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It’s Time to Pay Attention

The Fed will most likely announce a 1/4% rate hike this week. We will want to watch the stock market’s reaction, not just for a few days, but leading into European elections. They start this week in the Netherlands, in late April in France, and into the fall in Germany. The market dislikes uncertainty and a Fed that may be anticipating more inflation due to administration policies may talk tougher than we expect. This would most likely tip the market towards uncertainty, especially if it’s perceived the Fed would be intentionally acting as a counterweight to administration policies. As well, market participants (think institutions) will be watching election polling in the Netherlands, France, and Germany for further signs of an unraveling European Union. Political instability in Europe could certainly lead to more uncertainty about global trade after the Brexit vote, and in light of our administration’s view of global trade pacts. So, in the context of a market that has had a 13% run since early November, let’s pay attention to these looming market influences. As per our February post, keep trimming laggards and take some profits in non-core positions. As well, it’s probably not too late to shorten maturities in […]

Looking Ahead to 2017

Predictions are often easy to make, but even the best researched and considered predictions are often 180 degrees wrong. So for that reason, we are reluctant to make New Year predictions. However, what is important is to figure out what are likely to be the biggest influences on the markets in the coming year. It’s an especially good idea to consider macro factors this year because markets have made dramatic turns around the recent elections. Domestic stocks indices are at new highs (up from highs set last Spring) and bonds are now testing the lows of summer 2015, after reaching record high prices this past summer. We’re thinking the big 2017 market influences will be: The Fed Politics The Business Cycle The markets could be facing real headwinds if the Fed decides to get aggressive in its efforts to head off inflation. Politics are important here because a surge in economic activity due to fiscal stimulus, should it lead to an acceleration in wage gains, will almost certainly force the Fed to raise rates more rapidly. Of course, the result will be lower bond prices and, probably, lower stock prices. Conversely, should fiscal stimulus efforts get stuck in congress, or […]

New Home for Investip Blog

Over the next few weeks we’ll be transitioning our blog subscribers over to our new Marin Wealth Advisors Blog. As before, you’ll see simple, timely tips to help you with your investing and financial planning responsibilities. What’s new is that you will also see posts from my associates, Ed Burke and Wayne Best, as well as posts from our professional friends with deep knowledge in tax planning and estate planning. Thank you for reading and staying connected. Bob Hunter