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Why You Should Stay in Stocks in 2016

One bad trading day or week is not the year.

The stock market has wavered recently. A lackluster year just ended, and this year has started inauspiciously. You may be wondering ... should you really be invested in stocks right now?
  
Yes, you should be.
 
In moments like these, investors should not panic and overreact to the headlines. Instead, they should take the long view of stock market investing. Impulsive selling now can lead an investor to try and time the market later, and market timing usually leads investors to make mistakes.
 
Stock market investing is a long-run proposition. On a bad day, it may seem like the whole market is falling apart - but stock market performance is not measured only in days.

And now, some long-term historical perspective:
 
**Through the decades, the S&P 500 has recovered very well from many of its major one-day descents. Its January 4 plunge was comparable to its August 24 drop, when it was down more than 4% during the trading session and lost 3.2% on the day to close at 1,893.21. It took the S&P just three days to recover the entirety of that big loss. Before that, there had been 54 market days in the past 32 years in which the S&P had lost 3.5% or more. There were 45 year-over-year advances after such days, in contrast to 9 year-over-year retreats.4,5
 
**In the 88 market years from 1928-2015, the S&P had 63 profitable years with its average yearly gain being 21.5%. So across the rough equivalent of a human lifetime, the S&P 500 has advanced on an annual basis 72% of the time.

**Looking at the 74 possible 15-year intervals of S&P performance occurring during 1928-2015, roughly 60% of these periods have seen the S&P post a compound return of 10% or better. During 1985-99, the index’s compound return was a striking 18.3%.6

Consider the following statistics, which highlight some underpublicized truths:
 
**Even with their poor showing in 2015, stocks have advanced notably in the last three years. Across 2013-15, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 9.97%, the Nasdaq Composite 18.37%, the S&P 500 12.74%, and the small-cap Russell 2000 index 10.18%. The Dow Jones Internet index advanced 28.85% in those three years, the Nasdaq Biotech index 35.26%.1
 
**Just recently, the Dow gained 7.00% in a quarter. The Nasdaq rose 8.38% and the S&P 6.45% in the same interval. When did this happen? The fourth quarter of 2015. Yes, the same quarter that just ended with everyone talking about how sluggish the market was.2
 
**The S&P 500 did lose 0.73% in 2015 in terms of price return, but its 2015 total return (including dividends) was positive – a yearly gain of 1.38%.3
  
  
Yes, there have been down years for stocks, severe ones among them – think of 2008. There have also been great years, and far more positive years than negative ones. You have to take the good years with the bad. It is simply part of stock market investing.
       
Those who sell when the market is down often buy back in well after the market recovers. Selling low and buying high is a formula for disappointment. Staying invested through market downturns positions you to buy quality shares when they are cheaper, and when stocks rally, you are in the market and ready to benefit. 
  
A particular headline or economic indicator may jolt the market on a particular day, but you are not invested for one day – you are investing for a lifetime. We have many positive signs in our economy – solid hiring, appreciable wage growth, steady consumer spending, a strong housing market – and they may lead to better corporate earnings in 2016. So be patient; better days may be ahead for the market.

A TCU Investment Services experienced, financial advisor may be reached at (800) 756-6210 or https://www.tcunet.com/home/personal/investing/representative
 
This material was prepared by MarketingPro, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. This information has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. Please note - investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All indices are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment.
   
Citations.
1 - wsj.com/mdc/public/page/2_3023-monthly_gblstkidx.html [12/31/15]
2 - wsj.com/mdc/public/page/2_3022-quarterly_gblstkidx.html [12/31/15]
3 - stockcharts.com/articles/chartwatchers/2016/01/do-dividends-matter.html [1/2/16]
4 - tinyurl.com/oksgh26 [8/25/15]
5 - tinyurl.com/jmams7p [1/4/16]
6 - marketwatch.com/story/understanding-performance-the-sp-500-in-2015-02-18 [2/18/15]

01072016-WR-1506

Keeping All This Volatility in Perspective

These recent ups & downs are reminiscent of past Wall Street swings.

