As we all observed and experienced, the close of 2018 brought an unsettling time in the equity markets. Markets historically don’t respond favorably to uncertainty, be it financial, political or social, and recent volatility appears to be tied to a host of uncertainties. Many individual investors react to uncertainty based on emotion, even though we’ve seen throughout the history of the market how important it is that investors don’t allow emotion to influence decisions. Throughout recent market ... [Continue Reading]
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In 2017, the U.S. stock market rose steadily, with the S&P 500 recording a rare feat of 12 straight positive monthly returns. By comparison, 2018 has essentially been a splash of cold water in the faces of investors. After strong returns early in the year, the market has see-sawed back and forth, ending the first quarter with a slight loss. It’s important that we view this recent volatility with perspective and understand just how unusual the market environment was in 2017. Arjun Sigamani, a ... [Continue Reading]
Although much of the Minnesota landscape is currently covered in a fresh blanket of snow, rearranging the order of the oft-quoted springtime idiom more aptly describes the first quarter behavior of equity markets than it does the weather. It was once again a reminder that the animal spirits of markets don’t always follow the seasons. The year began where 2017 left off, with global stock markets carrying their strong positive momentum into the new year. In fact, the S&P 500 index hit ten ... [Continue Reading]
Opportunities are everywhere, if you know where to look. Our investment team is constantly looking for opportunities in your portfolio, both to add value and to reduce risk. The strong market rally in 2017 presented us with numerous opportunities to "tend the garden" of our clients' portfolios and make adjustments where need be. The most significant opportunity that has emerged over the past year is the growth in our clients' stock positions, which has shifted the mix of stocks and bonds ... [Continue Reading]
Starting on Friday, February 2, and continuing on the following Monday, global equity markets sustained their largest correction in more than two years. While small in historical context, this correction was a rude awakening for many investors who had grown comfortable with the unusual stability in the stock market throughout 2017. Some investors did more than just grow comfortable, they started betting on this stability to continue, in the form of shorting volatility. These bets, which ... [Continue Reading]