The economy gathered momentum in 2013, and improving optimism carried stocks higher. The Federal Reserve remained focused on providing stimulus, while Washington remained largely split on fiscal matters through much of the year, culminating in the first shutdown of the federal government in 17 years. Connecting the dots between 2013 and the coming year, policymakers appear poised to once again play a dominant role. Nonetheless, we believe that investors are best served to maintain a long-term focus and appropriate diversification, within the context of their stated risk tolerance, to position themselves to achieve their goals and financial success.
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