The recent wild market swings continue this week as soothing comments out of Europe have revived hopes of additional stimulus as soon as next month. In our firm’s risk managed strategies, we’ve held no exposure this year to foreign emerging markets (down -13.15% YTD) and we’ve eliminated exposure to foreign developed markets (-11.58% YTD) several weeks ago – a very good step to have taken. Our overall exposure to the markets has varied from as low as 23% to a high of 43% over the past three weeks, with a nod toward a more assertive (but still cautious) allocation right now.
Every risk-managed strategy offered by our firm is currently ahead of the markets for the year, with most down only -4-6% for the year. And while these figures are better than the markets, they still represent a small step backwards in the short run.
With the Federal Reserve currently on the sidelines, it is becoming increasingly clear that their interest rate hike last month is clearly a “policy error,” a polite way of labeling it a mistake. Interest rates in the U.S. are clearly much too high, especially when compared to other developed nations (for example, the German 10-year note is currently yielding +0.49% while the U.S. 10-year Treasury Note is currently yielding +1.97%) – clearly there’s room for the Fed to push rates lower.
But to be clear, that’s a band-aid, and not a cure for an economy that is clearly ailing. For more, please click here to see our firm’s recent feature on WLUK Fox 11 News…
This is a critical juncture, and flexibility is still key.
Lastly, as we’ve been recently running simulations on our client’s financial plans, they have been largely continuing to show “on-track” progress. If you’re a current client and would like your personal advisor to run a quick update to your plan ahead of your quarterly review, please feel free to call at any time. We can run an update in just a few minutes time. We stand ready and are committed to help you continue to feel comfortable during these volatile times.