Market Summary: Fourth Quarter 2017
“If you spend your whole life waiting for the storm, you’ll never enjoy the sunshine.”
Morris West, Australian novelist and playwright
As fiduciaries for our clients it is in our nature and job description to be on the lookout for what might “upset the apple cart”. Given the cyclical nature of markets and the currently lofty valuations in both stocks and bonds, it is easy to understand the general nervousness as we head into 2018. As we’ve detailed throughout our quarterly commentary, 2017 was not a normal year. Investors faced a constant barrage of geopolitical noise and the equity markets simply shrugged and moved higher at a strong and abnormally consistent pace. It would be foolhardy to expect the same during 2018, but it would be equally rash to assume that the apple cart is already teetering.
Most current fears surrounding markets have more to do with the lofty valuations and historical norms than any dark clouds that have appeared on the horizon. Those clouds can appear quickly and out of nowhere, of course, but there are quite a few positives that investors can take comfort in.
An old Wall Street proverb says that the stock market “climbs a wall of worry”, so why would now be any different? History may tell us that something eventually will “upset the apple cart”, but it’s impossible to know when, why, or how. All we can do as investors and fiduciaries is do our best to prepare for it while still enjoying the positive returns “before the storm”. Like any year, 2018 promises to present its challenges, but that shouldn’t stop us from pausing to appreciate the past several years of returns and one of the longest running bull markets in history.
As always, we invite you to call us with questions and to learn more about our view of the market in these articles from this quarter's Your CFO Report:
Unless stated otherwise, any estimates or projections (including performance and risk) given in this presentation are intended to be forward-looking statements. Such estimates are subject to actual known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. The securities described within this presentation do not represent all of the securities purchased, sold or recommended for client accounts. The reader should not assume that an investment in such securities was or will be profitable. Past performance does not indicate future results.