Markets remain concerned with China’s stock market and its potential impact on global economic growth. China is the world’s second-largest economy and what happens there matters, but the impact on the U.S. has been relatively muted due to low export exposure. China still has a tough road to navigate as it transitions to a more consumer- focused economy, and the impact of its slowdown on commodity demand will be felt for some time.
Thomas Graham, AIF, ChFC recently attended the LPL Financial Focus 2015 conference, the firm’s annual meeting of independent professionals from across the country, from July 26 to 29 in Boston at the Boston Convention Center. Over 7,000 attendees were treated to keynote speaker, Dr. Ben Bernanke, who recounted stories from his time as Chairman of the Federal Reserve, during the 2009 subprime housing crisis and the difficult decisions he faced around quantitative easing.
Graham and key staff members of Summit Financial attended the extensive expo, to meet directly with sponsors and LPL staff, breakout sessions with insights to help advisors optimize their business, and an energizing opening-night concert by Daryl Hall and John Oates.
“We came away after four days of interaction with industry professionals energized and encouraged that our relationship with LPL Financial is one that directly enhances our ability to serve clients, said Thomas Graham, president, Summit Financial. “The opportunity to hear Dr. Bernanke speak made this 25th annual conference all the more special.” [Read more…]
August brings with it the end of summer, but in recent years, bouts of stock market volatility have been common. It is quite normal for stock prices to decline at some point almost every year. In 30 of the 34 calendar years since 1980, the stock market, as measured by the S&P 500 Index, declined into negative territory at some point.
The recent agreement between Greece and its creditors gave us a weekend off from dramatic headlines and looming deadlines that may threaten the global economy and financial markets. However, that hasn’t stopped the media from fretting just the same.
The financial crisis of 2008 seems like such a long time ago. During the crisis, we saw the collapse of Lehman Brothers, bank bailouts and forced mergers, massive federal stimulus, and extraordinary Federal Reserve (Fed) policy. We experienced near unprecedented stock market volatility when daily stock market moves of 5% or more were not uncommon. Despite these extreme conditions, one of the greatest six-year bull markets emerged from this crisis.
Now, we are celebrating another (belated) birthday of the bull market that began on March 9, 2009. (A bull market is defined as a prolonged period of stock market gains without a 20% or more decline.) Not only has this bull market for stocks lasted a long time from a historical perspective (it is the third-longest since World War II), it has also been the strongest six-year-old bull.
As the bull market enters its seventh year, many are wondering whether this bull has another year left to run. As should not be surprising given its age and the strong returns it has produced, this bull market may be due for a modest correction. But, that does not necessarily mean that a downturn is imminent. Risks always loom somewhere and, right now, they are in the form of terrorism, the Russia-Ukraine conflict, the possibility of a nuclear Iran, the energy downturn, and the Eurozone’s struggles. [Read more…]