I hope this finds you well. The markets gave us a wonderful quarter and our accounts have recovered from the doldrums of year end. The broad Morningstar index is up 14.09% for the year. All sections of the market are up double digits, small, medium, large, core, growth, and value. It is unusual to see all parts rise in tandem; usually, you have some sectors outperforming and others underperforming. The Federal Reserve has indicated that they are pausing on raising rates and, as usual, are data dependent.
Despite headlines decrying the “pace of growth” slowing, the results of March pushed the “pace” back up. I must laugh at the headlines that predict gloom and doom is coming because we are still growing, but at a slower pace! I will worry when we stop growing and the economy shrinks. US earnings and profits are expected to grow at around 10% this year, unemployment is down, incomes are up, the number of people coming off government poverty programs is dropping by numbers not seen in decades.
New technologies like 5G, 3D printing, supersonic air travel, and medical breakthroughs promise to enhance our lives. All this makes me optimistic for the markets and our future. I think the only potential cloud is the Brexit scheduled for April 14th and, to be honest, I have no idea if the potential for disruption is large or small. Invariably the “unknown unknown” is always lurking about. I am a little shocked with how quickly the National Popular Vote passed here in Colorado. To me, it shows an impressive lack of understanding of our history and the purpose of limiting large population centers from dictating the future direction of the country. New York City’s five counties, Los Angeles, and Washington DC now have enough population to account for a majority popular vote. Do we really want three or more large cities controlling the entire country?
We are busy with tax season and for that reason I will make this a very short letter. We have been working on some exciting news which I will write about in a week or so. I am sure you will be interested.
As usual Bill, Keith, Kathy and I thank you for the trust you place with us.
Willis Ashby, President and CFP®
Integra Financial, Inc.
References: Wall Street Journal, First Trust and Morningstar