At Washington Capital Group, we have always considered you, our investor, first! Our approach to your personal goals and objectives influences our selection of the appropriate stocks, bonds and investments to achieve those goals. We enjoy the personal aspect of what we do, and welcome the opportunity to share our market knowledge with you.
U.S. equities and bonds performed better than many predicted in 2015 – and 2016 has kicked off in the same vein. The job market is recovering, consumer and business confidence improved and corporations finally put cash to work. Equities have started the year with strong returns. While we consider most markets fully valued, we do want to remain invested and selectively focus on energy, technology, and industrials. In order to protect our prices we continue to hold/buy shorter maturities and keep duration low.
Economies outside of the US did not fare so well. Europe continues to struggle in part due to a tentative central bank, the geopolitical tensions in Ukraine and the Middle East, and Greece, once again, threatening to rip the European Common Market asunder.
Emerging markets are suffering from falling commodity prices and slower global trade.
Despite these world dramas, 2016 should result in another decent year for U.S. equities as we experience U.S. economic growth/GDP near 3%, low inflation, fiscal restraint firmly in place, and increased consumer spending boosted by low commodity prices and interest rates. The consumer sector should strengthen due to jobs growth, some improvement in real wage gains and a noticeable pickup in confidence. Investment spending is likely to rise. Our analysts are examining positions in consumer staples and industrials, in order to take advantage of these opportunities brought about by investor confidence!
We believe that our stock selections across a broad range of sectors, including selective emerging markets, will provide our portfolios with a consistent income stream in this ever changing environment.
Fortunately, gold rallied this quarter due to strong demand from Asia and a flight to safety due to the Russia/Ukraine unrest. We continue to believe in holding shares in precious metals/hard assets in our portfolios due to their demonstrated ability to preserve capital as well as appreciate in times of uncertainty, and often times during inflationary periods. Historically, this asset class has also demonstrated the potential to deliver uncorrelated returns with equity and fixed income markets.
We believe that the bottom line to successfully investing in this market is to be committed to our investment goals, remain invested at the appropriate level of risk, and tactically move within the market sectors to capture upside gains or protect from downside losses. Our disciplined approach to market picks has proven its merits by providing us with strong performance and smoother returns.
As always, we remain dedicated to you, your money and your investments. We welcome phone calls and visits to talk further about any of our thoughts, ideas, and strategies, as well as any questions or comments you might have.