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Mike and I recently reflected on the past decade of the markets, and now that the New Year has come and gone, we can set our sites ahead for the future. The week of January 6th will be the first full week of trading after our holiday hangover. Market sentiment is a mixed bag and it appears that everyone has a wait and see attitude – this is a juxtaposition of where we were this time last year.
It is hard to say one way or another what is expected from the markets in 2020, however, rather than anchoring ourselves to the past we should resolve to be adaptive, understanding that whatever comes in the next 12 months we will be prepared for because we have a long-term strategy to guide us. What we can be certain of is that currently fundamentals are good, unemployment is at record lows, the economy is persisting (albeit slowly) and while the markets seem overbought it appears, we are in a moment of pause. Most economists are reluctant to predict a recession, let alone an economic downturn however, if further trade conflicts occur with China and the Fed shifts toward a philosophy of raising rates things could change.
The longest Bull market in American history that began in 2010, has not ended, however we are certain to see pullbacks and even possibly a recession. So far, all the doomsday predictors have been dead wrong and if a downturn (of any size) comes our way it should be viewed as opportunity. There appear no signs negative signs on the horizon, such as loose monetary policy, rising inflation or any looming bubbles in the equity markets. Predictions are just a best guess in the end and the only certainty is that all past downturns ended and were followed by positive growth and new record highs were made. We are hopeful that the “Roaring Twenties” will roar in a good way.