1. Prior to Feb 19 when the S&P 500 Index hit a high of 3,386, there were questions of a potential “bubble” developing in the markets. Certainly, with the recent selloff due to the virus epidemic and the OPEC oil headlines, most suggestions of any kind of bubble have all but evaporated. But one befuddling shift has been how investors have been pouring money into bond funds and taking money out of equity funds before all this happened. In 2019, taxable bond funds took in a record $414 billion according to Morningstar Inc. At the same time, mutual funds and ETFs with US stocks had an outflow of $72 billion. And the trend started as far back as 2000. You can read more from Jason Zweig on how this is taking shape.
2. “This Has Been the Best Year Ever” is the actual title of an article written in the NY Times on Dec 28, 2019. It may not relate directly to our current challenges of 2020 with COVID 19 or the oil price war, but the message of the article goes way beyond today’s headlines. It offers a sizable dose of optimism which is quite timely. You can also search for it with the title, date and the NY Times.
3. Unless you have traveled to Africa, I imagine it would be almost impossible to comprehend its size. With this graphic we only begin to understand it’s enormity. The Mercator projection also offers an interesting perspective which is certainly unique.
FourThoughts – Jim Butler, CFP®, AIF®
FourFront Advisors LLC
March 16, 2020