Retirement Planning Advice and Financial Related Education by Barry Unterbrink, Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Third Quarter Tally Impressive for Stocks, Bonds, Gold

The third quarter turned in some decent results, in light of the historically weak seasonal period most years. We saw disparity in the market sector performance - that it - there was a wide range between the highest and lowest performing stock sectors.

Technology came out on top, with a gain of 8%, Financials, +4.7%, and Healthcare, +3%. Utilities, Communications gained about 3% each. Industrials, Energy up near 6% each, and Consumer Discretionary and Consumer Staples lagged; +1% and down 1%. There are 10 Sectors to the market: 5 beat the market itself, and 5 did not.

For the three months, we held the same two sectors - Technology and HealthCare. This improved our client results, as the “market” was up near 4% on the S&P 500 for the quarter. Combined with our holdings of bonds and gold, that was a winning combination with less risk than holding an all-stock portfolio. Gold rose $70 an ounce, or 3%.

So, for the quarter: Technology sector ETF, +8%
                               HealthCare sector ETF, +2.8%
                               S&P 500 (the market), up +3.9%
                               Gold, up +3.1%
                               Bonds, even to +1%

Remember that these sectors of the market are not stocks, they are Exchange Traded Funds (ETF’s) that hold many stocks but trade as a single security. We use these for most client portfolios to reduce individual stock risks. We also use bond ETF’s when clients desire monthly income.

The two other ‘core’ stock-based ETF holdings we use returned 2% and 4% for the quarter (clients: you will see any new selections for October by week’s end in your accounts).

As we all get older (don’t remind me), we are less comfortable to accept the risks of the markets; losing principal namely. We aim to generate performance that is diversified and pretty darn safe in bad bear markets. 

With stocks up about 15% through nine months this year, we’re pleased to show gains of +9% to +12% depending upon the client objective and mix of stocks / bonds / gold we recommend. Call me to see how we may help you.

In early August, it occured to me: I've been in the financial services business for 35 years! In 1982, I joined my father's investment firm after spending a year or so after college at Manufacturer's Hanover Bank in Durham, North Carolina. I wish to thank immensely my father Larry for his guidance and teaching me this business through the ups and downs.

He is still quite active on the job most days as Research Director - and we spend time every week discussing strategy, odds, and ideas that make sense for our clients and family investments.

With 78 years of experience between us - we've seen it all (or close to it all).

Thanks for reading.



No comments: