Golf vs. Investing
Market Commentary

The Markets

Spring has arrived and Jon Rahm just became the fourth golfer from Spain to win the green jacket at The Masters!

So let’s talk golf for a moment. Throughout the course of the event, or any golf match, decisions must be made regarding risk/reward. Do I try to hit over a water hazard or go around? Do I swing for the green, like Kevin Costner in the film “Tin Cup”? Or do I play it safe?

Sometimes that decision can lead to an exciting, successful outcome, and other times that same decision is a setback. In “Tin Cup” the outcome is … both. But unlike in the movies, one singular decision rarely determines the final outcome of the match, because there are four days of decisions like that.

Investing is similar. Investors are sometimes willing to take on risks to achieve their long-term financial goals, but not everyone handles it the same way. Some people are willing to embrace risk, and others prefer a less adventurous option. While it’s not possible to completely eliminate the risks associated with investing, managing investment risk – with asset allocation, diversification, and other strategies – is possible. This is where I can be of help.

Last year was a difficult market from start to finish, but it’s a new year and another beginning. We are facing some significant issues this year, with the recent troubles of the banks and the war in Europe getting more complicated. There are also signs of a recession in some sectors of the markets. The data supports the opinion that the average bear market has lasted approximately 1 ½ years, so I am keeping my eye on that statistic. I have also modified many client portfolios to reflect this current environment.

“The smartest thing to do when you have a lot of uncertainty is to sit back and gather information and do your analysis, and not jump trying to make big changes,” stated a source cited by Lu Wang and Isabelle Lee of Bloomberg. Uncertainty is likely to persist as economists and analysts assess how the American economy may be affected.

It’s Emotional

When the dangers of secondhand smoke were confirmed, an early solution in many restaurants was the no-smoking section, and visitors had strong feelings about which side they preferred.

Researchers report that emotions may be contagious. When an expressive friend, family member, or stranger shows emotion, it can influence the mood of those around them. In other words, exposure to positive emotions can invoke happiness and goodwill in others, while negative emotions may spread stress and anxiety.

We experience an example of this every evening through the toxicity of our news media, regardless of which side you’re on politically. The drumbeat of negative news begins well before the dinner hour and continues through 11 p.m., day after day. And, certain channels provide looping news and commentary 24/7. Is it affecting you?

Try this simple experiment: Cut back on how much you watch the news, and watch the effects. You may find your entire home environment lighten up in just a matter of days! Believe it or not, you will still find a way to stay current in all of the areas that you need to, especially as the internet is right at your fingertips.

And did you also know that stress can spread by scent?

No matter how stress is triggered, here are actions you can take to keep from being overwhelmed by secondhand stress and anxiety:

  • Identify three things you are grateful for
  • Draft a brief email praising someone else
  • Discuss or journal about a positive experience
  • Exercise for just 30 minutes
  • Breathe deeply and meditate for a few minutes throughout your day

Lifestyle changes can help improve both the workplace and the home. Consider giving it a shot and see what happens.

Focus on the Positive

“For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

essayist and philosopher

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* These views are those of Carson Coaching, not the presenting Representative, the Representative’s Broker/Dealer, or Registered Investment Advisor, and should not be construed as investment advice.
* This newsletter was prepared by Carson Coaching. Carson Coaching is not affiliated with the named firm or broker/dealer.
* Government bonds and Treasury Bills are guaranteed by the U.S. government as to the timely payment of principal and interest and, if held to maturity, offer a fixed rate of return and fixed principal value. However, the value of fund shares is not guaranteed and will fluctuate.
* Corporate bonds are considered higher risk than government bonds but normally offer a higher yield and are subject to market, interest rate and credit risk as well as additional risks based on the quality of issuer coupon rate, price, yield, maturity, and redemption features.
* The Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. You cannot invest directly in this index.
* All indexes referenced are unmanaged. The volatility of indexes could be materially different from that of a client’s portfolio. Unmanaged index returns do not reflect fees, expenses, or sales charges. Index performance is not indicative of the performance of any investment. You cannot invest directly in an index.
* The Dow Jones Global ex-U.S. Index covers approximately 95% of the market capitalization of the 45 developed and emerging countries included in the Index.
* The 10-year Treasury Note represents debt owed by the United States Treasury to the public. Since the U.S. Government is seen as a risk-free borrower, investors use the 10-year Treasury Note as a benchmark for the long-term bond market.
* Gold represents the 3:00 p.m. (London time) gold price as reported by the London Bullion Market Association and is expressed in U.S. Dollars per fine troy ounce. The source for gold data is Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis (FRED),
* The Bloomberg Commodity Index is designed to be a highly liquid and diversified benchmark for the commodity futures market. The Index is composed of futures contracts on 19 physical commodities and was launched on July 14, 1998.
* The DJ Equity All REIT Total Return Index measures the total return performance of the equity subcategory of the Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) industry as calculated by Dow Jones.
* The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), commonly known as “The Dow,” is an index representing 30 stock of companies maintained and reviewed by the editors of The Wall Street Journal.
* The NASDAQ Composite is an unmanaged index of securities traded on the NASDAQ system.
* International investing involves special risks such as currency fluctuation and political instability and may not be suitable for all investors. These risks are often heightened for investments in emerging markets.
* Yahoo! Finance is the source for any reference to the performance of an index between two specific periods.
* The risk of loss in trading commodities and futures can be substantial. You should therefore carefully consider whether such trading is suitable for you in light of your financial condition. The high degree of leverage is often obtainable in commodity trading and can work against you as well as for you. The use of leverage can lead to large losses as well as gains.
* Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance.
* Economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted and there can be no guarantee that strategies promoted will be successful.
* Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investing involves risk, including loss of principal.
* The foregoing information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee it is accurate or complete.
* There is no guarantee a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a non-diversified portfolio. Diversification does not protect against market risk.
* Asset allocation does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss.
* Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.