Weekly Market Notes – April 29, 2019

Weekly_Market_Notes

For the Week of April 29, 2019

The Markets

Better-than-expected economic data helped stocks close higher Friday. The U.S. gross domestic product grew at 3.2 percent in the first quarter. Amid this positive news, the S&P 500 and the NASDAQ closed at record highs. For the week, the Dow fell 0.06 percent to close at 26,543.33. The S&P gained 1.21 percent to finish at 2,939.88, and the NASDAQ climbed 1.85 percent to end the week at 8,146.40.

Returns Through 4/26/19 1 Week YTD 1 Year 3 Year 5 Year
Dow Jones Industrials (TR) -0.06 14.57 11.68 16.61 12.86
NASDAQ Composite (PR) 1.85 22.77 14.44 18.56 14.86
S&P 500 (TR) 1.21 18.00 12.46 14.31 11.83
Barclays US Agg Bond (TR) 0.38 2.97 5.62 2.09 2.60
MSCI EAFE (TR) -0.17 12.67 -3.17 6.98 2.72

Source: Morningstar.com. *Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Indexes are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. Three- and five-year returns are annualized. The Dow Jones Industrials, MSCI EAFE, Barclays US Agg Bond and S&P, excluding “1 Week” returns, are based on total return, which is a reflection of return to an investor by reinvesting dividends after the deduction of withholding tax. The NASDAQ is based on price return, which is the capital appreciation of the portfolio, excluding income generated by the assets in the portfolio in the form of interest and dividends. (TR) indicates total return. (PR) indicates price return. MSCI EAFE returns stated in U.S. dollars.

Nothing?! — Forty-five percent of the 76 million baby boomers in the U.S. have no retirement savings. The oldest boomers turned 65 years old in 2011. This year is the ninth of 19 years of baby boomers turning 65 (source: Insured Retirement Institute, BTN Research).

In Less Than a Generation — The average cost of one year of college at an average four-year public institution (including tuition, fees, room and board) has tripled over the last 22 years, rising from $7,142 for academic year 1996-97 to $21,370 during academic year 2018-19 (source: College Board, BTN Research).

10-Year Paper — The yield on the 10-year Treasury note closed at 2.56 percent on Thursday, April 18. The 10-year note yield closed at 2.98 percent on April 18, 2009. The 10-year note yield closed at 5.23 percent on April 18, 1999. The 10-year note yield closed at 9.06 percent on April 18, 1989 (source: Treasury Department, BTN Research).

 

WEEKLY FOCUS – 3 Ways to Make Money With Your Talents and Skills

 

Want to make a little extra cash? Retired and just a tad bit bored? Looking to expedite paying off student loans or saving for a dream vacation? Whatever the reason, maybe you’re thinking about a part-time job but already work full time, or don’t want to embark on a new career or retool your education. Why not cash in on existing skills or talent?

Here are a few ways to pick up a little extra money, online and off:

Teach: You’ve honed your skills over your career. Why not pass them on? Next gen professionals would benefit from your experience. And you’d have the satisfaction of knowing those lessons wouldn’t be forgotten. And don’t overlook your hobbies or general life experiences. Community colleges have entire sections devoted to ongoing education and life experiences, including travel outings, home and garden projects and specific hobbies. You could also develop online courses on your own if you’re willing to market yourself.

Consult: Companies often outsource certain tasks to experienced consultants. This type of independent work can be very appealing. And don’t forget to think outside the box. If you have great organizational skills, you could even offer your services as a personal home organizer.

Create: Your degree was in business, but you really wanted to become an artist (or photographer or writer, etc.). Over the years, you’ve created on the side, just for pleasure. Why not share your talent? There are websites that buy photos for image databases. Or, you could find local retailers to exhibit your for-sale art. The retailer gets original works to grace their store, and you have a venue with guaranteed traffic. You can also sell online. Several virtual storefronts cater to artists, crafters and those offering specialized services.

Opportunities to make extra money are constantly expanding. Why not capitalize on your given (and hidden) strengths, talents and skills?

If you need to reassess your future finances or major income streams, call our office. We can help ensure your financial plans are on track to meet your longevity goals.

