Just like July, August proved to be a profitable month for both our portfolios and the stock market indices. The DOW Jones is still down year to date, but made more strides in August in get back to break even (Source: https://finance.yahoo.com/quote/%5EDJI/history?p=%5EDJI).
Recently, the tech heavy Nasdaq lost nearly 9% and over the past week Apple has lost 15%, while Tesla has lost nearly 31% (Source: https://finance.yahoo.com/quote/TSLA?p=TSLA&.tsrc=fin-srch, https://finance.yahoo.com/quote/AAPL/?p=AAPL, https://finance.yahoo.com/quote/%5EIXIC?p=^IXIC).
We have research that tells us what the institutional money managers are up to, and also what the average Joe, or retail investor, is up to. In the week before this massive drop, the market was at “overbought” levels rarely seen before. However, our phones were ringing off the hook with people asking if they should invest in Apple or Tesla, right before the drop. Human emotions tell us to want to buy something if it has been working out lately, especially if a friend or co-worker is doing well. This is what we call FOMO, or the fear of missing out. When analyzing the comparison of the average Joe versus the institutional investors, the institutional investors were getting more and more pessimistic about the market, while the average Joe’s were getting more and more excited and optimistic.
The goal of investing is to buy low and sell high whenever possible. That’s hard to do because your emotions tell you otherwise. How do you overcome this? We’ve been through this many times before, and our experience is oftentimes a virtue. We are far from perfect, but our primary goal is to avoid large drops that can potentially damage your long term financial goals. We are not gamblers, we are patient investors.
We sold stocks last month as we felt another drop was coming as our research was becoming more bearish. This drop may prove to be short lived as we have very recently purchased stocks during the decline. If further losses occur and we fall below critical levels of support and downswings become imminent we may start moving money back to cash and other “safer” investments. No matter what happens next, we’re watching the stock market all day, every day, looking for good opportunities.
Some clients have asked why we reduce risk when we believe the market is potentially overvalued. You trust us with your retirement savings, and we believe riding markets up and down as much as 10% in a single day is not what you signed up for. A big mistake can be the difference between retiring early or working extra years. It can be the difference between running out of money before end-of-life and the long term care costs that come with it, or keeping your pride, dignity and not being a burden to your family. We will continue to be patient as we navigate this “once in a hundred year” pandemic. We managed the financial crisis in 2007-2009 extremely well and we plan to navigate this difficult time as well with patience and prudence, and so far our experience is paying off.
If you have any questions about taxes, your individual investment portfolio, our 401(k) recommendation service, or anything else in general, please give our office a call at (586) 226-2100. Feel free to forward this commentary to a friend, family member, or co-worker. If they would like to receive this commentary in the future, please send us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org at your earliest convenience. If you have had any changes to your income, job, family, health insurance, risk tolerance, or your overall financial situation, please give us a call so we can discuss it.
Thank you for your confidence and referrals!
Bob, Ken, Jim, and Zach
Summit Financial Consulting
U.S. technology stocks, currently valued at $9.1 trillion, are now worth more than the entire European stock market. (This is dated right before the stock market’s recent drop) Source: -Business Insider, August 28, 2020
In America, since the pandemic started, sales of alcohol are up 27%. Additionally, 38% of Americans say they have gained weight. Source: USA Today August 14, 2020
U.S. productivity grew 7.3% last quarter which came while the number of hours worked fell by 43%, the biggest decline ever. Source: -Morning Brew, August 15, 2020
At least 89 coronavirus vaccines are under development around the world, with seven now in human trials. Pfizer says that if its vaccine proves safe and effective, it might be available on a limited basis as early as September. The most quickly developed anti-viral vaccine to date was the one for mumps, licensed in 1967 after four years of research. Source: -International Business Times, April 30, 2020
In the first half of 2020, more than 3,600 companies filed for bankruptcy. Just over 600 filed in June alone. Source: -Axios, July 10, 2020
“The advice of doctors and the power of medicine appeared useless and unavailing and the surest medicine for such an evil disease was to drink heavily, enjoy life’s pleasures, and go about singing and having fun, satisfying their appetites by any means available, while laughing at everything.” Source: Givonanni Boccaccio, written during the Bubonic Plaque 1348-53
This is the first Democratic ticket since 1984 that will not have someone on it with an Ivy League degree. Source: -Business Insider, August 11, 2020
Investment advisory services are offered through Summit Financial Consulting, LLC, a MI registered investment advisor. Summit Financial Consulting Investment Advisor Representatives do not render tax, legal, or accounting advice. Insurance products and services are offered through Summit Financial Consulting, LLC.
Disclosures regarding our performance reporting: Because some clients are in the 10% tax bracket and others are in the 37% Federal tax bracket, we have decided to report performance before taxes. If you have a non-qualified account, please feel free to contact us to determine your individualized rate of return after tax. All of Summit’s performance is after our 1.25% advisory fee that is deducted monthly. Your fees may be higher or lower depending upon the amount of assets invested with our firm. Feel free to contact us to receive online access so you can see your personalized rate of return. The Aggregate bond index we use is ticker AGG, and all dividends and distributions earned are reinvested and included in the performance numbers. The S&P 500 index and Dow Jones index quoted above does not include dividends within the performance. If a holding within our portfolio does pay a dividend or other income, it is reinvested, so our performance does include dividends. This report has been prepared from data believed reliable, but no representation is made as to accuracy or completeness. Total return and principal value will vary depending upon the deduction of advisory fees, brokerage commissions, reinvestment of dividends and other earnings or fund charges and because of this, especially if you are a brand new client that was invested in the middle of the month or if you made a deposit or withdrawal in the month, adviser’s clients may have had materially different results from the results portrayed in the performance numbers disclosed. This information is provided to you in combined form, solely for your convenience and ease of review and is not an offer or solicitation to buy or sell any securities. In order to verify that all account values and transactions are accurate, we encourage you to compare the information provided in our statement with the statement you receive directly from your custodian. All written content is for information purposes only. It is not intended to provide any tax or legal advice or provide the basis for any financial decisions. The performance data in this report represents past performance and does not guarantee or imply future results. Current performance may be lower or higher than the performance data quoted in this report. Because we use bond funds and inverse funds as hedges, there will be months where we underperform the Dow Jones and the S&P 500 index, but also months where we will outperform. We do our best to manage stock market volatility, but anything is certainly possible.
The returns are calculated using a true daily time-weighted rate of return (“TWRR” as a primary performance return methodology). TWRR is the CFA Institutes Global Investment Performance Standards (“GIPS”) required calculation for managed accounts. TWRR provides a measure of how an account was managed regardless of the dollar value and is unaffected by external cash flows. TWRR is required in GIPS Guidelines for managed accounts for two primary reasons:
1. Impact of external flows on TWRR: Since an advisor typically does not control the timing or magnitude of investor cash flows, TWRR is deemed appropriate as it isolates performance regardless of the portfolio/account’s dollar value and external flows.
2. Comparison across portfolios and benchmarks: TWRR can be used to directly compare performance with other portfolio/accounts and is an appropriate metric to use when comparing portfolio/account performance to benchmarks.
Please update Summit Financial Consulting LLC if your investment objectives have changed or if the personal or financial information previously provided has changed. The investment advisory disclosure document that describes Summit Financial Consulting investment advisory services account is provided to you annually. Please consult Summit Financial Consulting for a copy of this document should you need a copy.