Semi-Annual Investment Memo

Ben Waller, CFA, CFP® |

We hope that you and your families had a happy holiday season and New Year!


Equity markets fell broadly in the second half of 2018. For the first time since 2008, the S&P 500 ended the year in negative territory, falling 4.38%. Large US companies performed better than small US companies, and US equity markets fared better than their International counterparts.  


While it is always difficult to watch account values fall over a short period, we remain steadfast in our belief that equities present the best opportunity for investors to grow their wealth over time. Investors are rewarded commensurately for taking prudent risks. Equity markets can and do experience losses from time to time. Our best advice has always been to remember that stocks are most appropriately held as long-term investments. Even with the recent losses, US equity investors have still been well rewarded over time, with the S&P 500 rising 8.5% annually over the past 5 years, 13.12% over the past 10 years, and 7.77% annually for the past 15 years running. Please remember to fall back on this longer-term perspective when doubts and fear arise. Those investors who have continued to own stocks, despite uncertainty, were rewarded immensely for the risks they took.   


Our strategy regarding the equity markets has not changed due to the recent increased volatility we have experienced. The beneficial qualities of owning stocks have not changed in our opinion. We continue to invest in equities with a long-term focus. For those investors for whom stocks remain appropriate, we have not adjusted our thinking. As always, please contact us if you have concerns or if your circumstances have changed.


U.S. fixed income indices rose in the second half of 2018 and were slightly positive for the year. The Federal Reserve (Fed) raised their target interest rate four times in 2018. The Fed cited strong economic data as justification for increasing short-term rates. However, additional rate hikes in 2019 remain unclear and the Fed has indicated that they will proceed based on prevailing economic conditions. Our strategy regarding fixed income investments has not changed. We continue to manage fixed income portfolios in a manner that reflects the circumstances of each client. Please contact us directly to review your fixed income allocation if applicable.


Finally, please let us know how we can help assist you with your charitable giving. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2018 has made charitable giving more nuanced from a tax perspective. For those clients over the age of 70 ½, giving charitable gifts directly from an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) is a compelling option. There are other solutions for clients in different circumstances, such as Donor Advised Funds or giving appreciated stock positions. Please contact us to discuss these options or any other concerns that you may have.




Please remember that past performance may not be indicative of future results.  Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance that the future performance of any specific investment, investment strategy, or product (including the investments and/or investment strategies recommended or undertaken by WBH Advisory, Inc. [“WBH”]), or any non-investment related content, made reference to directly or indirectly in this blog will be profitable, equal any corresponding indicated historical performance level(s), be suitable for your portfolio or individual situation, or prove successful.  Due to various factors, including changing market conditions and/or applicable laws, the content may no longer be reflective of current opinions or positions.  Moreover, you should not assume that any discussion or information contained in this blog serves as the receipt of, or as a substitute for, personalized investment advice from WBH.  Please remember that if you are a WBH client, it remains your responsibility to advise WBH, in writing, if there are any changes in your personal/financial situation or investment objectives for the purpose of reviewing/evaluating/revising our previous recommendations and/or services, or if you would like to impose, add, or to modify any reasonable restrictions to our investment advisory services. To the extent that a reader has any questions regarding the applicability of any specific issue discussed above to his/her individual situation, he/she is encouraged to consult with the professional advisor of his/her choosing. WBH is neither a law firm nor a certified public accounting firm and no portion of the blog content should be construed as legal or accounting advice. A copy of the WBH’s current written disclosure Brochure discussing our advisory services and fees is available for review upon request or at Please Note: WBH does not make any representations or warranties as to the accuracy, timeliness, suitability, completeness, or relevance of any information prepared by any unaffiliated third party, whether linked to WBH’s web site or blog or incorporated herein, and takes no responsibility for any such content. All such information is provided solely for convenience purposes only and all users thereof should be guided accordingly. Please Also Note: IF you are a WBH client, Please advise us if you have not been receiving account statements (at least quarterly) from the account custodian.