The purpose of this letter is to notify you of an upcoming change.  On August 15th, 2017, it was announced that the assets owned by our Broker-Dealer, National Planning Corporation (“NPC”) have been purchased by LPL Financial LLC (“LPL”).  LPL is the largest independent Broker-Dealer in the country.

After reviewing several options, we have chosen to affiliate with LPL as our new Broker-Dealer.  The transfer of your account(s) with us will occur on or near December 1st, 2017 at no cost to you.  On or around October 16th you will be receiving information regarding the transfer of your account(s) and your options in this transfer.  Please review this letter but note that there is no affirmative action needed from you unless you choose to not have your accounts transfer with us to LPL.  We will communicate with you more in the future with the timeline and anything that we may need you to do to affect a smooth transition of your accounts.

We are excited about new planning tools and the enhancements we believe LPL will provide to your experience as a client of Southwest Investments.  We take seriously the trust and confidence you have placed in us over the years.  We remain committed to providing you with the high level of service you are accustomed to receiving from all of us here at Southwest Investments and that will not change.   Please call our office if you have any questions or concerns and, again, we will be in contact with you with more information as it arises.

With the Dow Industrials obtaining the 22,000 level, it is obvious that the US equity markets continue to plod upward based on decent earning expectations and healthy employment numbers.  Energy and other commodities have struggled while international equities have out-paced domestic markets after struggling themselves in 2016. Growth has been ahead of value, reminding us that diversification of a portfolio is essential.  So far so good.

Regarding investor fear relative to North Korea and the saber rattling between our two countries, we have commented before that geo-political events tend to be rather short-lived relative to market weakness, as this chart demonstrates.


Source: CNN< Wall Street has resilience, Ned Davis Research

Yesterday it was announced that LPL Financial Holdings is purchasing NPH, which includes our Broker Dealer, National Planning Corporation.  We will keep you posted with any changes that may result from this in the coming months. We are proud that Southwest Investment Advisors has done a respectable job of keeping ahead of industry changes over the years.

Thank you for your business and referrals and have a great rest of the summer.

The U. S. equity markets are near or at record levels and have been quite resilient despite the pessimistic news headlines. Our country is currently experiencing strong consumer confidence and investor optimism, and there’s an expectation of future tax reform and foreign earnings repatriation, despite the negative headlines both economically and politically.

It appears to be human nature, however, to become pessimistic as we age.  In an annual survey between

2002 and 2013, a majority of Americans age 65 and older did not believe the US stock Market would

rise in the upcoming year.  The US stock market as measured by the S&P 500® was up ten of those twelve years (down in 2002 and 2008), gaining +105% in total return for an average of +6.2% per year. (source: University of Michigan, as reported in By The Numbers 05-29-17)

If your investment objectives or financial circumstances have changed over time, market tops would be the best times to make alterations, not market bottoms when emotions might run high. We are available if you would like to meet and review your accounts to confirm your holdings remain aligned with your current investment objectives.

Don’t forget, you are invited to our Lunch and Learn presentation the 4th Tuesday of every month at the Gaslight Music Hall in Oro Valley from noon to 1pm.  We also host Eat and Educate presentations the 3rd Thursday of every month at 5:30 pm at the Red Lion Inn & Suites near Ina and Oracle.

We are happy to announce that Lacey is back from maternity leave and Kataya Plett, the Temp we hired to assist in Lacey’s absence, is now a full-time employee at Southwest Investment Advisors.  In addition, we have a summer intern helping in the office, Bart’s nephew Brett Manor, who is majoring in Financial Planning at NAU.

As always, thank you for your business and referrals.

As the first quarter of 2017 comes to an end it is interesting to note that last year’s winners and losers are trading places.  The MSCI International Index finished 2016 down 1.88% but is up this year 7.87% and leading the charge.  Last year’s winner, the Russell Mid/Small Value Index, is second to last this year among the indices we follow at -3.67%.  The S&P Large Cap Growth Index, which was in the bottom half last year, is in the top half this year.  And so it goes.

The bottom line, once again, is that it’s very hard to choose the winners and losers.  Maintaining a diversified portfolio and rebalancing annually is still the optimal method for managing a portfolio over time.

