Contributed by: Angela Palacios, CFP®
As summer heats up so have the headlines! From Brexit to the Election there has been much for investors to digest so far this year. On Thursday, July 28th, Melissa Joy, CFP®, Partner and Director of Wealth Management, and Angela Palacios, CFP®, Director of Investments, hosted a webinar to update investors on the economy, stocks, bond, and all the exciting headlines.
We started the year with all eyes on the Federal Reserve Board as investors wondered when the next interest rate hike would occur.
They have been watching several data points on the economy to assist them in making this decision, including:
- Unemployment and Wage Inflation
- Inflation (Core Consumer Price Index)
- Gross Domestic Product Growth
On all points there hasn’t been enough strength shown yet by the economy for the Fed to justify raising rates further since the last rate hike in December.
The election cycle is now in full swing. Melissa discussed how Brexit, the United Kingdom vote to leave the European Union, and the election here are very telling of a constituency that is tired of the status quo. We expect headlines for Brexit to make waves in the market over the next couple of years, similar to what we remember from the Greek debt crisis a few years ago, as deadlines approach and negotiations of the separation ramp up.
While politics here in the U.S. will cause some very interesting negative headlines in the next few months, election years overall are usually some of the better performing years (past performance is not a guarantee of future results) despite this.
Focusing on interest rates we shared our thoughts on record low rates both here in the U.S. and around the world. Low to negative rates are becoming the trend around the world making high quality U.S. government debt extremely attractive to investors outside the U.S. This anomaly is keeping our rates very low despite a Federal Reserve Board that is slowly trying to increase rates.
While interest rates are low, many investors are turning more and more to equities to seek out yield and returns; however, it is important to remember that bonds have the potential to provide needed preservation even at these low rates during stock market corrections. When markets are comfortably up as we have seen this year investors often become complacent and don’t pay attention to their portfolios. Market highs present investors with some great opportunities to tune up their portfolios.
Melissa offered her checklist of what to do when markets are up:
- Make sure you have future cash needs set aside.
- Rebalance your portfolio.
- Consider charitable gifting.
- Reflect on your investment perspective.
- Make sure your plan is on track.
If you want to learn more on any of these topics check out the webinar recording below. If you still have questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to Melissa or Angela for further discussion.
Angela Palacios, CFP® is the Director of Investments at Center for Financial Planning, Inc.® Angela specializes in Investment and Macro economic research. She is a frequent contributor The Center blog.
The information contained in this report does not purport to be a complete description of the securities, markets, or developments referred to in this material. The information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete. Any opinions are those of Melissa Joy and Angela Palacios and not necessarily those of Raymond James. Expressions of opinion are as of this date and are subject to change without notice. There is no guarantee that these statements, opinions or forecasts provided herein will prove to be correct. Investing involves risk and you may incur a profit or loss regardless of strategy selected.