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Timely views and timeless advice on investing and planning from Thompson Wealth Management, Ltd.
Employment Data, the Truth behind the Headlines
Terror attacks and the Market
November ended with slight declines for the month in target risk portfolios, but with healthy gains for the latest three month period, marking a recovery from the late summer and early fall correction.
James Bond usually gets roughed up pretty good as he goes about his missions, but invariably comes out golden in the end. And like 007’s infamous martini, global stocks markets were shaken in August and September, only to recover vigorously in October as the S&P had its best month since 2011 with an 8.4% return.
Nice job, Mr. Gentile. Congrats to TWM’s Jordan Gentile who just passed his Series 65, the Uniform Investment Adviser Examination! His business card now reads Assistant Financial Adviser and, among his many duties, he will be serving as client account manager for our Legacy and Growth accounts....
The absence of significant inflation, driven by gas prices which are substantially lower than a year ago, means bad news in 2016 for those who receive Social Security benefits - there will be no cost-of-living adjustment, or COLA. In an unintended consequence, Medicare premiums could also rise for many.
Commodities and Emerging Markets have performed poorly in the last few years. Should you sell low?
While it would be fun to hold a Portfolio in which all of the asset classes were going up at the same time, it would be a nightmare if they were all moving down at once.
To protect against epic losses, investors seek uncorrelated returns — asset classes that behave dissimilarly so that a portfolio’s ingredients don’t all move in the same direction at the same time.
But diversified portfolios should be built with the knowledge that including uncorrelated assets means always having to endure pain in part of the portfolio. That part will be going down or remaining flat, since it tends to move differently from the uncorrelated part that is going up.
Debunking the Action Bias
At times like these, investors often wonder whether they should react to the market correction. The newest member of our gang here at TWM, Jordan Gentile, played goalie on his college soccer team. In our e-Letter this month, he offers this interesting analogy about how goalies tend to react when they face the ultimate pressure situation, a penalty kick. Most goalies “feel” like they need to do something, jump to the right or the left, to try to stop the shot. But statistics show they would be better off if they just stayed put in the middle.
The sudden drop in the market has everyone looking for a culprit. The explanation may be much more elementary than you think, my dear Watson. Remember, the stock market predicts about twenty recessions for every one that actually occurs. In this case, stocks have been falling despite generally positive economic news. This suggests that the correction is probably technical, and not fundamental in nature.
Not even the sharpest living minds on investing have a good clue what’s coming next. Oracle of Omaha Warren Buffett admitted in May that he had been “wrong” about interest rates. Global investors continue to struggle in the quest for signs of what the future will look like – for interest rates, for China, for energy, for Greece. It’s an enigma everywhere, making the financial markets one of today’s greatest mysteries. Bruce Thompson spies the real culprit in the recent market decline.
The famous marshmallow test conducted in the 1960's showed that we have a hard time resisting instant gratification, even if we know that delaying gratification would lead to an even bigger reward. This, in short, is what makes investing and managing businesses so hard. Success requires many qualities, but conviction, discipline and thinking long-term must rank near the top....