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For the Record

Updated: Jul 20, 2023

Since I left Wells Fargo, founded The RG Bar Investment Group, and incepted our Insights column, we have been pretty spot-on in terms of calling market moves.

However, it was on April 9, after a 27% rally in the S&P 500, that we suggested investors use the rally to raise cash. Since then, the market has continued its upward trajectory to the tune of another 11%.

That means the U.S. stock market just completed the best 50-day period of returns ever. That’s right, as of the close yesterday, the best fifty days of all time. Stocks have gained 39.6% from March 23rd according to LPL’s Ryan Detrick. Suffice it to say that I did not expect the best fifty-day stock market of all time to be the end result of the worst pandemic in more than a century.

But I don’t feel too terribly about missing that last 11%. The market went up another 5% after our calling for a correction on January 6, and I don’t feel badly about missing that, either.

And that is the lesson the stock market teaches us over and over—your own personal financial planning will typically trump portfolio management. Given all the personal financial turmoil and economic uncertainty endured by families over the last several months, many people’s financial plans needed to be re-examined to account for short term cash needs (or potential ones). Risk management has been a big part of our role as advisors during this period. For readers of our column, I hope you’re finding it to be entertaining, intellectually vigorous and, most of all, helpful.

Going forward, we continue to expect ongoing bouts of volatility. While this strong 50-day rally offers a reason to think stock prices may be even higher this time next year, sentiment indicators like put:call ratios are signaling more froth, and valuations are historically rich. Consequently, we continue to recommend:

  • Sticking to the plan by maintaining strategic asset allocation weights.

  • Alpha-oriented, bottoms-up strategies over pure equity beta

  • Income-oriented investing and alternatives as a response to moderating returns

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