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Loud Noises and the Return of Volatility

Nicholas Lacy, CFA, Chief Portfolio Strategist, reflects on how markets adjusted to increased uncertainty in the first quarter.

March 29, 2018

U.S. equity markets soared to record highs at the end of January only to reverse course into a freefall over the next several days. The remainder of the first quarter was choppy as investors grappled with increased uncertainty following an extended period of steady gains against a quiet market backdrop.

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Why Am I Saving and Investing?

Why am I saving and investing? After a week like last week, it’s an important question. There are many reasons people save and invest. Click here to continue reading.

The Return of Volatility – Man vs. Machine

See below for thoughts on the current market environment by Nick Lacy, CFA, Chief Portfolio Strategist of Asset Management Services with Raymond James.

After an extended two-year period of “quiet” that saw U.S. equity markets steadily climb to record highs, volatility made its long-awaited appearance last week. Since January 29, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has fallen 10.2% (at the time of this writing), marking an official equity market correction. So, what caused these market jitters? For the full article, click here.

Ideas Worth Thinking About When Markets are Moving

Here’s a number most people would like to see on an annual statement: 21.6 percent. That was the annual return for the Standard & Poor (S&P) 500 Index during 2017. In general, U.S. stock indices did quite well last year – and the year before, too. For instance, the S&P 500 Index was up 11.8 percent in 2016.1

While no one can invest directly in an index, recent returns make it easy to understand why U.S. stock markets have been popular with investors. Morningstar reported record amounts of money were invested in various types of U.S. stock investments during 2017.2

Whenever large numbers of investors are doing the same thing, a prudent course of action is to step back, take a breath, and evaluate the situation. Here are two questions that deserve some thought:

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