Holding Fast in Shifting Tides: Bartlett Market Outlook, 2019

In January, Bartlett Wealth Management delivered its annual Market Outlook presentation at downtown’s Queen City Club. With many Bartlett partners, clients, and COI members in attendance for the event, the theme of “Shifting Tides” offered insights for anticipating and managing economic trends in the coming year.

Watch a video recording of the full presentation above. You can also download the PDF version of the handout that attendees received during the presentation here. Below are highlights, along with timestamps noting where you can find these points in the video presentation.

Read on, as we at Bartlett look forward to sharing another exciting year of prosperity and partnership!

Bartlett President and CEO Kelley Downing kicked things off with a look back at 2018. The firm celebrated the milestone year by completing a brand refresh, contributing to community development projects, and welcoming new Client Service Associate Tara Britton, Investment Advisor Associate Aliya Riddle, and Financial Planning Associate Simon Lawson.

 

Wealth Advisor and Principal Lori Poole spoke briefly, describing financial planning as a process that Bartlett uses to help clients to identify and most importantly, prioritize, their goals. (04:21) “The bottom line is we really want our clients to come away from this process with peace of mind.” said Lori, who then turned the microphone over to Wealth Advisor and Principal Jim Hagerty for a candid look back at Bartlett’s 2018 Market Outlook hits and misses. (08:20) Hagerty introduced a three-person panel of Bartlett Wealth Advisors to paint a picture of the year ahead.

 

Holly Mazzocca was the first panelist to speak, providing an overview of current global instability and its power to impact economic markets at home in the U.S. (17:52) Holly cited the spread of populism and wide-reaching tariffs across France, Italy, Germany, the UK, and China as trends Bartlett advisors are watching closely, monitoring their combined impact on the U.S. economy. “The 30-year narrative of globalization is starting to face some roadblocks and we’re keeping a close eye on this heightened level of uncertainty for individuals, companies, and economies across the globe,” said Mazzocca.

 

Turning the conversation back to the U.S. economy, panelist Chris Robbins highlighted positive economic growth and record-low unemployment, in opposition to a difficult fourth quarter that saw fierce sell-offs and a year-end Dow in negative territory. (28:02) As Robbins pointed out, Leading Economic Indicators, or LEIs, continue trending upward, a positive sign that the economy is generally good, even though the markets have been anxious in recent months.

 

“The economy is growing but the growth rate has slowed,” said Robbins. “The areas of economic risk that deserve our attention are obviously the things that Holly mentioned, but also what the Fed is doing is going to be increasingly important here in the U.S. Volatility has made its comeback, and we expect that to continue.”

 

Craig Sarembock rounded out the panel discussion with a more in-depth look at what that increased volatility could mean for investors in 2019. (41:20) Recalling the presentation theme of “Shifting Tides”, Sarembock said, “After a few years of relative calm in the markets for investors, the rough ocean seas are right back in front of us and you’re likely anxious about what to do.” Sarembock outlined three key themes in Bartlett’s strategy to steer clients back to calmer waters:

 

  1. Bonds and cash will play an increasingly pivotal role in managing risk and portfolios going forward.
  2. High-quality, fortress-like U.S. companies will be a preferred asset class in an uncertain and increasingly volatile world.
  3. Bartlett advisors are here to help steer clients through these uncharted waters with sound asset allocation.

 

“As we think about the rest of 2019 and going forward, really we’re stressing prudence over aggressiveness,” said Sarembock. “We think that having some exposures to short term bonds and cash will really help stabilize some of this volatility and give you some pretty attractive yields for not taking on maturity risk. Really focus on those high quality companies, the companies where you’re seeing their dividends increased, you’re seeing them buy back stock, you’re seeing them reinvest in their business.”

 

Following a brief audience Q&A session (56:14), Jim Hagerty concluded the presentation by thanking attendees for their partnership and inviting anyone with outstanding questions to email their contact at Bartlett. If you have questions or comments after reviewing Bartlett’s Market Outlook, please reach out to a Bartlett Advisor today.

 

Disclosure: This material provided by Bartlett Wealth Management (“Bartlett”) is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to serve as a substitute for personalized investment advice or as a recommendation or solicitation of any particular security, strategy or investment product. Opinions expressed by Bartlett are based on economic or market conditions at the time this material was written. Economies and markets fluctuate. Actual economic or market events may turn out differently than anticipated. Fact presented have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable. Bartlett, however, cannot guarantee the accuracy or completeness of such information, and certain information presented here may have been condensed or summarized from its original source. Any reference to a market or asset class index is included for illustrative purposes only, as an index is not a security in which an investment can be made. Indices are unmanaged vehicles that serve as market indicators and do not account for the deduction of management fees and/or transaction costs generally associated with investable products. The holdings and performance of Bartlett client accounts may vary widely from those of the presented indices. Any referenced or included research reports reflect the opinions of the issuing firm at the time written and may not represent the opinions of Bartlett.