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Re-Setting “The List”

On a day early in January, my spouse and I sit down and write respective lists of things we ‘hope’ to accomplish within the year. We call it a Reset. One of the rules is that the list may not number more than ten. They are not resolutions; we are not (that we are aware of) trying to have some type of life changing event. Another rule for our lists: no looking back at what we wrote last year. We feel that if one of last year’s ideas was important, it would have been accomplished or it will pop up on our list again this year. Once we have completed our list, we try to prioritize it – sometimes the last thing we have written ends up as our number one priority. Lastly, we exchange our lists. What is interesting: We seldom have many matches. Once we both wrote the same goal in the first slot; that was an unusual year. If you’d like to read more about the Reset process, click here. And, as I write this, I am aware that we all do not have a partner in life. But hopefully there is a friend that would be interested in tracking/sharing goals for the year with you.

A recent LinkedIn article about the most powerful word in the English language got me thinking. We all have ideas that can help us make life a bit more interesting. Here at our office, each year we try to write a list of things to accomplish for the year that are S.M.A.R.T (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound). Whatever your goal or list or if it is life as usual, we here at White Raven Financial wish you a terrific year for 2019!

And marching onward from goals into the world of reality. Economically in the U.S. many of us wonder if this will be as good as it gets. We’ve had low interest rates, low unemployment and with the exception of December 2018, quite a run in the U.S. major stock market indices. In my opinion, now we are into a volatile start for 2019. To try to get a glimpse of where we are going, our reading included many views on the economic and investment outlook for 2019. Several of the views stressed the possibility of continued market turbulence and expectations of lower economic growth; such as the one expressed by Manning & Napier’s Semi-Annual Outlook. Lord Abbett summarized in their second part of three 2019 Investment Outlook series that much was dependent on the central banks’ moves in steering the economy. They felt that this may be key to determining the performance of key asset classes in 2019. And recently on the 2nd of January, Lee Jackson gave us 8 Reason Why 2019 Might Not Be as Bad as Feared.

Traveling from home base to across the pond, Nuveen’s Global Investment Committee 2019 Outlook  predicted slow global growth this year, but they do not believe any of the world’s major economies will enter into a recession. Their commentary was upbeat in that they felt there were opportunities for investing even though they expected growing trade restrictions and tighter financial conditions spurred by rising interest rates. First Trust portfolios developed a chart on why one should be Staying Their Course, noting that volatility is normal or there are often inter-year declines versus inter-year inclines. Market downs are not pleasant, we all know that it’s much easier to stay in the game when the markets are up. There are no guarantees, but if the markets continue as in the past, this too shall pass*.

*Past performance does not guarantee future results.

December was much more volatile than many of us would have preferred for the holidays; none of us would have minded if the markets would have reset back to one of the higher months in 2018. Concerns revolved around global growth, trade, politics and interest rates . . . and the major markets finished with a steep deficit for the month. The blue-chip barometer (the Dow)* fell -8.66% for December. The S&P 500 (SPY)* dropped further and lost -9.18% for the month. The tech-rich Nasdaq Composite (COMPTR)* finished last with a  -9.48% monthly loss. {*After linking, click on Quarterly & Monthly Total Returns, “Monthly” tab.} On Wednesday, December 26th, 2018, the Dow Jones Indices released the latest S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller report showing that the national core home price index slowed for the thrid month in a row. The 20-city composite October Home Price Index reported a 5.0% annual gain; down .2% from the 5.2% posted the previous month. Before seasonal adjustments, month-over-month data had the month of October posting no change over the prior 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. Return for the DOW, S&P500 and the NASDAQ is the total return (price only) provided by Morning star Inc. as of 2018December31. 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.


Advisory services are offered through White Raven Financial, a Registered Investment Advisor in the state of Washington.

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The information contained in this material have been derived from sources believed to be reliable, but is not guaranteed as to accuracy and completeness and does not purport to be a complete analysis of the materials discussed.

Whenever you invest, you are at risk of loss of principal as the market does fluctuate. Past performance is not indicative of future results. Purchases are subject to suitability. This requires a review of an investor’s objective, risk tolerance, and time horizons. Investing always involves risk and possible loss of capital.


Diane Jochimsen

Meet the Author:
Diane Jochimsen

Diane Jochimsen is the founder and lead financial advisor at White Raven Financial. Whether working on investment portfolios or with a financial plan, Diane always seeks to know more about clients’ values, aspirations, and end goals.