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* The Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is a price-weighted index of 30 actively traded blue-chip stocks. NASDAQ Composite Index is an unmanaged, market-weighted index of all over-the-counter common stocks traded on the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation System. The Morgan Stanley Capital International Europe, Australia and Far East Index (MSCI EAFE Index) is a widely recognized benchmark of non-U.S. stock markets. It is an unmanaged index composed of a sample of companies representative of the market structure of 20 European and Pacific Basin countries and includes reinvestment of all dividends. Barclays Capital Aggregate Bond Index is an unmanaged index comprised of U.S. investment-grade, fixed-rate bond market securities, including government, government agency, corporate and mortgage-backed securities between one and 10 years. Written by Securities America, Copyright April 2019. All rights reserved. Securities offered through Securities America, Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC. SAI#2520512.1

 

April 24, 2019 Market Update

On 4/23/19 the U.S. stock market closed at the highest level since 9/20/18,  and within 1% of the all-time high set on 9/21/18.

 

Looking at the current bullish performance of the U.S. stock market, you might be tempted to assume that everything is rosy, without a worry in the world. Fight that temptation.

 

No matter how well things are going, good advisors always find something to worry about. That’s what makes them good advisors. They look for the potential dangers, but they don’t overreact to them until they turn from potential dangers to imminent dangers.

 

So what am I worried about now?  Several things, but today I want to highlight trading volume.

 

Yesterday, the market experienced its lowest level of trading volume for 2019 with only 5,903,570,396 shares traded.

 

While this may seem like a large number, it is 11% lower than the April month-to-date average of 6,617,461,763 shares traded and a full 46% lower than the 10,923,533,197 shares traded on March 15 – the highest daily amount so far for 2019.

 

Low volume is concerning during up-trends because it makes me wonder if there is as much bullish support as it appears from the price of the S&P500 Index.

 

When trading volume is high during an uptrend, it tells you that everyone has bought into the bullish narrative and is likely going to continue buying. Conversely, when trading volume is low during an uptrend, it leaves open the possibility that some investors haven’t bought in to the bullishness and are either sitting on their cash or putting it into other more conservative investments and that more investors could do the same.

 

As you can see in the chart below, daily volume has been trending lower for the since early February (with the exception of March 15) as the S&P 500 has been climbing.

 

This is worrisome as it is possible many investors are going to start selling and taking profits off the table once the S&P 500 climbs back to its all-time high of 2,940.91.  That is what happened late last September, which led to an almost 20% decline in the 4th quarter of 2018.

 

This declining trend in trading volume is one of the concerns I have, and why I have been in a neutral position with some extra cash and conservative investments over the last couple of months.

 

4.24.2019_MARKET_UPDATE

 

It’s still too early to really fret over lower trading volume at the moment, but I will be watching to see what happens when the S&P 500 hits resistance at the all-time high. If resistance holds and trading volume picks up, it may be time to protect some profits.

 

Source:  Investopedia Chart Advisors

 

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.

Weekly Market Notes – April 22, 2019

Weekly_Market_Notes

For the Week of April 22, 2019

The Markets

The three major indexes achieved small gains in the last day of a short trading week going into the Easter weekend. Positive economic reports boosted investor confidence. March retail sales data beat expectations with a 1.6 percent rise, and U.S. jobless claims reached a 50-year low. For the week, the Dow rose 1.63 percent to close at 26,559.54. The S&P gained 0.60 percent to finish at 2,905.03, and the NASDAQ climbed 0.64 percent to end the week at 7,998.06.

Returns Through 4/18/19 1 Week YTD 1 Year 3 Year 5 Year
Dow Jones Industrials (TR) 1.63 14.64 9.87 16.62 12.82
NASDAQ Composite (PR) 0.64 20.54 9.63 17.26 14.32
S&P 500 (TR) 0.60 16.59 9.43 13.81 11.55
Barclays US Agg Bond (TR) -0.13 2.58 4.51 1.79 2.59
MSCI EAFE (TR) 0.64 12.84 -4.22 7.59 2.81

Source: Morningstar.com. *Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Indexes are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. Three- and five-year returns are annualized. The Dow Jones Industrials, MSCI EAFE, Barclays US Agg Bond and S&P, excluding “1 Week” returns, are based on total return, which is a reflection of return to an investor by reinvesting dividends after the deduction of withholding tax. The NASDAQ is based on price return, which is the capital appreciation of the portfolio, excluding income generated by the assets in the portfolio in the form of interest and dividends. (TR) indicates total return. (PR) indicates price return. MSCI EAFE returns stated in U.S. dollars.

