As summer’s unofficial end approaches and we have entered the homestretch for 2017, I find myself more self-assured that the method that I had used to enter 2017 was appropriate, with two legs of the tripod to my personal financial approach already apparent.
The economic part has been kept afloat by computer algorithms and a false sense of security that the FED is ahead of the economic curve, when in fact, they’re badly behind the curve. As previously noted, when the computers “flip the switch”, it will be very ugly in almost a blink of an eye. Meanwhile, economic deterioration is all around us. It will be ironic that the stock market began the year by riding the coattails of Donald Trump, but by years-end, he could very well regret bragging about its first 8 months’ performance due to his administration efforts after what happens in the last 4 months of 2017 and into 2018.
U.S. Stock Market – With complacency running rampant while most Americans have gone nowhere fast (or backwards) and valuations at, or near, record highs, I find that the common consensus, to be fully-invested in equities, is a very poor choice at this juncture. The argument to be fully-invested is especially ill-advised if you expect to need a significant portion of your capital for retirement and/or other needs within the upcoming ten years because the chances to quickly-recover from this expected sharp equity decline within the next decade seems unlikely at this point.
This opinion may cause some to think that they should own no equities, but this is not the case. However, given a choice to either be fully-invested in equities or completely out, I would err on the side of the latter.
Special note – I have always had cash and cash equivalents as a component in our clienteles’ portfolios as well as in my personal portfolio. One of the best-performing asset classes has been cash value plans because they have been safe, liquid and productive. Additionally, they help protect retirement cash flow in up and down markets. It has been a great tool for me and, in my three-plus decades, I have not had one single client tell me they regretted having it as well.
U.S. Bonds – While treasuries and high-grade muni’s appear to be the lesser of two evils, here, too, I would sooner err on the side of caution and be underweighted versus over-weighed going forward. Junk (High Yield) bonds are just an accident waiting to happen.
Gold – I continue to believe that my choice of gold over general equities was the right choice and one of the very few asset classes that aren’t close to what their price should be. As I go to publish this posting, it has clearly broken out above $1,300. This comes on the heels of breaking above the neckline of a technical “W” formation, a very bullish long-term signal.
Oil – No end in sight to the $35 – $55 trading range.
All-in on Christ – While our country moves further and further away from much of the Judeo-Christian values upon which this once-great country was founded and held it together for 200 or so years, I’ve chosen to go “All-in on Christ” in my business practices, as I have done with my personal life. This is not to say that we’ve been secular in nature up until now.
However, I feel personally-driven to tie the teachings of Christ into all matters of finance. And, since the overall offerings of the financial services industry do not remotely come close to what the Creator of all that is good in the universe does in His “manual of life” – commonly known as The Bible, I feel that it must be abundantly clear that my companies are indeed Christian-based.
“If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first.” – John 15:18
My going “All-in on Christ” is a conscious and deliberate decision. I have taken this approach fully-recognizing that my decision may cause a potential net loss of clients, but it will yield a great sense of inner peace for both me and my clientele. Such an end-result will truly be a blessing for all concerned.
Website note – We have begun work on new websites and other methods of communicating to clientele and I hope to have it all in place by the new year, if not sooner.
As always, I value your comments and constructive criticism.
“Now who is going to harm you if you are enthusiastic for what is good? But even if you should suffer because of righteousness, blessed are you. Do not be afraid or terrified with fear of them, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts. Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope, but do it with gentleness and reverence, keeping your conscience clear, so that, when you are maligned, those who defame your good conduct in Christ may themselves be put to shame. For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that be the will of God, than for doing evil.” 1 Peter 3:14