December 2018 Market Volatility

Over the past week, we’ve seen a lot of volatility in the stock market, including more than a 1,000-point drop for the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA). I, along with my team, are monitoring the situation closely to ensure your portfolio continues to be well-positioned.

While such market drops are dramatic – and disconcerting – it’s important to note that nothing unprecedented is going on.

So, what is going on?

  • Interest Rates are Rising – This scenario hits the earnings of tech stocks particularly hard. And these are the very companies that have been driving stock market gains.
  • Return of Volatility -- Since the recession of 2008-2009, the stock market has experienced unusually low market volatility. The increased volatility in the last couple quarters is much more normal of longer-term market trends.
  • Investors are Cashing in – Anticipating a high-rate environment, many investors are selling their holdings and taking their gains.
  • Trade/Tariff Issues – The U.S.’s increasingly protectionist trade stance has led to tariffs on Chinese goods. Uncertainty is causing some investors to sell on emotion.

Is the news all bad? Not at all.

  • U.S. economy fundamentals are strong.
  • Valuations are sound for investors with a long-term time horizon.
  • While the volatility can be difficult at times to stomach, it has also historically created great investing opportunities.
  • Unemployment is among the lowest levels seen in recent memory.
  • Inflation is under control.
  • While global growth is expected to slow, it is not stagnant.

I want to stress that I am here to guide you, to explain the implications of market events to you and to work with you toward your financial goals.  Please remember:

  • If you have a question, contact me. Together we’ll address any concerns you have.
  • Please remember that investing is a long-term prospect.
  • I can help you stay informed. My firm works with some of the nation’s leading investment management companies, giving me access to some of the best research and financial analysts in the industry.

Again, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me should you have any questions or concerns.