Public Market Update
Global stocks rebounded following a significant correction in the fourth quarter of 2018.
Q2 was a reminder that market volatility is a very real factor with US equities up 14%, International equities up 10%, and Bonds rallying as well.
As we had discussed in our posts last year, the correction in Q4 was likely fueled by three primary factors:
- Trade wars, especially with China
- Tightening financial conditions with rising interest rates and Fed bond sales to begin unwinding QE
- Slowdown in economic growth
Throughout 2019 we have seen all of these factors somewhat revert:
- President Trump and President Xi have made significant strides towards a trade agreement between the US and China
- The Fed has changed its course, curtailing the QE unwind and no longer projecting rate increases in 2019
- Economic growth has moved from a negative to more of a neutral, albeit forward indicators are still not positive
Despite the recent market success, it is important to put things in perspective.
The US stock market is still 97% overvalued relative to historically relevant indicators (see Chart I below):
Chart I – The Shiller PE Ratio for S&P 500 – Highly Predictive of the Next 10 Year Returns
The above chart is a great reminder that we are still in an environment where equities are available only at a significant premium.
While it is impossible to accurately predict the immediate next move in markets, the aggregate of indicators point to a neutral to slightly over-exuberant current state.
The last six months of volatility are a great reminder for investors to maintain a long-term view of their investments and to stick to the strategy that they selected.
Public Portfolio Update
LGA clients are allocated across a number of different public strategies.
Each strategy is executed to its specific charter, including the time period including the last six months of volatility.
For Index investors, we rebalanced portfolios to systematically sell high and buy low while tracking market trends.
For Global Rotation investors, we were fully invested but defensively positioned to blunt the declines.
For Tactical investors we were heavily protected against the declines of Q4 and cautiously re-entered positions in early Q1 to catch some of the run back up.
We will continue to diligently manage each client’s portfolio to the selected behavioral strategy and risk profile.
We also continue to encourage our clients to stick with their behaviorally-chosen strategy, and to focus on long-term goals and objectives.
The one exception to this advice would be if clients find themselves not able to tolerate the absolute or relative pain of their specifically-chosen strategy when it doesn’t work.
An example of this would be extreme anguish with absolute losses in downturns for fully invested portfolios such as index or global rotation (e.g. “I can’t stand seeing my portfolio decline!”).
Another example would be extreme FOMO (fear-of-missing-out) when markets rise to highly overvalued levels and tactical portfolios miss some of these late-stage gains.
We all will experience some frustration and anguish in these situations, after all we are all human with feelings and emotions.
However, if a client is experiencing extreme emotion in these situations, it is important to visit with an LGA Private Client Advisor to discuss whether there is a better strategy fit.
Private Investments Update
LGA’s private investments have had a mixed start to 2019.
On the positive side, two of our GP’s have begun their exit processes and hope to profitably wrap -up by mid-year.
Conversely, we will shortly have a litigation proposal for clients in a GP where we believe this is our best probability for investment capital recovery.
We have also had a handful of GPs who have had highly delayed K1 tax reporting, which is frustrating but often a reality with private investing.
As such, the majority of privately-invested clients are advised to file an extension of their taxes, if they aren’t doing so already.
In additional news, we continue to make huge strides in developing our more simplified fund-of-funds and direct “lower-cost” options:
Some of the key benefits from this work include:
- Greater control of the investment process
- Potentially lower costs for clients with reduced layers of fees and vendor negotiations
- Improved oversight for more timely and accurate reporting
Final Note on Private: We continue to see a distribution of winners, losers, and average performers. In all circumstances, we will act as your fiduciary, fighting for your interests daily, and providing timely updates as new information arises. While results can never be guaranteed, we can assure you of our tireless efforts to represent your best interests!
New Addition to LGA
We wanted to share some exciting news, that many of you are likely already reaping the benefits of.
We celebrate the addition of our newest Private Client Advisor to the LGA Team, Ms. Devonee Kershner!
Devonee comes to us by way of Dallas, having over 12 years of Advising and Planning experience, a bachelors degree in Personal Financial Advising from Texas Tech University, along with holding her CFP designation for 8 years.
Devonee has predominantly worked with client’s who accumulate wealth as business owners, specializing in the medical fields.
What we have enjoyed most about Devonee is her infectious laugh, genuinely big heart (she fits right in with the team!), her ability to connect with clients and her great desire to serve them to her best abilities.
We know that with those great attributes, past experiences, and our LGA tribe; she will be nothing short of successful in helping clients to maximize human potential and “Make.Life.Count.”
The LGA Investment Team