At Storen Financial, we want to take advantage of the economic resources and expertise offered by some of the largest financial players in the US and around the world. We participated in calls delivered by JP Morgan Chase, American Funds, Blackrock and LPL Financial. Our goal is to obtain an accurate understanding of what is happening in the world’s economies and how markets may respond in the future. We use this information to make informed decisions about the portfolios we manage. Even the most intelligent and best-funded economists cannot consistently and dependably predict the short term direction of the markets. But at Storen, we work to identify longer term economic trends and use this information to build and maintain portfolios designed with the goal of long term success.

The consensus from the calls was the US economy is in the later stages of a long economic expansion, but economic fundamentals are still strong which can lead to continued moderate growth for the next year or so. While current conditions are still good for growth, we were reminded, at some point, the US will have another recession. However, there is no reason to believe it will be as severe as the Great Recession of 2008. Given this information, we need to begin to prepare for this event without trying to time the event.

What does this mean for your portfolio?

In our portfolios, we have made allocation changes such as movements to cash alternatives and stocks which historically perform better during volatile periods. Given these changes, we have structured part of the stock portfolio to be more risk averse. This means we have shifted some stock holdings into investments that are generally less volatile than the market as a whole. An example would include dividend paying stocks which typically perform better during volatile markets.

Fixed Income

Continued increasing interest rates were a major discussion point on each of the calls. When interest rates rise, the value of current bonds and fixed income investments usually drops. Therefore, we can expect to see low growth potential in portfolios with greater exposure to fixed income. However, the trend back to higher interest rate levels should continue which likely leads to better interest payments on new bonds and CDs. For fixed income, we have a larger portion in short term bonds that should not fall as much when interest rates rise. One other aspect of fixed income investment is the use of active management whose job it is to find various types of short term, fixed income investments that are typically less impacted by rising interest rates.

Thank you for your trust and continued partnership.
Greg Storen & J Brian Biggs

 

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.

All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results. The economic forecasts set forth in this material may not develop as predicted and there can be no guarantee that strategies promoted will be successful.Investing in stock includes numerous specific risks including: the fluctuation of dividend, loss of principal and potential illiquidity of the investment in a falling market. The payment of dividends is not guaranteed. Companies may reduce or eliminate the payment of dividends at any given time. Bonds are subject market and interest rate risk if sold prior to maturity. Bond values will decline as interest rates rise and bonds are subject to availability and change in price. Certificates of Deposit are FDIC insured and offer a fixer rate of return if held to maturity. 

All investing involves risk including loss of principal. No strategy assures success or protects against loss. 

Brass Tax Wealth Management, Storen Financial Advisory Group and LPL Financial are not affiliated with any of the other referenced entities.