volatilityBut there’s no shortage of opinion.

In late 2016, Natixis Global surveyed 500 institutional decision makers representing corporate pension plans, public pension plans, sovereign wealth funds, insurance companies, foundations, and endowments. Survey participants said market volatility, geopolitics, and interest rates were their top risk concerns for 2017.

So far, U.S. stock markets haven’t proven to be very volatile, but geopolitics caused some disruption last week. Barron’s reported:

“Stocks fell 1 percent last week in quiet trading, with many market participants out for religious observances. Worries about the war in Syria, North Korean saber-rattling, and the coming French elections had investors reining in riskier positions and heading for safe havens.

Real estate, utilities, and consumer-staples stocks were the only sectors that rose last week. Financials – and banks in particular – fell, despite strong earnings reports from the industry’s big kahunas.”

It was a tough week for stocks, but investors’ flight to safety caused Treasury bonds to rally. Reuters reported the interest rate on 10-year Treasury notes fell 14 basis points. That’s the biggest weekly decline since January 2016. (There is an inverse relationship between bond interest rates and bond prices. When interest rates fall, bond prices rise, and vice-versa.)

If and when volatility strikes, remember that volatility is a normal part of investing. For more information on the role volatility plays, see chapter 6 of my book, Mindful Money: Simple Practices for Reaching Your Financial Goals and Increasing Your Happiness Dividend.

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* These are the general views of Jonathan DeYoe and they should not be construed as investment advice for any individual.

* Government bonds and Treasury Bills are guaranteed by the U.S. government as to the timely payment of principal and interest and, if held to maturity, offer a fixed rate of return and fixed principal value. However, the value of fund shares is not guaranteed and will fluctuate.

* Corporate bonds are considered higher risk than government bonds but normally offer a higher yield and are subject to market, interest rate and credit risk as well as additional risks based on the quality of issuer coupon rate, price, yield, maturity, and redemption features.

* The Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. You cannot invest directly in this index.

* All indices referenced are unmanaged. Unmanaged index returns do not reflect fees, expenses, or sales charges. Index performance is not indicative of the performance of any investment.

* The Dow Jones Global ex-U.S. Index covers approximately 95% of the market capitalization of the 45 developed and emerging countries included in the Index.

* The 10-year Treasury Note represents debt owed by the United States Treasury to the public. Since the U.S. Government is seen as a risk-free borrower, investors use the 10-year Treasury Note as a benchmark for the long-term bond market.

* Gold represents the afternoon gold price as reported by the London Bullion Market Association. The gold price is set twice daily by the London Gold Fixing Company at 10:30 and 15:00 and is expressed in U.S. dollars per fine troy ounce.

* The Bloomberg Commodity Index is designed to be a highly liquid and diversified benchmark for the commodity futures market. The Index is composed of futures contracts on 19 physical commodities and was launched on July 14, 1998.

* The DJ Equity All REIT Total Return Index measures the total return performance of the equity subcategory of the Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) industry as calculated by Dow Jones.

* The original “Weekly Commentary” was prepared by Peak Advisor Alliance. Jonathan DeYoe is a member of Peak Advisor Alliance and adds, subtracts and edits before publishing.

* Yahoo! Finance is the source for any reference to the performance of an index between two specific periods.

* Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance.

* Economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted and there can be no guarantee that strategies promoted will be successful.

* Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investing involves risk, including loss of principal.

* You cannot invest directly in an index.

* Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.

* Stock investing involves risk including loss of principal.

* “No One Has a Crystal Ball…”

Sources:

https://ngam.natixis.com/cs/us/Render.jsp?did=1250236377948
http://www.barrons.com/articles/stocks-slip-1-on-week-as-geopolitical-worries-grow-1492229480?mod=BOL_hp_we_columns (or go to https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/peakcontent/+Peak+Commentary/04-17-17_Barrons-Stocks_Slip_1_Percent_on_Week_as_Geopolitical_Worries_Grow-Footnote_2.pdf)
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-global-markets-idUSKBN17F03U
http://www.investopedia.com/ask/answers/04/031904.asp
http://www.economist.com/news/science-and-technology/21720610-three-californian-engineers-have-found-out-answer-knotty-problem-how (or go to https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/peakcontent/+Peak+Commentary/04-17-17_TheEconomist-How_Shoelaces_Come_Undone-Footnote_5.pdf)
https://www.fieggen.com/shoelace/knots.htm
http://www.improbable.com/ig/
http://itsamoneything.com/money/quote-change-machine-changed-george-carlin/#.WPOFPRiZO7o

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