Quarterly Economic Update: Second Quarter 2019

The first half of 2019 brought very strong results for financial markets. Both equity and bond investors saw positive results leaving investors in a happy mood.

Key points:

  1. Equity markets reached new highs again this quarter.
  2. The bull market is now over 10 years old and is the longest on record.
  3. The Fed changed its stance on raising interest rates and has indicated that a future move could be to lower rates.
  4. Trade wars and tariffs have created market and investment uncertainty.
  5. The U.S.  economy is now in the longest period of expansion ever (over 11 years).
  6. Market volatility continues and investors need to remain cautious.

Investors were clearly rewarded in the first half of 2019, and markets ended the quarter at or near record highs.  CDs and money market funds can offer some of the highest level of safety but in today’s low interest rate environment they offer rates of around 2% or less. Some analysts are predicting equity markets will continue to rise while others are fearful. So, what should an investor do?

An investor needs to be prepared to build a plan that includes risk awareness.  While equities have risen, the continuing backdrop of a weakening economy, trade war fears and interest rate concerns create a need to recheck your time horizons.  Today’s traditional fixed rates might not help many investors to achieve their desired goals, so most investors may still need to include a strong mix of equities. Markets can continue to rise but they also could head lower.

Investors should always put their primary focus on their own personal goals and objectives.  It’s important to keep perspective when markets are volatile and that you understand your unique situation and financial plan.  Proceed with caution is still a great mantra for investors. An investor needs to be prepared to build a plan that includes risk awareness.  While equities have risen, the continuing backdrop of a weakening economy, trade war fears and interest rate concerns create a need to recheck your time horizons.  Today’s traditional fixed rates might not help many investors to achieve their desired goals, so most investors may still need to include a strong mix of equities. Markets can continue to rise but they also could head lower.

Our main focus is on clients and their long term-goals. We attempt to take out the emotions that you could feel at different phases of the cycle.  Investors need to focus on what they should do long-term, versus what they feel now, when crafting a plan for long-term investment success.

It’s important to keep perspective when markets are volatile and that you understand your unique situation and financial plan.

Our primary objective remains to continually understand our client’s goals and to match those goals with the best possible solutions.

If you have an interest in further discussing funding your retirement plans, please call us for a complimentary consultation. This is an area where a highly informed financial adviser can help you make an educated and calculated decision.  Our advice is not one-size-fits-all. We will always consider your feelings about risk and the markets and review your unique financial situation when making recommendations.

If you wish to receive the complete report, please contact us here and we will send you a copy of the report.

Westfield Financial Planning is an independent Registered Investment Adviser (RIA)

Note: The views stated in this letter are not necessarily the opinion of Westfield Financial Planning and should not be construed, directly or indirectly, as an offer to buy or sell any securities mentioned herein. Investors should be aware that there are risks inherent in all investments, such as fluctuations in investment principal. With any investment vehicle, past performance is not a guarantee of future results. Material discussed herewith is meant for general illustration and/or informational purposes only, please note that individual situations can vary. Therefore, the information should be relied upon when coordinated with individual professional advice. This material contains forward looking statements and projections. There are no guarantees that these results will be achieved. All indices referenced are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly.  Unmanaged index returns do not reflect fees, expenses, or sales charges. Index performance is not indicative of the performance of any investment. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index of 500 widely held stocks that is general considered representative of the U.S. Stock market. Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), commonly known as “The Dow” is an index representing 30 stock of companies maintained and reviewed by the editors of the Wall Street Journal. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.  Due to volatility within the markets mentioned, opinions are subject to change without notice. Information is based on sources believed to be reliable; however, their accuracy or completeness cannot be guaranteed. 

Sources: Barron’s, USAToday.com; cnbc.com; cnn.com; Wall Street Journal; New York Times; CNN Business; National Bureau of Economic Research; Fidelity Viewpoints; U.S. News & World Report; marketwatch.com; Contents provided by the Academy of Preferred Financial Advisors, Inc.© 2019