Stocks & Bonds Both Decline More Than -10% During 2022

The scatter plot below compares annual stock and bond returns since 1989. The dots represent the intersection of the S&P 500’s total return and the Bloomberg U.S. Bond Aggregate’s total return for each calendar year. The analysis highlights the challenging and unusual start to 2022. The ‘YTD 2022’ dot is the only dot in the lower left quadrant with stocks and bonds both declining more than -10% this year. If 2022 ended today, it would mark the S&P 500’s third worst year, and bond’s worst year, since 1989.

How unique is the current market environment? You will notice every year since 1989, except for 2022, is outside of the lower left quadrant. This indicates it is rare for both stocks and bonds to produce negative returns during a calendar year. Why are stocks and bonds declining together? The Federal Reserve is raising interest rates and shrinking its balance sheet by selling bonds, which pressures both stock and bond valuations. On the credit side, most bonds pay a fixed interest rate, which means bond prices must decline to offer a higher interest rate. On the equity side, interest rates represent the cost of money and are used as an input to value company shares. A higher interest rate typically decreases stock prices.

This year’s parallel stock and bond selloff highlights the importance of portfolio diversification not only across asset classes, but within asset classes. When you diversify your portfolio, you aim to invest in different asset classes that may react differently to the same event. The same principle applies within stocks and bonds. On a price return basis, S&P 500 Growth stocks are down -25.5% through May 11th, while S&P 500 Value stocks are only down -8.4%. In the corporate investment grade bond universe, Long-Duration (+10 Years) bonds are down -22.1% through May 11th on a price return basis, while Short-Duration (1-5 Years) bonds are only down -6.1%.

Important Notices & Disclaimer
The information and opinions expressed herein are solely those of PFG Private Wealth Management, LLC (PFG), are provided for informational purposes only and are not intended as recommendations to buy or sell a security, nor as an offer to buy or sell a security. Recipients of the information provided herein should consult with their financial advisor before purchasing or selling a security.

The information and opinions provided herein are provided as general market commentary only, and do not consider the specific investment objectives, financial situation or particular needs of any one client. The information in this report is not intended to be used as the primary basis of investment decisions, and because of individual client objectives, should not be construed as advice designed to meet the particular investment needs of any investor.

The comments may not be relied upon as recommendations, investment advice or an indication of trading intent. PFG is not soliciting any action based on this document. Investors should consult with their financial adviser before making any investment decisions. There is no guarantee that any future event discussed herein will come to pass. The data used in this publication may have been obtained from a variety of sources including U.S. Federal Reserve, FactSet, Bloomberg, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, iShares, Vanguard and State Street, which we believe to be reliable, but PFG cannot be held responsible for the accuracy of data used herein. Any use of graphs, text or other material from this report by the recipient must acknowledge MarketDesk Research as the source. Past performance does not guarantee or indicate future results. Investing involves risk, including the possible loss of principal and fluctuation of value. PFG disclaims responsibility for updating information. In addition, PFG disclaims responsibility for third-party content, including information accessed through hyperlinks.

No mention of a particular security, index, derivative or other instrument in the report constitutes a recommendation to buy, sell, or hold that or any other security, nor does it constitute an opinion on the suitability of any security, index, or derivative. The report is strictly an information publication and has been prepared without regard to the particular investments and circumstances of the recipient.

READERS SHOULD VERIFY ALL CLAIMS AND COMPLETE THEIR OWN RESEARCH AND CONSULT A REGISTERED FINANCIAL PROFESSIONAL BEFORE INVESTING IN ANY INVESTMENTS MENTIONED IN THE PUBLICATION. INVESTING IN SECURITIES AND DERIVATIVES IS SPECULATIVE AND CARRIES A HIGH DEGREE OF RISK, AND READERS MAY LOSE MONEY TRADING AND INVESTING IN SUCH INVESTMENTS.

PFG Private Wealth Management, LLC is a registered investment advisor.

Stocks & Bonds Both Selloff During April

Monthly Market Summary

  • The S&P 500 Index produced a -8.8% total return during April, outperforming the Russell 2000 Index’s -9.9% total return.
  • Consumer Staples was the only S&P 500 sector to produce a positive return during April’s market selloff. Energy was the second-best performing sector as the price of crude oil traded around $100 per barrel. In contrast, the ‘Growth-style’ sectors, including Communication Services, Consumer Discretionary, and Technology, each traded more than -10% lower as interest rates soared higher.
  • Corporate investment grade bonds generated a -6.7% total return, underperforming corporate high yield bonds’ -4.2% total return.
  • The MSCI EAFE Index of global developed market stocks returned -6.7% during April, underperforming the MSCI Emerging Market Index’s -6.1% return.

