Summer 2018 Investment Report

August 22, 2018

In the first six months of 2018, we have seen a sharp increase in market volatility, as compared to 2017. This volatility has developed as investors digested mixed global economic data, higher US interest rates and increasing concerns of a global trade war. At the end of the second quarter, the broad MSCI World Index was flat for the year, with US equities up 3% and international developed stocks down 3%. Emerging market stocks have seen greater volatility (down 8% for the quarter) due to increased sensitivity to global trade and a strong US dollar. Fortunately, US stock earnings have been less worrisome, with most companies benefitting from healthy sales growth and a lower corporate tax rate. That said, looking forward, we expect the companies we invest in to grow their earnings over 20% in 2018, with +/-10% growth in 2019. With these estimates, our portfolio of stocks trade at a reasonable 17x price-earnings ratio (P/E).