Market High…Market Top?

In case you hadn’t noticed, the S&P 500 index has reached record territory, and the Nasdaq has crossed over the 5,000 level.  At 2,166.89, the S&P 500 finished above the previous high of 2,130.82, set on May 21, 2015.

We’ve waited more than a year for the market to get back to where they were before the downturn this January, before Brexit, before a lot of uncertainties in the last 12 months.  The market top itself is an uncertainty; after all, many investors regard market tops warily. green stock chart guy holding up

When stocks are more expensive than they have ever been, the talking heads begin to have heated discussions around whether or not it may be time to sell and take your profits.  However, if you followed this logic and sold every time the market hit a new high, you’d probably have been sitting on the sidelines during most of the long ride from the S&P at 13.55 in June 1949, which was the bull market high after the index started at 10.  New highs are a normal part of the market, and it is just as likely that tomorrow will set a new one as not.  In fact, overall, the market spends roughly 12% of its life at all-time highs.

We all know that the next bear market will start with an all-time high, but we can never know which one in advance.  Market highs do not necessarily become market tops.  Let’s see if we can all celebrate this milestone without the usual dose of fear that often comes with new records.

Sources:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/shreyaagarwal/2016/07/11/sp-500-closes-at-record-high/?utm_source=yahoo&utm_medium=partner&utm_campaign=yahootix&partner=yahootix#7f74bf29721d

Allen Addresses Advisers on Working with Breadwinner Women

This May Sharon Allen spoke at the national Financial Advisor Invest in Women conference in Dallas, Texas. She facilitated a panel of experts as well as shared her own expertise regarding the concerns and needs of Breadwinner Women in our society. Drawing from the national research from the Family Wealth Advisor’s Council, of which Sharon is a member, she focused on the resulting data highlighting the challenges and opportunities financial advisors need to be aware of when serving women investors. “I was honored to be asked to be a part of the conversation around this very important topic,” says Allen. “Despite a growing awareness of differences in the needs of women, our research shows that the financial services industry still needs to do a much better job in truly partnering with women investors.”

Sharon Allen, CFP(R), CTFA is the Co-Founder and President of Sterling Wealth Management, a fee-only wealth management firm. She has an exceptionally collaborative approach in working with her clients, and has a particular interest in the challenges facing women of wealth. Sharon has co-authored a paper on the Sandwich Generation Woman titled Caught In the Middle: How Does the Sandwich Generation Woman Not Get Squeezed?.

Successful Investing (while riding a roller coaster)

It’s natural human behavior in times of stress to reevaluate the current situation to find answers. This story rang true for many investors of globally diversified portfolios as the sharp declines of early 2016 caused some to examine their asset allocation and question if they were still making the right decisions. In fact, many investors follow their emotions and struggle to   separate those emotions from their investment decisions. Often, following a reactive cycle of excessive optimism and fear leads to poor decisions at the worst times.

Here is a picture of what that emotional investing cycle looks like.Investing Cycle

As professional advisors and fiduciaries of the precious resources clients have entrusted us to manage, we have answers that we feel will help our clients and those we care about have a successful investment experience. Here is what we found.

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