 

Stuff Happens — Forty-five percent of American adults surveyed are concerned that a major health event (e.g., surgery, sickness or disability) could force them into a personal bankruptcy filing (source: Gallup, BTN Research).

Lowest in Years — The percentage of Americans who are unemployed or are only working part-time because they are unable to find full-time work fell to 7.3 percent of the civilian labor force as of March 2019, the lowest percentage reported for this statistic since December 2000 (source: Department of Labor, BTN Research).

Trade School, Not College — Thirty million full-time jobs in the United States (19 percent of all jobs nationwide) pay at least $55,000 per year and don’t require a bachelor’s degree (source: Georgetown University Center on Education and Workforce, BTN Research).

 

WEEKLY FOCUS – Avoiding High Medicare Premiums

A well-designed financial plan attempts to limit tax liabilities. But pre- and current retirees with significant assets should also consider the potential impact of income-related monthly adjustment amounts (IRMAAs) to their Medicare premiums.

If you’re not familiar with IRMAAs, here’s how they work. Most Medicare beneficiaries pay standard Part B premiums. For 2019, that is $135.50 a month. But around 3 million high-income retirees pay that standard premium plus an additional surcharge, ranging from $54.10 to $325 per month, depending on the level of their income. Similarly, they are subject to surcharges on Medicare prescription plans, from $13 to $74.80 on top of their monthly Part D premium. For 2019, IRMAAs are based on 2017 returns. The lowest level is individuals who make over $85,000 but not more than $107,000 and joint filers who make more than $170,000 but not more than $214,000.

The following financial planning tactics may help lower your income and minimize IRMAA impacts:

  • Begin taking IRA withdrawals as soon as you can without incurring penalties (at age 59.5).
  • Convert funds from a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA. Of course, you’ll want to weigh future benefits against tax impacts at the time of the rollover.
  • Reduce your number of months with oversized premiums by taking extra-large withdrawals in one year, and then cutting back the following year.
  • If you’re on the edge of a tier, look at a Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD) to move into the lower tier. In a QCD, funds from your IRA are directly transferred to a qualified charity. These funds can count toward your Required Minimum Distribution for the year.
  • Present a direct appeal to the government. IRMAAs may be reduced due to an income drop or certain life changing circumstances, such as a marriage, death, divorce or retirement.

Determining how health care costs may impact your retirement can be complicated. Call our office to schedule a review of your financial plans during retirement and possible options to lower your income.

Securities America and its representatives do not provide tax advice; coordinate with your tax advisor regarding your specific situation.

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* The Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is a price-weighted index of 30 actively traded blue-chip stocks. NASDAQ Composite Index is an unmanaged, market-weighted index of all over-the-counter common stocks traded on the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation System. The Morgan Stanley Capital International Europe, Australia and Far East Index (MSCI EAFE Index) is a widely recognized benchmark of non-U.S. stock markets. It is an unmanaged index composed of a sample of companies representative of the market structure of 20 European and Pacific Basin countries and includes reinvestment of all dividends. Barclays Capital Aggregate Bond Index is an unmanaged index comprised of U.S. investment-grade, fixed-rate bond market securities, including government, government agency, corporate and mortgage-backed securities between one and 10 years. Written by Securities America, Copyright April 2019. All rights reserved. Securities offered through Securities America, Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC. SAI#2510925.1

Weekly Market Notes – April 15, 2019

Weekly_Market_Notes

For the Week of April 15, 2019

The Markets

Stocks rose Friday following a batch of encouraging corporate news, including strong bank earnings. At closing, all three benchmarks were within 2 percent of their all-time highs.  For the week, the Dow fell 0.03 percent to finish at 26,412.30. The S&P gained 0.56 percent to finish at 2,907.41, and the NASDAQ climbed 0.57 percent to end the week at 7,984.16.

Returns Through 4/12/19 1 Week YTD 1 Year 3 Year 5 Year
Dow Jones Industrials (TR) -0.03 13.96 10.40 17.01 13.22
NASDAQ Composite (PR) 0.57 20.33 11.82 17.90 14.83
S&P 500 (TR) 0.56 16.67 11.34 14.44 12.16
Barclays US Agg Bond (TR) -0.12 2.52 4.30 1.83 2.50
MSCI EAFE (TR) 0.28 12.49 -3.16 8.36 2.98

Source: Morningstar.com. *Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Indexes are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. Three- and five-year returns are annualized. The Dow Jones Industrials, MSCI EAFE, Barclays US Agg Bond and S&P, excluding “1 Week” returns, are based on total return, which is a reflection of return to an investor by reinvesting dividends after the deduction of withholding tax. The NASDAQ is based on price return, which is the capital appreciation of the portfolio, excluding income generated by the assets in the portfolio in the form of interest and dividends. (TR) indicates total return. (PR) indicates price return. MSCI EAFE returns stated in U.S. dollars.

