So what is the good news about retirement plans and savings? On the private side, which by the way makes up two thirds of US GDP, there is good news. Seventy-five percent of retirees tell the Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finances that they have “at least enough to maintain their standard of living”. Eight of ten and six of ten of retiree households and of working age households, respectively, tell Gallup they have enough money to “live comfortably”. 
What should be the focus of an investment newsletter? We agree that imparting insights about what the next one to three-year period may bring is both interesting and useful. What if what an investor should be doing over the next 10 to 20 years is actually “set in stone”? Well, then, reinforce the 10 to 20-year strategy without being pedantic (page 1, we hope) and provide the one to three-year insights and tactical advice elsewhere in the newsletter.
The behavior of equity markets in the first quarter of 2019 was nearly the mirror image of the fourth quarter of 2018. Global equities rallied strongly with U.S. stocks leading the way, reversing the sharp U.S.-led downturn in the fourth quarter. After falling by -13.52% in the fourth quarter of last year and by -4.38% for all of 2018 including dividends, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index returned +13.65% in the first quarter of 2019, its best quarterly return in ten years. The S&P 500 ended the quarter just 3.3% shy of its all-time closing high established on September 20, 2018.
A long term investor usually has two time horizons in mind when thinking about investing – what will happen over the next twelve months (tactical) and what will happen over the next twenty years (strategic). Tactical thinking should take into account liquidity needs over the next year, current fundamental or valuation concerns and/or a buying reserve for expected opportunities. The strategic is normally the easier question to answer because of market history.