Markets Insight - September

Markets Insight - September

Labor Day September 3, 2018

Some records show that Peter J. McGuire, general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and a co-founder of the American Federation of Labor, was first in suggesting a day to honor those "who from rude nature have delved and carved all the grandeur we behold."

But Peter McGuire's place in Labor Day history has not gone unchallenged. Recent research seems to support the contention that Matthew Maguire, later the secretary of Local 344 of the International Association of Machinists in Paterson, N.J., proposed the holiday in 1882 while serving as secretary of the Central Labor Union in New York

Also, on this day in 1886, in Skeleton Canyon between New Mexico and Arizona, the last war chief of the Apache Tribe, Geronimo, surrendered his tiny group of 35 warriors to General Nelson Miles, and began the long march to Ft. Bowie, where they were herded into boxcars for deportation to prison in Florida. Geronimo had been pursued for 5 months by over 5,000 soldiers and 500 Indian scouts.

Key Takeaways

As of 8/29, the S&P 500 has lasted a record 3,453 days without a 20 percent or more decline.

This bull market is now the longest in history despite all the noise going on with North Korea, China, NAFTA, worry over global trade as well as domestic political concerns.

A strong dollar continues to weigh on foreign assets, but last week’s weakening led to strong performance in non-US developed and emerging markets.

Diversification doesn’t always work in the short-term. We note the year-to-date declines in U.S. and global bonds, developed market stocks outside the U.S., as well as emerging market stocks. However, over the longer-term, diversification, investment discipline and customized asset allocation can properly balance real growth, safety of principal, and risk. This year’s laggards, in fact, were last year’s winners; emerging market equities were the best performing asset class in 2017 with returns of over 37%, while emerging market bonds were up more than 10% ! 

We are confident that our individualized approach to portfolio and financial management, driven by your goals, globally balanced, and diversified in investment policy, will enable you to thrive, as we move toward the rewarding (and sometimes quite challenging) markets in the future.

Market returns YTD through 8/30/2018

  • The S&P 500: + 10.4%
  • The S&P Small-Cap 600: +17.8%
  • The U.S. Aggregate bond index: -1.0%
  • The MSCI EAFE developed market Index: -1.2%  
  • The MSCI Emerging Markets Index: -5.9%


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