working on the retail side. Today Lisa's main area of focus is researching new investment ideas for clients’ portfolios.  She also maintains the firm’s internal information and communication to ensure we are aware of any news regarding our investments and the impact it has on our portfolios.  Another main area of focus is on placing investment trades as well as maintaining client asset allocations that coincide with the individual objectives and risk tolerance.  She received a Bachelor's degree in Business from DePaul University in Chicago. In her spare time, Lisa enjoys spending time with her children and family, attending sporting events, and volunteering for her children’s activities.  Lisa enjoys doing yoga, walking her dog and skiing. Lisa can be reached by email at: info@kabarec.com  

Market Commentary: 3rd Quarter 2016

By:  Lisa Thuer - Senior Trading and Research Specialist

The fourth quarter is upon us and where do we go from here. 2016 started out with one of the most volatile Januaries in history only to be led by an upward climb in February and March. June ended with the whipsaw of Brexit. Not to mention the Federal Reserve indecision of raising interest rates or not. If all of that isn’t enough, let us bring an unconventional Presidential Election into the mix.

Putting all of the noise aside, the economy is growing. Perhaps not at leaps and bounds, but it is growing and slow growth keeps inflation intact. The unemployment rate is low and wages are rising, slowly. Home and auto sales are good. Consumer confidence is up which is a positive sign that people feel things are improving. Oil has come off its lows and the dollar has come off its highs giving both of them some stability.

How does all this relate to your portfolios? Our job becomes challenging at times when the markets do not trade on fundamentals. In the long run, fundamentals do win out. However, short-term it makes it quite difficult to tune out the noise and look to the long-term goals and know that your timeline may be extended to reach these goals. Depending on your age, this timeline may be shorter or longer for each individual. Emotions do get in the way of money and investing, however this year has taught us that the markets are resilient and can weather many storms even when stuck in the eye of the hurricane you cannot see the light of day.

Sorting through whom to believe in all of this – so far the media has put nothing but fear and panic into our heads. We have made several adjustments to many portfolios over the past couple of weeks and a few more will continue but no major changes. Earning season is upon us and we are looking for a positive one. Should there be some misses in earnings, we may experience some volatility. The Presidential Election is just a few weeks away which may also cause a stir in the markets. Investment wise we are erroring on the cautious side and staying with U.S. dividend payers. Unfortunately, healthcare has been a drag on our portfolios, but we believe it has bottomed and healthcare innovations are nothing but a positive story in the works. Merger and acquisitions are materializing, the biotech space is increasing with clinical trials, medical innovations and many more are all taking place. There may be some pullback in this sector depending on the elections since there are different views on healthcare from both candidates. However we will remain invested and perhaps increase our allocation to the healthcare sector. Technology remains in focus and we will continue to hold and look for areas of further interest. Some other areas of allocation will be an increase small-caps, a watch is on for the energy sector and for the conservative income portfolios we will add bond like or equivalent bond like holdings. Global and International holdings are always in our research, but at this time we remain with a very small international holding due to the volatility that currently comes with investing internationally.

With the election upon us in the 4th quarter, some unknowns remain in the market since this election is like no other. However, the market has withstood many storms and this is just one more. Keep in mind, the markets have never seen anything like Brexit before and look at the markets now. We continue to build a solid and well-diversified portfolio with your short and long-term goals in focus.

As always, should you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact any one of us on the KFA Team.

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Brexit Relief Rally

By:  Lisa Thuer - Senior Trading and Research Specialist

As the dust settles from Brexit, markets are close to back where they were a week ago. Even though we did take some money off the table and did not panic, we are confident that the funds will be deployed to more profitable and less volatile investments. There has been a quick run up after the drastic down turn from Brexit and it almost feels like whiplash. The second quarter ends today and Alcoa kicks off second quarter earnings on July 11th.  We will wait till next week to start investing cash that is sitting on the sidelines. Everyone wants to get in when the markets are going up and sell when the markets are going down. Keeping long-term goals in mind and ignore the everyday noise is what we all need to remind ourselves. Patience is a virtue in these markets.  Stick with the fundamentals, stay diversified and don’t panic. 

We are looking forward to a better second half of the year.

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Brexit - Day 2

By:  Lisa Thuer - Senior Trading and Research Specialist

The sell-off continues, however we do not believe it is the end of the world. What happened in the United Kingdom is not a collapse, but a country voting for its independence. Contagion is taking place as it is easier to sell now and decide later what the outcome of Brexit will be good or bad. Truth is no one really knows how this will play out and markets do not like uncertainty. Therefore as we have said before, volatility will continue but the world is not crumbling around us.

To minimize the risk and volatility in your portfolios, we have sold some positions which are most exposed to these areas. When we took our position in the financial sector – rates were increasing which is good news and a bet on financials. Just prior to Brexit, banks passed their annual stress tests and they were leading the markets. Then Brexit hit and the possibility of a rate increase this year is minimal and the outcome of Brexit on banks is uncertain. It is NOT a 2008 financial crisis all over again, but money held in these holdings may be stagnant for a while. The other area where recovery was taking place is Europe and Japan. The currencies were also hedged in our holdings (a benefit in their recovery stage) however Brexit may have put this recovery on hold for the time being and therefore we are not seeing further opportunity at this time. Therefore in the coming days, we will bargain shop in value and dividend payers that have been beaten down.

Positive areas throughout this turmoil have been utilities, fixed income and alternatives. These unexpected worldly situations that occur are reasons why we remain diversified and hold alternatives which help us weather the storm through these difficult markets. We are taking this opportunity to realign our portfolios and be opportunistic.

As always, should you have any further questions, please feel free to contact a team member. 



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Market Conditions - Brexit Blindsides Markets

By:  Lisa Thuer - Senior Trading and Research Specialist


The unexpected happened. Even though the polls were close, the markets were pricing in that the United Kingdom was going to STAY in the EU. Till the vote came in 51.9% to Leave and 48.1% to Remain. Markets tumbled overnight in the wake of the shock. British Prime Minister Cameron has resigned but will stay on over the next weeks and months until they find a replacement for him. 

What does this mean for your portfolio and investments? These are times we wish we had that crystal ball, but in reality we have to base our research on what is available to us and unfortunately that crystal ball is not within our reach. The first reaction is always to sell, sell, sell. Hitting the panic button isn't always the right answer. We will chose to be opportunistic and you will see changes as early as next week to your portfolios and taking risk off the table. Markets tend to settle down after a major sell off and we will stay the course and make adjustments accordingly. 

Please feel free to reach out to us should you have any questions. 



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In Search of the Perfect Graduation Gift

By:  Lisa Thuer - Senior Trading and Research Specialist


Are you in search for that perfect gift for the new graduate? Do you give them money? Or do you give them a dust collector to sit on their shelf which does just that and collects dust? Why not help them start their nest egg and watch it grow. There are various ways in which you can help them. A recent article from Charles Schwab entitled Help Your College Grad Become an Investor includes four ideas that are easy and won’t break the bank to start saving.


1) Match savings contributions

2) Fund an IRA

3) Give stocks with youth appeal

4) Automate investing


Overtime with the graduate’s long time horizon, they can accumulate a nice nest egg without sacrificing much at all and wouldn’t it be nice for them to actually be able to choose a few companies they like and watch them grow?


If we can be of help with setting this up or giving you ideas, please feel free to contact one of our team members at 847-934-7777.

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