We are pleased to introduce Chris Johnson, who has moved his family from De Kalb, Illinois to join our Team as our newest Investment Advisor.  Chris and his lovely wife Raina have four children and a dog.  Welcome aboard, Chris and family.  Enjoy the sunshine!

Please join us for our monthly Lunch & Learn on the 4th Tuesday every month at noon at the Gaslight Music Hall in Oro Valley and/or our Eat & Educate the third Thursday evening at 5:30pm each month at the Red Lion Inn & Suites near Ina and Oracle.

And finally, please save the date for the afternoon of Sunday, May 7th.  We are having a “Luau in the Desert” at Catalina State Park.  More information to come.  Please call Alison to R.S.V.P. 544-2500.

2017 experienced the first positive January in three years, so it was a good start. We are hopeful and optimistic that the equity markets have plenty of upside potential. In the end it will come down to earnings.  As the chart demonstrates, after two years of stagnant earnings, the S&P500 earnings are finally improving.  Many pundits believe the recent rally in equity markets is directly related to President Trump’s pledge to lower corporate tax rates. Lower corporate taxes would be reflected in even stronger earnings, and thus a stronger market.

Earnings

As a reminder, if you need help deciding on when to take your Social Security benefits, we are here to assist you.

Also, on February 16th as on each third Thursday, is our next Eat & Educate evening educational series at the Red Lion Inn & Suites at Ina and Oracle beginning at 5:30pm. Our Lunch & Learn series continues on February 28th as on each fourth Tuesday, at the Gaslight Music Hall in Oro Valley at 12:00pm.

Lacey will be on maternity leave beginning sometime in March and is expecting her second child, a baby girl. Of course Stephanie and Alison will be happy to assist you as always. Rob will be performing at the Gaslight Music Hall on February 28th (Fat Tuesday) with the Wildcat Jazz Band.  It’s a Mardi Gras Celebration also featuring professional ballroom dancers.

Aloha!  Please hold the date of May 7th.  We will be having a Luau in the Desert at Catalina State Park for our Spring Client Appreciation Event with pulled pork, Hawaiian music and various beverages.

Thank you for your business and referrals.  And please do us a favor and “like us” on Facebook.  Thanks.

Facebook

Happy New Year!  What a year 2016 was.  The stock market began the year in a downward spiral in the first quarter, falling about 13% from the previous high, then it came back despite stagnant corporate earnings and rallied into the year-end.  Small and Mid-Cap stocks led the way domestically while international equities and high grade bonds lagged.

So what now?  There will likely be some pullbacks along the way; however, we expect the bull market to continue as a recession seems nowhere in sight.  The consumer confidence readings were at a 13-year high at the end of 2016, which raises the likelihood that both businesses and consumers will spend money.  However, we believe what happens in Washington will be closely watched by investors anxious to see if Donald Trump and Congress are able to come through with various campaign promises, such as lower corporate taxes, reduced governmental regulation, repatriation of corporate profits, and the replacement of the Affordable Care Act.

Just a reminder: you have until April 17th to make IRA contributions for 2016.

Something new: Beginning this month on January 19th we will be hosting an evening workshop on every third Thursday of the month. The workshop will be from 5:00-6:30pm at The Red Lion Inn & Suites near Oracle and Ina.

And continuing:  We will restart our Lunch-and-Learn series at the Gaslight Music Hall in Oro Valley on the fourth Tuesday of every month, beginning January 24th at noon.   Speaking of the Gaslight Music Hall, our own Rob Wright will be performing with the Wildcat Jazz Band on February 28th for a Mardi Gras Celebration!

We Wish You A Merry Christmas And A Happy New Year!

And if you are in Tucson, please join us for a holiday wine tasting and art viewing party, December 18th from 1:00pm to 4:00pm at Madaras Art Gallery

Located at 3035 North Swan Road, Tucson AZ 85712

As we have in the past, we will be collecting unwrapped gifts for the women and children at the Gospel Rescue Mission (children ages infant to 14).

They are always grateful for your generosity.

Because space is limited we will have two shifts beginning at 1:00pm and 2:30pm.

Please RSVP with your number of guests and shift preference

to Alison at 520 544-2500.

Thank you for your continued trust, loyalty and friendship.

