International Markets continue to be the most favored area of investment for the first quarter of 2018 and looking forward for the next 12 months. The best performing asset class in Q1 was emerging market.
Recent allocation changes have yielded good results in 2017. A greater exposure to International Equities turned out to be timely. There is still room for normalizing this allocation if you have not done so yet.
Third quarter, 2017 saw stocks rise amid a brighter outlook for the global economy and better-than-expected corporate earnings.
U.S. Economy – Good The key factors we track, unemployment, housing, and inflation, are still healthy. There has been little change to inflation, which stays solidly below 2%, but remains in a safe zone.
U.S. Economy – Good The key factors we track, unemployment, housing, and inflation, are all favorable. Unemployment is now in the 4.7% range, while wage inflation has held its slight upward trend.
There were two events in the Fourth Quarter that influenced U.S. and foreign financial markets: Donald Trump won the presidential election which led to positive growth on Wall Street & the Federal Reserve’s December interest rate of 0.25% signified the Fed's confidence in the improving U.S. economy.
By all accounts the first three quarters of 2016 have been very good from a performance standpoint, notwithstanding some periods of intense volatility. The S&P has delivered a return of approximately 7.8%, with the Russell 2000 at 11.4%. MSCI EM have delivered a remarkable 16.4% year to date.
This quarter has been full of ups and downs. Commodities and emerging markets quietly led the way in performance, after several years near or at the bottom, while REITS stayed on top for the 3rd year. Big talk has been Brexit.
Are we in the crosshairs of a terrible financial catastrophe or will cooler heads prevail?
There is so much happening in the world this quarter that it is difficult to pinpoint a primary driver. Despite the noise of the markets this quarter, we are still in the midst of an expansion.
US Market’s underlying fundamentals remain healthy. Tactical exposure to growth areas and careful bond allocation to diversified and well-managed portfolios is key.
US Market’s overall valuation has changed to undervalued, relative to historical ranges. Exposure to weakening emerging markets, which are commodity sensitive should be limited.
U.S. Economic data continue to be strong. Job creation continues to grow, as do housing starts.
The first quarter of 2015 is, thus far, looking a lot like ‘14. Our 2015 market is waiting with great anticipation to see what the Federal Reserve Board has in store.
Before we take a look towards the future, let's reflect on where we have been.
What just happened? Does a modest Market correction have us running for the hills? What is really going on?
Encouragingly the second quarter has done an about face with May and June proving to be two of the best months of the year, with broad participation across all global equity markets. So what is going on?
2014 began with a whimper, and a tremendous sell-off that saw the market drop by slightly more than 7%, but gave way to a "lioness" recovery that offset most previous losses.
As 2014 begins we all wonder: can we possibly repeat 2013? The Dow Jones Industrial Average returned 29.7% last year and the S&P 500 was up 32.3%.
It is October 1, 2013, and in addition to me being on the ball and writing this a day after the end of the quarter, it is also what I expect to be one of the last calm days before what should be a very treacherous month ahead.
The fourth quarter 2012 was exciting: politically and economically. The re-election of Obama coincided with a strong stock market sell-off as the Market considered the political ramifications of a split Congress. The Market inched its way back up through December, but then was held back by fear of the fiscal cliff on New Year’s Day.
2012 is in the history books and what a year it was. From the Elections to the Olympics to the devastating natural disasters and to the Mayan “end of the world”. It was a tumultuous, exciting, and sometimes tearful year. But we made it through and are now looking ahead to 2013.
As we head into the last quarter of 2012, we are on the summit, or apex, of the Market year. In the 3rd quarter the market rallied and was up 6.35%, and 16.4% for the year. In addition, the S&P 500 Index for the 1-year period ending 9/30 is up 27%. The Markets are not only at 52 week high, they are at a 4-year high.
We have all heard the expression that if something appears too good to be true then it normally is. After two consecutive quarters of double-digit returns, reality has set in.
After an extremely volatile 2011, the 1st quarter of 2012 brought us what can best be described as “Surprise, Surprise Surprise”. If this sounds familiar, it is because this was once the catchphrase of noted philosopher Gomer Pyle (I know some of you reading this have no idea who I am referring to.)
As the calendar turned to 2011, most analysts within the investment circle believed that both the market and economy had finally turned the corner from “The Great Recession” of 2008, and while most expectations for the year were not necessarily calling for great market returns, most of the so-called experts were calling for a solid market performance year.
A fond memory I have growing up in Oklahoma City is driving to Dallas, Texas to go to an amusement park called Six Flags. When I was around twelve years old, they introduced a new roller coaster called the “Shock Wave”.
Each quarter when we write our Market Commentary, we do so by comparing the Market to recent events, popular songs, award-winning movies, etc. In analyzing the 2nd Quarter, it was quite clear that the theme had to be based on the weather.
