What is our view of the world today, as the stock markets worldwide have concluded the month of May with signficant declines for the month?
The short answer would be, the same that it was on May 1. While many things have occurred in the world that we cannot control, we have remained focused and worked with our clients on the things that we can control.
Over the next month, I hope to write more frequently, to share in more detail our thoughts and our philosophies.
We have had conversations with clients in recent weeks, which have primarily focused on their concerns regarding various economic and political situations, such as the European fiscal crisis, and the US debt and tax policy matters, which remain unresolved (and likely not to be addressed in a significant manner until late December, 2012).
During these conversations, similar themes have reappeared. Our clients have concerns, which we are quite empathetic with. However, as the conversations evolve, our clients recognize that we have structured an investment plan, or asset allocation strategy, that is appropriate for them. They recognize that the stock markets will have periods of decline, and these conversations help them to be prepared for such occurrences.
For the stock portion of our clients funds, we are not investing for the next month or even the next year. For those short-term time periods, that is what the fixed income allocation of their portfolio is for. For the stock portion of their portfolio, we take a much longer view, which is years or decades. We know that in the long term, the stock market has provided significant gains, despite many problems and crisis that companies and countries have faced.
We are more confident than ever that our approach to investing, our philosophy and the way we mange our clients’ portfolios and work with them (in discussions, in tax loss selling and planning, and other matters), are the correct approaches and are truly in our clients’ best interest.
The stock market and the economy provides many lessons and on a frequent basis. I look forward to expanding on these thoughts during the month of June, in future blog posts.
Regardless of the month-to-month volatility of stocks, we remain focused on providing our clients with a greater sense of comfort and security.