Broker Check

First Quarter 2018 Commentary

We kicked off the New Year with a strong bull market reaching all-time highs in January, but then we saw the indices fall into correction territory, recover losses, and then tumble again.  The volatility was largely driven by positive news about tax cuts and accelerated growth expectations. But the boost was quickly undercut by headlines surrounding rising interest rates, creeping inflation, possible trade wars, and pressure on tech stocks, which have rattled both the stock and bond markets. After a choppy first quarter, the S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrial Average, and U.S. Aggregate Bond Indices all finished slightly lower.

For the most part, this was to be expected as investors try to find a balance between the Federal Reserve pulling back monetary stimulus and the government pushing forward fiscal policy.  There is still cause to remain optimistic this year. For one, the economy is on a steady growth trajectory, not just here, but also worldwide.  Corporate earnings should continue to bode well, especially after the new tax law was enacted.  The labor markets are tight, meaning employers are competing for talent. This is putting pressure on wage growth, as companies attempt to attract new workers and/or retain employees. In light of this stronger economic forecast, Fed has signaled two or three more rate hikes this year.

As long term investors, it’s important to stay the course and remain diversified with a balanced portfolio that can sustain all seasons of volatility. However, we encourage you to review your risk tolerance and financial objectives. We can help you determine if your asset allocation is in line with your current and future goals and needs.  Please let us know if your financial circumstances, goals, and objectives have changed.  The value of our advisory services to you is enhanced when we have current information and we are actively working with you to accomplish your goals and objectives.

Lastly, we are required by the SEC to update our client disclosure every year and offer you a copy of our Investment Advisor Brochure (aka ADV Part 2A & 2B).  We do not believe there have been any material changes since the last annual update. We have not changed any of the services we provide, our fee schedule, or the way we do business.  However, if you are interested in receiving a full copy of our ADV Part 2A & 2B, you are welcome to download a PDF copy by going to our Regulatory Disclosure page, or the SEC public access site: