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Weekly Reports, Investment Strategy Reports and Monthly Newsletters

Mast Report Week 01/12/18

Stock and other riskier assets have started 2018 on a strong note, while prices of low risk Treasuries have fallen. Many experts and investors have struggled to make sense of stock market valuations. A section of this week's Report attempts to provide answers. Reports on the U.S. economy remain positive.

Weekly Reports provide a review of financial markets and recently released reports on the U.S. economy. Topics of current interest and importance are also discussed.

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Mast Report Week 01/05/18

Stock prices continued to rise in the first week of the New Year. The S&P 500 Index is up 50% since its last major low on 2/22/2016. The main reasons are rising earnings and declining real yields on long-term Treasury bonds. This has kept stocks from becoming significantly overvalued. There are also some observations on rates of return on major asset classes in 2017 and over the past ten years. Recent reports on the U.S. economy have been positive.

Weekly Reports provide a review of financial markets and recently released reports on the U.S. economy. Topics of current interest and importance are also discussed.

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Mast Report Investment Strategy 12/29/17

The Investment Strategy Report for December is posted at the web site. Riskier financial assets generated strong rates of return in 2017, led by stocks. Long duration Treasuries also registered good returns. The environment for stocks and corporate bonds will again be positive in 2018. But their relative valuations compared to low risk Treasuries have become less attractive than they were at the end of 2016. This will limit their absolute returns in 2018, but they will still be better than Treasuries, but not by much. It's going to be a harder year to make money in 2018 than it was in 2017.

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Mast Investment Letter January 2018

There are big differences in meaning between 15% two-year Treasury in October 1981 and 2% two-year Treasury in November 2017. Over that period of time, expected returns went from high to low, risk taking from low to high. It wasn't too long ago that some 2010 wealth management products went bust, while some new ones are setting up the next bust. There are some very good reasons that you have not received any dinner phone call solicitations from financial product pushers for the newly available 2% one-year, insured CD. The first Mast Letter of 2018 cuts through lots of emotional smoke and calculates some very clear opportunity.

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Mast Report Week 12/22/17

Returns on U.S. stocks in 2018 will not match 2017's returns. Although corporate earnings are expected to rise strongly, those gains will very likely be offset to a significant degree by rising yields on long-term Treasury bonds. Returns on stocks will exceed returns on long Treasury bonds, whose returns are expected to be negative next year. There were a lot of economic reports released this past week. Most were decidedly positive.

Weekly Reports provide a review of financial markets and recently released reports on the U.S. economy. Topics of current interest and importance are also discussed.

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Mast Report Week 12/15/17

U.S. stock prices continued to rise last week, driven by stronger economic growth, rising corporate earnings, positive investor expectation from the passage of a tax bill, and continuing low yields on long-term Treasury bonds. So long as these conditions persist, stock will continue to move higher. But longer term returns on stocks are expected to be below historical average. The Federal Reserve raised its target for the federal funds rate to 1.25%-1.50% and Fed projections call for the federal funds rate to be increased by 75 basis points by the end of 2018. Reports on the U.S. economy continue to be positive.

Weekly Reports provide a review of financial markets and recently released reports on the U.S. economy. Topics of current interest and importance are also discussed.

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Mast Report Week 12/08/17

With expected real rates of return on stocks and other riskier asset classes remaining low, they are still expected to continue to provide better returns than Treasuries and cash equivalents, so long as improved economic growth persists, earnings continue rise, and long Treasury yields stay low. On the U.S. economy, the past week's reports were good. However, gains in employment, while lauded by the financial media, are not strong enough to generate sustained economic growth of close to 3%. Included for the first time in this Week Report are data summary reports: 1) Market Analysis Data and 2) Market Information and Investors' Expectations.

Weekly Reports provide a review of financial markets and recently released reports on the U.S. economy. Topics of current interest and importance are also discussed.

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Mast Report Week 12/01/17

Economic growth, corporate earnings, persistent low Treasury yields and tax reform continue to drive stocks. Value caught a bid last week. Stocks look toppy in its price channel. Economic reports were positive.

Weekly Reports provide a review of financial markets and recently released reports on the U.S. economy. Topics of current interest and importance are also discussed.

