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The Markets This Week

July 17, 2018 | Weekly Commentary

by Connor Darrell, Head of Investments
The last few weeks have finally brought some stability back to markets, with the S&P 500 now up 5.86% year to date. Q2 earnings season begins this week, and investors are expecting more strong growth in corporate profits amid a strong economic backdrop. On the bond side, yields remained relatively stable last week, though the trend of yield curve flattening remains firmly intact.

Now May Be a Great Time to Rebalance
Since emerging from the depths of the financial crisis in early 2009, the S&P 500 has produced a total return of over 360%. Disciplined investors who stuck through the turmoil of the great recession and were able to maintain exposure to equities have been richly rewarded for their patience. However, while the US economy remains on firm footing and the risk of recession in the near future remains relatively low, the next 10 years for investors are likely to look very different from the last 10 years. Investing is about achieving goals, and it is likely that the market’s strength over the past several years has put many investors ahead of schedule in terms of their long-term plan. Additionally, that strength in equity markets has likely pushed equity allocations toward the upper end of many investors’ target range, which can lead to a riskier portfolio. Nobody will ring a bell announcing when the current market cycle finally comes to an end, and the official “top” of the market may not be officially identified for quite some time after it occurs. But we can say with a reasonably high degree of confidence that we are much closer to the top than the bottom.

All of the above suggests that it may be prudent for investors to take a step back, evaluate their long-term asset allocation targets, and rebalance to ensure that their portfolio is properly tuned for the road ahead. 2018 has already presented investors with a number of new risks to consider and managing these risks will become increasingly difficult as the environment becomes less accommodating to the complacent investor.

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