After more than 18 months of rising markets, we’ve started to see a decline, with large sell-offs and heightened volatility in recent days. Although this might feel unsettling, I want to encourage you that market pullbacks like this are a normal part of investing and a healthy market cycle. We cannot have times of growth without corresponding declines. I’d like to share with you some additional thoughts on what’s happening and my philosophy in times like these.

The Markets vs. the Economy

Even when markets seem volatile, it doesn’t mean the economy is in a bad place. In times of market volatility, it’s important to take a look at the underlying economy. This not only helps us understand why the markets could be acting a certain way, but also how to respond. Right now, there are many indicators that recent economic and profit growth may continue, including historically low interest rates and inflation. This doesn’t mean continued growth is a certainty, but it can help us feel more confident in the future.

Short-Term vs. Long-Term

When I create your investment strategy, I look at your long-term goals and your risk tolerance and put in place a strategy designed to work for you no matter the market conditions. My aim is to work toward your end goal, which is certain, rather than market performance, which is uncertain. It’s especially important to stick to our strategy when markets are volatile and emotions are high, as moving strategies in difficult times could compromise your goals.

However, if I believe changes are needed to keep you on your trajectory, there are shifts I can make, and I’ll let you know if updates become necessary. But in most cases, I believe it’s important to remain invested in our strategy for the long term and not make changes in response to short-term market movements.

Staying the Course

When it comes to money, all of us tend to want to follow the herd and sell off—it’s a natural reaction, but it may not be the best one. My job as a financial advisor is to look at your situation and the markets objectively and help guide you through challenging times like these. I value our relationship and am committed to helping you pursue your lifelong goals. I will continue to do my best to help you navigate these volatile times and make recommendations that I believe in your best interests.

Thank you for your partnership!

The recent declines in equity markets have been attributed to rising interest rates by many pundits and our media in general.  We believe, however, that there may a different culprit: uncertainty.  The midterm elections coming in early November have cast a lot of uncertainty regarding hundreds of seats in Congress. Will there be a shift in power and policy?  We don’t think markets care who wins these elections so much as just knowing who wins so business can make plans and proceed.  Indeed, the equity markets have often fared well in the year following the midterm elections.  Of course, past performance is no guarantee of future results, but we view this as a “normal” pattern.

Our last Lunch and Learn is October 23rd so if you have never attended this is your last chance.  Thanks to everyone who has joined us the last few years at the Gaslight Music Hall and then the Oro Valley Country Club.

It’s hard to believe but the holiday season is upon us.  Christmas decorations have been up in stores for weeks now.  Please save the date December 9th for our annual Client Appreciation Event at the historic Arizona Inn at 2200 E. Elm Street. We will have brunch and music by Rob and the Wildcats.

As always, thank you for your business and referrals.

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.

 

It’s hard to believe that Fall is just around the corner but here it is.  The U.S. economy is rocketing forward with over 4% GDP growth two quarters in a row, with the stock market leading the way after an 11% correction in February.  Now with the S&P500 at all-time highs, domestic equity markets continue to rise in anticipation of continued earnings growth.

As our company continues to grow you will notice more new faces at Southwest Investment Advisors.  In that regard, please welcome Claudio Gonzalez, our newest Advisor.  Claudio has a strong analyst background, speaks Spanish fluently and is a welcome addition to the team.  Chris Johnson and Alix Kusler are conducting more account reviews with Claudio sitting in as he continues his training.

Stephanie is working mostly with portfolio management and trading as Kataya and Sarah have taken on more of the paperwork.  Lacey continues as Operations Manager and is approaching eleven years with our company.

We thank you for your continuing business and referrals.  We feel blessed to work with the amazing individuals and families that make up our clients.

The S&P500 Index is comprised of approximately 500 stocks that are major factors in their industries and widely held by individuals and institutional investors.

 

Last week the Dow Jones Industrial Average interrupted its strong run, and thus far is within the fluctuation realm when considered on a percentage basis.  The size of the numbers makes the decline seem far more dramatic than it really is.  Many of the pundits from the media attributed the decline to expected interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve.  However, on average there’s been a 10% annual market correction since 19001. A correction is defined as a drop of at least 10% but not more than 20%. A bear market is a drop of more than 20%.  Historically, the average correction sends the market down 13.5% and averages 54 days, less than two months.  We believe the markets were long overdue for a pull back, but not a Bear Market.

We see no recession in sight.  Earnings growth and unemployment numbers are healthy.

Due to the recent transition process of our back office from National Planning Corporation (NPC) to LPL Financial (LPL), you could be receiving two sets of year end 1099 tax documents for 2017: one from NPC’s Pershing covering January 2017 through November 2017, the other from LPL covering December 2017.  Both will be available online if you signed up for online access.

You can expect the Pershing 1099s to be mailed on February 15, 2018.  Should a correction be needed, it will be mailed by February 28, 2018.  LPL is expecting to mail theirs also on February 15, 2018.

Due to this transition, we will not receive a copy of your Pershing 1099s here at our office, so it is important for you to retain them.  Now, being at LPL, we will have a copy of LPL documents for future needs.  If your account is held directly with an annuity or mutual fund, you should receive just one 1099.

As always, please let us know if you need help or have questions regarding your tax documents.

Thank you for your business and referrals.  We look forward to a prosperous 2018.

 

1 Forbes: Understanding A Market Correction. The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results. All indices are unmanaged and may not be invested into directly The Dow Jones Industrial Average is comprised of 30 stocks that are major factors in their industries and widely held by individuals and institutional investors.

We hope this letter finds you well.  The transition from NPC to LPL has been a bit bumpy to say the least.  There were some technical glitches in moving everything over, which caused significant delay.  We are aware that, for some accounts, all your holdings were not represented on the December statements.  There has been a lot of progress in the last week and we expect everything to be in good order before the January statements are issued.

Rest assured that nothing is lost!  We are able to see all of your holdings through sources not available to the public.  Thank you for your patience and understanding as we work with LPL to get everything ironed out!

If you have not yet received on-line access to your holdings, please call the office and ask for Sarah, our Client Services Specialist.  She can set up your on-line access as well as assist you with reading your new statements.

The saving grace during all this inconvenience is, we believe, the strengthening economy as reflected in the rising equity markets.

Thank you for your business and referrals.

As you may have noticed, equity markets have continued to reach new highs as the U.S. economy has been growing for 99 consecutive months, a mark that has only been exceeded two times since 1900. Although there are always the unexpected, current economic leading indicators do not point to a recession anytime soon. We are very pleased with our account performance year-to-date and are happy to meet with you if would like to review your portfolio together.

Regarding our transition, your Pershing accounts will transfer from NPC to LPL during the first week of December. Please be advised that we will not have access to your November statements nor your Pershing 1099’s for 2017, so please retain copies of these when you receive them. You will receive your first LPL statement in December. If you have online access, you will receive new instructions for viewing your accounts once your accounts transfer over.

2017 has been a huge year of growth for Southwest Investment Advisors, so to deliver the best possible service to you we have hired an additional Client Services specialist, Sarah Sbragia. She will help welcome in new clients and assist with paperwork and online access as well as many other service needs. Welcome aboard, Sarah!

Finally, please hold the date of Sunday, December 10th for our annual Southwest Investment Advisors Christmas Party. This year we’ll be at the Arizona Historical Museum at 949 East 2nd Street from 11am to 3pm. Old Saint Nick will be there from 1:30pm to 3:00pm for pictures with kids and the young at heart! As always, food and drinks will be served and we will have access to the museum. Continuing our tradition, we will be collecting unwrapped gifts for the women and children at the Gospel Rescue Mission. Please RSVP to Sarah at 544-2500 or sarah@siatucson.com.

Thank you for your business and referrals.

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.