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Market Outlook for 2020

What a year for investors in 2019.  If you can believe it, there have only been 4 years better for both stocks and bonds at the same time!  It certainly paid to stay invested, put your cash to work and ignore the noise of trade wars and politics.  No one was predicting a 31.5% gain for US stocks or a 8.7% rise in US bonds.  Which makes me leery to give you any sort of outlook or prognostication for what lies ahead in 2020.  Because even if we listen to the smartest people, or everyone is predicting the same winners and losers, everyone can certainly be wrong together as they were last year.

That being said, the skies are starting to get more cloudy each day but the weathermen aren’t calling for storms on the near horizon.  For despite the fact that we’ve had an 11-year bull market and all of the potential geo-political risks and the uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus and the upcoming elections, our economy is still growing at a decent pace, unemployment numbers are at historic lows, and valuations on stocks are higher than normal but not in crazy territory.

Here are a few of the formal commentaries from some of our portfolio managers and other respected voices that will add some additional color:

Blackrock commentary Q1 2020

The Market Has No Memory – Dimensional Fund Advisors

Vanguard Commentary Q1 2020

Rather than trying to be the smartest investor, my encouragement is rather to be the wise investor.  That means keeping a disciplined approach, possibly harvesting some of your gains (particularly if you have any upcoming major withdrawal needs), and to stay focused on the things you can control.  That includes your lifestyle and your attitude, but certainly not the markets, the weather, or your spouse.