Watching the Mariners play at Safeco, your (grand)children playing little league, memories of watching or listening to a big game with your parents when you were young – baseball has been a little (or lot!) part of our lives. Growing up, I have fond memories of my father always turning on the radio when the Milwaukee Braves played. He was an avid baseball fan, and not too shabby of a player in his youth.
Baseball has come a long way since those days. Sophisticated player-tracking technology, Statcast, now tracks a lot of what is happening on every Major League Baseball field. Players, coaches, front-office staff and fans alike can use the data it provides to analyze and evaluate player performance in a way that was never possible before. How Tracking Technology Helped Baseball’s Best Fielding Outfielder talks about how the Twins’ Byron Buxton used the data to improve his already amazing fielding.
Whether or not you are a gadget and data person, this is one more convincing argument on how data can be a powerful tool. And Buxton underlines the point that no matter how good we are at something, we can look at the details and improve. Here at White Raven Financial we aim to do that, both for our firm and our clients. It is not for us to say, “that’s good enough” but rather ask, “how can we improve”?
The White House is also hoping to improve our lives – through tax reform. In my opinion, even the thought of ‘what if’ provided a boost to the market at the end of last month. Blackrock Investment Institute 4th Quarter Investment Outlook commented on how the U.S.’s remarkably steady growth has fostered subdued market volatility which in turn can provide risk taking in equities and emerging market assets. With easy financial conditions and super-low market volatility, it is easy to get lulled into complacency. Russell Investments, in their 2017 Global Market Outlook 4th Quarter Update, commented on the current momentum driven rally and the value the global market offers as a supportive environment to a portfolio.
If you discount Spain and the Catalonia region, the European setting shows a steady political environment. Richard Turnill, Blackrock’s Global Chief Investment Strategist, in his October 2nd Global Weekly commentary, supported a case for Europe’s possible easy monetary condition and weaker currency, thus providing positive market valuations. Viewing the international community more widely, the geopolitical risk of North Korea has not gone away. The markets seem to have discounted the situation as more of a war of words for the time-being and have kept humming along. Despite the geopolitical risk, ABglobal’s position at the end-of-September was that the current projectory for global growth will continue to be strong.
The month of September showed that the major U.S. stock market indices were indecisive approaching the fall season. The blue-chip barometer (the DowTR)* stayed green showing a gain of 2.16%. The S&P 500 (SPYTR)* also did not turn color and brought in a positive 2.06%. The tech-rich Nasdaq Composite (COMPTR)* followed suit and posted 1.11%. On Tuesday, September 27, 2017, the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller report showed that the national home price index set continues to rise. The 20-city composite July Home Price Index reported a 5.8% year-over-year gain; up from the 5.6% shown the previous month of June. Before seasonal adjustments, month-over-month data also showed a gain with the month of July posting a 0.3% increase over the month of June for the 20-city composite index.
Regards and Thank you,
The Team at White Raven Financial
*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. Diversification and asset allocation does not assure or guarantee better performance and cannot eliminate the risk of investment loss
Advisory services are offered through White Raven Financial, a Registered Investment Advisor in the state of Washington.