Broker Check

Second Quarter 2019 Commentary

 After a robust rally in the first quarter, the markets continued on a positive trajectory extending an impressive run since the 2008 Financial Crisis. Meanwhile, the economy continues to grow in the neighborhood of 2-3% setting the stage for the longest economic recovery this country has ever seen. The length of this recovery can be attributed to steady (albeit slow) GDP growth and Central Bank interference, which has led to historically low interest rates and strong corporate profits. They say recoveries don’t die of old age, but there are many concerns that center around an economic slowdown and interest rates.

 Economic slowdown. Although we’ve seen mixed economic data and a drag from trade conflict, U.S. growth is expected to stay range bound. The trade talks between China and the U.S. remain hot and cold. We’ve seen business spending and consumer sentiment wane as they wait impatiently for a trade resolution across the board. Unresolved political tensions and foreign policies are proving to be disruptive to global growth.

 Interest rates. Last quarter, we saw the yield curve invert, as higher demand for 10-year Treasury notes pushed down long-term yields while the federal funds rate hikes influenced short-term yields. A yield curve inversion has been known to signal a looming recession within 12-18 months, but it could also be a sign that monetary policy is too tight given the current macroeconomic backdrop. After the last FOMC meeting in June, the Federal Reserve Board announced its decision to leave rates unchanged and softened its stance on future rate cuts. Although the market is forecasting 1-2 rate cuts this year, we expect the Fed will be slow to act as long as financial conditions remain stable.

 Historically, the stock market has moved higher after the yield curve inverts. Our goal is to participate in potential growth while providing downside protection. In our equity portfolios, we favor high-quality, high growth companies that have strong balance sheets. In our fixed income portfolios, we are boosting high-quality bonds to serve as insurance and complement our multi-sector bonds and real estate positions.

 It’s important not succumb to negative market sentiment. Instead, we encourage you to take this opportunity to review your risk tolerance and financial objectives to make sure your asset allocation is in line with your financial needs. If there have been any changes to your financial circumstances, goals, and objectives, please contact us. The value of our advisory services is enhanced when we are actively partnering up to accomplish your financial goals and objectives.

 In closing, we would like to reiterate how much we appreciate our client relationship. It is truly a pleasure to work with you and when you refer us to your friends and family, it is the finest compliment we can receive and for that, we thank you.