January 2016: What’s going on?

The record poor performance of the first two weeks of 2016 has prompted many clients to ask “what’s going on?” Concerns about China, oil, geopolitical tensions, the Fed, and corporate earnings have prompted the latest round of angst and fear amongst some market participants. It’s understandable; after all, it has been over four years since we have had any pause in the market. This uninterrupted upward trajectory can sometimes trick one into thinking that the market is destined for permanently rising returns. To keep it in perspective, even including Friday’s decline, the Dow is only about 11% off the all-time high it reached in May of last year. These are natural pauses in the market.

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