I think “roller coaster” would be the optimal word in describing the first quarter of 2016. We got off to one of the worst starts in U.S. market history. I wrote about this subject in my January blog post, “This Too Shall Pass.” But wow, what a recovery! Amazingly, stocks (represented by the S&P 500) ended the quarter in positive territory by +1.35%.
I’m going to share three charts with you:
Here is the full roller coaster ride, from January 1, 2016 through March 31, 2016:
This next chart illustrates the peak-to-trough slide from January 1, 2016 through February 11, 2016, during which the S&P 500 lost -10.27%:
And finally, the recovery from February 11, 2016 through March 31, 2016, during which the S&P 500 gained 11.58%:
If you went to sleep on January 1st and woke up on April 1st, you’d think this quarter was a snoozer.
This was a perfect example of how swift and dramatic a stock market recovery can be. The market can turn on a dime, and without warning. That is why market predictions and forecasts are so futile.
One of the most difficult aspects of this job is counseling patience and calm during times of great stress and emotion. It is also one of the most rewarding parts of the job because we are confident in our advice, and the investment strategy over the long-term.
We don’t know where the markets are headed in the short-term – no one does. But we invest with a conviction that the U.S. and global economies will continue moving forward and upward, in spite of the bumps in the road.
*Source: Morningstar Direct