Near the end of the First Quarter, Japan was devastated by a Tsunami, a nuclear threat, and a series of earthquakes. Based on the number of phone calls we received from plan participants, it is evident that people are nervous about how this will affect the economy and the Market.
The expression "Indian Summer" is used to describe an unseasonably warm fall day. This phrase came to mind as we reflected on the third quarter.
If you have recently awoken in a cold sweat with an eerie feeling that you have been here before, you are not alone. Does it feel like "Groundhog Day'' to you? Those of you old enough might remember the classic 1993 movie starring Bill Murray, where his character kept waking up to the same day over and over again. Did the 2nd Quarter, 2010 stock market performance make you think that you kept waking up in 2008?
Earlier this week while I was leading an education meeting, I asked the group a simple true/false question. The question was “by a show of hands who thinks the market was good in 2009?” I was shocked that only one hand went up.
Happy New Year and Welcome to the New Decade! We have just concluded, from a historical standpoint, the worst investment decade in our nation’s history.
What a difference a year can make. I was reviewing the third quarter Market Commentary of 2008 written October 14, 2008. As I reflect on this current time period, it is amazing to see how far the Market went down, how much it has recovered – and how much more we have to go.
The world didn’t come to an end after all. Six months ago it seemed the very foundation of modern financial markets were crumbling. Everything you knew about investing appeared to be wrong.
In reflecting on the wild ride we have been on in the market, the analogy that has come to mind is the flight of the Boomerang. "Boomerang" is defined in Wikipedia as a ‘curved piece of wood that travels in an elliptical path and returns to its point of origin’.
As we turned the calendar from 2008 to 2009, I think we would all agree that we could not get the New Year started fast enough after experiencing what was the most devastating year in the Market. In this Market Commentary, I will recap the "Wild Wild West" year that we had and discuss what lies ahead for 2009.
It is Tuesday, October 14th, and as I sit down to write this commentary, I feel like I have just witnessed a horrific train wreck. That train wreck is the Stock Market.
As I sit to write the Market Commentary for the 2nd quarter of 2008, I cannot help but shake my head in sheer amazement as to what has transpired over the past 90 days (actually for the 2nd quarter of 2008). In many ways, the quarter was like the old movie "The Good, (April) The Bad, (May) and the Ugly (June)".
In our Commentary for 4th Quarter of 2007, I compared the market to a flight I had recently taken and titled it “Turbulence”. As we conclude the 1st quarter of 2008, it is apparent that we are continuing the bumpy ride that we started in the final quarter of last year.
Each quarter at Pension Advisors, I write a commentary about what happened in the market for the latest quarter as well as the past year. I also discuss what I expect to see affecting the market in the months ahead. While I will go through the events of the 4th Quarter of 2007, I will focus more on what is going on now and what we see ahead.
I have been in this business for over 16 years now and have never experienced anything like the 3rd quarter of 2007. I recently tried to describe the market activity to a participant and compared it to Joe Turner’s 1950's hit song. First we were all Shaken, then we were all Rattled by the market, then the Fed adjusted rates and the market Rolled.
On Independence Day, I enjoyed watching a wonderful fireworks show. As I was thinking about it, I could not help but think that from a market perspective, we saw some real "Fireworks" during the 2nd Quarter of this year.
One of my favorite times of the year is from mid-March through early April. This period hosts the NCAA Tournament, Opening Day for Baseball, and The Masters golf tournament. CBS sportscaster, Brent Musberger, popularized the term “March Madness” back in 1982 to describe the frenzy associated with the NCAA Tournament.
As we said goodbye to 2006 and ushered in 2007, I contemplated what made 2006 such a good year in the market. There are a variety of factors that contributed to the S&P being up 15.8%, but I believe the single biggest factor was the Federal Reserve halting interest rate changes.
Normally, I spend my Saturday afternoons in the fall cheering for my favorite college football team, the Oklahoma Sooners. Having grown up in Oklahoma, one of the first things that every child learns is the school fight song called, "Boomer Sooner”.
In our 1st Quarter 2006 Market Commentary, I expressed some concern over what I felt could happen in the market, and unfortunately many of those concerns came to fruition during the 2nd quarter of this year.
As we have just ended the 1st Quarter for 2006, from an investment standpoint, things appear very good. We often hear in a movie or read in a novel, “things are often not as they appear”. As we head into the summer months, the market is facing a crossroad that it has not experienced in some time.
Latest Updates & Information
International Markets continue to be the most favored area of investment for the first quarter of 2018 and looking forward for the next 12 months. The best performing asset class in Q1 was emerging market.Read full story here
Recent allocation changes have yielded good results in 2017. A greater exposure to International Equities turned out to be timely. There is still room for normalizing this allocation if you have not done so yet.Read full story here