Markets are sensitive to risk. We know that. According to analysts at Lockwood Advisors, only 8% of global economies are now growing above recent averages; but, the U.S. is still the best; the G10 countries are the worst. Headwinds do include politics: Many market insiders are worried about a reversal of tax cuts and the anti-business stance of many incoming members of Congress.
Just like back in 1950 (remember?) the U.S. economy has been growing above recent potential, propelled by the growth spurt from major corporate and personal tax cuts; however these cuts just might have staying power since they’re not based on wealth redistribution. The real headwinds just may be coming from two economic realities: Demographics and the large U.S. government debt.
The aging population, increasing the percentage of the population in the decumulation stage, may apply downward pressure on growth for decades. The Administration on Aging estimates that the population age 60 or older will increase by 21% between 2010 and 2020 and by 39% between 2010 and 2050.
Most people, it’s safe to say, think of future market returns using a frame of reference based on the past. Indeed, most advisors – I’m guilty too – continually put-up mountain charts to show clients what’s happened before even as we tell them it’s no guarantee it will happen again. But, the baby-boomers who remember the 1950s and 1960s – and especially the go-go 1990s – should be reminded the current is no longer flowing in the same direction. Defensive allocations just might be the best defense going forward.
Hope you find this helpful!
Jim Lorenzen is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® professional and an ACCREDITED INVESTMENT FIDUCIARY® serving private clients since 1991. Jim is Founding Principal of The Independent Financial Group, a registered investment advisor with clients located across the U.S.. He is also licensed for insurance as an independent agent under California license 0C00742. The Independent Financial Group does not provide legal or tax advice and nothing contained herein should be construed as securities or investment advice, nor an opinion regarding the appropriateness of any investment to the individual reader. The general information provided should not be acted upon without obtaining specific legal, tax, and investment advice from an appropriate licensed professional.