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Top of Mind (Q1 2018)

Each quarter, we will share three things that we are keeping Top of Mind

Here's our latest list:

 

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1.) Tax time - Deadline for 2017 tax filings (or extensions) is fast approaching!  This year's deadline is Tuesday April 17th.  In addition to any 2017 remaining payments, this is also the date by which you must make Q1 2018 estimated tax payments. 

We are also over a quarter of the way thru 2018, the year in which the new tax laws take effect.  If you've haven't yet evaluated how those changes will impact you, please reach out and we'll connect you to a tax advisor and help you start to take action.  Today is a perfect day to prepare for the rest of the year

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2.) Never too old to learn - I've always loved learning of any kind.  That is why I was thrilled to recently discover Master Class.  For $180 per year (that's less than 50 cents per day), you have unlimited access to online specialty courses taught by masters in their craft.  Want to learn more about storytelling from Malcom Gladwell,  more on photography from Annie Liebovitz, or cooking from Gordon Ramsay?  Master Class has you covered. Let's learn together

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3.) Focus - There is an incredible amount of information and opinions concerning the markets and investing.  A google search of "market outlook" yields 314 million results.  Where should you focus your time?  One of my preferred resources (besides Windermere of course!) is the investment team at Charles Schwab.  Visit their Insights webpage and subscribe to their various publications.  It's straightforward, unbiased, supported with facts, easy to understand, and focused on the longer-term.  Reach out with any questions on the material you find.  We'd be happy to discuss it with you and share our thoughts as well

View from the Chair: Windermere's Market Outlook (January 2016)

By Ken Evason, CFA and Pam Evason, CFA

Don’t let the slightly negative return for the S&P 500 in 2015 fool you – this was anything but a benign year.  It was a year in which oil tumbled, the dollar soared, China’s markets did some of each, the Fed raised rates for the first time in nine years, a flash crash occurred, the race for president kicked off, and the markets fluctuated more than we’ve seen in years. 

All of these events resulted in flat to negative returns for almost all asset classes. See below table for highlights of asset class returns for 2015 (click image to expand)

Commend yourself – you endured the roller coaster of 2015 and now we turn our sights to 2016.  What do we anticipate for the new year?

  • Energy prices at now 12-year lows will be a catalyst for growth going forward, particularly in consumer names
  • Global economy will strengthen from here, aided by demographic trends and ongoing accommodative monetary policy, which will translate to rising wealth levels across the globe
  •  Patient investors will be rewarded with attractive returns from portfolios tilted towards global equities and away from long-dated fixed income
  •  Select developing economies will benefit from lower energy prices and rising middle class populations
  • Stabilization in the US dollar and rebound in commodity prices will be positives for global markets

With all that said, the first several trading days of 2016 brought even more volatility, with equity indexes down over 6% year to date.  Markets are fundamentally based on supply and demand and simply put – these price declines means we are in a period where sellers are outpacing buyers.  What’s driving that?  A variety of factors including: profit taking upon the start of a new tax year, concerns over China’s equity markets and slowing growth, and ongoing declines in energy and increases in the USD.  We anticipate the selling to slow and markets to stabilize shortly – and also anticipate stronger than expected earnings in key sectors (technology and consumer discretionary) to provide additional good news in the new year.  Stay the course.  Stay optimistic.  Stay invested.

We thank you for your ongoing support and rest assured – we constantly strive to provide  attractive risk adjusted returns for our clients.