Ready for the next market correction? Today’s drop rekindles questions of whether this bull market is finally over. To be sure, stocks are up over 7% in the first 4 months, extending the 8-year run from the 2009 low.
But the bull market run has resulted in some expensive prices. Regardless of whether one uses multiples relative to sales, book value, trailing earnings, or normalized earnings, stocks aren’t cheap. The Shiller P/E ratio, which compares stock prices to normalized earnings over a 10-year cycle, is at its third highest dating back to 1887. The top two instances were 1929 (before the Great Depression) and 1997 (during the Tech Bubble).
You may have have heard, or likely will soon hear about, a relatively newer investment approach that has gained popularity over the past 10 years called fundamental indexing. Fundamental index vehicles have plenty of aliases such as: strategic beta, smart beta or factor investing. At the core, fundamental indexing is about creating a better index (pool of securities) by excluding certain companies and including others based upon a defined financial filter. It is less about picking the best company and more about picking a pool of securities that has what is believed to be more desirable long-term financial characteristics. The growth of this segment has been impressive to say the least. Morningstar reported growth of the “Strategic Beta” category to $745 billion as of February 2017.
“Every deal is unique and has its own detours and surprises, but selling your business has discrete steps that all business owners should know.”
This how Kevin Cudney, M&A attorney with Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schrek, opened last week’s “Selling Your Business” program held with Janiczek Wealth Management.
Is The Market Getting Ahead of Itself?
I recently attended an event at which General George W. Casey spoke to a crowd of emerging business, civic, and non-profit leaders. General Casey served as U.S. Army Chief of Staff and was Commanding General of the Multi-National Force in Iraq from 2004 through 2007. He described his experiences in the Middle East, and his words offered some key truths for us all.
In his remarks, he referenced the “vuca” world in which we live: volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous. He then stated how important relationships are to the success of any objective in such a world, in his case, peace in Iraq.
Passive indexing has long been popular among the smaller investors. But wealthy investors often pursue more active strategies, either with active managers or on their own. After all, they didn’t accumulate their wealth by sitting back and doing what everyone else does, right?
But the evidence against active management is strong, with the most managers failing to beat the index over time. So why do wealthy investors tend to shun a passive approach to managing their money?
It’s a foregone conclusion in the markets that the Federal Reserve will raise short term interest rates on Wednesday. But more importantly, investors will be looking for hints for future rate increases.
Why is this so important? The consensus view is for 2-3 Fed increases this year, but anchoring into this expectation comes with risks. For example, in 1994 the Fed surprised investors by increasing rates 6 times, resulting in a 3% loss for bonds that year. Of course, bonds recovered in following years, thanks largely to the long-term trend of falling interest rates since 1981.
For the fourth year in a row Janiczek Wealth Management has been named to Barron’s Top Financial Advisor list*, now for 2017, 2016, 2015 and 2014!
Mr. Janiczek was named one of America’s top financial advisors* in the March 4th, 2017 Barron’s issue. The prestigious list of top investment advisors was also published in The Wall Street Journal by Dow Jones & Company, a division of News Corp on March 9, 2017.
The rankings are based on data provided by over 4,000 of the nation’s most productive advisors. Barron’s draws from all 50 states, plus the District of Columbia. It includes a cross-section of private-wealth advisors—from independents who own and operate their own practices to advisors from the large Wall Street firms. Barron’s states, “This special report lists the top advisors in each state, with the number of ranking spots determined by each state’s population and wealth.
The rankings are based on assets under management, revenues generated by advisors for their firms, and the quality of the advisors’ practices. In evaluating advisors, we examine regulatory records, internal company documents, and 100-plus points of data provided by the advisors themselves.”
Berkshire Hathaway’s Warren Buffett released his annual letter to shareholders last Saturday, a publication that is examined and dissected by investors around the world. And this year’s edition underscores why.
Before its release, the S&P 500 closed at its all-time high (again), continuing its rally that began in November. In fact, in the first 38 trading days of 2016, the S&P 500 has posted a new high 11 times. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and Russell 2000 Index have printed new highs 14 and 3 times in 2016, respectively.
Even the greenest of investors is likely aware that stocks move in both directions, and that periods of upswings have historically been followed by downturns. The Holy Grail, of course, is how to invest through all the ups and downs, and Buffett offers his view: