While the trade wars and accompanying global tensions that follow such a policy are troubling, we are hopeful that the current administration is being political ahead of the mid-term elections and hoping to activate its base. A little softening in rhetoric and trade policy or better trade deals would go a long way to alleviating the troubling policy ramifications of picking fights with our economic partners. Given the history of the current President, it would seem likely that he would be “transactional” and give the markets what they want.
In addition, we would argue that growth is still growth, although the most significant gains of the cycle may be behind us. That does not mean that we can’t find attractive opportunities for capital in both stocks and bonds and earn patient investors competitive returns in the months and years to come. We do NOT believe the domestic economy is headed for a recession in the near-term. Fiscal stimulus provided by tax reform should continue to fuel economic growth and enable companies to grow earnings in 2019. In addition to the domestic opportunities we see, the poor performance of international and emerging markets may produce long term vindication for those of us who have remained disciplined and diversified, despite the short term drag those positions have had on recent performance. We also remain positive on our outlook for dividend paying companies with defendable business models that are benefiting from secular growth and have the ability to generate strong cash flow.
The bond side of our portfolios was hurt by Fed rate increases but bonds should eventually settle in and provide a higher income level for more moderate and conservative investors. However, our clients continue to benefit from our use of a diversified approach to fixed income instead of investing just in U.S. treasuries. Other bond sectors, such as floating rate leveraged loans, actually produced positive returns and have higher yields than Treasuries with less volatility. Also, with money market yields increasing, we may utilize money market investments as an alternative to some of the bond allocation which will reduce portfolio risk and volatility.
As contrarians, we are adding to attractively valued international developed market equities, and emerging market equities/bonds which have not performed well in 2018. We continue to advocate a “buy the dips” approach and will add to high quality, attractively valued companies that have robust cash flow, strong earnings growth prospects and solid balance sheets.
Overall, Shorepoint’s core philosophy is to manage diversified portfolios of quality, reasonably valued assets based on your investment objectives and risk tolerance. This has and will continue to be a successful investment strategy over the long-term. We seek to take advantage of opportunities as they arise and generate attractive long-term returns to help our clients reach their financial goals. As always, we are available to discuss your concerns and answer your questions.