Federal Reserve Policy Remains a Headwind for Equity & Credit Markets

April was another difficult month for both stock and bond markets. The S&P 500 Index traded -8.8% lower during the month, while the Bloomberg Bond U.S. Aggregate Index traded -3.8% lower. Federal Reserve policy remains the driving force as the central bank raises interest rates and prepares to shrink its balance sheet to ease inflation pressures. It is a difficult and delicate balancing act to pull off. Low interest rates and bond purchases stabilized the U.S. economy during the Covid pandemic, but removing the two pandemic-era monetary policies is proving to be enormously disruptive.
Interest rates rose again during April as the 10-year U.S. Treasury yield surged +0.57% to 2.89%. While 0.57% may seem small on an absolute level, it significantly impacts how investors position portfolios. Why? Interest rates represent the cost of money and are used as an input to value company shares. A higher Treasury yield offers investors a higher rate of return. To incentivize investors to own riskier assets, such as stocks, the expected return must increase. Buying an asset, such as a house or stock, at a lower valuation should increase the expected return, which means the theoretical value of the asset should be lower as rates rise. On a conceptual level, this is the messy valuation process the market is currently working through. It is trying to find the correct theoretical fair value of a company’s shares as interest rates rise. This is in addition to dealing with geopolitical tensions, new Covid lockdowns in China, and surging inflation.

What Can You Expect Moving Forward?

There is no easy answer or definitive path forward. This year’s selloff indicates some degree of tighter Federal Reserve policy is already priced into the market – we just do not know how much. In addition, the list of market uncertainties remains long, including corporate earnings quality, economic strength, and the path of Federal Reserve interest rate hikes. Until the market receives clarity on these uncertainties, volatility is likely to remain elevated. The bumpy ride may not be done yet.

Important Notices & Disclaimer

The information and opinions expressed herein are solely those of PFG Private Wealth Management, LLC (PFG), are provided for informational purposes only and are not intended as recommendations to buy or sell a security, nor as an offer to buy or sell a security. Recipients of the information provided herein should consult with their financial advisor before purchasing or selling a security.

The information and opinions provided herein are provided as general market commentary only, and do not consider the specific investment objectives, financial situation or particular needs of any one client. The information in this report is not intended to be used as the primary basis of investment decisions, and because of individual client objectives, should not be construed as advice designed to meet the particular investment needs of any investor.

The comments may not be relied upon as recommendations, investment advice or an indication of trading intent. PFG is not soliciting any action based on this document. Investors should consult with their financial adviser before making any investment decisions. There is no guarantee that any future event discussed herein will come to pass. The data used in this publication may have been obtained from a variety of sources including U.S. Federal Reserve, FactSet, Bloomberg, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, iShares, Vanguard and State Street, which we believe to be reliable, but PFG cannot be held responsible for the accuracy of data used herein. Any use of graphs, text or other material from this report by the recipient must acknowledge MarketDesk Research as the source. Past performance does not guarantee or indicate future results.   Investing   involves   risk,   including   the possible loss of principal and fluctuation of value. PFG disclaims responsibility for updating information. In addition, PFG disclaims responsibility for third-party content, including information accessed through hyperlinks.

No mention of a particular security, index, derivative or other instrument in the report constitutes a recommendation to buy, sell, or hold that or any other security, nor does it constitute an opinion on the suitability of any security, index, or derivative. The report is strictly an information publication and has been prepared without regard to the particular investments and circumstances of the recipient.

READERS   SHOULD   VERIFY   ALL   CLAIMS   AND   COMPLETE    THEIR    OWN RESEARCH AND CONSULT A REGISTERED FINANCIAL PROFESSIONAL BEFORE INVESTING IN ANY INVESTMENTS MENTIONED IN THE PUBLICATION. INVESTING IN SECURITIES AND DERIVATIVES IS SPECULATIVE AND CARRIES A HIGH DEGREE OF RISK, AND READERS MAY LOSE MONEY TRADING AND INVESTING IN SUCH INVESTMENTS.

PFG Private Wealth Management, LLC is a registered investment advisor.

