Categories ArchivesMonthly Updates

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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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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May 2017 Financial Markets Update image

 Market Scorecard Monthly Commentary First and foremost, my most heartfelt condolences to everyone that's been affected by the acts of terror in London.  My thoughts and prayers are with England and hope they'll be able to bring those responsible to swift justice. Switching the focus back to the markets, global stocks keep trekking higher while bonds yields in the U.S. moved lower during the month as the Fed held off raising rates.  The financial markets continued to absorb major news events with surprising ease last week. Be it the tragedies in the U.K., the withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement, or the weakness in Friday’s employment data, the stock and bond markets both continued to edge higher.  Investors seem to have become ...

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April 2017 Financial Markets Update image

 Market Scorecard   Monthly Commentary As in every other month this year, global stock markets continued their upward trajectory registering another 1-2% in additional gains.  Whether you file taxes in April or file for extension, tax day came and went as it always does each year although there's hope that a revised tax plan from the new administration will jumpstart anemic economic growth in the US.  Speaking of anemic growth, Q1 GDP was released and it was lackluster at best, registering just +.7% quarter over quarter (+1.9% year over year).  There was a large divergence in Q1 GDP estimates due to the widely publicized divergence between hard and soft data (explained in March and February updates). Other noteworthy news that occurred during the ...

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March 2017 Financial Markets Update image

 Market Scorecard   Monthly Commentary The month of March was another strong month in stock markets, especially for international and emerging markets which were up 2.28% and 2.50% respectively.  We received a lot of data points in the US and abroad along with a lot of political action/commentary.  Some of the things that occurred during the month: Strong February jobs report was released in early March which showed business optimism rolled over into hiring A revised travel ban was again defeated in Hawaii courts.  Laptop ban currently in effect. The Obamacare repeal and replace effort was thwarted with Republicans pulling the bill 30 minutes prior to the vote.  The White House is now turning it's focus to tax reform which may be ...

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February 2017 Financial Markets Update image

 Market Scorecard Monthly Commentary February has come and gone and global stock markets have continued their strong performance with the S&P 500 leading the charge up almost 4%.  This month, President Trump addressed Congress for the first time.  In that speech, he outlined his plan to spend $1 Trillion on infrastructure, called for replacing Obamacare, building a wall along the Mexican border and announced a new office called VICE (Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement).  Much of what the President outlined was known and are campaign promises he's looking to fulfill.  While we weren't surprised by the content, we were surprised by the tone which was much less divisive and more focused on agenda and trying to bridge the gap between parties. ...

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January 2017 Financial Markets Update image

 Market Scorecard   Monthly Commentary January was a generally strong month in stock and bond markets with the S&P, international and emerging market stocks rallying.  The Federal Reserve maintained it's current target while offering very little hints on it's future moves.  It's still unclear what is going to happen with Obamacare, corporate and personal tax rates, Dodd-Frank reform, amongst other promises made on the campaign trail.  The Mexican border wall seems to be a focus although families who own land along border might not be happy with imminent domain claims.  Obamacare rhetoric went from repeal and replace to let's fix what's currently wrong with it.  A recent article by Bloomberg suggests we are at least a year off before a replacement is ...

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