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Mast Investment Strategy 11/30/17

Stocks are expected to continue to rise so long as economic growth and corporate earnings remain strong and yields on long-term Treasuries do not increase materially. Due to high valuations on stocks, should these positive conditions not persist, stocks would likely decline. The advised investment strategy in the monthly Investment Strategy Reports is directed at long-term investors with balanced portfolios and applies to assets of those investors that are not expected to be needed within the next three years.

Long-term investing essentially deals with the degree to which an investor should take various types of investment risk in the pursuit of earning higher rates of return. To accomplish this, investors need to develop an investment strategy based on a specified approach and process. The approach and process in these Investment Strategy Reports uses information from financial markets to measure expected rates of return on major classes of financial assets, notably equities and fixed income. With this information, one can then assess how attractive or unattractive market expected returns are, given one's assessment of the prevailing investment environment

Weekly Reports provide a review of financial markets and recently released reports on the U.S. economy. Topics of current interest and importance are also discussed.

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Mast Mast Investment Letter December 2017

Recent public news is not useful for important public management decisions. Our representatives can serve us with some focus on that. Also the case, wealth management products and investment opinion is not useful for portfolio management. New, risky debt products are being engineered into financial products. Debt continues to spread beneath the tranquil economic surface. Mast organizes some random analysis into some useful decision points for your portfolio. Emotional market stories and impulses are not useful. Happy Holidays and New Year beginnings.

Weekly Reports provide a review of financial markets and recently released reports on the U.S. economy. Topics of current interest and importance are also discussed.

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Mast Report Week 11/24/17

Are stock prices starting to run out of steam? Both stocks and long maturity Treasury bonds are overvalued. Long Treasury yields are likely to rise. With short-term Treasury bill yields also rising, cash equivalents are becoming more attractive, for the first time in eight years. Recent reports on the economy have been positive. The U.S. economy is on track to grow at near a 3% annualized rate over the final three quarters of 2017.

Weekly Reports provide a review of financial markets and recently released reports on the U.S. economy. Topics of current interest and importance are also discussed.

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Mast Report Week 11/17/17

Low real yields on long maturity Treasury bond (TIPS) have played an important, but less recognized role in buoyant stock prices. Higher long TIPS yields would likely have a negative impact on stocks prices, but this could also cause a steepening of the yield curve, which would be positive. On the economy, inflation is not likely to pick up much. Retail sales have improved, while growth in industrial production remains unimpressive. In the residential construction sector, single unit starts and permits continue to be strong.

Weekly Reports provide a review of financial markets and recently released reports on the U.S. economy. Topics of current interest and importance are also discussed.

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Mast Report Week 11/10/17

Continued increases in stock prices when stock valuations are not clearly attractive depend on further good new on the economy and corporate earnings. But below 1% yields on long TIPS are too low even if the economy only grows at 2%. Tax cut and reform legislation from Republicans looks as if it would significantly increase federal government budget deficits. This could start to spook bond investor, possibly raising yields on Treasuries and also affecting stock prices. On the economy, labor market conditions continue to improve, but the negative aspect of this is increasing labor shortages

Weekly Reports provide a review of financial markets and recently released reports on the U.S. economy. Topics of current interest and importance are also discussed.

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Mast Report Week 11/03/17

Stock prices continued to rise this past week, again led by large cap growth stocks and technology shares. Apple's shares rose by 5.8% to an all time high. The Fed did not raise its target for the federal funds rate and Trump nominated Jerome Powell to replace Janet Yellen as head of the Fed. Both soothed markets, including a drop in long Treasury. On the economy, employment gains rebounded and ISM surveys indicated strong economic expansion. But recent slowing growth in real personal incomes may limit growth in the economy.

Weekly Reports provide a review of financial markets and recently released reports on the U.S. economy. Topics of current interest and importance are also discussed.

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Mast Report Funds Competitive Review

Twice a year, S&P Dow Jones Indices distributes its SPIVA U.S. Scorecard report. These reports compile the investment performance of actively managed mutual funds compared to selected benchmark indices. Following is our report of those results of active funds versus passive indexes

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