Provided by TCU Investment Services
Fall might be anything but calm on Wall Street. Volatility is back, in a big way: the CBOE VIX has risen more than 105% since the end of July. Additionally, 11 of the 15 trading days ending September 9 were “all or nothing” days in which more than 80% of the S&P 500 moved either higher or lower. In the last 25 years, the index has not had a 15-day period like this.1,2
 
Contrast that with the first 159 trading days of 2015, in which just 13 such days occurred according to Bespoke Investment Group research. In fact, during the first half of 2015 the Dow Jones Industrial Average was never more than 3.5% up or down YTD, on pace for the most placid year in its history.
  
Writing in the Financial Times, the noted economist and portfolio manager Mohamed El-Erian recently identified a few factors driving these market swings – factors that may not subside anytime soon. Fundamentally, he cited the “spreading economic slowdown” in China and other emerging markets “eroding a fundamental underpinning of high and stable asset prices” – and bursting some asset bubbles in the process. Markets can be roiled with the emergence of “major global challenges away from the direct reach of the U.S. Federal Reserve and the ECB,” he adds, as too many (institutional) investors look to central bank activity for either direction or reassurance. Lastly, investors worldwide are wondering if the Fed will raise short-term interest rates next week.3
  
So, this turbulence may persist for several more weeks or months. How does an investor cope with it? It helps to put all of this recent volatility into perspective.
 
Remember that historically, the ups of the market have outweighed the downs. If your time horizon is relatively long, this particular fact may provide encouragement: as Ibbotson notes, since 1926 there has never been a 20-year stretch in which a diversified portfolio invested in large U.S. firms has had a negative inflation-adjusted total return. From 1926-2014, such a model portfolio (with dividends encompassing roughly 40% of the total return) yielded approximately 10% a year on average.4
  
These recent ups & downs compare to others. On August 24, the S&P 500 lost 3.2% and was down more than 4% during the course of the day. That was quite troubling, but not quite extraordinary: it was the fifty-fifth day since 1983 in which the broad benchmark had dropped 3.5% or more in a trading session.4,5
  
How has the S&P recovered from days like these? Historically speaking, it has recovered more often than not. Looking at the 12-month periods after the preceding 54 such trading days, there were 45 year-over-year advances and 9 year-over-year retreats.  How far did the S&P fall, on average, during those 12-month retreats? The answer is 7.7%. How high did it rise, on average, during those 45 annualized ascents? A remarkable 27.6%. So while history tells us nothing of tomorrow, it does seem that the S&P has recovered amazingly well from the bulk of its major one-day drops in the last 32 years.4
  
After a long, steady ascent, it is easy to become lulled into thinking that the market only goes up. We all know differently, but even so it can be a rude awakening when the major indices rollercoaster or plunge. Even so, we should be patient rather than let emotion take over. As the late Paul Harvey said, “In times like these, it helps to recall that there have always been times like these.”6

Contact a TCU Investment Services Representative for more information.  
 
This material was prepared by MarketingPro, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. This information has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. Please note - investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All indices are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment.
   
Citations.
1 - investing.com/indices/volatility-s-p-500-historical-data [9/10/15]
2 - cnbc.com/2015/09/10/this-market-is-setting-a-wild-volatility-record.html [9/10/15]
3 - cnbc.com/2015/09/08/why-higher-market-volatility-is-the-new-norm.html [9/8/15]
4 - tinyurl.com/oksgh26 [8/25/15]
5 - thestreet.com/story/13263507/1/stocks-end-brutal-week-as-market-nears-correction.html [8/21/15]
6 - content.time.com/time/arts/article/0,8599,1882444,00.html [3/1/09]

Representatives are registered, securities are sold, and investment advisory services offered through CUNA Brokerage Services, Inc. (CBSI), member FINRA/SIPC , a registered broker/dealer and investment advisor, 2000 Heritage Way, Waverly, Iowa 50677, toll-free 800-369-2862. Nondeposit investment and insurance products are not federally insured, involve investment risk, may lose value and are not obligations of or guaranteed by the financial institution. CBSI is under contract with the financial institution, through the financial services program, to make securities available to members.

09152015-WR-1396

The Market’s Wild Swings

A hugely volatile week concludes. What’s next as earnings season gets underway?

Provided by TCU Investment Services
     
During this past trading week, volatility ruled Wall Street. In fact, stocks either fell or rose 1.5% or more on three consecutive trading days. That had happened only 54 times since 1928.1  
  
What prompted these ups & downs? Several factors. The International Monetary Fund just cut its global and Asia growth forecasts for 2015 and stated that the eurozone could soon slide into another recession. European Central Bank president Mario Draghi wants easing to stimulate the eurozone economy, yet German finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble doesn’t. The DAX and CAC 40 (the benchmark indices of Germany and France) have both corrected since spring.
 
