After logging strong returns in 2017, global equity markets delivered negative returns in US dollar terms in 2018. Common news stories in 2018 included reports on global economic growth, corporate earnings, record low unemployment in the US, the implementation of Brexit, US trade wars with China and other countries, and a flattening US Treasury yield curve. Global equity markets delivered positive returns through September, followed by a decline in the fourth quarter, resulting in a –4.4% return for the S&P 500 and –9.4% for the MSCI All Country World Index for the year.
The fourth quarter equity market decline has many investors wondering how equities may perform in the near term. Equity market declines of 10% have occurred numerous times in the past. The S&P 500 returned –13.5% in the fourth quarter while the MSCI All Country World Index returned –12.8%. After declines of 10% or more, equity returns over the subsequent 12 months have been positive 71% of the time in US markets and 72% of the time in other developed markets.
The financial world seems to have its own language. From “amortization” to “insolvency,” reading a financial news article or blog post can make your head spin. One term that is thrown around alot these days is “fiduciary.” Do you know what it means? More importantly, do you know what it means for your money?
What is a Fiduciary?
A fiduciary is similar to a trustee. An advisor who serves as a fiduciary accepts a responsibility to put their client’s interests first and foremost in all decisions. A fiduciary is supposed to avoid conflicts of interest and remain unbiased in their recommendations and advice. Additionally, all fees should be clear and discussed upfront. This gives you confidence that your hard-earned money is in good hands.
Did you know that the fear of running out of money is number nine on the list of America’s top fears? (1) And fear of failure is number one on the list of fears that hold you back from success. (2) How do these two facts relate? Financial failure is a very real possibility in life, but no matter what it is you are putting your hand to, there are things you can do that will reduce the risk and help you achieve your goals.
Do you know what drives your investment returns? If you’re like most people, the first thing that comes to mind is probably market performance. It’s not surprising that this is the popular thought since many advisors consistently mislead their clients by telling them that the performance of their investments is the key factor in a successful retirement strategy.