By: Andrew B. Noto, Chief Executive OfficerEarlier this month marked one year since Planning Associates Wealth Management, LLC became a registered investment advisory firm with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Though the milestone came with no...
By: Ralph C. Freibert III, Investment Advisor RepresentativeIf there is one thing I have learned in my 30-plus years as a student and professional in investment management it is “investment returns are random”. Many interpret that statement the following...
When people ask, “How did the market do today? They are typically referring to the Dow Jones Industrial Average (The Dow), which is the oldest and most quoted index. But, did you know there is a Dow Jones Transportation Average? And, did you know The Dow is made up of only 30 stocks of the over 3600 traded stocks in the United States, alone. Additionally, those 30 stocks have changed many times though company mergers, failures, and simply falling out of prominence.
As an advisor, it is sometimes a difficult to explain to a client why their assets are not keeping up with the popular, broad-based market indices such as the S&P 500 or the Dow Jones Industrial Average. The correct answer most of the time is because the comparison being made is inappropriate.
Having worked directly with clients as well as directing the careers of hundreds of advisors during my own career, I have noticed a significant misunderstanding of the difference between investment markets and the economy. If you are one that has difficulty understanding the difference, don’t feel bad as you are certainly not alone. Many planning and investment professionals don’t truly understand the difference either.
Last week ended with the S&P 500 up almost 25%1 closing at 2789.82 on Thursday, the largest weekly gain in 46 years! There is no doubt that my expectation of “higher volatility” presented at our Outlook event back in early February has turned out to ring true, but the reason for the volatility wasn’t even a thought at the time for most of the nation.
For weeks now, I have been tracking the COVID-19 infection numbers. I began on March 21st, and since then have waited anxiously every day for 12:00 noon when the State of Louisiana Department of Health releases its update on the number of confirmed cases, deaths, and number of severe cases (requiring hospitalization). Initially, the data was very erratic (volatile) where one day the numbers would surge and the next would show a slower growth.
To say, “This is a very fluid environment”, would be a tremendous understatement. However, to go on to state, “This is will be worse than 2008” would be an equal overstatement. The reality is, we do not
have any information that can guide during an event like this. The Models, today, are no better than a weather forecast in rapidly changing weather conditions.
As a part of my research related to this unprecedented worldwide event, I have been reviewing information from our research firm and investment product vendors. This effort is designed to gain a view of the consensus themes and an idea of where the markets might go from here.
Let’s simply admit this pandemic is worse than expected. That is not to say it is the end of the world. As a New Orleanian, I remember the day after Katrina when we recognized the hurricane had not destroyed the city, but then the water started coming in and rising.