At White Raven Financial, we often talk about helping you along your life’s journey. I recently listened to philosopher Alan Watts talk about Why Your Life is not a Journey. He describes life as a piece of music, a dance, a playful thing – “You play the piano, you don’t work the piano. . . . The whole point of a dance is the dance.” Whether or not I agree with every element of his argument, his perspective that our lives should not be about aiming for an end destination is compelling. As a financial advisor and Certified Financial Planner™, I use my knowledge to help all my clients “dance” through the whole of their lives. I want to help make the composition of a life meaningful and moving from beginning to end, not peter out into something dull and complacent. Which is where I see a solid financial plan being of so much value. I see the plan for a client’s financial present and future as a way of ensuring there is always room for play, light and laugher.
But enough philosophizing, we have a Douglas Squirrel that is gathering nuts from the witch hazel bush outside our office window. In addition to providing enjoyment to us in the office, the squirrel also appears to be having fun teasing our Springer Spaniel, Tu. While looking the other direction, opposite the bush and next to the office door, I’ve spotted an Anna’s hummingbird flitting in and out of the hummingbird feeder we’ve hung. As if that wasn’t enough wildlife, there are two deer that migrate from our property to the next using the nature path that we made through the woods. No, I do not spend all day, every day gazing out the window in pursuit of wildlife – I do, however, enjoy the view while thinking! And as winter and the holidays begin, I can appreciate the beautiful season.
Speaking of views, for the last several weeks all major news outlets have been sharing their views on congress and the anticipated US tax reform that the GDP hopes to complete by the end of December. Congressional tax reform seems to have outshone the Federal Reserve policy rates and their views of inflation in the news. Richard Turnhill, Global Chief Investment Strategist for BlackRock wrote on why BlackRock feels that globally we should see a sustained economic expansion and how that ties into the US Federal Reserve interest rate. Their Blackrock Growth GPS is pointing to a steady and above-trend developed market growth of around 2%. CIO of Hennessy Funds, Neil Hennessy, thinks the bull market is here to stay and he talks about why he would like to see a correction.
Stepping into the international arena, Alliance Bernstein’s AB Portfolio Management Team explained why they felt US stocks are expensive compared to non-US stocks and why the complex valuation landscape requires a diligent focus. BMO Global Asset Management provided three economic scenarios that they thought might happen in the next five years. They began their writeup by positing that there is a healthy likelihood that the world’s economy will continue to grow at a steady pace with modest inflation. At White Raven Financial we believe that investing in the stock market offers opportunity, but investing within your risk tolerance and managing downside risk effectively is critical. Having a portfolio with a flexible framework that integrates multiple asset classes may help lessen the risk.
The fall weather did not appear to dampen major U.S. stock market indices in the month of November. The blue-chip barometer (the DowTR)* donned a gain of 4.24%. The S&P 500 (SPYTR)* brought in a positive 3.07%. The tech-rich Nasdaq Composite (COMPTR)* followed its brothers and posted a 2.34% gain. On Tuesday, November 28, 2017, the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller report showed that the national home price index continued to rise. The 20-city composite August Home Price Index reported a 6.2% year-over-year gain in September; up from the 5.9% shown the previous month. Before seasonal adjustments, month-over-month data also showed a gain with the month of September posting a 0.4% increase over the month of August for the 20-city composite index.
Regards and Thank you,
The Team at White Raven Financial
*Indexes are unmanaged and do not reflect service fees, commissions, or taxes. You cannot invest directly in an index. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results. Returns for the DOW, S&P500 and the NASDAQ is the total return (price only) provided by Morning star Inc. as of 2017November30. Diversification and asset allocation does not assure or guarantee better performance and cannot eliminate the risk of investment loss.
Advisory services are offered through White Raven Financial, a Registered Investment Advisor in the state of Washington.