 

Yield Curve — Some economists view an inverted yield curve as a sign of future economic weakness. The last seven recessions in the U.S. (since 1965) have been preceded by an inverted yield curve, i.e., the three-month Treasury bill yield exceeding the 10-year Treasury note yield. There were also two inversions that were not followed by a recession within a 12-month period (source: Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, BTN Research).

Down Then Up — The S&P 500’s fourth quarter 2018 loss of 13.5 percent (total return) was followed by a first quarter 2019 gain of 13.6 percent, just the sixth time in the last 50 years that a double-digit-loss quarter has been followed by a double-digit-gain quarter (source: BTN Research).

Large Impact — The 13 largest stocks in the S&P 500 made up 25 percent of the total stock market capitalization of the index as of close of trading on Friday, April 5. Three percent of the stocks in the index represent 25 percent of the total value of the index (source: S&P, BTN Research).

 

WEEKLY FOCUS – Don’t Shred Those Tax Documents Yet

You’ve completed your taxes for the year and now you’re wondering what to do with that pile of records, 1099s, receipts and bank statements. The experts agree, take the time to organize them and store them in a secure place. You may need to refer to them in the months or even years ahead if there’s an error on your return or if you need to file an amendment or are audited.

When organizing all that paper, it’s first important to know what records you should keep. The IRS recommends holding on to any documents related to the income you’re reporting or any deduction or credit you’re claiming, including:

  • Proof of income, including W-2s and 1099s, bank and brokerage statements, K-1 forms and spousal-support payment records
  • Bills and invoices, credit card statements, mileage logs, cancelled checks
  • Financial records related to real property, including paperwork from the purchase or sale of a home and all documents associated with the costs of buying, selling or managing rental properties
  • Investment records related to stock transactions, IRAs and other retirement accounts

If you’re not sure whether to keep a document or not, err on the side of caution and store it in your files.  How long you should hang on to all those documents varies, depending on the action, expense or event which the document records. The IRS has the right to review all tax returns filed during the Period of Limitations, the time in which you can amend your tax return to claim a credit or refund or the IRS can assess additional tax. That period is typically three years from the date you filed for any given year.  So, in general, a return and the related documents can be shredded three years after the date it was filed.

If you believe you may have under-reported your annual income by 25 percent or more, you should keep your return and related documentation for six or seven years. You should create digital copies of all your documents. That way, if the printed version is lost or destroyed, you will have a backup.

We are happy to work with you and your tax professional to help keep your financial records up-to-date and create a personal financial plan tailored to your habits and lifestyle. Call us today.  Securities America and its representatives do not provide tax advice; coordinate with your tax advisor regarding your specific situation. Securities America and its representatives do not provide tax advice; coordinate with your tax advisor regarding your specific situation.

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* The Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is a price-weighted index of 30 actively traded blue-chip stocks. NASDAQ Composite Index is an unmanaged, market-weighted index of all over-the-counter common stocks traded on the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation System. The Morgan Stanley Capital International Europe, Australia and Far East Index (MSCI EAFE Index) is a widely recognized benchmark of non-U.S. stock markets. It is an unmanaged index composed of a sample of companies representative of the market structure of 20 European and Pacific Basin countries and includes reinvestment of all dividends. Barclays Capital Aggregate Bond Index is an unmanaged index comprised of U.S. investment-grade, fixed-rate bond market securities, including government, government agency, corporate and mortgage-backed securities between one and 10 years. Written by Securities America, Copyright April 2019. All rights reserved. Securities offered through Securities America, Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC. SAI# 2502817.1

Weekly Market Notes – April 8, 2019

Weekly_Market_Notes

For the Week of April 8, 2019

The Markets

Wall Street stocks rose on Friday amid a strong jobs report and renewed hopes of an end to the U.S. – China trade dispute. According to the Labor Department, 196,000 nonfarm jobs were added in March. On Thursday, President Trump indicated Beijing and Washington were close to a trade deal. For the week, the Dow rose 2.79 percent to finish at 26,424.99. The S&P gained 2.78 percent to finish at 2,892.74, and the NASDAQ climbed 3.51 percent to end the week at 7,938.69.

