The Fed's Double Whammy

The Fed's Double Whammy

Greetings!  I hope everyone is having a great start to their summer.  The markets have shown continued strength since we elected Donald Trump as our President back in November.  The Federal Reserve also raised short term interest rates again, and expects to do so once more later this year.

The economy does appear to be strong right now, but politically things are starting to heat up.  Tension with North Korea and Russia continues to grow, and Mr. Trump is consistently finding himself in self-inflicted turmoil.

Despite the political climate, many investors I’ve spoken with recently seem to be “lulled” into a false sense of security.  It’s hard to blame them with the stock market marching steadily upward.  It’s been so long since our last correction that it’s easy to forget the market can go down, too!  

Hot Stocks & Rising Rates: Are We Poised for a Sell Off?

Hot Stocks & Rising Rates: Are We Poised for a Sell Off?

Despite the headlines, ruffled feathers, and self-aggrandizing tweets, stock markets have marched upward very consistently since Mr. Trump took office this year. Interest rates on both ends of the yield curve continue to tick higher, and equities in the international and emerging markets have also been strong. At this point, we need to prepare for the inevitable time when the levy breaks. U.S. stock markets are quite expensive on a historical basis, and our current 10-year bull run is one of the longer growth cycles in history.

While I never advocate for investors to time the markets, or change course because they expect a market downturn, we do need to understand that this level of calm is not the norm. I can’t tell you when or how the next market crash will occur, only that it will happen eventually. To prepare, investors should ensure that their strategic asset allocation fits their objectives and comfort with risk like a glove. If you’re uncomfortable with the idea of a stock market crash, it’s probably time to reassess your portfolio.

Turning the Page: What to Expect from the Markets in 2017

Turning the Page: What to Expect from the Markets in 2017

As we close the books on the holiday season and begin looking forward to what 2017 might hold, I always enjoy reflecting on what’s happened in the world over the last 12 months.  Not only for nostalgic reasons, but also to better understand the current state of the markets & how we got where we are today.  I find that using such context always seems to help make sharper investment decisions over the upcoming year.

And looking forward to 2017, there are three themes I see as important for investors to follow.  First, how the U.S. economy will respond to President Trump’s fiscal policies (however they’re implemented).  Second, the growing populist sentiment in Europe, as we saw in the Brexit and more recent Italian referendum.  And third, the increase in internet security breaches and how nations and corporations will respond.

Why We Can't Get Complacent After a Dull Summer in the Markets

Why We Can't Get Complacent After a Dull Summer in the Markets

Since the minor turbulence we experienced after Britain abruptly decided to leave the European Union, the markets were quite calm this summer. The S&P 500 is up 5.67% year to date, and even went over 50 consecutive trading sessions without a decline of more than 1%.

What the Brexit Means for Your Portfolio

What the Brexit Means for Your Portfolio

If you’ve been wondering where the next market shockwave might come from, I think you now have your answer. Last week, Britain voted in a referendum to leave the European Union – a move termed “Brexit” by worldwide media. The outcome of the vote came as a surprise to just about everyone. L

How Foreign Exchange is Affecting the Markets

How Foreign Exchange is Affecting the Markets

2016 has been a tumultuous ride for stocks thus far. The S&P 500 started the year down over 10% through the first six weeks of the year, as persistently low oil prices and concerns about China’s sputtering economy struck fear throughout the markets. Since then, strong economic data in the U.S. has helped stage an impressive comeback, and to date the index has rebounded right back to where it opened the year.

Three Investing Themes For 2016

Three Investing Themes For 2016

Hello and happy new year! As we close the books on 2015, we leave behind a year of stagnant equity returns, a rout in energy prices, and the first rise in short term interest rates in over eight years.

Today investors find themselves in a precarious situation, with stock markets hovering near all-time highs and interest rates poised to rise. From my perspective there are three main themes investors should address as we head into 2016: valuation “dissonance” between domestic and international stocks, weakness in oil prices, and vulnerability in the high yield bond market.

As always, Investment Insights will attempt to filter through these issues and provide actionable, data driven analysis and guidance.