Another very volatile month in the markets. Stocks managed to recover some of the previous month’s losses but are still down year-to-date. Yet stocks still hold significant gains from a year ago. Bonds generally slipped in April, with rising interest rates. Our average diversified portfolio holds year end value even though taking a slight dip in April. The volatility in our average portfolio is also lower.
The change in Federal Reserve Chair this winter, from Yellen to Powell, has brought a shift in approach by the Fed, and this changes the way we interpret the indicators. The new Fed approach is more “hawkish,” planning to continue to raise interest rates beyond the previous plan. The stress this approach will place on the market suggests we begin our plan to protect client portfolios. Over coming months, we will be recommending harvesting some growth from stock positions and placing it in more secure investments against less prosperous markets. It is a proactive move but it seems like it is time.
Daffodils and forsythia are finally having their golden day. What claws this winter season had, gripping tenaciously to our fragile spring. The aged pear tree that has always blossomed by mid-April still has tight buds. Interestingly, the first asparagus appeared right on schedule. These shoots come from deep underground, not depending on the vagaries of the air. The power of the north-bound sun still warms the earth despite a volatile atmosphere. Blooms inspire but roots must be in a solid place.