September 2018 Monthly Outlook – Statistically Speaking

Statistically speaking, September is the worst month of the year for stocks, and generally worse in midterm election years.  However, August is often a bad month too, but this year’s 3% S&P500 gain was the best performance for the month in four years.  If history is a guide, while September in midterm election years show varying results, generally the 4th quarter in these years is positive (16 out of 18 times going back to 1946)

9.4.2018_MONTHLY_OUTLOOK_CHART_1

This year, we have a number of competing factors at work.

On the positive side:

  1. The US economy is on solid ground, with low employment, high consumer confidence and consumer spending.
  2. Interest rates remain low – the 10yr US Treasury @ 2.85% is exactly where it was when this bull market started on March 9, 2009 (2.86%)
  3. In August, the stock market (basis S&P 500) became the longest bull market since WWII.
  4. History shows that bull markets don’t die of old age, they generally end when investors get overly enthusiastic. The previous longest bull market (1990-2000) ended with Federal Reserve Chairman Allan Greenspan warning of “irrational exuberance”.  Since this bull market started in 2009, investors have consistently reduced their exposure to equities while allocating capital just about everywhere else, including record inflows to fixed income.  This has been the most unloved bull market in history.

Market Returns and Fund Flows in Bull Market Periods

9.4.2018_MONTHLY_OUTLOOK_CHART_2

 

On the negative side:

1.      The Federal Reserve is raising interest rates.  If they succeed in slowly raising rates to keep inflation in check, things will be fine.  If they raise too fast they will likely stall the economy.  If they raise too slow, inflation likely rears its ugly head.

2.      The current trade / tariff strategy in Washington could backfire and lead to a trade war.  This would definitely throw a wrench into the economy.

3.      Congress faces another budget deadline in September. Without an agreement, the Federal government will shut down for the third time this year.

4.      European economy is struggling given some troubles in Turkey and Italy.  If this expands to other countries it could impact global growth.

 

Given the above, we remain cautiously optimistic about the economy and financial markets.  We continue to favor stocks over bonds, at least through the end of the year.  We will adjust as circumstances dictate.

 

We hope you find this information helpful.  Please share it with anyone you feel would benefit from it.

 

 

September Calendar of Events   (comments and additions for future months are always welcome)

·         Summer is over and kids are going back to school  – please be careful on the roads.

 

Sep 3rd             Labor Day

Sept 9th            Rosh Hashana begins – wishing all our family, friends, and colleagues of the Jewish faith a very Happy New Year

Sept 10th          World Suicide Prevention Day – Take a minute, Change a life – look out for those who may be struggling and check in with them

Sept 11th          Patriot Day- honoring those who lost their lives on 9/11/01

Sept 12th          Eloise and my 10th anniversary

Sept 19th        Yom Kippur – G’mar Tov

Sept 21st          International Day of Peace – consider lighting a candle for peace

Sept 22nd         Autumn begins

Sept 30th          Yom Kippur – G’mar Tov

 

Sources:  CFRA, Blackstone, CNBC.com

 

 

Although information herein has been obtained from sources deemed reliable, its accuracy and completeness are not asserted. All opinions and estimates included in this report constitute the judgment of the financial advisor as of the dates indicated and are subject to change without notice. This report is for informational purposes only and is not intended as an offer or solicitation with respect to the purchase or sale of any security.

Investing involves risk and you may incur a profit or a loss. Diversification does not ensure a profit or ensure against a loss. There is no assurance that any investment strategy will be successful.  Past performance is no assurance of future results.

Please consider the charges, risks, expenses and investment objectives carefully before investing. Please see a prospectus containing this and other information. Read it carefully before you invest or send money.

Information provided should not be construed as legal or tax advice.  You should discuss any tax or legal matter with the appropriate professional

 

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