Investors will think of the last quarter of 2018 for years to come, but they won’t remember it fondly. The Economist described it like this,
“After a rotten October and limp November, the S&P 500 tumbled in value by 15 percent between November 30th and December 24th. Despite an astonishing bounce of 5 percent the day after Christmas, the index finished the year 6 percent below where it started...”
Last quarter’s volatility and the slide in share prices owed much to uncertainty about economic growth. Investors were concerned about a variety of issues, including:
As anxiety rose during the fourth quarter of 2018, some investors rushed to the perceived safety of bonds.High demand pushed the yield on 10-year Treasury bonds lower. It dropped from 2.99 percent to 2.69 percent during December, according to Yahoo! Finance.
While increasing bond exposure may have been a prudent portfolio adjustment for investors who were taking more risk than they could bear, those who moved out of stocks on fear missed out. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index and the Dow Jones Industrial Average posted their biggest one-day point gains on record on December 26, reported Emily McCormick for Yahoo! Finance.
At this point, some investors feel overwhelmed and worried about their ability to reach personal financial goals. If you’re one of them, please give us a call. Sometimes, reviewing life and financial goals, and the reasoning behind portfolio choices, may be reassuring. We look forward to hearing from you.
The Economist recently explored whether there was a basis for the idea that Americans who live in mid-western states are more congenial than people from other states. The publication explained ‘Midwest nice’ this way,
“It is apologizing involuntarily when scooting past someone, both to warn of your presence and to express regret for any inconvenience your mere existence may have caused. It is greeting people as they step into a lift and wishing them well as they leave. It is a strong preference for avoiding confrontation.”
The Economist found it all depends on how you measure ‘nice.’
If the standard is volunteerism, the Corporation forNational and Community Service reported three of the five states where people volunteer the most are in the Midwest:
If the standard is personality, the Midwest shares the blue ribbon for friendliness. A group of researchers from the United States, Britain, and Finland mapped the psychological topography of the United States and found people in Middle America and the South to be friendly and conventional, while those on the West Coast, in Rocky Mountains, and along the Sunbelt were relaxed and creative. Americans in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions were temperamental and uninhibited.
When it comes to charitable giving, Utah and the Southern states come out on top. Southerners give the highest percentage of earnings to charities. The money primarily goes to churches.
The preponderance of the data considered by The Economist suggest that ‘Midwest nice’ has a basis in reality.
“The wind comes across the plains not howling but singing. It's the difference between this wind and its big-city cousins: the full-throated wind of the plains has leeway to seek out the hidden registers of its voice. Where immigrant farmers planted windbreaks a hundred and fifty years ago, it keens in protest; where the young corn shoots up, it whispers as it passes, crossing field after field in its own time, following eastward trends but in no hurry to find open water. You can't usually see it in paintings, but it's an important part of the scenery.”
– John Darnielle, Musician and author
These views are those of Carson Group Coaching, and not the presenting Representative or the Representative's Broker/Dealer, and should not be construed as investment advice.
This newsletter was prepared by Carson Group Coaching. Carson Group Coaching is not affiliated with SkyOak Wealth.