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December 2019 Performance

What a difference a year makes! This time last year, a recession seemed imminent, and the stock market briefly saw a roughly 20% decline from the 2019 peak. 

November 2019 Performance Review

This year is turning out to do much more for stocks than merely reversing the sharp declines of late 2018. 

October 2019 Performance Review

Globally, stocks continued up, with only a slight drop in longer-term bonds. It is almost like the bond market is expecting a recession soon and "better safe than sorry" but the stock market wants to play musical chairs until the actual record stops on the economy.

September 2019 Performance Review

Even with the weak month for bonds, we had a decent month relative to benchmarks

August 2019 Performance Review

Stocks gave back some of the gains made in August as economic and trade fears kept bubbling up. In this environment the bond market remained red hot as interest rates plunged yet again. This boosted our portfolios relative to benchmarks as we have been taking more interest rate risk (but less stock risk) than most other portfolios for quite a few years now.

July 2019 Performance Review

With rising trade tensions as the catalyst and a backdrop of suspiciously low interest rates, August is looking to wipe out much of the recent gains with a roughly 800-point one-day drop in the Dow and interest rates plunging to levels last seen right before the last presidential election.

June 2019 Performance Review

The stock market continues to rebound from all the traumatic events of the past year or so. Strangely, this is not due to particularly strong expectations for growth globally; it appears to be mostly related to interest rates declining in anticipation of an economic slowdown. 

May 2019 Performance Review

The sharp rebound in stocks in early 2019 ended just as rapidly in May, with a 6.36% drop in the Vanguard 500 index fund including dividends. In late April, just days after the U.S. stock market broke through the old highs from September 2018 and gained back all the losses from late last year, stocks started falling. At one point in early June, the Nasdaq was back down around 10% from the recent highs—a percentage drop considered a correction (a bear market is 20%).

April 2019 Performance Review

The stock market has recovered all of the losses since the previous peak in late September 2018. This quick reversal was largely because interest rates are now lower than last year, and the Federal Reserve will not spark the next recession by raising rates, as inflation is mild at best.

March 2019 Performance Update

With the Federal Reserve now more worried about the global economy than inflation, investors continued to jump back into stocks — causing U.S. markets to almost completely erase the sharp slide late last year.