Summary: First Quarter 2018

by: Smith and Howard Wealth Management

“Normal isn’t normal, it’s just what you’re used to.”     

    – Marty Rubin, author and journalist

As we’ve noted throughout this first quarter 2018 CFO Report, the start of a new year brought with it a very different market environment from what we experienced and enjoyed throughout 2017.  While most investors understood that a repeat of 2017 was unlikely, the abruptness of the change was still remarkable.  We won’t go as far as to say that the dramatic swings recently experienced are normal, but they aren’t to be unexpected, either.  Fortunately, such swings don’t indicate or predict that returns for the year will be negative.   We often include the below chart in our quarterly review deck as a reminder of just how volatile markets can be even in what turns out to be a GOOD year for stocks.

During periods of increased volatility and uncertainty it is important to not get too caught up in the daily barrage of headlines and tweets.  They may be impossible to fully ignore, but for long-term investors there is probably more entertainment value than actual informational or investment value.  Investors need to remember and focus on what drives long term returns – fundamentals and valuations.  As we’ve highlighted throughout this quarter’s report, fundamentals remain strong and valuations are more attractive today than a few months ago.  As we wrote in our last quarterly report “markets climb a wall of worry”.  That old Wall Street saying isn’t meant to discredit the things we worry about, but to remind us that there will always be things that worry investors and we can’t let them stop us from seeing the long term picture.

To discuss in more detail the positive and negative impact volatility can have on the market,  please contact Brad Swinsburg 404-874-6244.

Explore more information on the first quarter of 2018 by visiting these links:

Market Recap: First Quarter 2018

Market Outlook: First Quarter 2018

On the Horizon: Seven Focus Areas

A Deeper Dive: The Impact of Rising Interest Rates

Unless stated otherwise, any estimates or projections (including performance and risk) given in this presentation are intended to be forward-looking statements. Such estimates are subject to actual known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. The securities described within this presentation do not represent all of the securities purchased, sold or recommended for client accounts. The reader should not assume that an investment in such securities was or will be profitable. Past performance does not indicate future results.