Returns Through 4/05/19 1 Week YTD 1 Year 3 Year 5 Year
Dow Jones Industrials (TR) 2.79 14.00 10.36 17.31 12.70
NASDAQ Composite (PR) 3.51 19.64 12.18 17.91 13.98
S&P 500 (TR) 2.78 16.02 10.83 14.57 11.45
Barclays US Agg Bond (TR) -0.39 2.64 4.53 1.83 2.66
MSCI EAFE (TR) 2.56 12.17 -2.24 9.23 2.55

Source: Morningstar.com. *Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Indexes are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. Three- and five-year returns are annualized. The Dow Jones Industrials, MSCI EAFE, Barclays US Agg Bond and S&P, excluding “1 Week” returns, are based on total return, which is a reflection of return to an investor by reinvesting dividends after the deduction of withholding tax. The NASDAQ is based on price return, which is the capital appreciation of the portfolio, excluding income generated by the assets in the portfolio in the form of interest and dividends. (TR) indicates total return. (PR) indicates price return. MSCI EAFE returns stated in U.S. dollars.

 

Increased Buying Power — The average interest rate nationwide on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage was 4.06 percent last week, its lowest level of 2019. As recently as Nov. 15, 2018, the 30-year fixed rate mortgage had an average interest rate of 4.94 percent (source: Freddie Mac, BTN Research).

Future Plans — Forty-eight percent of households in America headed by individuals at least age 55 have no retirement savings; 26 percent have a defined contribution (DC) plan (e.g., 401(k) or IRA) but no defined benefit (DB) pension plan, and the remaining 26 percent have both a DC and a DB plan (source: Government Accountability Office, BTN Research).

A Gain This Year — As of the close of business on Friday, March 29, 2019, 88 percent of the stocks in the S&P 500 were trading at a price that was higher than where they ended in 2018 (source: BTN Research).

 

WEEKLY FOCUS – Preserving a Legacy Through Education

Over the next several decades, roughly $30 trillion in assets will pass from the baby boomers to their Gen X and Y offspring. In all too many cases, younger generations are not adequately prepared to acquire this wealth. Seventy percent of wealthy families lose their wealth by the second generation, and 90 percent lose it by the third, according to the Williams Group wealth consultancy.

Although parents teach their children to buckle their seatbelts and be cautious on the internet, they’re not doing as well teaching them about the dangers of excessive debt and the blessings of compound interest. And only a third of states require a personal finance course in high school. As a result, Standard and Poor’s Global Financial Literacy Survey ranks the U.S. 14th for financial literacy, with just 57 percent of adults meeting the standard.1

There are countless ways parents and grandparents can prepare children and young people for financial well-being, including:

  • Teaching them to earn their own money by paying a commission for chores – rather than an unearned allowance.
  • Showing opportunity costs with either/or choices. “If you buy this video game, you won’t be able to buy the shoes you want.”
  • Teaching them to avoid impulse buying by waiting at least a day before buying anything over $15.
  • Explaining the benefits of time and compounding. For instance, assuming a 6 percent annual return, a 20-year-old only needs to invest $319 a month to accumulate a $1,000,000 retirement fund at age 67. But if the same person waits until they turn 30, they’ll need to save $613 a month.2
  • Helping them set savings goals, create a budget and track their spending.
  • Personally demonstrating what financial discipline and contentment look like.
  • Having ongoing discussions on topics like wants versus needs, the value of long-term investing, market volatility, giving, and career choices and preparation.

