What a difference a month makes. January was a strong month for North American markets. Although we have a long year ahead of us, many of the concerns that spooked the markets as we headed into the end of last year have receded. So what has changed? Corporate earnings have come in strong and guidance for the year from most of North America’s largest companies has been optimistic. The U.S. Federal Reserve pacified worries about rising interest rates. Reports continue to show a North American economy in expansion. The U.S. government is no longer shutdown. China and the U.S. seem determined to solve their trade issues. The old saying that markets climb a wall of worry held true in January.
Over your investing lifetime, there will be no end to this wall of worry. Each year brings with it a new set of concerns and new reasons for you to think twice about putting your money to work. Let us assure you that the best course of action is to ignore the daily noise. We urge you to continue to be patient long term investors and to be comforted by the fact that you own a diversified portfolio of high-quality companies. We are as optimistic about the companies that our clients own as we were last January, and we are hard at work researching brand new investment ideas that we hope to add to your portfolios in the coming months. In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’d love to hear from you and are always available to discuss any issues or questions that you may have.