HEARD ON THE MAINLINE
 Weekly Investment Newsletter
By: Kevin Dombrowski
Market Overview
Markets experienced some volatility this week but trended up.  Many analysts believe that much of this movement was a rebound from last week’s decline. Additionally, news of President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s scheduled meeting helped boost the markets. 

313,000 jobs were added in February, a number that was over 50% higher than most analysts predicted . The strong job growth, increase in labor participation, low unemployment rate, and uptick in wage growth all are positive signs for the market which has regained some positive momentum in March. 
 
Are Trade Wars Coming?
Last Thursday, President Trump announced that the US plans to impose steel (25%) and aluminum (10%) tariffs. Shortly thereafter, news broke that Gary Cohn, Director of the National Economic Council and top economic advisor to the President – would resign. Coupled together, this news rattled financial markets. Stocks fell as investors feared it might set a precedent for future protectionist trade policies and additional tariffs. 

Government now Owns 30% of All US Consumer Debt
As US consumers continue to finance their student loans, the US Government now owns over 30% (up from less than 5% in 2008) of total consumer debt in the United States. 
Pair that with the fact that 4 year college tuition continues to outpace inflation with no end in sight, we have a looming issue. Luckily, many education disrupters are emerging and families are beginning to challenge colleges to be worth the investment.  

Volatility – Have you Examined Your Current Strategy?
In early February stocks dropped 10% in a mere 10 trading days , which rattled even experienced investors and led to speculation around a looming period of volatility. But while experts say that knee jerk reactions can inevitably lead to unforeseen errors, they do suggest that periods of unrest in the market create an ideal time to evaluate how your current strategy is performing. How can you better prepare for the volatility that could be around the corner? Data shows that diversification, regular rebalancing and creating a plan to stick with, even in tough markets, should allow investors to feel more secure in their preparation. While volatility can unnerve many investors, this is a great opportunity to determine how your portfolio is performing under pressure.  
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kdombrowski@mainlineco.com
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