U.S. Personal Savings Rate Drops to Decade-Low

The U.S. personal savings rate jumped to an all-time high of 33.8% in April 2020. Stimulus checks, enhanced unemployment benefits, and a decline in consumer spending all boosted personal savings during the pandemic. In addition, homeowners were able to lower their monthly mortgage payments by refinancing their home loans and locking in mortgage rates below 3% on a 30-year fixed loan. The increased personal savings sustained consumers during the pandemic and even helped some individuals pay down debt.

Fast forward to today, and increased savings are slowly being eroded. January 2022’s personal savings rate of 6.1% was the lowest since December 2013. Why did the savings rate drop from an all-time high to a decade-low in less than two years? The savings catalysts from the pandemic are diminishing, and in some cases reversing, as daily life returns to normal. The last round of stimulus checks was released over a year ago. Enhanced unemployment benefits lapsed as the unemployment rate dropped 3.6% during March 2022 and the labor market tightened. Consumer spending on services is rebounding as social distancing restrictions are relaxed.

Another large factor pressuring the personal savings rate is rising inflation pressures. The Consumer Price Index, which measures inflation, soared 8.5% year-over-year during March 2022. It was the fastest annual pace since December 1981 and a significant change from the 2010s when annual inflation held steady around 2%. Our team always stresses the importance of establishing a personal financial plan and sticking to it. The Covid pandemic was a lesson on the importance of being ready for the unknown, and today’s high inflation is a timely reminder that both life and the economy are unpredictable. Our goal is to help you be ready for what comes next.

Important Notices & Disclaimer

The information and opinions expressed herein are solely those of PFG Private Wealth Management, LLC (PFG), are provided for informational purposes only and are not intended as recommendations to buy or sell a security, nor as an offer to buy or sell a security. Recipients of the information provided herein should consult with their financial advisor before purchasing or selling a security.

The information and opinions provided herein are provided as general market commentary only, and do not consider the specific investment objectives, financial situation or particular needs of any one client. The information in this report is not intended to be used as the primary basis of investment decisions, and because of individual client objectives, should not be construed as advice designed to meet the particular investment needs of any investor.

The comments may not be relied upon as recommendations, investment advice or an indication of trading intent. PFG is not soliciting any action based on this document. Investors should consult with their financial adviser before making any investment decisions. There is no guarantee that any future event discussed herein will come to pass. The data used in this publication may have been obtained from a variety of sources including U.S. Federal Reserve, FactSet, Bloomberg, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, iShares, Vanguard and State Street, which we believe to be reliable, but PFG cannot be held responsible for the accuracy of data used herein. Any use of graphs, text or other material from this report by the recipient must acknowledge MarketDesk Research as the source. Past performance does not guarantee or indicate future results.   Investing   involves   risk,   including   the possible loss of principal and fluctuation of value. PFG disclaims responsibility for updating information. In addition, PFG disclaims responsibility for third-party content, including information accessed through hyperlinks.

No mention of a particular security, index, derivative or other instrument in the report constitutes a recommendation to buy, sell, or hold that or any other security, nor does it constitute an opinion on the suitability of any security, index, or derivative. The report is strictly an information publication and has been prepared without regard to the particular investments and circumstances of the recipient.

READERS   SHOULD   VERIFY   ALL   CLAIMS   AND   COMPLETE    THEIR    OWN RESEARCH AND CONSULT A REGISTERED FINANCIAL PROFESSIONAL BEFORE INVESTING IN ANY INVESTMENTS MENTIONED IN THE PUBLICATION. INVESTING IN SECURITIES AND DERIVATIVES IS SPECULATIVE AND CARRIES A HIGH DEGREE OF RISK, AND READERS MAY LOSE MONEY TRADING AND INVESTING IN SUCH INVESTMENTS.

PFG Private Wealth Management, LLC is a registered investment advisor.

Market Volatility in Perspective

Financial markets have been roiled recently amid fears over the impact of the fast-spreading coronavirus. These near-term disruptions to economic activity are the result of efforts to contain it. We see a downshift in 2020 global growth, with uncertainty around the size and pace of slowdown. While there are always unplanned risks, we do expect a rebound in activity once the disruptions dissipate and don’t see it derailing the U.S. expansion at this time.

What are key takeaways for investors? First, we encourage investors to keep things in historical perspective. Second, know the importance of staying invested and avoid reacting in ways that could derail long-term financial goals. 
 

Keep things in perspective

To provide historical context, the table below illustrates how the stock market responded during other past growth scares and bear markets. It also shows the period of positive market performance in the 12 months that followed these crises.

