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When Treed by a Bear

We hope this market update finds you enjoying time with your family and friends during this holiday season. We are taking a moment to reflect on the past year, but are looking toward the future as we ring in 2019. 

What To Do With a Bear Market

Almost every Monday morning, we sit down collectively as a group to discuss the markets, firm business, and our client’s accounts. This leads us into a variety of topics and discussions that could take years, if not a lifetime to discuss.  However, each time we sit down to discuss sending a communiqué to our clients and friends, it seems as if the markets are behaving like a two year old that wants it’s way, but hasn’t figured out what they really want – they just like the attention.  We have talked about a lot of subjects and discussed many things on the minds of our clients and have come to the same conclusion… there are a lot of things to talk about, however, when you remove politics, religion and money the things our mothers and fathers said shouldn’t be discussed – it leaves us with very few things to talk about.

The Market This Past Month

The market has been more bear like than bull like this month leaving every investor with a little more angst than usual.  Dr. Malcolm Moos was the president of the University of Minnesota from 1967-1974, which was a rather tumultuous time, and where college campuses seemed like the perfect place to demonstrate ones views, and opinions on the direction our country was heading.  Students were protesting and had taken over a building on campus. Many thought that they had more buildings within their sights.  This became a major concern to most everyone around, but Dr. Moos stayed cool and calm. He was asked by a reporter, how can you stay so calm through such a difficult time, and he said, “ When treed by a bear, enjoy the scenery”.  Dr. Malcolm Moos is often credited with his ability to handle difficult situations in a calm and collective way.  He spent a lot of his growing up years in Northern Minnesota, and learned how to deal with difficult situations through nature - like life they have a lot of similarities.
It feels at times, as investors, a bear has treed us.  A Government shutdown is looming.  The Fed announced an interest rate hike, which worried investors that we may go into a recession.  Global growth seems anemic and there is great concern that China’s growth has slowed from it’s fevered pace over the last decade to a more sustainable pace. Trade wars between China and the U.S. have been getting more and more heated.

Over the years we have read countless articles that spell trouble in the headline only to end up in the basket of worry that only a historian could appreciate many years later. There will always be concerns and worries; after all it is the human condition. Thoughtful leadership, whether it is corporate America, politicians, or hard working Americans has always prevailed in the long run.

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