Capital Ideas Newsletters


Family Management 2.0

November – December 2019

It’s been 30 years since Andrea and I founded Family Management Corporation. We are as excited about our business today as we were in 1989.

I’m proud to say that our original mission continues today. Every step of the way we, and our team, have dedicated ourselves to serving the needs of our clients as if they were our family. Thus, our name-“Family Management”. Our team today is stronger than ever, our technology is state of the art, and our dedication is unparalleled.

Markets have been remarkably calm this year given the backdrop of ballooning federal deficits in the U.S. and in many countries around the globe. Employment has been incredibly strong, inflation benign, and corporate earnings more resilient than expected. This potion has resulted in a surging stock market and a continuing upward trajectory in risk assets, although the risk reward story seems less compelling today than 12 months ago.

The economic slowdown feared only two months ago has given way to great optimism -much of which has come from a yet settled trade war with China.

The jewel of the American luxury goods market, Tiffany, was snapped up by the voracious French company, LVMH. This shows that all that glitters is many times gold. In this case, $16.6 billion of it! Mergers and acquisitions are certainly continuing at a nice pace. With interest rates low and the stock market rewarding growth, this trend is likely to continue, as companies utilize inexpensive debt to grow via acquisition.

Although the French economy seems to be picking up, that of Germany’s is struggling. Audi, the German car maker, is laying off 10,000 workers. This followed news that trade volumes slowed in September.

The markets are shrugging off impeachment hearings, however, talk of a Warren presidency does spook the market. Increasing taxes on the rich will likely not cure wealth inequality; this has been shown everywhere in the world where it’s been tried. Socialist candidates, of which there are increasing numbers, should read their history books.

Michael Bloomberg has entered the presidential race. Will his candidacy prove terminal? 🙂

The median average of a market peak is approximately 20.5x earnings. As of this letter the market is approximately 18x earnings. On a historical basis, we may have more room left in this bull run.

Last December kicked the daylights out of stocks and other risk-on assets. We do not believe that this will be the case again this year. The one concern within the industry is whether there will be selling pressure from funds looking to lock in profits. This is a real issue as it relates to certain private investment vehicles. Only time will tell.

As the year closes, we would like to thank our colleagues, clients, and friends for their 30th year of support. We love this business and consider all of you part of our family. As I enter my next, and probably my final 30 years in business (wink wink), I want to thank you for allowing me to be a part of your lives each and every day. It has been an honor.


Warmest wishes for the holidays,

As ever,


Seymour W. Zises



This material contains the current opinions of Family Management Corporation and its affiliates (collectively, “FMC”), which may change without notice.  This material is distributed for informational purposes only.  It is not a recommendation or offer of any investment or strategy.  Nothing herein shall be considered a solicitation to buy or sell, or an offer to buy or sell, to or from any persons in any jurisdiction where such solicitation, offer, purchase, or sale would be unlawful.  Information contained herein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable but are not guaranteed.  FMC provides no guarantees regarding the performance of any investment or strategy.  Investing entails risks, including possible loss of principal.  Past performance is no guarantee of future performance and individual client results will vary.  No part of this material may be reproduced in any form, or referred to in any publication, without the express written permission of FMC.

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