Heads bent together, whispered soft conversations while examining a competitor’s entry; reading glasses on and paging through the magazines and show booth coupons; soft cleaning cloths constantly wiping. This was the 2019 All-British Field Meet at the VanDusen Botanical Garden in Vancouver BC where many gentleman and a few ladies stood by their spruced up antique British autos. The gardens also had a Bonsai display event that same day, which was free, but the lines to see the prized British roadsters was ‘the place to be’! We were one of the many who had braved a stressful road trip (would it break down?!) to show a prized possession, revered not only for it’s beauty and design but also for the countless hours of labor and drain from pocketbooks to make it run.
It all started with a middle-aged man and a sports car (familiar story, right) that didn’t run. Several years later, the car had been disassembled, but now there was more time and money. It took a plan and a timeline. The man gave himself a year. The plan was like this: First do the front end, then do the floorboards, next come the valances and lastly the carburetors. The auto could run, well enough even to allow a teenage driver to learn how to shift. Jump forward a few more years, a little extra money, more spit and polish: the man’s 1962 British Triumph TR4 was show worthy. Here at White Raven Financial, we help with all kinds of plans; we feel that all goals are important!
While we reap the joy of seeing a personal plan come to fruition here at White Raven Financial, we also always have our eye on the bigger picture. Looking outward into the world, growth and trade concerns appeared to be the forefront of the news for most of May. Scott Minerd, Global CIO for Guggenheim, in his end-of-May outlook wrote about the current trade escalations tit-for-tat with China. He noted, after speaking with several foreign portfolio managers, that the continued tariffs on the remaining Chinese products would not only hurt China, but the U.S. would also feel the affect. Frank Holmes, CEO and Chief Investment Officer for U.S. Global Investors wrote about the current economy in his end-of-May blog. He noted that business expectations have sunk to a new 7-year low and that economic data of output, employment and inventories had weakened from the previous month. Very recent news from CNBC reported on St. Louis Federal Reserve president James Bullard saying a rate cut may be warranted given the rising risk to economic growth by global trade tensions and to hopefully spur inflation.
And international economic news has also been addressing the topic of tariffs. Elga Bartsch, head of Economic and Markets Research for the BlackRock Investment Institute, in a recent blog wrote that European assets might receive a boost even if a tentative recovery in Italian politics, a disorderly Brexit and global trade conflict occurs. Charles Schwab’s team of Liz Ann Sonders, Brad Sorensen, and Jeffrey Kleintop in May’s Market Perspective felt that Europe and Japan have not yet received a direct hit from the U.S.-China tariff and non-tariff barriers. They further noted that the impact of the U.S.-China tariffs may be negligible on European or Japanese economies and companies. Volatile markets and discouraging news make us wonder “when will it end?” but we need to remember that the tide can change quickly and staying the course within our risk tolerance is often the best place to be.
Turbulence hit the markets for the month of May with the major market indices having a tough month. The blue-chip barometer (the Dow)* lost -6.69% in May. The S&P 500 (SPY)* shed -6.58% with the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite (COMPTR)* shrunk -7.93% respectively for the month of May. (*After linking, click on Quarterly & Monthly Total Returns, “Monthly” tab.) On Tuesday, May 28th, 2019, the Dow Jones Indices released the latest S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller report; the report showed that the national core home price rate has continued to weaken. The 20-city composite February Home Price Index reported a 2.7% annual gain; down .3% from the unrevised 3.0% posted the previous month. Before seasonal adjustments, month-over-month data had the month of March posting 0.7% over the prior month of February 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 2019May31. 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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