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Unlocking Real Value Newsletter - November 2018

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2018 has certainly been full of surprises - both for the stock market and the country (and world) at large. As we enter the holiday season - a time of reflection - the phrase that comes to my mind is "expect the unexpected." The corollary is "prepare clients for the unexpected."

Much has been written the past month (by me included) about the return of volatility to the market. The resiliency that we had seen in the market in the face of economic and political uncertainty has finally begun to waver.

While corporate earnings remain strong, most analysts feel that we have the seen the peak, and that future quarters will certainly be less impressive. The economy remains healthy, but as the U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed) continues to slowly increase short-term interest rates, it is anyone's guess what happens next.

And politically - well, regardless of where you stand on the political spectrum, 2019 is shaping up to be an interesting one - subpoenas, the likely release of Mueller's Russia report, continuing trade spats and of course the unofficial beginning of the 2020 race to the White House.

All of these things point to a 2019 that will be uncertain and for the stock market this means continued volatility. I think 2019 will be more like the last six weeks than it was the first 9 months of the year - larger swings in either direction.

In addition to reminding clients of staying the course, therefore, it is important to prepare them for this volatility. Focus them on the longer-term and their own longer-term goals and objectives. While it is hard to ignore large daily swings, remind them that these types of swings are normal.

Volatility is rough on everyone. But as with most things, ignoring it won't make it go away, or make clients feel more comfortable. Reassurance, empathy and demonstrating your knowledge of the market - and your clients needs - should help you and your clients survive whatever the market - and the world - throws our way in 2019. HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

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