Categories ArchivesMarket Research

March 2018 Update image

Monthly Commentary March was another busy month in the markets and in politics as we saw continued volatility in the markets.  Most of the volatility seems to be explained by the threatening and enactment of tariffs against China and more recently Amazon.  Also, Rex Tillerson, the US Secretary of State was ousted from the White House in what appears to be a revolving door.  It also appears Larry Kudlow will replace Gary Kohn but I'm unsure what this will actually mean and what outcome this may bring.  The FTC announced an investigation into Facebook over how the personal data of 50 million users was obtained by a data analytics firm that helped elect President Donald Trump.  This prompted everyone to look into ...

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February 2018 Update image

Monthly Commentary Another month, another unfortunate tragedy this time claiming many lives at a school in Parkland FL.  Since I started these monthly updates, there's only been a few times I haven't had to address a senseless tragedy.  I truly hope this trend stops soon. February started out on a rough note with volatility rearing it's head for the first time in a few years.  The S&P promptly fell 12% in one week which is a fast and furious move.  This was one of the quickest markets drops I've seen since I've been in wealth management.  We are still 5% off the highs as the market has recovered a little over half of the drop.  As frightening as this drop was, ...

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January 2018 Update image

Monthly Commentary For the first time ever, the Philadelphia Eagles are the Super Bowl champions!  What a phenomenal game and as a long time Eagles fan, it was a joy to watch and couldn't be more happy for the entire organization.  The US stock market charged higher in January but started to stumble at the end of the month and into February as the tax benefits were digested.  The Fed kept rates unchanged in a surprise move as Yellen departs and Powell takes the reigns.  The Fed is worried about the potential for inflation to increase this year and have included my own thoughts about this below.  Mnunchin is all for a weaker dollar and stated this publicly at Davos.  ...

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December 2017 Update image

Monthly Commentary The New Year has been to off to a great start in the markets, even though we're only 1 week in.  December was a busy month and all eyes were on tax reform.  It was a big win for President Trump after not being able to conquer health care.  And as luck would have it, there was a nice provision added at the end that benefits real estate investors.  I've broken out a summary on tax reform which you can read here: Tax Law Changes (Summary).  Recent analysis from LPL shows the tax cuts will add approximately .25-.50% percent to annual GDP the next few years. Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies seems to still be grabbing headlines.  Currently, a currency named ...

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November 2017 Financial Markets Update image

 Market Scorecard Figures provided above are estimate and for illustration purposes only   Monthly Commentary The S&P 500 jolted higher in November along with other markets putting up a +3.07% return and bringing YTD returns in the index to over 20%.  The House and Senate both passed their own forms of tax legislation during the month which contributed to the gains.  Ultimately, the final bill will need to be negotiated before it can be put before the President.  Until the final bill is written, I don't want to speculate on what it's going to look like since every news outlet and research firm has conducted exhaustive research on this already.  Goldman warns that market valuations are at their highest since 1900.  They were ...

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Charts that frighten me image

I thought it could be helpful to break out some specific charts which frighten me.  Everyone seems to be high on the markets but there are cracks if you look in the right places.   The SNB owns about $80 billion in US stocks today (June, 2017) and a guesstimated $20 billion or so in European stocks (this guess comes from my friend Grant Williams, so I will go with it).  They have bought roughly $17 billion worth of US stocks so far this year. And they have no formula; they are just trying to manage their currency. Switzerland is now the eighth-largest public holder of US stocks. And apparently they are concentrating on the largest of the large-cap stocks. The own 19 ...

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October 2017 Financial Markets Update image

 Market Scorecard   Figures provided above are estimate and for illustration purposes only   Monthly Commentary I can't believe that another month this commentary is starting out this way but my thoughts and prayers are with all of those affected by the massacre in Sutherland TX.  Another month, another tragedy.  The shock for me certainly isn't subsiding and no amount of tragedies such as this will ever be "normal".  A good friend of mine passed along a quote from the Dalai Lama when he was asked what surprised him most about humanity.  He said: “Man. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health.  And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not ...

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September 2017 Financial Markets Update image

 Market Scorecard Figures provided above are estimate and for illustration purposes only Monthly Commentary Before we begin, let me start off by sending my thoughts and prayers to everyone affected by the attack in Las Vegas, the hurricane in Puerto Rico and earthquakes in Mexico.  This is the 3rd time out of the my last 4 monthly updates that I've sent my thoughts and prayers (Hurricane Harvey, London attack victims) to victims of attacks and weather related disasters.  Is this the new normal?  Between natural disasters, horrible attacks and the potential for war with North Korea, it certainly feels like volatile times.  It's odd that the measure of stock market volatility (the VIX index) doesn't seem to be budging at all and ...

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August 2017 Financial Markets Update image

 Market Scorecard Figures provided above are estimate and for illustration purposes only Monthly Commentary First off, my thoughts and prayers are with all of the people affected by Hurricane Harvey.  The death toll from the hurricane is still rising and there are millions affected.  The costs associated with this disaster are still unknown with some projecting the total impact will be over $100 Billion.  With the flood waters still not yet receding, it will be hard to know how this will turn out.  Houston is one of the US's top cities by population and has a GDP of $500 Billion, around the size of the country of Argentina.  Besides this terrible tragedy, President Trump threatened N. Korea, which they then threatened Guam ...

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July 2017 Financial Markets Update image

 Market Scorecard Figures provided above are estimate and for illustration purposes only Monthly Commentary Independence came and went along with the month of July which brought solid returns in the US stock market and abroad.  For the year, the S&P is up almost 12% while international and emerging market stocks are having a fantastic 2017 so far.  Certain geo-political events have the potential to destabilize the markets such as North Korea, which successfully test fired an ICBM (intercontinental ballistic missile).  North Korea has stated that the US is within reach and many others appear to agree.  Not a peaceful thought.  The GOP has moved on from healthcare and is now trying to tackle tax reform, although I'm not very confident they'll be ...

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