So has the Russell 2000, which wrapped up last week down 13% from its peak in early March. Oil entered a bear market Thursday. Finally, the end of the month will presumably see the end of the Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing effort – which has played a big role in the market’s bull run. The S&P 500 ended Friday down more than 5% from its September 18 record close, and Friday actually saw a rare 100-point drop for the Nasdaq Composite (102.10, to be precise).2,3
      
Where might things go from here? Stocks could fall further – keep in mind that the S&P has gone more than two years without a correction, definitely an abnormality. On the other hand, fall earnings seasons have tended to give stocks a lift throughout history, so let’s hope history repeats. Bespoke Investments cites some encouraging data: in instances where the market sees 1.5% or greater swings on three straight trading days, the S&P has averaged a gain of 0.55% on the next trading day and 1.13% during the following trading week.1
   
How big a drag will Europe continue to exert on the market? Agreement between EU finance ministers would give domestic and foreign stocks a lift. If that isn’t there, perhaps earnings – the “mother’s milk” of stocks – will help guide the market back to equilibrium and gains.2 
  
Perhaps the wisest words came from Cornerstone Wealth Management CIO Alan Skrainka, who told USA TODAY Friday: “The market was overdue for a correction. Not every correction develops into a bear market. Every economic slowdown is not a recession. Look for opportunities and maintain a long-term perspective.”3
             
Contact a TCU Investment Services Representative for more information.
     
This material was prepared by MarketingPro, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. This information has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. Please note - investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All indices are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment.

Citations.
1 - tinyurl.com/k9nfbxc [10/10/14]
2 - bloomberg.com/news/2014-10-09/index-futures-slip-as-stocks-slump-while-oil-extends-drop.html [10/10/14]
3 - usatoday.com/story/money/markets/2014/10/10/stocks-friday/17022819/ [10/10/14]

Representatives are registered, securities are sold, and investment advisory services offered through CUNA Brokerage Services, Inc. (CBSI), member FINRA/SIPC , a registered broker/dealer and investment advisor, 2000 Heritage Way, Waverly, Iowa 50677, toll-free 800-369-2862. Nondeposit investment and insurance products are not federally insured, involve investment risk, may lose value and are not obligations of or guaranteed by the financial institution. CBSI is under contract with the financial institution, through the financial services program, to make securities available to members.

10142014-WR-1119

 

Diversification, Patience and Consistency

Three important factors when it comes to your financial life.

Regardless of how the markets may perform, consider making the following part of your investment philosophy:

Diversification. The saying “don’t put all your eggs in one basket” has real value when it comes to investing. In a bear OR bull market, certain asset classes may perform better than othersIf your assets are mostly held in one kind of investment (say, mostly in mutual funds, or mostly in CDs or money market accounts), you could be hit hard by stock market losses, or alternately lose out on potential gains that other kinds of investments may be experiencing. So there is an opportunity cost as well as risk.

This is why asset allocation strategies are used in portfolio management. A financial professional can ask you about your goals, tolerance for risk, and assign percentages of your assets to different classes of investments. This diversification is designed to suit your preferred investment style and your objectives.

Patience. Impatient investors obsess on the day-to-day doings of the stock market. Have you ever heard of “stock picking” or “market timing”? How about “day trading”? These are all attempts to exploit short-term fluctuations in value. These investing methods might seem fun and exciting if you like to micromanage, but they could add stress and anxiety to your life, and they may be a poor alternative to a long-range investment strategy built around your life goals.

Consistency. Most people invest a little at a time, within their budget, and with regularity. They invest $50 or $100 or more per month in their 401(k) and similar investments through payroll deduction or automatic withdrawal. In essence, they are investing on “autopilot” to help themselves build wealth for retirement and for long-range goals. Investing regularly (and earlier in life) helps you to take advantage of the power of compounding as well.

If you don’t have a long-range investment strategy, talk to a qualified financial advisor today.

Representatives are registered, securities are sold, and investment advisory services offered through CUNA Brokerage Services, Inc. (CBSI), member FINRA/SIPC , a registered broker/dealer and investment advisor, 2000 Heritage Way, Waverly, Iowa 50677, toll-free 800-369-2862. Nondeposit investment and insurance products are not federally insured, involve investment risk, may lose value and are not obligations of or guaranteed by the financial institution. CBSI is under contract with the financial institution, through the financial services program, to make securities available to members.

