Each quarter, SilverOak Wealth Management releases our Market Summary newsletter, highlighting the most important economic data and market trends for the quarter, as well as our outlook going forward.
See below for our most recent newsletters.
While 2022 was not predicted to produce the same robust returns as prior years, there were reasons to be cautiously optimistic as the year began. Consumer balance sheets were solid, housing and labor markets were strong and corporate earnings expected growth. However, confidence was tempered by concerns regarding inflation, above-average market valuations, and monetary policy normalization by the Federal Reserve... Read more >
The impact of central bank monetary policy came to the forefront during the third quarter, with significant movement occurring across all financial asset classes. The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) raised the federal funds rate 75bps in July and another 75bps in September. In the last seven months, rates have increased 300bps, a rapid rise, especially relative to recent cycles... Read more >
After three years of robust stock market performance, with the S&P 500 up 18%-32% in each of those years, markets shifted dramatically at the beginning of 2022. Falling from an all-time high in early January, the U.S. stock markets experienced their worst first half of the year since 1970. Unfortunately, bonds have not provided the protection typically expected during periods of drawdown in the stock markets..... Read more >
The predictions of increased volatility coming into 2022 have proven to be
accurate. Along with known market concerns, such as the Fed normalizing monetary policy, inflation, and high asset valuations, new developments have emerged that continue to shift market expectations. During the quarter, Russia invaded Ukraine and the world responded with a flurry of economic sanctions. In addition to being a humanitarian disaster of colossal proportion, the economic ramifications are being felt as well..... Read more >
The beginning of 2021 was greeted with great anticipation. News of further fiscal stimulus, vaccine rollouts, and the reopening of businesses and social settings seemed to set us on the path of economic recovery, though there were still uncertainties about what might lie ahead. Over the last year, many of these uncertainties have subsided, some remain unresolved and new ones have emerged.... Read more >
Throughout life, we experience many transitions. Some of these transitions can be very exciting, such as marriage or the birth of a child, while other transitions can be more difficult, such as divorce or the passing of a loved one. Many of us are currently experiencing a major transition in life as we continue to adjust to a world that has been interrupted by a pandemic. The economy and markets have certainly not been immune to this interruption, and are experiencing their own transition into a new post-pandemic world.... Read more >
The second quarter was another strong quarter for virtually all asset classes, as investors have brushed aside many concerns and focused on a rebounding economy. School is out for the summer and the data is indicating social activity is nearing pre-pandemic levels as people are visiting restaurants and traveling. The quarter began with investors concerned about runaway inflation as commodity and housing prices marched higher, but inflation worries calmed down as the quarter progressed and we settled into summer, which historically is a less volatile period..... Read more >
From a big picture perspective, the first quarter of 2021 followed a somewhat expected path. The economy continued to show improvement with significant progress on the vaccine rollout, which has increased the general public’s comfort-level of a greater reopening of businesses and social settings. Congress passed another trillion dollar stimulus bill, while a large infrastructure bill is in the works. Equity markets ebbed and flowed during the quarter but ended firmly positive. However, while the broad indices indicate a smooth experience, there was plenty of turbulence beneath the surface during the quarter.... Read more >
History books will be dotted with events from 2020. To say that it was an eventful year is an understatement. The longest economic expansion in U.S. history came to a dramatic end with one of the sharpest and quickest pullbacks on record. A global, once-in-a-century pandemic, fights for societal justice, and intensified political divisions were just a few of the highlights. In our 2019 year-end letter, we reminded investors that unforeseeable surprises are common. Little did we know that we would not have to wait long before a novel pandemic came along, altering our regular way of life, and causing wide-spread economic and emotional unrest... Read more >
After living with the disruptions the COVID pandemic has caused over the past seven months, people and the economy seem to be settling into new norms. The cloud of uncertainty has been somewhat eased by increased testing, better understanding of treatments, and improved social distancing practices, which has allowed the restart of economic activity. Although, the dust has not completely settled, consumer and business confidence has improved, in spite of continued COVID outbreaks... Read more >
The quarter began with the shutdown of the U.S. economy, tens of millions of people suddenly unemployed, and plunging asset prices. The world had turned upside down. The first quarter was one of the worst quarters for equity markets in history. However, the swift and significant actions from the Federal Reserve and Congress stemmed the economic damage, turning the second quarter into one of the best quarters in history... Read more >
First of all, we would like to thank all of the first responders and health care professionals on the frontlines in the fight against COVID-19. In addition, we pray for those impacted by this virus and hope you and your families remain safe and healthy. We will get through this and life will eventually resume a more normal routine, albeit possibly a “new normal” routine.... Read more >
If you waited to review your portfolio’s performance until year-end, you might be surprised by the exceptionally good returns over the past year. All asset classes ended 2019 with above-average returns, which is a stark contrast to 2018, where most asset classes had negative performance... Read more >
When investors create their long-term investment plan, ideally they should rely on hard data and a time-tested financial philosophy to help them make decisions. The day-to-day seesaw of the stock market should be set aside in favor of a measured, rational plan designed to weather any obstacle ahead. On paper, the map is easy to understand, and seems even easier to follow. But in reality, any personal financial odyssey will be beset with sirens on the road calling to lead the investor astray... Read more >
As the summer season starts, many families will retreat to the lake cabin, the beach, or perhaps embark on the Great American Road Trip. But even relaxation takes planning, and lessons learned from past trips can make the journey smoother in the long-run. Before we talk about where we are going, let’s take a look in the rearview mirror. The past 18 months have been a bit of a rollercoaster; however, the S&P 500 is only up 3-4% since late January 2018... Read more >
The end of the first quarter 2019 capped one of the best starts to a year in decades, leaving investors with a sunny disposition as springtime emerges. This was in stark contrast to the tumultuous market that ensued in the fourth quarter of 2018, when global equity markets were down 10-20%. The swift rebound was likely stronger than most people expected and it may feel like the fourth quarter sell-off is a distant memory... Read more >
2018 was a unique year, a bit of a rollercoaster. The year started with a lot of market volatility and ended with even more drama. As you may recall, January saw equity markets continue their ascent, extending the strong returns from 2017. The “fear of missing out” on the next great investment trend reached a fever pitch. Then, in late January and through February, equity markets sharply pulled back by more than 10% from their highs... Read more >
U.S. investors must have turned down the volume on the obligatory negative headlines from mass media during the quarter, as U.S. equities posted solid returns. Volatility in U.S. equities has been very low since June. For the quarter, the S&P 500 did not experience a single trading day with returns of +/- 1%. Investors are accepting as status quo the political headlines, continued U.S. economic growth... Read more >
Summer months in the market tend to be more docile and come with lower trading volume and volatility as investors chase sunshine rather than returns. However, just like mosquitos, macro headlines tend to emerge as unexpected guests. The recent narrative has been dominated by trade tariff rhetoric which has escalated into a global tit-for-tat... Read more >
The first quarter left a lot of investors feeling like the mountain climber in the Price Is Right game, as equity markets steadily ascended until the end of January when they fell precipitously. Many market participants entered the year expecting last year’s historically low volatility to continue. However, in our 4Q 2017 letter, we encouraged investors to be prepared for higher volatility and even a 10% correction... Read more >
For quarterly newsletters prior to 2018, please visit our Quarterly Newsletter Archive.
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