Troubles Come in Threes
It has been a rough couple of weeks for many Americans. First, it was Hurricane Harvey and the devastating flooding it brought to Texas and Louisiana. Next, Hurricane Irma hit the Caribbean, Florida and some of its neighboring states. Regarding these hurricanes, we have clients, relatives and professionals we work with in these locations. Thankfully all are safe and sound, but many are dealing with some damage, flooding and repairs.
The third disaster was the security breach at Equifax. I realize that what occurred with the Equifax breach will not result in loss of life nor individuals and families losing their homes and belongings. My point being, this breach could impact up to 143 million Americans, cost billions of dollars in fraud over time as well as frustration on the part of those impacted. We sent an email with information on the Equifax data breach. To view it, click HERE.
Honestly, just as you can do all you can to prepare for a terrible storm, tornado or hurricane, you may never be 100% safe. Unfortunately, the same can be said when it comes to cyber security. Hackers don't announce when and where they will strike, and it is only after the intrusion has occurred that the damage can be assessed.
Finally, Some Good News!
On the flip side of the coin, in the U.S. and overseas, economic growth is healthy and the upward advance of stock prices is reflecting this. Along this line, I could list numerous reasons that support the current bull market, and why it may climb higher in the foreseeable future. However, what is noteworthy is this bull market is one of the most hated ever! For example, ask investors how they feel about the U.S. stock market, and a typical response is: cautiously optimistic.
Even with major stock indexes reaching new highs, many investors and analysts are finding reasons for the eight-year bull market to draw to an end. Some are concerned that stocks have risen with few prolonged interruptions, especially given the uneven pace of U.S. economic growth. And others are nervous the Federal Reserve, which is looking to raise rates and wind down an unprecedented asset-purchase program, could send stocks tumbling.
As such, Art Hogan, Chief Market Strategist at Wunderlich Securities noted this week in the Wall Street Journal, “Every time you look for a reason to say this market should pull back, there are too many counterarguments keeping you in."
As the old saying goes and is usually the case, a bull market climbs a wall of worry, which brings me to the legendary investment professional - Sir John Templeton. He noted that “bull markets are born on pessimism, grown on skepticism, mature on optimism and die on euphoria.” I realize that we will have volatility and market downturns going forward, which are both normal. However, I truly don't see investors as euphoric by any stretch, and you combine that with any positive corporate earnings and potential tax reform, you have just the fuel necessary to keep this bull market shooting even higher.
"Challenges are what make life interesting, and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful."
-Joshua J. Marine
"True abundance is not about how much money you have, but how you feel about the money you do have."
Tony Moeller, CPA
The information listed in this commentary is a compilation of various publicly available sources and is for informational purposes only. It is not a recommendation or solicitation of any investment or strategy. A risk of loss is involved with investments in the stock and bond markets.
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