Third Quarter 2017: Summary Market Review & Outlook

A look at the third quarter of 2017.

Executive Summary:

  • Surreal feeling. Strong performance across all asset classes seems a bit surreal given deepening political rifts domestically, heightened geopolitical tensions with North Korea (not to mention the omnipresent problems with Iran and Russia), and most recently mass murder in Las Vegas.
  • Surprise, surprise, surprise. So far, this year has been full of surprises. Trump and the Republicans’ surprise victory last November was expected to usher in a new legislative agenda aimed at stimulating the economy. The hallmarks of the agenda were tax reform, a new infrastructure program, and regulatory reform. Surprisingly, none of the programs that need Congressional action have passed.
  • Tax plan unveiled. Republicans unveiled their tax reform package at the end of September. Included in the package is a proposed reduction of the corporate tax rate to 20%.
  • Keeping your balance. With the stock market at all-time highs, it is important to keep balance in your portfolio. The long run up in stocks can skew the intended risk/return characteristics of a portfolio. Portfolios should be reviewed regularly and rebalanced to recapture their original risk/return characteristics.

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