With the elections nearing we would not be surprised to see volatility in the financial markets.  With now six straight quarters of disappointing earnings, the markets have been surprisingly resilient.  Adding the uncertainty of the elections, the market has already discounted each outcome, regardless of who wins, which gives us hope for a strong year-end.   Only time will tell!

We are pleased to report many happy and healthy babies were born to the SIA Team this year; Stephanie’s son Nolan was born January 10th, Mary’s daughter Brielle was born on January 21st and Alix’s son Logan was born on April 17th.  And congratulations to Lacey who is expecting her second child in March of 2017. (Don’t drink the water!)

On a sad note, after 22 years in the business, Tom Cariseo is retiring from our industry.  Best wishes, Tom, we will miss you.

Please welcome our newest team member, Jesse Montoy, who is studying diligently for the Series 7 exam to become our next Advisor.

Did you know: Almost 70% of people turning age 65 will need long-term care at some point in their lives? According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, women need long term care longer (3.7 years) than men (2.2 years) and one-third of today’s 65-year-olds may never need long-term care support, but 20 percent will need it for longer than 5 years.  If you don’t have a Long Term Care Plan in place, we can offer you a solution and would be happy to start the conversation.

As always, we appreciate your business and referrals. If you think there is anyone who can benefit from our experience and services we have provided to you, please have them contact us as we are happy to help!

And finally, Save the Date: December 18, 2016 will be our Annual Christmas Party.

The second half of 2016 finds us at or near all-time stock market highs in spite of a corporate earnings recession and the infamous Brexit.  How can this be?  We must remember that the stock market reflects investor attitudes regarding future earnings, not the past.  We believe that the market is telling us that investors are anticipating stronger earnings in the second half of 2016 and even better possibilities for 2017.  Although not over-priced, our stock market is somewhat buoyed by the fact that internationally, our markets look attractive when compared to most foreign markets. 

We continue to monitor the performance of our investment choices and have begun to incorporate some exchange traded funds with strong track records relative to more actively managed funds.   As always, we strive to stay on top of the latest industry trends, products and services.

In other news, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has amended rules on non-government money market funds, giving them the option of imposing redemption fees and limiting redemptions.  As a result, on or about September 17th we will be exchanging your current money market fund into one investing in US Government securities.  There are no other changes as these money market funds continue to offer the same sweep feature that you currently enjoy by automatically investing any uninvested cash as well as offering daily liquidity and use of your checkbook, if you have one.  We will process this transaction; you do not need to take any action.

In our last letter we mentioned that Alix would be out for a while on maternity leave.  Well, we are pleased to announce the arrival of Logan Marshall Kusler, born April 17th! Mother and child are doing great and Alix is back at work.

Thank you for your business and referrals and have a great rest of the summer.

Certain statements contained within are forward-looking statements including, but not limited to, statements that are predications of or indicate future events, trends, plans or objectives.  Undue reliance should not be placed on such statements because, by their nature, they are subject to known and unknown risks and uncertainties.   The opinions voiced are for general information only.  They are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual and do not constitute an endorsement by NPC.  To determine which investments may be appropriate for you, consult with your financial professional.  Please remember that investment decisions should be based on an individual’s goals, time horizon, and tolerance for risk.  Investment in stocks will fluctuate with changes in market conditions and indices are unmanaged measures of market conditions.  It is not possible to invest directly in an index.  Past performance does not guarantee future results.

The all-time highs in the equity markets were in May of 2015, just over a year ago. The chart below demonstrates that over the past eighteen months the market as measured by the S&P has gone essentially nowhere, with two secondary reactions disrupting an otherwise sideways movement within this Bull Market.

d
Trouble in China, Oil prices dropping to below $30 a barrel, and what some are calling an earning recession for Corporate America have been some strong headwinds. Additionally, we have not come across anybody happy with the political scene! The major positives are improvement in the employment numbers and a better real estate market. So as usual, the world is a very confusing place in which to live!
No wonder it is so easy for investors to lose sight of the forest through the trees. That is why we are conducting our monthly Lunch and Learn workshops at the new Gaslight Music Hall at 13005 N. Oracle Road in Oro Valley. The workshops are held on the fourth Tuesday of each month at noon, lunch is on us. The next Lunch and Learn will be June 28th. Please join us and bring a guest. RSVP to Alison at 520 544-2500. Have a safe and happy summer and thank you for your business and referrals.