I recently read an article in the Wall Street Journal about The Best Architecture of 2017: Buildings of Quiet Ambition. The use of new technology and a focus on creating a better world made each of the designs stand out from the norm. While we’re still hanging out for the day when putting environment and life first become the norm, it’s encouraging to see so much innovative architectural design taking place in the business world. Then again, we’re not in the architect business, but we are in the Quiet Ambition business. In big and small ways, for our clients, we aim to do better. New tech, green space, and our eyes are always firmly on our priorities: how we can best help our clients achieve their goals.
So here we are at the start of a new year, 2018, once again with a bit of what’s going on in the market, at home and abroad . . . .
Prior to the New Year, our inbox began to fill up with investment strategists’ forecasts for the 2018 market. Reading them always brings a mixture of pleasure and anticipation and it was nice to see there wasn’t much variation between them all. Many expected more good things in 2018, but 2017 earnings performance will be a hard act to follow. Russel Investments’s 2018 Outlook was titled Running with the Bulls, highlighting their perspective that U.S. equities could push higher before facing headwinds later in the year. Following that thought, they also expect several international markets to outperform the U.S. equity market. Similarly interesting to note is mutual fund giant Vanguard’s 2018 expectation for higher risks and lower returns in financial markets next year. Vanguard also expected at bit more volatility in the year ahead. Brian Foerster, investment strategist for Lord Abbett wrote in Equities Outlook: Our Expectations for 2018 that ongoing solid economic growth in the U.S. could lead to continued strength in high-growth stocks across all market capitalizations. Whether 2018 unfolds according to any of the forecasts is conjecture.
Forecasting beyond our own shores to those markets and economies further afield, Lord Abbett’s Global Economic Insights: Our Outlook for 2018 offers an interesting read. They detail a perspective that risks overall are skewed to the positive side of the expected return distribution for equities and credit, for both the U.S. and abroad. The BlackRock Investment Institute 2018 Investment Outlook noted that corporate earnings and steady growth support a synchronized global expansion that will continue in 2018. Bill Gross reminds us to remain cautious in his 2018 Outlook; as Portfolio Manager at Janus Henderson he wrote that if a crisis were to arise, whether because of political or other unpredictable risks, our capacity to protect our investments will be reduced relative to what has come in the past. Food for thought!
The major domestic markets were clothed in green and finished the year of 2017 with ‘Good Tidings’. The blue-chip barometer (the DowTR)* donned the top hat and added a monthly gain of 1.92%. The S&P 500 (SPYTR)* also added a hat in shades of green and followed with a positive 1.11% for the month. The tech-rich Nasdaq Composite (COMPTR)* hat was smaller than its brothers but still put on a hat for the month with a 0.48% gain. On Tuesday, December 26, 2017, the Dow Jones Indices released the latest S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller report showing that the national core home price index continued to rise. The 20-city composite October Home Price Index reported a 6.4% year-over-year gain in September; up from the 6.2% shown the previous month. Before seasonal adjustments, month-over-month data also showed a gain with the month of October posting a 0.7% increase over the month of September 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. Returns for the DOW, S&P500 and the NASDAQ is the total return (price only) provided by Morning star Inc. as of 2017December31. 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.