Understanding Markets

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.

Why Diversification Works

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.

What’s Up With This Market? Economy vs. Markets

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.

Sorry to Get So Technical

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.

The Trend is Our Friend

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.

Models Are No Better Than Weather Forecasts

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.

This Too, Shall Pass

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.