It’s been an eventful month already, with the House passing a new health bill, the President firing the director of the FBI, and the continued investigation of Russia’s role in the election. You can’t unlock your phone, browse your computer, or turn on the TV without hearing commentary, opinion, and reports about what’s happening in Washington.
Meanwhile, it seems to be the end of an era for major retailers like Macy’s, who will close up to 100 of its locations within the year, with plans to potentially close another 100 or more. Amazon has priced many brick-and-mortar stores out of business, and has plans to take more market share from grocery stores with its Amazon Fresh offering. The past few years have seen the decline of former cornerstones of retail, including Sears, Kohl’s, Macy’s and the Gap. Needless to say, retail as we have known it is no more.
Even with all of this flying around, the market as a whole has had a calmer reaction, with the S&P 500 up 5% since inauguration without much roller coaster activity. Emerging markets and the technology sector have continued to perform well, giving the underperforming retailers less of an impact on the market’s overall returns. While news can impact market movement, its ups and downs are a result of its makeup, which is the collective values of individual companies.
I believe this is telling us something that I want to be sure to impart to you. The market’s slow, steady climb could be a result of its acknowledgement that most of the activity that’s been happening since President Trump took office has been largely rhetorical, with true results remaining to be seen. Does that mean changes won’t come? Of course not. But it does remind us of one thing: there’s a lot of information circulating, and it’s breeding fear, confusion, and even anger among many Americans.
I want to encourage you to remain informed, but take all of what you hear in stride. As developments move forward in current events, things may change. We can’t predict the future. But what we do know is that emotional investing is a poor way to reach your goals.
Let’s work together to remain focused. Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any concerns, or just want to talk through things together.