The View at the Top of the Year – 2019

Almost two years ago to the month, I penned a commentary on my grandmother’s quilting after what had been at the time, a seemingly volatile period in the markets that resulted in almost a 10% drop in the S&P 500 index.  The date was February 1, 2016.  Fast forward to 2018 and we are again experiencing very volatile markets with some indexes seeing corrective (10%) or bear market (20%) declines from earlier peaks.  Before revisiting that archived missive, here are some past and present figures to consider. 2018 Recap[1] In 2018, the only asset class with positive returns was Cash. All other categories were negative for the year, with the exception of fixed income, which was flat. For more details, see 12/31/18 Quilt Chart below. December was one of the worst months on record and 2018 one of the worst years in a decade. Federal Reserve (FED) raised rates 4 times and lowered expectations for real gross domestic product (GDP) growth and inflation. FED has lowered 2019 rate hike expectations from 3 in September to 2 at the December meeting. Read on! →

The View!

A recap of the week ended October 26th. One of my favorite songs growing up was Elton John’s Crocodile Rock (Side A).  Released in 1973 on a 45 rpm, it was paired with Elderberry Wine (Side B).  Crocodile Rock went to #1 while Elderberry Wine was panned by most critics, forever banished to the Side B junkyard.  Last week, every big story peaked like a #1 hit record capturing the attention of media and public alike.  Meanwhile, over on Side B,  those in the investment community who subscribe to a diversified approach to investing, probably finished the week scratched, unbroken and ready for another spin around the turntable. The A-side During the course of any given week, I try to focus on what seems most important as it relates to the work I, and everyone at Clearview Wealth Management, do for clients.  This typically means tuning in to a few key economic data points, some global geopolitical news and, as a little diversion, a few sports’ stories.  My view being, short term market and news cycles will always be with Read on! →

Retiring to Charlotte?

Cheryl Sherrard was quoted in a recent Financial Advisor magazine article entitled, “Retiring in Charlotte is all about location, location, location“.  The article mentions that Charlotte is ranked near the top of the 50 best metro areas for retirement, according to MagnifyMoney and Bankrate, but the specific area within Charlotte will determine whether you face sticker shock or a pleasant surprise.  

Tariffs, International Trade and Game Theory

  If you were in charge… If you oversaw your own country, what trade policy would you pursue?  Would you be friendly and cooperative or unfriendly and betraying?  Maximizing your country’s payoff may be more difficult than imagined.  Game theory can be used to measure success and failure.  It can also validate just how hard it can be to strike the right balance and allow both trade partners to win.   The prisoner’s dilemma… The current trade and tariff dialogue between the U.S. and China is essentially a repeated prisoner’s dilemma – a workhorse model of game theory that captures the tradeoff between mutually beneficial cooperation and individually beneficial betrayal[1]. If played once, there is only one outcome where neither side can do better with a different strategy: both sides betray one another.  While unfriendly, the mutual betrayal results in equilibrium or balance.  The shortfall of playing one time as if there is no tomorrow, is that trading partners have an infinite number of days in which to trade goods. If prisoner’s dilemma is played multiple times, even infinitely, game Read on! →

Helping your Elderly Parents – Consumer Reports

Cheryl Sherrard was recently quoted in a Consumer Reports article written by Mary Hickey entitled, “How to Help your Elderly Parents with their Finances”.  Her contributions focused on money management assistance and emphasized a cooperative approach to helping elderly parents with their financial tasks, allowing them to stay involved for as long as feasible.  Cheryl helps families navigate later life issues through her ongoing financial planning work with senior clients and their families.