We know now is a time of year when we all look forward to enjoying quality time with the people we love. It is a time of year we are called on to be joyful, generous and giving. As the year ends with the stock market performing as it has been recently, we understand that focusing in on only these last weeks may be making it difficult. With this in mind, and understanding that not all of us are fans of the songs that receive so much airtime through the holidays, the one that is going through my head this season is Hugh Martin’s (no relation), “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas,” a tune that is both melancholy and hopeful at the same time. Why are we hopeful that “next year all our troubles will be out of sight” as the song encourages us to be?
While the year is not ending as we hoped it would and today’s headlines would have you believe otherwise, we are confident that the economic and financial underpinnings of the US economy and of the individual stocks, bonds and cash you hold are strong. The market is not in the mood to see anything positive in comments from Fed Chairman Powell or Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin—words that were intended to be reassuring. We’ll never know if different words, or perhaps no words at all, would have elicited a better market reaction. Our gut says no. As with a temperamental child, sometimes you have to let the tantrum run its course before any words will make a difference.
Meanwhile, you will undoubtedly be affected by the volatility. We empathize and yet find reassurance in a disciplined adherence to rules of investing which have generated favorable long-term results through the market ups and downs we’ve experienced with you over the years. Our best advice is to step back and think about the big picture, your time horizon and your broad financial life and avoid making emotionally-charged decisions. We’ll be here to have the necessary, and sometimes difficult, conversations with you about your finances and the broad context for which you are investing your savings. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us.
We wish for you a warm and pleasant holiday with the people you love.