The Market Listens
The fourth quarter GDP was delayed due to the government shutdown and depending on the data being released this week, it should give us an idea of what happened at the end of last year, from an economic standpoint, when the markets fell off a cliff. We’ve had a strong start to the year followed up by the worst December since the Great Depression. Thankfully, we got a bounce back but a lot of that downfall was due to the Fed. We will soon see if they put a pause on what they were doing because of the weak economic data that wasn’t once publicly available now will be. The Fed chairman, Jerome Powell, will go to Congress and will be testifying this week and as we saw in October, December and January. When he speaks the markets clearly listen and they have been even more than normal. It appears that every word is being looked over to see how we are moving forward with this recent dramatic impact of the U.S. Stock Market. I think we’ve started to see a much better than expected outcome with China. Over the weekend President Trump announced that the March 1st deadline is going to be delayed because we’re making progress. All of this is good news with a lot more information coming out this week and next week so we will get an idea if this rally can continue like it has been during the beginning of the year.
The markets recent performance has been a little historic. We’re almost into two full months of the market year and so far, we have had a lot of positive activity to the start of a year that we haven’t seen in about 30 years. We’re also having one of the lowest volatility indexes that we’ve seen in a while. This trend is what’s called “the fear gauge. People tend to let their fear become their driver, whether it’s in regards to the markets, currency or other items. When we went through that period in December of last year when the volatility index was off the scale, people were really worried. Now it’s the lowest since October 3rd. Looking back when December was very choppy and people worried, it’s starting to become encouraging of how the beginning of this year has panned out so far.
Protection During Tax Season
We’ve been working with research partners over the last couple of weeks regarding identity theft and credit protection. Tax season is upon us and with that, there’s a lot of things you should consider such as protecting yourself from identity theft and putting into place some type of credit protection. We look at the three D’s: deter, detect and defend. We will be coming out with research tomorrow of how you can protect yourself against some of these things. Not everyone has the newest iPhone which has advanced technology that helps to protect people against fraud with the fingerprint or retina identification features. We are here to show you other ways to protect yourself such as scam/fraud-free apps you can download, ways you can opt out of pre-credit card evaluations and other things that will help you move towards a more secure environment. Another way is to look at your mail digitally before it comes to you. You can sign up for USPS Informed Delivery that will send you pictures of your physical mail before you receive it. We have a lot of good research and a lot of different websites for you that you can take advantage of. There’s a lot of fraud that comes with tax season and our goal of providing you with this information is because we want to help protect you.
Fi Plan Partners is an independent investment firm in Birmingham, AL, serving clients across the nation through financial planning, wealth management and business consulting. Fi Plan Partners creates strategies in the best interest of their clients using both fee based investing and transactional investing.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results. All indices are unmanaged and may not be invested into directly.
Economic forecasts set forth in this presentation may not develop as predicted.
No strategy can ensure success or protect against a loss.
Stock investing involves risk including potential loss of principal.
Securities and advisory services offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC and a registered investment advisor.