2017 marked a year of widespread data breaches, the beginning of the Trump presidency, devastating hurricanes, wildfires that raged throughout California, and a cryptocurrency frenzy reminiscent of the Dot.com bubble. However, through it all, 2017 saw a long, steady rise in the stock markets.
It was a year of record highs as we saw the NASDAQ surpass the 7,000 mark and the Dow Jones Industrial Average roar past the 25,000 mark. US large cap returns reached 21.8%, pushed by the technology sector’s rise of 35.4%. Although small cap stock returns were lower in comparison, they still returned a very positive 14.7%. As strong as US market returns were, international markets performed even better.
All of the encouraging economic trends seen in 2017 makes us optimistic about the prospects for 2018. We are currently in the second longest economic recovery in US history.
With this in mind, many argue a recession must be imminent.
But positive economic data in the US and in most countries globally gives us a less pessimistic outlook. Labor markets are strong, economies are growing around the world, and consumer and investor confidence is high.
In addition, consistently low inflation, falling unemployment, and rising standards of living around the world all offer reason for optimism about the year ahead.
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Risks lurk nearby, as they always do, but most forecasters see a high likelihood of continued positive results in the coming year. We want our clients to enjoy growth, but to do so prudently. Investing can be an emotional rollercoaster.
We believe a steady, long-term approach that employs a variety of investments is most likely to enable you to stay the course when markets are most challenging.
We are well prepared for 2018 and beyond. Optimistic data from economies around the world, strong underlying investment principles, and continuously questioning how we might do things better should all contribute to another good year.
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