For some housekeeping news, we are pleased to offer you a copy of this year’s updated Part II of Form ADV, a disclosure document for our company. Some of the revisions to the Part II of Form ADV include changes and updates to our disclosures and material business practices. As previously mentioned, our new office location and Chief Compliance Officer are among the changes to our disclosures. For compliance purposes, we are transitioning from federal to state registration. Additionally, modifications were made to the outside business activity disclosures and conflicts of interest of our executive officers. These updates are outlined more specifically in the disclosure document. We would be happy to send you a copy if you simply email your request to Megan.
Now some market news, the markets are continuing to work through their volatile corrective phase. As we step away from the markets, we realize we are essentially flat for the year. We did not experience a 10% correction in the markets during the 2016-2017 time frame, which is abnormal. That being said, typically this type of low-volatility situation gives way to short-term time frames of heightened volatility. The roller coaster ride can make investors queasy. But, we think this is just a normal correction in an otherwise higher trending market.
The main catalyst behind this corrective phase is the talk from the White House regarding tariffs. Obviously, China and other countries around the world, have warned of retaliation and this brings up a bigger-picture fear of trade wars. In our estimation, there is a lot of posturing and positioning going on around the world. But, it would surprise us to see this turn into a global trade war. The global economies finally started to lift in 2017 and the last thing any government wants to do is break the golden egg.
This economic growth cycle has legs, but that does not necessarily mean we would not continue to go through this volatile phase for a period of time. That being said, a normal correction in this time frame is healthy and we believe it may be running its course soon.
With a team of seasoned professionals, we are excited about the future and confident in our ability to recognize and capitalize on economic trends. Of course, our overriding hope is that it translates into serving our clients in a manner that is second to none.
The markets took a BIG dip in February and have continued to trade in volatile fashion. It’s disconcerting to see the Dow drop 1,000+ points in a day, but it’s happened twice during this correction. In the bigger scheme, we have not seen a normal correction in this market for two years and when you go that long without a correction, the dips tend to be more volatile. So, what caused this corrective phase? There are a couple focal points in the market today.
How aggressively will the Federal Reserve (FED) have to raise rates? – The economic cycle really is an intertwined web. The great news is that the global economies are on the upswing. We have not seen economic activity this strong since 2006-2007. The bad news is that stronger economic activity can lead to inflation. We are already seeing inflation in many parts of the world and, if wage pressures are any indication, we will soon see it pick up in the US. The primary way for the FED to curb inflation is by raising interest rates. Therefore, the million dollar question is how far and how fast will the FED have to raise rates? Only time will tell.
Will the tax cuts spur more growth, or increase the deficit? – There are a couple ways a tax cut can go. If the tax cut does not spur more growth, then it’s simply reduced the amount of revenue it takes in. The gamble with any tax cut is that it will generate more activity and, even though tax rates are lower, the cut will generate more overall revenue to the government because there is a bigger pie to tax. Again, only time will tell.
This economic growth cycle has legs, but that does not necessarily mean we won’t continue to go through this corrective phase for a period longer. That being said, a normal correction in this time frame is healthy and one we expect to last a bit longer.