July markets continued to climb with both stocks and bonds gaining over the month. Only small company value stocks – the long term leaders – slipped a bit. Technology stocks continue to outperform the rest of the market. There is an acronym for today’s leading technology companies: FAANG, for Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, and Google. If tech stocks crash the S&P would drop about 20%. If they continue strong the markets could rise another 17%. A bull market correction of 10% down is the middle road. Meantime you can enjoy the recent growth in your portfolio.
Some expert analysts figure we are now in a secular bull market that may run another five years or more. There will likely be some 10-20% drops in the market (as we had in 2015-16) in the interim but it should be easier to realize market gains going forward than it was for the first dozen years of this century. We still think that stock prices have yet to peak before we will expect a major correction.
Plenty of sunshine, enough rain to keep the grass green, enough heat to suit the beach and require ice in a drink – in many ways this is an ideal summer. The phantom deer have reduced the July garden flowers to daisies, purple Echinacea, bee balm, and sweet peas. I wonder when they visit. We returned from vacation to find the birds around but every bunny, squirrel and chipmunk gone. We had been overrun. It was almost eerie. The result of a fox or coyote perhaps, but no sign of them now. Garden mysteries.