Greenville, South Carolina, 30th August 2022, ZEXPRWIRE, Shari Bevan, the founder of Bevan Wealth Strategies, reviews one of the best-performing months in the stock market despite prevailing uncertainties.
According to Bevan, in July, stocks had the best month since November 2021. That’s despite the Fed raising rates by another 75bps, its fourth increase in 2022. Nonetheless, recent comments from Fed Chairman Jerome Powell allude to a potential slowdown in increases in the future.
This month, Shari Bevan is featuring critical insights from Global X, J.P. Morgan, and BlackRock. Bevan notes that Equity markets rallied in July after dipping into bear market territory for the second time this year. The S&P 500 Index gained 9.22%, propelled by better-than-expected financial results from companies and expectations that the Fed would pare back its monetary policy. Areas of the market that have seen substantial weakness this year, including large-cap tech names such as Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, and Alphabet, surprised analysts with solid results.
MARKET RETURNS AS OF JULY 31, 2022
Roughly 70% of the S&P 500 companies that reported results beat earnings, compared to the average quarterly earnings, which beat 66%. This was in large part because companies have been able to pass on price increases to consumers without much pushback. However, while the company reports are essential, many analysts believe it is more important to pay attention to company outlooks and forecasts for the year’s second half.
THE FED AND RATES
For the past few months, the Fed’s priority has been trying to get inflation under control. And most of the managers we spoke to believe inflation may have peaked in July. In the Fed’s July meeting, the Fed increased rates by 75bps.
However, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell alluded to its willingness to potentially reduce the pace of interest rate hikes as the economy cools. J.P. Morgan Asset Management noted that inflation is already starting to cool in specific areas of the economy, including oil and gas prices and airline fares.
The real question is whether the Fed will be willing to wait for this to show up in the data or if the Fed will race to stomp out demand before it does through additional rate hikes. Global X Chief Investment Officer Jon Maier says inflation, a strong U.S. labor market, and healthy retail sales data have increased pressure on the Fed to control inflation.
However, there are growing signs of weakness in the U.S. economy, and CPI is a lagging indicator. If there is a sustained decline in commodity prices, this could help moderate input costs. Still, elevated food prices may remain above the Fed’s 2% inflation target for an extended period. Click here to take a few minutes to read the Investment Insights from Global X.
Like Global X, many managers report seeing a lot of conflicting economic data and assert that it is too soon to tell where the economy is going. BlackRock shares that despite being in one of the tightest labor markets in recent years, alternative data points that correlate with job openings suggest weakening hiring demand. The consumer’s financial health remains intact as spending remains strong and deposits are high. And while margins are coming under pressure, corporate balance sheets are still healthy with normal leverage levels.
It’s been a challenging start to the year for traditional portfolios. Meera Pandit, Global Market Strategist for J.P. Morgan Asset Management, acknowledges that while the traditional 60/40 portfolio has been particularly punished this year, she has no reason to believe it is dead. She says,
“Since 1980, there have been nine instances in which the 60/40 fell more than 10% within a given year. Yet, investors who were patient with their portfolios were often rewarded with a rebound. In five of those years, returns still ended the year positively. In eight of the nine instances, returns the following calendar year were positive, with an average return of over 17%.” Read more from J.P. Morgan here.
Shari Bevan reinforces this view by looking at the moves that JP Morgan is looking to make. J.P. Morgan Asset Management’s CreativeOne Wealth will position its models more defensively in the third quarter.
They are looking to bring the stock/bond split closer to benchmark, reduce active tilts to sector and factor bets, maintain their preference of U.S. over international, and move their fixed income investments up in credit quality.
For questions or concerns regarding your portfolio positions, or if you have any changes to your goals, risk tolerance, or time horizon, please contact Shari Bevan and schedule a conversation.
Shari Bevan is the founder of Bevan Wealth and Tax Strategies. She is an attorney, a Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU), and a Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC). Bevan has focused her career on trusts and helping individuals and businesses do proper asset protection planning. Shari is also an attorney and a trusted wealth advisor.
This information is not intended to be investment, legal, or tax advice. Investing involves risk, including the loss of principal. No investment strategy can guarantee a profit or protect against loss in a period of declining values. Duly registered individuals offer investment advisory services on behalf of ChangePath, LLC, a Registered Investment Adviser. Bevan Wealth & Tax Strategies and Change Path, LLC are not affiliated.
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Disclaimer: The views, suggestions, and opinions expressed here are the sole responsibility of the experts. No Daily Scotland News journalist was involved in the writing and production of this article.