MARKET ALERT – Seeing Clearly in 2020 Vision: Keep Seat Belts Fastened

If we owned a crystal ball, we might know when to sell before big market moves down. If we owned a crystal ball, we might also know when to buy at the market low, before big moves up. Would you like to use a crystal ball for your investment timing tool? We know that if you rely on the crystal ball for investing, sooner or later you will be dining on crushed glass. No one owns a crystal ball that works. Don’t attempt to use one.

Given the volatility in the global and domestic markets this past week, it may be helpful to summarize a few thoughts for consideration:

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Market Catches the Coronavirus: Thoughts Around Current Volatility – 2/29/20

In recent days, the US financial market’s relative calm has fallen victim to rising fears relating to the coronavirus – more technically referred to as covid-19.  In just two days, the S&P500 and Dow have “skinnied” by more than -6% and the loss over the last week roughly -7.5%.  Many international markets are down even more sharply, especially amid already weak or recession-like economic data.  This is a stark contrast from the very attractive gains the market was enjoying in February as the narrative around the new virus seemed to be calming/contained from when it first began hitting newswires a month ago.

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Seeing Clearly in 2020 Vision: “Red, Blue & You” – February Investment Commentary

We continue our theme relating to seeing clearly with 2020 vision. January started the new year and new decade with positive action – new stock market highs on the first trading day of 2020 and 5 additional dates from there with the most recent occurring on January 17th.  Since then, the market caught the flu.  Volatility jumped toward the end of the month, as China “exported” fears of a contagious and not well understood Coronavirus.  The S&P500 Index forfeited away 3% gains to close marginally negative at month end.  Stocks, both domestic and foreign, showed “flu-like” symptoms, while bonds offered a “safe haven” with yields falling (prices rising).  Client portfolios with more bonds performed better than those with greater stock market exposure during January.

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