July 2018 Newsletter
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The Potential Impact of Trade Tensions
old world map
The current administration has been attempting to create a more “fair” set of trading relationships with other countries. The main tactic has been tariffs on goods purchased from other countries. While the goal of fair trade is not debated, the tactic of using tariffs has triggered a wide range of reactions, from “this will blow over” to “this will cause a worldwide recession.” 

The reality is that no one knows how this will affect the US or global economy.  While most measures of the economy have remained strong, tariffs have the potential to detract from GDP growth. However, another possibility is that the tariffs could succeed in creating better trade agreements from the US perspective, which could pave the way for continued economic expansion.

Should the recent trade tariffs affect one’s investment strategy? The short answer is no. Long term investments hinge on many factors, including sales and profits of companies. To pick out just one of these factors – even a highly visible one – could result in missed opportunities.  
Leading Economic Index

The Conference Board, a non-profit business research organization based in New York City, tracks 10 indicators in an effort to monitor and predict future economic activity. 

Strength in this index is correlated with a strong economy. A dip in this index is an indicator of probable economic slowdown. The most recent figures remain positive as shown in the chart on the left.
Recent Investment Performance
The first six months of the year were mixed. Stocks fluctuated quite a bit and ended with a gain of about 2 ½%. Small companies and growth outperformed the broad market, while large cap, value and international fell short.

Bonds started out on a negative foot before stabilizing in the second quarter. They finished down about 2%. Alternatives were generally between stocks and bonds. Most notably, pipelines were up more than 10% and then down more than 10% – before finishing the half about 1 ½% in the red. 

These results confirm the value in holding a well-diversified portfolio. Diversification helps to smooth out the ups and downs of investing, which is one of our goals for clients.  
3d chart on white surface. The three-dimensional illustration
SUV or Retirement?
Modern red SUV car in a spotlight on a black background. Front view. 3D illustration. Luxury cars.
A recent blog made an interesting point about setting priorities in planning for retirement. The author said that the median person age 49-54 has $6,200 in his or her retirement savings. Also, he noted that the median purchaser of SUVs with a price tag of between $36,000 and $55,000 is in that same age group. 

Does that mean people are choosing “shiny things” at the expense of their retirement savings? Perhaps they are. 

We need to remind ourselves and those we care about that financial success is measured, not by what you spend, but by what you save. We help clients set financial goals so there is a good balance between enjoying the present and preparing for the future.
Feedback on Client Portal
Close-up of a touchscreen with financial data in form of charts and diagrams
We have heard some positive comments from those who have signed into their Client Portal for the first time. 

“This is a great dashboard with lots of good information right there.” 

“It is easy to get to this information without a lot of hoops to jump through.” 

We set up the client portal as part of our new portfolio management software. We feel the new Client Portal is the best way to share information securely with clients. 

If you have received an invitation from us to log into your Client Portal, please give it a try. Should you have questions, feel free to call or email. We can hook you up!

You can log in using the link in the email we sent or from our website:
www.golden-trail.com - Client Login.  
   6 30-323-1111