This Friday is Teach Children to Save Day, a good time to find ways to share the important financial lessons you’ve learned with younger generations. For help educating your loved ones, contact our office. 1  https://www.investmentnews.com/article/20190302/FEATURE/190229936/financial-literacy-an-epic-fail-in-america

2 https://www.cnbc.com/2018/09/28/how-much-you-have-to-save-every-month-to-retire-with-1-million.html

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* The Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is a price-weighted index of 30 actively traded blue-chip stocks. NASDAQ Composite Index is an unmanaged, market-weighted index of all over-the-counter common stocks traded on the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation System. The Morgan Stanley Capital International Europe, Australia and Far East Index (MSCI EAFE Index) is a widely recognized benchmark of non-U.S. stock markets. It is an unmanaged index composed of a sample of companies representative of the market structure of 20 European and Pacific Basin countries and includes reinvestment of all dividends. Barclays Capital Aggregate Bond Index is an unmanaged index comprised of U.S. investment-grade, fixed-rate bond market securities, including government, government agency, corporate and mortgage-backed securities between one and 10 years. Written by Securities America, Copyright April 2019. All rights reserved. Securities offered through Securities America, Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC. SAI# 2493648.1

April 2019 Monthly Outlook – Wish Upon A Star

The first quarter of 2019 is in the books and fortunately for investors, a return to “normalcy” has occurred. Now “normalcy”, as used here, refers to the penchant for stocks to march deliberately higher and bond yields to stay stubbornly low. Last quarters brutal sell-off in equities is but a distant memory and Pollyanna has returned.

While I’m thrilled with the rebound in asset prices I’m not sure the markets aren’t wishing upon a star at this stage in the economic cycle.

On March 28, 2019 the final reading for 4th quarter 2018 US Gross Domestic Product was up 2.2%, with the growth for all of 2018 at 2.9%. Consumer and government spending were revised down in the report.  On March 26th, the Consumer Confidence Index declined from 131.4 in February to 124.1 in March.  The Expectations Index – based on consumers’ short-term outlook for income, business and labor market conditions – decreased from 103.8 in February to 99.8 in March. Just today, the Institute for Supply Management non-manufacturing index declined in March, to the lowest level since August 2017.  Clearly, the US economy is slowing. However, I believe we maintain growth at roughly 2% per year.

The global economy is also showing signs of slowing.  Much of this is, I believe, attributable to 2 big geo-political unknowns – the US/China trade negotiations and the United Kingdom leaving (or not) the European Union. These types of unknowns bring business investment in hiring, new equipment, and new product development to a halt. Getting these two issues resolved, hopefully in a positive fashion, will provide a boost to global growth. Alternatively, a breakdown in the US/China trade deal and/or a negative outcome in the UK would likely increase the odds of a global economic slowdown.

4.4.2019_MONTHLY_OUTLOOK_CHART_1

On the investment front,  I am most concerned about corporate earnings, which start reporting on April 14th.  Corporate earnings growth slowed dramatically in the 4th quarter of 2018, and could even turn negative for the 1st quarter of 2019.  While the stock market is aware of this, I’m not sure it has priced it correctly.  If 1st quarter earnings are better than expected then the market probably continues its upward bias.  If earnings are worse, then I expect the market to experience a selloff, albeit not as dramatic as what we saw at the end of last year.

4.4.2019_MONTHLY_OUTLOOK_CHART_2

Overall, I remain optimistic but cautious.  We have some tailwinds – low interest rates and inflation, a steady job market and slowly rising wages, but there are risks that are hard to quantify – political uncertainty and trade tensions.  We will continue to monitor the situation and adjust accordingly.

I hope you find this report helpful. Please feel free to share it.

We have added a new tool to help those nearing or just beginning retirement to explore their readiness for retirement.  It’s an easy interactive tool.  Please share it with family, friends and colleagues.

https://www.ready-2-retire.me/JimMcCarthy

 

 

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

  • April  is National Autism Awareness month.  Let’s all get educated on this issue and works towards acceptance and inclusion of people dealing with autism.
  • April is also National Financial Capability month.  We at Directional Wealth Management commit to equipping individuals to lead better financial lives through an integrated framework of educational resources, collaborative tools,  and personal one-to-one advice.

 

April 10th                     Christian’s wife Maecy birthday

April 12 & 13th            We adopted our 4 legged children Coco (2010) and Buddy (2013)

April 15th                     Tax Day.  Remember to make those IRA or Roth contributions.

April 20th                     Passover begins – Chag Pesach Sameach

April 21st                     Easter Sunday – Have a blessed and Holy Easter

April 22nd                     Earth Day – let’s all recycle, turn out lights when we leave rooms, and do all we can for our environment

April 24th                     Administrative Professionals day – remember your staff

April 25th                     My daughter Satya’s birthday – wow she is turning 35!  I must be getting old 😊

 

 

Sources:  JPMorgan, Nottingham Advisors

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.