In the 4th quarter of 2018, equity markets came very close to falling into bear market territory.  (Bear Market is defined as dropping 20% from a cyclical high.)  So now, we are experiencing one of the longest, if not the longest, running bull market.  The S&P 500 is less than 5% away from it’s all-time high set last September.  So now, all the talking heads are talking about when it might end and the US drifts into a recession, when less that 3 months ago, they were predicting the end of the world was near.

The attached article about the bull market comes to pretty much what I’ve contended for a very long time.  Over time, stocks outperform inflation by about 7% going all the way back into the 1800s.  I just don’t know how it’s going to happen.  So, there is no change in our money managers’ investment approach, that is, to stay fully invested with the unique strategies I continue to mention.  One factor is a built-in strategy for a yearly cash flow, in addition to dividends, interest and market returns.  In a rising market, the portfolio values tend to go up more than just the market returns.  Another ingredient included is that, in the event of a sudden and dramatic drop like 9/11, the portfolios are designed to recover most, if not all, the losses.  The only drawback is that, if the markets trend down, these portfolios will underperform market returns as we saw in the 4th quarter of 2018.  (There is no free lunch) And, please always remember there are no guarantees when it comes to investing in the equity markets and investing does have risks.

Once again, I seem to be on a theme so, also attached, is another article about protecting your cyber security.  7 ways to protect yourself from cyber criminals offers easy-to-do suggestions to help keep the crooks out.

Hope you have a super day.  And, spring is not that far off.

Doug Alden

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