It is a great pleasure to be penning the first Cascade Newsletter of 2014, given we closed 2013 at or near record highs. We also had the opportunity to participate in a bull market that clearly outshone all of the significant concerns we, as a nation, had as we faced the fiscal crisis that rang in 2013. Throughout the political theatrics of the previous year, the U.S. economy actually managed to catch its footing and make real progress toward a recovery. This feat, along with the continually running printing presses in the basement of the Federal Reserve combined to make 2013 an exceptional year for asset price gains. For many investors, participating in these markets has been a very rewarding experience.