Market & Investment Allocation Update
July 8, 2022
As you’ve seen in the news, stock and bond markets closed out one of their worst first halves of the year – ever.
Through July 7, 2022, the S&P 500 Index is down -18.12% and the S&P U.S. Aggregate Bond Index is down -9.66%.
One of the fundamental principles of investing is diversification. Diversification is used to smooth out the rough edges of volatile markets. One of the most macro ways to diversify is to have a blended portfolio of stocks and bonds because, as the thinking goes, when one of those zigs, the other should hopefully zag thus smoothing out your investment experience.
Well this year that didn’t work. Generally speaking, if you diversified between stocks and bonds, you got crushed. There were very few places to hide from the carnage with the exception of cash, commodities and energy (with commodities and energy recently suffering significant losses as well). Yes, inflation eats away at the purchasing power of cash but it also serves to exacerbate the negative returns of stock and bond markets.
The fact that we were nimble and flexible this year and responded to what markets were actually doing by working our way out of stocks and bonds to get to a zero weighting in both this year served to greatly reduce the pain many are feeling when they look at their investment account statements. Accounts custodied at TD Ameritrade continue to be 100% in cash.
Of course anything can happen, but I think before the worst is over, there’s a high probability that we touch 3,400 on the S&P 500 Index. That’s roughly 13% lower than the S&P 500 is right now. Some argue the ultimate low in this market is lower but 3,400 is my best case for the time being.
That being said, the plan for the short-term is to continue to let the market be volatile as it continues to work its way lower (if that happens) and win by not losing – for now.
But – and I’m going to be doing a deeper dive on this in my next letter – we are looking very closely at the time period of August-November this year for things to possibly turn around positively in a meaningful way and give us the opportunity to buy at significantly discounted prices and then make solid forward progress. The biggest variables to that scenario working
out are of course A) does inflation come down? And B) what does the Fed do? More on this next time...
If there is anyone that you care for where we might help with a second opinion or other information, please forward this email so they can reach out to us.
I hope that you’re doing well and welcome any questions that you have.
David W. Shepherd Jr. CFP®
6300 E El Dorado Plaza, Suite A200
Tucson, AZ 85715
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