Stay invested

The chart below shows how a hypothetical $100,000 investment in stocks would have been affected by missing the market’s top-performing days over the 20-year period from January 1, 2000 to December 31, 2019. An individual who remained invested for the entire period would have accumulated $324,019, while an investor who missed ten of the top-performing days during that period would have accumulated $161,706.

PFG Private Wealth Management, LLC is a registered investment adviser.  Information presented is for educational purposes only and does not intend to make an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of any specific securities, investments, or investment strategies. This material and information are not intended to provide tax or legal advice.  Investments involve risk and, unless otherwise stated, are not guaranteed.  Be sure to first consult with a qualified financial adviser and/or tax professional before implementing any strategy discussed herein. Past performance is not indicative of future performance. 

This material represents an assessment of the market environment as of the date indicated; is subject to change; and is not intended to be a forecast of future events or a guarantee of future results. This information should not be relied upon by the reader as research or investment advice regarding the funds or any issuer or security in particular.
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All other trademarks are those of their respective owners.
Prepared by BlackRock Investments, LLC, member FINRA. This material is provided for educational purposes only. BlackRock is not affiliated with any third party distributing this material.

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Year-End Donations & Giving

A list of things to consider as you think about year-end charitable donations

With its blinking lights, family traditions, and festive music, December is the most wonderful time of the year. And according to Charity Navigator, the month of December really is wonderful because December sees approximately 30% of all annual charitable giving occur.

Unfortunately, despite the greatest of intentions, many will inevitably make mistakes in how they give, especially if they wait until the last minute. So, here is a list of things for you to think about as you consider your year-end charitable donations.

Make a Plan
Last year, donations from America’s individuals, estates, foundations and corporations reached approximately $410 billion, according to Giving USA in their Annual Report on Philanthropy. Hoping that 2020 is similar, that means you and your neighbors will donate over $120+ billion dollars in December alone!

How much of this was more impulse-giving vs. a well-thought-out charity plan?

Ideally, at the beginning of every year – with your financial advisor – you would map out a plan to maximize the tax benefits of your giving. Really think through what is important to you and what you want to support. Is it an organization that supports literacy? Or provides food? Or shelter for families? Creating a plan will help you be less reactive and feel less boxed in when friends ask for your charitable support.

Research Your Charity
It’s easy to get fooled by a charity’s name so you need to do your homework. And beware of scam artists pretending to represent an organization that doesn’t exist. Read a charity’s financial statements to see how they spend their (your) money. Even better, volunteer before you write a check.

Donating Stock
If you have owned stock for more than a year and it has appreciated, then don’t sell it first and then give the cash to charity. Those appreciated assets can be donated directly to charity without you or the charity incurring capital gains taxes (consult your tax professional to be sure).

Selling Your Personal Info
Quite a few charities will rent or sell the addresses, phone numbers, email addresses and detailed social media profiles of their donors, which means you might start getting a bunch of unwanted calls, emails and friend requests. Make sure you review a charity’s privacy policy before you give them your information. And many times, you have to actively “Opt Out” to ensure your personal information is not used.

Ask for A Receipt
Remember, for charitable contributions of $250 or more, you need a donor’s acknowledgement letter. And generally it’s a good idea to obtain receipts, especially when donating goods.

Don’t Delay
Shockingly, a whopping 12% of all giving occurs in the last 3 days of the year! But if you mail a check postmarked after December 31st, then you might run into trouble. Make it easy on yourself and don’t wait until the last minute.

Money Can’t Buy Happiness, But Maybe Donating to Charity Can?
Consider research from Elizabeth Dunn of the University of British Columbia, Lara Aknin at Simon Fraser University and Michael Norton at Harvard Business School. Essentially what they found in their study is the following:

  • Spending money on other people has a more positive impact on happiness than spending money on oneself
  • Spending more of one’s income on others predicted greater happiness

Discuss with Your Financial Advisor
If you have any questions or need help mapping out your Charitable Plan, set an appointment to discuss with your financial advisor.

PFG Private Wealth Management, LLC is a registered investment adviser.  Information presented is for educational purposes only and does not intend to make an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of any specific securities, investments, or investment strategies. This material and information are not intended to provide tax or legal advice.  Investments involve risk and, unless otherwise stated, are not guaranteed.  Be sure to first consult with a qualified financial adviser and/or tax professional before implementing any strategy discussed herein. Past performance is not indicative of future performance.