Yeah!! It is that time of the year again. It has rained and now they are ready! Bright orange reflective vests are brought out of storage and a family member or a good friend has phoned for the day and time. A few select people know where you are going, and they swear not to share the location. The trip will take an approximately 30-minute car ride from the nearest city; then a hike up to a spot where you enter the forest. Into the deep overstory one goes (not a lot of light) with the towering firs appearing to mock any GPS device, not to mention cell phones. Knowing how to read and use a compass and a map is a must unless you have an extremely good sense of direction. You traverse the hills up and down and across but are constantly looking down. Finally, you find one of those golden nuggets being almost assured that where you found one, you will find others. Ah, the mushrooms are like small trumpets and they need to be cut at the stem and put in a net sack to allow their spores to spread as you pick. If you are ambitious and pick more than you can eat and/or freeze, you can always sell them. The last time we looked at the grocery store, the beautiful golden chanterelles were selling for more than $30/pound.
While we do not sell chanterelles here at White Raven Financial, we are occasionally asked our opinion on holding commodities such as gold, silver, coins, or collectibles such as stamps, trading cards, art, and other treasures. While recently doing some research, we have learned that several online platforms have been built in recent years to accommodate the community of investors that are interested in the exclusive investing and trading beyond the usual stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. Due to the high interest in this option, an App called Rally, which allows investors to own shares in several categories, recently raised several million dollars. White Raven Financials’ opinion: For those interested, invest within your risk tolerance, and know your limits.
Here in the U.S. we find that the Fed is more interested in targeting average inflation as their new policy and has not mentioned gold (that we are aware of) in many years. Andrew Pease, the global head of investment strategy for Russell Investments, in his Q4 Market Outlook wrote that we are in the recovery phase cycle following the COVID-19 recession – implying (to them) that we will have an extended period of low-inflation, low-interest-rate growth. One bright piece of news, that was recently reported: New business applications have been surging during the last quarter. Challenges and obstacles appear to bring resourcefulness and innovation. And, amongst our reading for the past month and continuing this month will be on the upcoming election and what it will bring to the economy and the market. The Global Weekly Market by Blackrock zeroed in on energy, tech, and healthcare ramifications if a change in leadership occurs. They also felt a leadership change would also accelerate a shift toward sustainability.
And while internationally we read about the Euro often in the news, we only recently learned that China was the number one country in gold mining production in 2019. And opposite gold, we have tech. Just recently, with the thought being that technological rivalry may dominate the 21st century world, a group of researchers from Europe, the U.S., and Japan are proposing a “tech alliance” of democratic countries. And while we have some groups aligning, we still have the on-going Brexit headlines. David Zahn, head of Franklin Templeton Investments, addressed what he called the ‘Brexit saga’ in a recent blog. He wrote that they felt a no-deal Brexit and default to WTO rules will likely lead to further disruptions in supply chains to an already COVID-19-ravaged economy.
Here at White Raven Financial, we realize for many a discussion occurs on what the impact will be of the upcoming election results. We feel that it is a good reminder to all of us, that no matter who wins, to remember our financial game plan and focus on our short and long-term financial goals.
Successful investing begins with a plan that accounts for goals, time horizons, and risk tolerance levels.
The markets in September ended the last month of the summer on a down note. The blue-chip barometer (the Dow)* shed -2.28% for the month. The S&P 500 (SPY)* came in a bit grayer and was down -3.92% for the month of September. The tech-rich Nasdaq Composite (COMPTR)* couldn’t see through the fog and took a -5.16% drop for the month. (*After linking, click on Quarterly & Monthly Total Returns, “Monthly” tab.) On Tuesday, August 25th, the Dow Jones Indices released the latest S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller report. The report noted that for the reporting month, the home prices had accelerated their increases. The 20-city composite Home Price Index in July reported a 3.9% annual gain; up 3.5% from the previous month year-over-year posting. Before seasonal adjustments, month-over-month data had the month of July showing a 0.6% increase over the prior month of June 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 of September 30, 2020. 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.