U.S Midterm Elections and the Markets

On November 6, 2018, U.S. voters will determine whether Republicans maintain control of both chambers of Congress. Up for election are all 435 House seats and 35 of 100 Senate seats. At stake for investors is the impact the midterm elections could have both on corporate earnings and on the U.S. economy. It’s interesting to note that according to Bloomberg since 1946, the S&P 500 has never declined in the 12 months following midterm elections. Furthermore, the S&P 500 has seen an average fourth-quarter return of 7.9% during midterm election years. That being said, I feel comfortable saying we should expect heightened volatility during and after this election season given the current administration and sitting President.

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Florida Georgia Line Bass Player - Tom Beaupre

Please welcome Tom Beaupre as the President of Musician and Artist Relations for LPWM Group.

Tom has been the Bass player for Florida Georgia Line (FGL) since roommates Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard formed the group in 2010. Having performed in well over 1000 shows with FGL, Tom is excited about combining his skills and passion for music and expanding his business and entrepreneur acumen.

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Taking Stock of the Recent Volatility

Market pullbacks and violent spikes in volatility can be unnerving, as they were last week when the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell more than 800 points on Wednesday, October 10th, and more than 540 points on Thursday, October 11th. As we wrote in the first quarter of this year after a swift decline in U.S stocks, it is important for our investors to not panic and let their emotions take over when turbulence hits portfolios. Rather, these periods should be used as a reason to analyze and assess investment objectives and investment time horizons for each asset class.

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Q1 2018 Economic and Market Perspective

As expected (and stated in our Q4 2017 report) volatility has made its presence known as stock and bond markets around the world suffered losses during the first quarter of 2018. The S&P 500 had a 1% single day swing 23 times during Q1. This occurred only 8 times in total during 2017. The CBOE Volatility index (VIX) catapulted 81% during the first quarter and posted a 20% plus jump during 6 trading days – the most ever for a quarter. A strong start to the year, in the U.S. equity markets, with a string of record high closing prices in January quickly retracted to end the quarter in negative territory with the S&P 500 index down 0.8% and the Russell 2000 down 0.1%. The only two equity market sectors to post positive Q1 returns were Technology (+3.53%) and Consumer Discretionary (+3.10%). Fixed Income markets suffered similar results with the Bloomberg Barclays U.S. Aggregate Bond Index down 1.46% and the ICE U.S. Treasury 20+ year Bond Index down 3.36%.

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