Our independent research begins with our proprietary Investment Conditions Rank, ICR. The ICR is based on worldwide political, economic, and financial trends. This ranking system is part qualitative using top down analysis of current events, and part quantitative, using pre-selected global economic and market data. The ICR is compared with similar historic timeframes to consider potential market implications. Our investment strategies are constructed by merging the ICR with our independent review of individual securities and bonds, as well as mutual funds and exchange traded products.