Stock markets rose about two percent in September, adding to investment portfolios. Smaller company stocks have lagged this year until September when they overtook returns of large companies. The September rise in markets extends the longer trend this year with strong stock performance. We continue to expect more upside growth in the market for now.
The data breach of nearly half the credit records at Equifax this summer set everyone at risk. The rating agencies collect data on everyone’s financial history. That their records cannot be secured heightens everyone’s unease about information security. We emailed a letter to all clients with information, advice, and instructions for dealing with this. If you did not receive this information you can call our office to request it. The stolen data will be sold to thieves. Social Security data in particular can be used years from now.
The effect of more frequent weather disasters on stock markets is more long term. There is currently no stock market correlation to hurricane, wildfire and earthquake disasters. The biggest impact of disasters is on real estate, insurance, energy, and agriculture. So far the average frequency for disasters is about every 3 years. Insurance and infrastructure need to improve to hedge against the negative effects of more frequent disasters. The impact on people’s lives is of course our real concern and finding ways to help those affected is always a priority.
We love it when summer lingers. This season can stretch as long as it likes. Tomatoes are ripening in the garden at last and fresh tomato on pasta is added to the seasonal menu. Even the trees are taking their time moving into a new season. Color creeps slowly into the foliage. Winter can wait.