Personal Capital’s Chief Investment Officer, Craig Birk, breaks down the major events in the financial markets in Q1 of 2019. These are excerpts from our full Q1 2019 Market Review & Commentary Report.
Global Stocks Rebound in Q1 After Q4 Correction
Global stocks rebounded following a significant correction in the fourth quarter of 2018. U.S. equities were up 14%, while international stocks gained 10.4%. Bonds also rallied. The correction last year was fueled by three primary fears: trade war, rising interest rates/ yield curve inversion, and slowing earnings growth. So far this year, each of those fears has regressed. Significant progress has been made toward a trade agreement with China, the Fed changed course and no longer expects to raise rates in 2019, and earnings results have been “good enough.”
U.S. Economy Continues Slow, But Steady Growth
The current economic expansion has been longer than most, but also characterized by slower average growth.
Ten years deep into a bull market feels to us to be the wrong time to be greedy. That said, we don’t see any compelling reason to believe the U.S. economy can’t continue to expand at a steady pace or anything suggesting that the short-term outlook for stocks carries more risk than normal.
Lyft, Other Impending IPOs Hit Headlines
Funding raised from IPOs is expected to approach or surpass $100 billion in 2019, a level last seen just before the dot-com crash. Some view this as a sign that the party in stocks (and especially the tech sector) is nearing an end. We’re not worried about it. The current shape of the yield curve is functionally flat, not inverted. A few basis points either way does not drive meaningful economic decisions.
Personal Capital Milestones
Personal Capital passed $9 billion of assets under management. A big part of our growth comes from client referrals. Thank you to all of our clients for making this possible.
We’re also excited to announce that Porter Gale, former CMO at Virgin America, has joined our executive team as Chief Marketing Officer.