2018 Q1 Market Commentary

“Stocks post worst start to April since the Great Depression” Do I have your attention? This was a headline posted to CNBC.com at 2:27pm Eastern on April 2nd. Indeed, the S&P 500 (a broad measure of U.S. stock market performance) closed down 2.2% on Monday, April 2nd and had the worst second quarter start since the Great Depression. While this …

2017 Q4 Market Commentary

Yogi Berra coined the phrase, “It’s déjà vu all over again.” This saying could apply to the investment markets for 2018. This New Year may mirror the previous, with continued moderate growth, steady employment, and low inflation. Looking back at 2017, the S&P 500, (a broad measure of the U.S. stock market), ended a healthy year with a fourth-quarter gain …

2017 Q3 Market Commentary

In what feels like a broken record, investment markets across the board performed well this past quarter. Emerging markets were strong, European markets were strong, credit markets were strong, property markets were strong, and consumer sentiment was strong. U.S. markets, after bouncing around early in the second quarter, took off in September and posted a string of records that continued …

2017 Q2 Market Commentary

You need only one word to describe the performance of most global securities during the second quarter: “Up.” In fact, of the 145 stock, bond, U.S., foreign, target, and commodity indices found on Morningstar.com, all but 14 were positive for the quarter. Of the 14 that were down, only seven fell more than 1%. Energy stocks and commodities were the …

2017 Q1 Market Commentary

This past year has been an exhausting one for many investors: China started rebalancing, the Federal Reserve Bank (Fed) failed to raise interest rates for most of the year, Europe grappled with Brexit, political tensions rose in Ukraine and the Middle East, and the US suffered through painful elections before ultimately choosing Donald Trump. Surprisingly, while any one of these …

2016 Q4 Market Commentary

At the end of the second quarter, uncertainty was on the rise, the geopolitical environment was fragile, and financial markets appeared susceptible to shocks. Global stock indices wobbled and “safe” assets, such as US treasuries and gold, gained steam. We expected much of the same stressful conditions for the summer months of 2016 as the presidential election cycle unfolded. However, …

2016 Q3 Market Commentary

“There are decades when nothing happens, and there are weeks where decades happen.” – Vladimir Lenin   For the past couple of weeks, financial markets have been dominated by the results of a vote from a country that represents roughly 4% of world gross domestic product (a monetary measure of all final goods and services produced in a period) according …

2016 Q2 Market Commnetary

The old adage says that “time in the market” is more important than “timing the market.” Anyone who needed a reminder of that truth got it in spades during the first quarter of 2016. Who would have thought, on the dark morning of February 12th, when the S&P 500 index was down more than 10% since the start of the …

2016 Q1 Market Commentary

As we begin each New Year, it is good to reflect on the year that just ended and what we may have learned from it. Here are some thoughts about the market activity we saw in 2015, and what we may see in 2016.   After a volatile third quarter, the S&P 500, an index used to track the U.S. …

2015 Q4 Market Commentary

The third quarter of 2015 may be remembered as the time when investment market volatility returned with a vengeance. The US Federal Open Market Committee, the branch of the Federal Reserve Board that determines the direction of economic policy, compounded the issue by adding even more uncertainty to an already murky interest rate policy. The quarter began quietly enough with …