Markets Surged in November. Trends Back Up.

Monthly Outlook: December 2023 The Santa Claus Rally came early this year with nearly every market surging higher in November. Just last month, our Outlook title was “What’s Up? Not Much.” One month later, we’d have to answer, “Everything!” US Growth & Value, INTL, Emerging (except China), Bonds – they’re all trending higher again. Even the Israeli stock market turned back up, despite the on-going conflict, and is higher than it was pre-war. So, why the surge? It seems investors are increasingly confident that the Fed and other central bankers have completed their interest rate hikes and monetary tightening. The idea is that lower interest rates in 2024 will support higher financial asset prices. And that’s true, mathematically. After the COVID pandemic smashed the global economy in early 2020, global central bankers unleashed massive stimulus in late 2020 and all of 2021. That (and vaccines) stabilized the economy and markets. [...]

November 30th, 2023|

What’s Up? Not Much.

Monthly Outlook: November 2023 Global stock markets had a decent run from March to July. But they’ve been zigzagging lower over the past three months. We know many of you have noticed because you’ve been calling in for reassurance. We all know that markets bounce around daily, but we focus on medium- to long-term trend changes. That is, we’re looking for the day when any of our market ETFs cross over their price trendline. And we can report, we are seeing crossovers happening right now. As a reminder, price trendlines are a simple calculation, based on moving average prices. They’re numerical like a thermometer reading. On our charts, we can see when any of our market index ETFs cross above or below their price trendline. That’s our trigger to either buy or sell, and we’ve been selling. So, what’s up? US Growth Stocks, Commodities, and Short-Term Bonds. That’s about it. [...]

October 31st, 2023|

Mid-October Update: Back to Protection Mode

Monthly Outlook UPDATE: October 19, 2023 We talk about “trends” all the time and how we follow the trends to provide the growth that our investors want, and the protection that they need. Just today, the typical growth fund (which is a good proxy for what most investors own) switched from up to down, causing us to transition from growth mode to protection mode. For that reason, today is a good day to demonstrate how we invest with the trend. Like most money managers, we build globally diversified portfolios comprised of many markets: Bonds, US Stocks, and INTL Stocks. In our case, we use one index ETF for each market. Other managers may use mutual funds or individual stocks and bonds. The vehicle isn’t as important as the method or strategy used to know 1) how much to invest in each market and 2) when to buy and sell. That’s [...]

October 31st, 2023|

Markets are Rolling Over and We’ve Been Selling

Monthly Outlook: October 2023 We know that stocks have been in a correction the past two months, and it feels a little painful. The S&P500 is down 6.3%, and the NASDAQ is down 6.6%. International stocks are down 7.5%. Bonds have lost 3.1%, too, so they aren’t helping, either. The question being asked is whether this is a normal 5%-10% correction or the beginning of something worrisome? There is a lot of handwringing about inflation and interest rates, recession or no recession, rising unemployment, stalling corporate earnings, dysfunctional government and shutdowns, upcoming elections, and so on. If we could just know all the answers today! Of course, no one can but there may be something better that we do know. At least when it comes to investing, we can measure with 100% certainty the price trendline for every market. We can observe, on a daily basis, whether a market is [...]

October 2nd, 2023|

Everything is Awesome?

Monthly Outlook: September 2023 Nearly every market remains in an uptrend this Labor Day. US Growth and Value, US Small, INTL, Emerging, Bonds, Commodities – they’re all trending higher. Everything is awesome, right? It feels like all news is good news, at least to markets. (We’ll discuss this later.) Most markets had a pullback in early August before recovering last week. Pullbacks of 5% are routine during uptrends and, so far, that’s all we had in August. Since markets are trending higher, we remain “all in” and positioned for growth. Can All News Be Good News?   While we’re cautiously optimistic about markets, it’s also prudent to be professionally skeptical. The evidence that supports strong markets is more mixed than the price trends suggest. This summer, I’m sure we all noticed that airplanes are full, restaurants are busy, and people are shopping. The economy sure appears to be humming along. [...]

August 31st, 2023|

The Trend Is Our Friend

Monthly Outlook: August 2023 Markets continue to trend higher, and portfolios are growing. For all the nervous talk about interest rates, recession, inflation, and other risks, the markets just don’t seem to listen or care. The Magnificent Seven big technology companies certainly sparked the initial excitement earlier this year, but the optimism has spread to other markets and now almost every market and sector is moving higher. This summer, the trend is our friend and we’re fully invested to capture the available growth. It’s a good time to remember that the market is not the economy. And we invest in the market, which can, and often does, act in counterintuitive ways to the fundamentals and economic data. Yes, the Fed has raised interest rates from 0% to 5.25% over the past year and that should slow the economy. Yes, inflation is still too high at 4% to 5%, depending on [...]

August 1st, 2023|
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