The quarter has come to a close, and there is plenty to report both from Personal Capital and from the global markets. Greece dominates global financial news, there’s talk of a “Grexit” from the Eurozone, and at home in the US media have portrayed markets as more volatile than they are.
What’s our take on developments this quarter? As we reached $1.5 billion AUM at Personal Capital, these were a few of our top insights:
•The S&P 500 posted its 10th consecutive quarterly gain in Q2, but the headline was more impressive than the news. The absolute gain was 0.2%, and total return is just 1.1% for the year.
•International Stocks, as measured by the FTSE All Country ex-US Index were up more than 6% at one point during the quarter, but finished with a total return of less than 1%.
•Greece continues to generate short-term volatility, and an exit from the Euro would make some waves, but we no longer believe investors should be overly concerned about the impact of Greece on their portfolios.
•Several signs suggest the current bull market is getting tired, but we see no reason to be outright bearish or consider moving away from strategic, long-term asset allocations.
•We expect the Fed to raise rates in 2015, but that future increases will be modest and spaced well apart. This implies bonds will continue to provide better returns than cash in aggregate over the next few years.
•On June 22nd, Personal Capital released Retirement Planner as a core feature of our Financial Dashboard. It provides substantial advantages to how we manage client assets and we believe it is a fantastic planning tool for anyone who uses Personal Capital to track their net worth.
•China has slowly taken steps to open its capital markets. Index providers are considering whether to include Chinese A shares. At least one major Emerging Markets ETF will be changing its composition to do so.
•Personal Capital now manages $1.5 billion.
And that’s not all that happened in the last 3 months. Check out our newly released quarterly report for more updates here: Q2 Quarterly Report.
Craig Birk, CFP®
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