The Markets: What to do Now?
Wow! What a welcome change of pace the past quarter has been for the stock market. According to Standard and Poors, the S&P 500 Total Return Index was up 20.54% between April 1 and June 30, 2020. This is certainly making it easier for investors to open their monthly statements.
The concern many now have is wondering if the stock markets have risen too fast too quickly. In support of their concern, people are pointing to markets reaching all-time highs with so much uncertainty. We still don’t know what to expect with the effects of the coronavirus and no one is sure how the markets could react to the upcoming elections.
There’s always a reason to be concerned.
When we look at the stock markets, there have been many more up years than down, yet there always seems to be a reason to be cautious about investing. Think about some of the headline events over the past five years:
-Oil crashes causing the markets to decline significantly (August 2015 to Feb 2016)
-Trump wins the presidential election (November 2016)
-Brexit (June 2016)
-The Fed begins raising short-term interest rates (December 2016)
-The Fed’s rate increase & outlook again spook the markets (December 2018)
-China trade talks & tariff implementation (2017-2019)
-Brexit votes cause further concern (2019)
Despite those fears, the annual average return of the S&P 500 Index over that five-year timespan was 10.73%.1
Following the Herd– Unfortunately, investors tend to act in the opposite manner than we should. When the market is down and struggling, investors often get nervous and want to get out of the market and away from the volatility. When the market is doing well, investors may get excited and want to add more money. What investors tend to do is sell “low” and buy “high”; the exact opposite of how we should invest.
Don’t let the short-term ups and downs of the market or media headlines scare you into a decision with your investments. Stock investments are meant for your long-term goals (those at least 10 years out-including retirement income). Although the markets could be down for 3, 6, 12, or even 18 months, consider staying focused on the long term if your goals are long term. Ask yourself if you think the markets will be in a better place 3, 5, or 10 years down the road from now. If the answer is yes, then don’t let news headlines or short-term declines worry you.
If you’re someone who is prone to worry, then you might want to adjust your risk tolerance. Just remember that by taking less risk you’re likely to have lower returns over time. While the market is back near all-time highs, this could be a time to strike the right balance for you.
You can use our risk-assessment tool to help determine where you stand with risk: Riskalyze.
The year ahead
We’re likely to see continued volatility for the balance of the year. We don’t know when we’ll have medication to treat the coronavirus, what toll the pandemic will take on the economy, and how the elections will impact the markets.
While there are plenty of opportunities for short-term volatility, that doesn’t mean that investors should try to time the market by getting out now and waiting to see what happens as we get closer to the end of the year. Studies have shown that investors (both professionals and those managing their own portfolios) often do worse when they try to time the markets.2,3
We recommend that you determine your time horizon, assess your level of risk, and, if you’re invested for the long-term, stay focused on the long term. Consult your financial advisor or contact us to review your investment mix relative to your goals and risk level.
Indexes are unmanaged and investors are not able to invest directly into any index.
Past performance is no guarantee of future results.
There is no guarantee that a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a non-diversified portfolio. Diversification and asset allocation do not protect against market risk.
Stock investing involves risk including loss of principal.
1 The S&P 500 Index total return performance as reported by Standard and Poors between July 1, 2015 and June 30, 2020.
The opinions voiced in this material are for informational purposes only and are not intended to provide specific advice to any individual. Consult your legal, tax, and/or financial advisor to determine what is appropriate for your situation.
Away from the Office
Woody will be out of the office this week. If you need assistance, please contact Debbie at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are always accepting donations for the local animal shelters – toys, tennis balls, collars, leashes, food, cat litter, cardboard trays, office supplies, cleaning supplies, towels, mats, washcloths, etc. We will accept donations Monday-Friday between 9am & 5pm.
Not getting much time with friends, Elise has been coming up with creative fun around the house for the whole family. Whether it’s putting together a lovely dress-up dinner and obstacle course (because fine dining and obstacle courses are regularly paired), playing how to train your dragon/horse/cheetah (which usually involves me chasing after her at full speed around the house), pretending to be a vet, or hosting birthday parties for her toys, everyone has a chance to get involved.
Poor Roxy has had more than her share of opportunities to “play” with Elise. Although she does look stunning in pearls, I suspect that more than anyone in the house, Roxy is ready for the coronavirus to pass.
Elise has also found a great rock on our dog walks (known as Cheetah Rock for its interesting texture). I love seeing her be a modern girl by doing things like jumping off rocks with her trusty steed, Blackjack, while wearing an Elsa dress.
Recently, we learned that Elise does exercises every morning before she gets out of bed. She’ll grab the comforter and hang over the side of the bed three times then she’ll stand on her bed by the pillows and do three free-fall face plants. Knowing that explains a lot of the morning noises we hear.
Fenway has managed to escape much of the Elise play (one benefit of being old and hobbled). He does continue to get his swim time on Saturdays and it remains the highlight of his week.
I hope you enjoyed this month’s newsletter!
Woody Derricks, CFP®, ADPA®
CA Insurance License #0C40217
As a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA), Partnership Wealth Management is committed to providing our clients with financial planning and wealth management services to help them work towards their financial goals. At Partnership Wealth Management, we have a long history of working with the LGBT community. Among the many services we offer are financial planning and estate planning strategies for gay and lesbian couples. Financial planning is an important part of preparing for the future; contact us today to get started.
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