Here’s your quarterly update. Yawn, yawn?

Clients pay us to take away their worry, so we don’t want to send out dull ten-a-penny missives. We try not to be boring. We therefore present you with the latest market information from Dimensional, written in our usual lighthearted and reassuring style.

As you can see by the red arrows, the global stock markets have been on a downward trend this quarter, with only government bonds performing better.

Q1 2018

“Boing!” said Zebedee

But it’s not all downhill. When you look at the impact of the recent global headlines, you can see there was a correction at the end of January, and another bounce now.

All around the world…

With almost every market seemingly on a downward slide at the moment, it’s difficult to pick a country where investments are rising. In the ranked developed markets, only Finland and Italy have reported positive returns this quarter.

Q1 2018 by country

Breaking the law?

Note that any quarterly update only looks at the recent past. It is no predictor of what’s going to happen in the future. As you well know if you read our articles regularly, no-one can forecast that.

In fact, in New York state, forecasting could actually be illegal!

Plan 100’s good friend, Barry Sterndale-Bennett, shared this information with us:

In New York State, Section 899 of the Code of Criminal Procedure provides that persons “Pretending to Forecast the Future” shall be considered disorderly under subdivision 3, Section 901 of the Code and liable to a fine of $250 and/or six months in prison.

We double-checked, and found this on the New York penal code page:

A person is guilty of fortune telling when, for a fee or compensation which he directly or indirectly solicits or receives, he claims or pretends to tell fortunes, or holds himself out as being able, by claimed or pretended use of occult powers, to answer questions or give advice on personal matters or to exorcise, influence or affect evil spirits or curses; except that this section does not apply to a person who engages in the aforedescribed conduct as part of a show or exhibition solely for the purpose of entertainment or amusement.

We can’t help but wonder where this leaves active fund managers – perhaps they should be arrested?!

What this means for you

As you may remember, we always advise you to:

  • Diversify broadly
  • Ignore the short-term media
  • Wait it out

It’s important not to panic! When you consider the long-term, the picture is not so gloomy.

P.S. We also wrote about the recent fall in last month’s article: Now is not the time to wobble.

P.P.S. We don’t mean to be flippant, but here’s a retro music video that came to mind when writing this article – altogether now, “Down, down, deeper and down!”

Lance Baron

Certified Financial Planner (CFP) based in East Sussex, UK. We support people in Southeast England with more than £500K to invest by building a financial plan that will help them live the life they want… until age 100