“We would love if you would stay here and work in our community, but we realize that many of you have been called to a different path. Please remember us and tell others who we are.” The preceding sentences are my memory of a portion of a speech that we attended for a graduation ceremony. You could hear the pride in the speaker’s voice for his school1, for all the students, and for his community. After the ceremony, our group remarked on the speaker, about the students talking about their school and the community members talking amongst themselves. We noted how rare it was to see and hear such belonging, care, and inclusiveness amongst a group of people. It did not seem to matter what type of person it was. Maybe it was due to the weather sprouting a warm spell of 55+ degrees or maybe it was due to the long cold winter and dark days being over, or, again, maybe it was just who they are. But that is what my husband and our extended family found on the first of May when we attended a graduation ceremony at the University of Alaska Fairbanks1.
At our office, I don’t recall either myself2 or Brett3 being called or having ever addressed someone as “hon” or “dear” in our line of work. Although, I believe I was addressed with those types of words several times a day by all types of people in all types of professions during my long weekend in Fairbanks. And it was done in a way to conjure that I was special. As I think back on my trip, I remember the smiles, the concern for my well-being and how a few words or smile can make the day brighter. Hopefully, here at White Raven Financial4, we can live up to the experience I recently received and improve the day for all those we come in contact with.
Continuation (and somewhat affirmation) of indicated expansion of our economy was received when the April Institute for Supply Manufacturing (ISM) index posted a reading of 55.4%, marking the 23rd consecutive month of expansion5 in the manufacturing sector. Economic and financial news has been intense with many articles being speculative rather than analytical. Additionally, there has been the expected anticipation of monetary tightening and subsequent rise in interest rates. Raheel Siddiqui, Senior Research Analyst for Neuberger-Berman, acknowledged the proceeding stresses in in his April mid-Equity Market Outlook6 noting that they have a no-recession stance [exception, an Ukraine conflict escalation]. Similarly, Abrdn, in a recent article7 with several modeling charts, felt that a US recession is not their base case although they did acknowledge that they think the U.S. will have a soft landing. Russell Investments, in their Q2 Global Market Outlook8, appeared to agree when their economic view showed a U.S. GDP forecast growth rate of 3.0% in 2022.
Geopolitical news abounds internationally due to the conflict in Ukraine. And when we read about Ukraine struggles, we also think about the pride their citizens must have in their country to overcome the odds to date that are against them. Due to the geopolitical and resulting supply chain concerns, Wisdomtree’s Q2 2022 Economic and Market Outlook9 felt that the consensus estimates for global GDP growth to remain positive and in the 3-4% range. In late April, the International Monetary fund (IMF) lowered its global growth projections10 for 2022 and 2023 citing the economic hit due to the invasion of Ukraine. The other large international news item: EU sanctions on Russian oil11. We’ll be learning more about the sanctions throughout the coming month.
Getting the first ‘big’ job after finishing school can be a bit unsettling. And the recent market volatility may be much more unsettling (for some), but when we look back on market history and volatility, it is not unusual. Trying to time the market can be a challenge to say the least. If invested in your time horizon and risk tolerance, the recent market drop may appear as a blip in the landscape of your long-term plan.
Bypassing spring showers, the returns for the major market indices for the month of April brought us a full-blown storm. Of the three major indices, the blue-chip barometer (the Dow)* displayed days of downpours and posted a -4.91% month-end fall. A gale of hard rain mixed with hail hit the S&P 500 (SPY)* notching the month-end at a -8.78% downslide. Thunder and lightning could describe most days for the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite (COMPTR)* during the month with its final tab at a -13.35% decline. (*After linking, click on Quarterly & Monthly Total Returns, “Monthly” tab). On Tuesday, April 26th, the Dow Jones Indices released the latest S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller13 report. The report showed that for the reporting month home prices, did a ‘same-ol’’ and continued to increase. The February 20-city composite Home Price Index13 reported a 20.2% year-over-year gain; up 1.3% from the previous month year-over-year posting. Before seasonal adjustments, month-over-month data had the month of February showing a 2.4% increase over the prior month of January for the 20-city composite index.
Regards and thank you (as always) for reading,
The Team at White Raven Financial
Advisory services offered through White Raven Financial Services, Inc. a Registered Investment Advisor in the State of Washington.
*Indexes are unmanaged and do not reflect service fees, commissions, or taxes. You cannot invest directly in an index. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results. Returns for the DOW, S&P 500 and the NASDAQ are the total return (price only) provided by Morningstar as April 30, 2022. Diversification and asset allocation do not assure or guarantee better performance and cannot eliminate the risk of investment loss.
*The Standard and Poor’s 500 is an unmanaged, capitalization weighted benchmark that tracks broad-based changes in the U.S. stock market. This index of 500 common stocks is comprised of 400 industrial, 20 transportation, 40 utility, and 40 financial companies representing major U.S. industry sectors. The index is calculated on a total return basis with dividends reinvested and is not available for direct investment.
*The Dow Jones Industrial Average covers 30 blue chip U.S. companies selected by the editors of the Wall Street Journal. The Dow represents about 25% of the NYSE market capitalization and less than 2% of NYSE issues.
*The NASDAQ is a market-value weighted index that measures all NASDAQ domestic and foreign common stocks.
- * https://Morningstar.com (index)