by Connor Darrell, Head of Investments
Stocks trended lower last week with U.S.-China trade tensions again taking the blame for the market’s weakness. Friday brought news that the U.S. economy added a higher than expected 201,000 jobs in August, causing interest rates to jump higher amid speculation that the Fed would be more likely to keep its current pace of rate hikes. Internationally, the uncertainty surrounding global trade has made it difficult for companies to make investment decisions and has weighed on stocks. International stock markets (in both developed and emerging countries) were down close to 3%.
Preparing for the Next Storm
With many on the eastern seaboard bracing for the impacts of Hurricane Florence, it seems appropriate to evaluate what investors can be doing to prepare their portfolios for the next storm in financial markets. In the tenth year of a healthy bull market, the action plan for many investors should simply be to rebalance and re-evaluate their changing goals. A global investor who has remained disciplined throughout the last 10 years is likely to now be overweight stocks relative to bonds, and overweight U.S. equities relative to international equities simply as a result of how market returns have been distributed over that time. As a result, that same portfolio is likely to contain more risk (as a result of the higher allocation to stocks) than it did 10 years ago despite the investor being 10 years closer to retirement (which would typically call for a more conservative portfolio). As bond yields continue to creep higher, the rebalancing required to bring a portfolio back to its target allocation is likely to become easier to stomach since the relative income from bonds will be more favorable.