This material was prepared by MarketingLibrary.Net Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. 09102012-WR-588

 

Classic Investing Mistakes

How many can you prevent yourself from making? 

Year after year, in bull and bear markets, investors make some all-too-common blunders. They have been written about, talked about, and critiqued at some length – and yet they are still made. You can chalk them up to psychology, human nature, perhaps even a degree of peer pressure. You just don’t want to find yourself making them more than once.

#1: Caving into emotion. The deVere Group, which consults high net worth investors around the world, recently surveyed 880 of its clients and found that even with their experience, some had made the equivalent of a rookie mistake – 20% had let fear or greed prompt them into emotional investment decisions.¹

Investors use past performance to justify their greed – it did well recently, I better buy more of it – but past performance is merely history and represents a micro factor versus macroeconomic factors influencing sectors and markets. Fear prompts panic selling. How many investors draw on technical analysis or even stop-loss limits when shares suddenly decline? A stop-loss limit is handy for those who don’t want to watch the market every day – it instructs a brokerage to sell a stock if it drops below a specific value, often in the range of 8-10% of the purchase price.2
 
#2: Investing without a strategy. Some people invest with one idea in mind – making money. An outstanding goal to be sure, but it shouldn’t blind them to other priorities such as tax efficiency, managing risk and reviewing asset allocation. Even 22% of the investors in the deVere poll confessed to this.¹

#3: Not diversifying enough. Have you ever heard the phrase “familiarity bias”? This is when investors develop a “home team” attachment to an investment. Just as sports fans stick by the Celtics and the Cornhuskers and the Cubs through thick and thin, some investors stick with a few core investments for years. Maybe they work for XYZ Company or their mom did, or maybe they like what XYZ Company represents, so having a certain percentage of the portfolio in shares of XYZ Company gives them a good feeling. If XYZ Company craters, they won’t feel so good. You can hold too much of one investment, especially if a company rewards you with its stock.2

Conversely, some portfolios are overdiversified and hold too many investments. This is seldom the fault of investors; over time, they may end up with some shares of all the major companies in an industry group with a little help from Wall Street money managers. The core problem here is that not all of these companies can be winners.
 
#4: Slipshod tax management of investments. Sometimes certain investments within a taxable account will lose money, yet because of past gains they have made, the investor is stuck with capital gains tax. Some investments are better held in taxable accounts and others in tax-deferred accounts, as various types of investments are taxed at varying rates. When you retire and tap into your savings, you can potentially improve tax efficiency by drawing down your taxable accounts first, so that you'll face the capital gains tax rate (which may be 15% or even 0%) instead of the ordinary income tax rate.3

Also, when you pull money from your taxable accounts first, your tax-advantaged accounts get a little more time to grow and compound. If they are large, another year or two of growth and compounding could prove beneficial.

#5: Seldom reviewing portfolio allocations. A long-term asset allocation strategy starts with defined percentages. Over time – and it may not take much time – the percentage allocations go out of whack. A bull market may result in a greater percentage of your portfolio assets being held in stock, and while this overweighting may seem reasonable in the near term, it may not be what you want in the long term.
 
#6: Investing (or reinvesting) near a market peak. Many investors play the market in one direction, which is up – they buy with expectations that a sector or the broad market will keep climbing. Short selling stocks (i.e., seek to exploit falling stock prices) takes more skill than many investors have. A buy-and-hold philosophy may prove very rewarding, as long as you don’t hold too rigidly or too long in the event of a sustained, systemic shock to the markets.

An even keel promotes a steady course. Fear, greed, bias, randomness, inattention – these are the root causes of the classic investing blunders. We have all made them; patience and experience may help us avoid them in the future.
   
This material was prepared by MarketingPro, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. This information has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. Please note - investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All indices are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment.
   
Citations.
1 - thestreet.com/story/12733263/1/5-investing-mistakes-millionaires-make--but-theyre-still-rich.html [6/4/14]
2 - abcnews.go.com/Business/avoiding-sins-investing/story?id=18969850#.UXBFuco7bAJ [4/16/13]
3 - tinyurl.com/l6lkrfu [2/12/14]
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