In this recurring column, we take a look back at how the markets and SMI's investing strategies performed in the quarter recently completed.

As long-time Sound Mind Investing readers know, the market rarely behaves as the experts expect. Virtually no one anticipated the kind of year 2013 turned out to be.

Most predictions for 2013 were for a mediocre (at best) to poor (or worse!) year. Even the "optimists" figured the first half would be muted, with things picking up later in the year. So naturally, the market did the unexpected and started the year by taking off like a rocket. In May, the Federal Reserve suggested it would soon begin reducing ("tapering") its purchases of Treasury and mortgage bonds under its Quantitative Easing programs. This caused interest rates to spike higher (dealing bond owners their first significant losses in years), and stock prices to stop their rapid ascent. But by mid-June the shock was over, and stocks resumed their assault on new all-time highs.

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