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2018: The Year of Investment Quality

Investing is on many people’s minds, with record returns and bitcoin grabbing headlines left and right. And politics claim a similar status, as nobody can deny that the president’s every move has garnered media attention, both positive and negative.

So, it’s no surprise the link between economics and politics is as strong as ever, and that many folks think the market is being driven by the president and his policies.

But, if you were invested around President Trump, meaning you owned a portfolio of Trump business holdings, you’d trail the market.

The tech sector was the area we were supposed to avoid because Silicon Valley didn’t support the president. Well, tech stock returns have nearly doubled the rest of the market.

Yes, tax laws are changing, which helps investors feel good. But, it seems the good feelings are being fed by companies outperforming estimates.

Still, with valuations at astronomical levels and the Fed raising rates while also reducing its balance sheet, who knows what lies ahead? Will investors still absorb risk so freely?

Time will tell.

Most estimates for future returns are lukewarm, including from Vanguard and Fidelity, two well-known investment firms. In other words, rough roads may be in our future.

If you think about it, many people, including me, have been saying we’re due for an adjustment. But then markets keep producing record returns.

Regardless, I think 2018 is a good time to focus on portfolio quality and diversification.

So, perhaps the 2018 mantra for investors should be to invest in companies with strong fundamentals and market presence, and avoid chasing hype.

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