I want to update you on 2015 as well as how things are shaping up in 2016. 2015 was a rough year for markets as not many asset classes were positive. Below is a exert from JP Morgan's Weekly Market update and as you can see few asset classes had positive returns.
Investors can get frustrated with years like this in the market and they want a simple underlying reason why the market performed so poorly. While it is hard to pinpoint a singular reason I have outlined some of the more newsworthy items of 2015 that might be influencing our market:
1) Slowing Growth in China
2) Drop in Oil Prices that Hurt U.S. Oil Companies
3) FED Decided to Raise Interest Rates
4) Disappointing Earnings on the S&P500
5) Over Valuation from 2013's Run-up
Now that leads us into 2016, so far it's been pretty crummy. Some of the above-mentioned story lines are back in the news and seemingly being indicted as the reason for the current market drop.
Below is a 1 year chart of the S&P500.
The market has pulled back lately as you can see, this has investors worried. A common question is "should I exit the market?"
I cannot predict the market, nor can I determine exactly when the bottom will arrive and when the market turn around will begin. Attempting to market time is very difficult. The way I would look at the market is as if you are a business owner. If you own you stocks you are technically part owner of a business, and while economic conditions will affect your business you don't shut the doors if hard times are coming. A business owner weathers the hard times. I encourage investors to do the same because predicting the length of a market decline, where it stops, and when it will reverse, is nearly impossible.
2014, 2015 and the beginning of 2016 remind me of another time when things weren't great for the market. Back in 2000-2002 the market struggled for nearly 3 years. Yet if you started investing in 2000 for the last 15 years you would have averaged 5.3% from 2000-2014. You can see these numbers below regarding an "asset allocation" portfolio.
Above is a slide from JP Morgan's Guide to the Markets 2015 Q1 edition.**
This is not a prediction of the market, rather I am offering some perspective. When the market news scares you, keep in mind that the rough times will pass as they have done historically. If you have a financial plan and you are a long term investor you should be able to weather the volatility. You should have confidence in the market that things will work out in the long run.
I believe the U.S. economy is the best in the world and some of the best businesses reside here. I am proud and excited to invest into these companies. From studying the market I know markets go up and down. In 2015 I sent newsletters out warning of risk and volatility. No one, including me, likes losing money in markets however I've come to accept they are a function of investing because nothing goes up forever. I accept the risk and volatility and believe the future will be better for investors.
I write this newsletter to educate my clients and also caution them not to panic. Please contact me with any questions or concerns you have!
You can view your performance reports from Albridge at www.mainaccount.com/ifg. D
1. Past performance is not indicative of future results.
2. Historical performance is no guarantee of future performance.
3. Diversification does not guarantee profit nor is it guaranteed to protect assets.
Remember financial markets go up and down, stay the course and you'll do fine!
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When markets go down:
Invest more! When the market declines it's a good time to increase 401k contributions and/or put cash to work.
Don't Panic! When markets go down people's natural reaction is to panic and change things. If you have a good allocation and financial plan weather the storm.
Market Performance 2015*:
1.38% S&P 500
-4.41% Russell 2000
-0.81% MSCI EAFE
-14.80% MSCI Emerging Markets
0.66% Barclay Bond Aggregate Index
Data from JP Morgan "Market Insights"
*Year to date as of 12/31/2015