We hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving holiday and have plans for more fun, rest and relaxation as the holiday season continues and 2015 winds to a close.
This year has been challenging for investors as nervous financial markets continue experiencing uncomfortable levels of volatility. Declines in stock market values over the summer were initially precipitated by the ongoing Greek debt crisis and their third bailout in five years. However, it was China’s surprise devaluation of their currency, the Renminbi (a.k.a. Yuan) that roiled financial markets around the globe. Despite the market’s initial concerns regarding China’s slowing growth rate, our research suggests the world’s second largest economy is not headed toward recession and will continue as a positive driver of global economic growth in the years ahead.
After a rough summer, stock markets bounced in October and November. With the continued improvement in the American labor market, the first interest rate increase from Janet Yellen and the Federal Reserve Bank finally looks imminent. The “Fed” boosted investors’ confidence last month when they said the United States central bank would move cautiously with the pace of future interest rate increases, as they attempt to normalize rates. We expect the U. S. economy will continue growing slowly in 2016 with improving domestic consumer spending offsetting a mixed industrial production picture. While the human costs of the tragic terrorist events in France, Mali and San Bernardino are staggering, they are unlikely to significantly affect economic trends and longer term financial markets.
Financial portfolios around the world have been hampered by declines in commodity prices. Although these prices can move lower, we believe the very large majority of their decline has occurred. Lower energy prices have historically led to periods of improved economic growth, as we experienced in 1981-82, ’86, ’08 and again in 2011. Pacific Wealth Management portfolios remain broadly diversified with a combination of growth, fixed income and alternative investments designed to complement one another over market cycles and positioned to meet clients’ long term goals and objectives.
Cheers to a happy and healthy 2016!
Wishing you and your family best wishes for a warm and joyful holiday.