New Year Tests Investment Resolutions

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Greetings!  We hope you enjoyed your holidays and are ready for a successful 2016.  If you have been following the markets, or paying attention to any of the daily news outlets, then you know that investors have continued to experience volatility during a poor beginning for the New Year. A variety of negative news stories have been attributed to current market activity, including:

  • China’s economy showing significantly lower growth
  • US manufacturing slowing
  • Falling oil prices which are hurting earnings of many companies in the S&P 500
  • Geopolitical risks in places like Russia, the Middle East and Korea
  • The threat of big bankruptcies in High Yield (junk bonds) due to energy related loans

However, there is some positive news that’s worth keeping in mind, such as:

  • High quality bonds (the only kind we recommend) are performing very well
  • The strength of the US Dollar is very good for those that travel abroad, as well as for companies that import goods
  • Falling oil prices are good for US consumers at the gas tank, acting much like a tax cut
  • Strong jobs report last week reflects ongoing strength for the US economy
  • The Fed raising rates will be good for clients heavy in fixed income (higher rates), and is a signal that the US economy doesn’t need as much support

Good news or bad, it is important to remember that markets are highly efficient and prices are where they are because these risks are known.  They could go lower if things are worse than expected – or higher if better than expected.  None of us enjoy periods like this.  The feelings of uncertainty and anxiety that accompany down markets are real and can test our fortitude.  This is precisely why the team at Flourish Wealth Management works with each of our clients to identify their personal risk tolerance, and then implements a strategic investment plan that can withstand down markets.  Our planning process is intended to make sure you don’t take more risk than you have the ability, willingness, or need to take.  By doing this, we want to help assure you’re less likely to panic during periods like this.  Our best advice continues to be “stick with the plan”.  Those who did so in 2008 and 2009 were rewarded with a 5- year bull market.  Those who did so from 2000-2002 were similarly rewarded.

We remain confident in our philosophy and the strategies we put in place to help you achieve your financial goals.  Whatever happens tomorrow, next week, next month or next year, remember that we are here to help you navigate through these periods and put what we believe are the best odds of success on your side.

Larry Swedroe, Director of Research for the BAM Alliance, recently wrote a piece on how to “Avoid Investment Depression“.  It would be worth the time to read this article – good bits of advice both financially and (maybe more importantly) psychologically.

If you want to discuss your portfolio or how you’re feeling about current market conditions, or want to discuss ideas to make 2016 a successful year, please don’t hesitate to call.

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Flourish is Ten Years Old!

A decade ago, we embarked on a journey to empower and serve you with values-based financial planning. In 2024, we celebrate our 10th anniversary with immense gratitude for your trust and support. Here’s to many more years of flourishing financially, together!

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