As you receive your first quarter investment statements, you will probably notice that we had a fantastic first quarter of market performance. The domestic and foreign markets gained nearly ten percent, and the S&P 500 and NASDAQ pushed further into double-digits.
Unfortunately, we have seen some renewed volatility in April amid concerns about both the domestic and foreign economies. European issues have resurfaced, with the focus now on Spain and Italy instead of Greece. Job creation continues to be a problem in the US economy, and rising oil and gas prices have renewed concerns about the effect of energy prices on the finances of the middle-class American family.
Does this mean we are in for another year like 2011 as we head towards the summer? Not necessarily. While it is true that the markets started strong last year as well before the extreme volatility of the third and fourth quarters, many would argue that the dip in the markets in April might have been due to the speed with which the markets increased late last year through the end of March. There certainly are concerns about the US and foreign economic situations, but many of the concerns being mentioned as reasons for April’s volatility were also present during the markets’ fantastic run over the past few months and should not be considered to be startling new problems.
The markets may continue to experience fluctuations in the coming months, and that is a great reason to consult with your Wealth Manager or Financial Advisor to ensure that your investment strategy is still on target for your goals and in-line with your risk tolerance.