Blog2019-09-13T10:23:28-06:00

Confused? So is the Market

Monthly Outlook: May 2020 What is one to call a market that crashes 34% over four weeks then rallies 30% over the next four weeks? Crazy maybe, confused for sure. But that is what we see in stocks today. By the way, down 34% and up 30% does not equal down 4%. It equals down 14%, due to compounding. Clearly, the coronavirus pandemic and the related global economic shutdown should influence markets. Most businesses remain closed and employees are out of work (and their paycheck). Is a 15% discount to the pre-virus peak of two months ago an appropriate adjustment? We’ll discuss that more later. Let’s review market performance after the first four months of 2020. Bonds have gained 5.1%. Gold is up 11.2%. Cash is up a scant 0.3%. That is all the good news. On the other hand, U.S. stocks are down 10.4% and international stocks have lost [...]

By |April 30th, 2020|News, Outlook|

iFolios Protection to the Rescue

Monthly Outlook: April 2020 March 2020 was the craziest month of my 30+ year career. Stocks dropped 33% in just four weeks. The daily moves were so volatile, sounding like annual returns instead. Consider the daily sequence in mid-March: -7.6%, +4.8%, -4.9%, -9.5%, +9.3%, -11.9%, +5.9% and so on. It was nauseating. In the fourth week of March, we saw the typical oversold rally begin and stocks gained +18% in the past six days. For 2020 YTD, U.S. stocks are down -20.2%, and international stocks are down -23.3%. Bonds are up +3.1% and Gold is up +5.8%. Putting it together, the 75/25 benchmark (75% stocks / 25% bonds blend) is down -14.8%. Ready for some good news? Our iFolios strategy of growth and protection came to the rescue and our actual iFolios 75 portfolios are only down -4.4%. Really. So, go ahead and look at your March 2020 Portfolio Review; [...]

By |March 31st, 2020|News, Outlook|

Fear is Contagious

Monthly Outlook: March 2020  You’d have to be on an island without services to have missed the fact that stocks crashed in the last week of February. The blame is mostly being placed on the expanding coronavirus pandemic; more on that later. Stock markets were down about 15% in just seven trading days, breaking some records. YTD, the S&P500 is down 7.9%, while international stocks are down 9.8%. On the other hand, bonds are up 3.7% and gold is up 3.9%, YTD. It’s human nature to extrapolate recent experience, so many investors are doing mental math and wondering what happens if the market keeps dropping at this rate. History and evidence suggest that such a straight-line drop is highly unlikely. But trends have now changed, so it’s only prudent to reduce stock market exposure and raise some cash. Coronavirus Impact The coronavirus, by itself, is a huge global concern for [...]

By |March 2nd, 2020|News, Outlook|

7 Things that are True

Monthly Outlook: February 2020  The new year started off strong with a nearly 3% rise for the S&P500 during the first three weeks. But it couldn’t hold it and gave back 3% during the fourth week of January for a net 0% month. International stocks lost 3.4% probably due to concerns about Brexit happening on January 31st and the coronavirus spreading rapidly. Bonds gained 1.9% as interest rates continued to slide. Gold was the star of the month, gaining 4.2%. As we move into 2020 Month Two, U.S. politics are going to heat up. The impeachment is nearly over, the primaries are starting up in earnest, and opinions are going to fly. In this environment, you may appreciate some facts and truths. Below, we present 7 things that are true about markets: #1 How You Get There Matters Consider two portfolios. The first returns +8%, +8%, +8% for three years. [...]

By |February 3rd, 2020|News, Outlook|

2020 Vision on Markets

Monthly Outlook: January 2020  Happy new year! 2019 was another good year for investors with gains coming from both stocks and bonds. Markets ended the year near their highs but, once again, the destination doesn’t tell us much about the journey. Does anyone remember October to December 2018 when the S&P500 lost 15% in just three months? Luckily, the S&P500 bounced back in early 2019 and was back to even by March. Then markets flip-flopped sideways from March to September. Finally, with help from the Federal Reserve, stock markets started to rally again in October and that has lasted into year end. That dip-rally, then flip-flop, cycle was challenging for us as we constantly strive to keep our investors fully invested in the up-trending markets and to sell/trim the down-trending markets. Our iFolios strategy is designed to help you grow your wealth and to avoid the big loss. We did [...]

By |January 2nd, 2020|News, Outlook|

You Don’t Know That

Monthly Outlook: December 2019  We hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving and time with friends and family. There are only 27 days between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year so it’s all going to fly by! Retailers will stuff your mailbox and email with enticements and discounts while CNBC and Bloomberg TV will inundate you with market predictions for 2020. They’ll all be convinced that they’re right and brilliant and that you need to listen! From Fifth Avenue to Wall Street, everyone’s pushing something this time of year. Around the office we have a favorite saying of “You Don’t Know That.”  It’s used when one of us spouts off some forecast or prediction, usually from the hip. It’s our way of reminding ourselves to stay humble and that predicting markets is folly even though every other firm seems to do it. Luckily for them, no one seems to remember their predictions [...]

By |December 3rd, 2019|News, Outlook|