From Brexit to the election of Donald Trump, 2016 was a year of unexpected outcomes.
After what occurred in 2016, many forecasters are probably considering a new profession.
Many Americans will head to the polls next Tuesday feeling caught between a rock and a hard place, forced to choose between two of the most unpopular candidates to vie for the Oval Office in recent history.
Money market funds are commonly used by retail and institutional investors to park cash; they are popular options because of their liquidity, principal stability, and payment of short-term yields.
This fall marks 100 years since President Woodrow Wilson signed into law the Revenue Act of 1916, which introduced the estate tax to Americans.
The second quarter of 2016 ended with a bang, as the United Kingdom voted to leave (“Brexit”) the European Union on June 23. This marked the second time in six months that global stock markets experienced severe stress, following the worst January in recorded history.
As we enter 2016, we are almost seven years into a domestic equity bull market run that has defied many investors’ expectations in both duration and magnitude. This equity market strength has brought forward years’ worth of returns. As a result, today’s landscape offers few markets priced for compelling opportunities. Successfully navigating these compelling options will necessitate more discernment in the absence of uniformly accommodative central bank easing.
Our decisions to derisk in the fall of 2015 have sharply reduced drawdowns in the face of recent months’ equity market price action. Last month, we addressed the likelihood of a recession in 2016 and discussed the possibility of further derisking Balentine client portfolios. In March, Balentine’s models were bearish for a seventh straight month. Each time Balentine’s models have produced seven straight monthly bearish signals (2000-2001, 2002-2003, and 2008), a significant drawdown has occurred.
Throughout the whole of 2015, markets speculated when the Federal Reserve would finally take the plunge and begin raising interest rates. After fits and starts all year, the Fed raised interest rates in December. It also laid out a plan to continue to raise interest rates by 25 bps each quarter until we reached more normal levels. After the rough start to 2016, however, the Fed last Thursday signaled a potential change in policy.
“The only function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look respectable,” John Kenneth Galbraith, an irreverent economist, once said. Yet each January strategists fill the airwaves, prognosticating what the coming year may bring. In this vein, Bob Reiser, Senior Advisor to the Investment Strategy Team, once again publishes his annual forecast.