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September 26, 2019
Will There Be A Recession?
The simple answer is: probably.
Historically, the American economy has grown in fits and starts, otherwise known as recessions and expansions. As a result, it is likely there will be another recession in the United States.
What are recessions?
When gross domestic product (GDP), which is the value of all goods and services produced in the United States, declines for two consecutive quarters, many people will say the economy is in a recession.
Typically, during recessions, unemployment rises, consumer income declines, consumer spending falls, and industrial production and manufacturing slow down.
The last recession began in 2007 and ended in 2009. It lasted for 18 months, and was the longest recession since World War II.
What are expansions?
An expansion begins when GDP begins to grow again. Usually, during expansions, unemployment declines, consumer income increases, consumer spending grows, and industrial production and manufacturing accelerate.
The current expansion began in June 2009. It is the longest expansion in the history of the United States.
It’s important to note that during recessions and expansions, there may be brief reversals. For example, a recession may include a period of growth before the economy declines further, and an expansion may include a period of decline before the economy grows more. Usually the beginning of a recession or an expansion isn’t identified until well after it has occurred.
When will there be a recession?
There is no simple answer to this question.
The causes of recessions are not always easily recognized, reported Robin Harding of Financial Times. When a threat to economic growth is observed, policy makers or central bankers often take action to minimize it.
Recent recessions have been caused by unanticipated financial crises. In 2001, the bursting dotcom bubble sparked recession. In 2007, mortgage loan defaults and the housing crisis were the catalyst.
The longevity of the current expansion has many investors worried about the chances of recession. However, as previous Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen commented, “I don’t think expansions just die of old age.”
Despite the inverted yield curve*, which can be a recession signal, Harding wrote:
“There are some signs we are late in the current cycle. Asset valuations are high by historic standards. Private debt has risen a lot in China and some peripheral economies. The Trump administration is rolling back financial regulation. It all increases risk. But the signs of stress that often precede a crisis – wild ebullience or rising defaults – are not obvious.”
* An inverted yield curve is where long-term debt has a lower yield than short-term debt.
In July 2019, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York estimated the probability of a recession in the United States by July 2020 at 31.5 percent.
Fortunately, recessions tend to be far shorter than expansions. The United States has experienced 11 economic cycles – contractions followed by expansions – since 1945. The average length of recessions has been about 11 months. The average length of expansions has been 4.8 years.
What will the stock market do?
Stock markets reflect investors’ expectations for the future. As a result, they tend to fall before a recession begins and rise before a recession ends. It’s not a very useful pattern because market volatility makes it very difficult to recognize when a market decline signals recession ahead and a market gain signals recovery.
No matter what the stock market does, it’s important for investors to implement strategies that will help them remain calm when markets are volatile. Here are four tips to help you stay focused on your goals when markets are turbulent:
- Keep your perspective. They may be uncomfortable, but stock market downturns are normal. Historically, markets have regained losses suffered during downturns and moved higher.
- Choose the right amount of risk. When stock markets deliver strong returns, it can be tempting to invest in stocks more heavily. Before you do, remember more stocks means higher volatility. Choose a portfolio allocation that will let you stay calm during periods of volatility and market downturns.
- Take time to rebalance. The performance of markets can affect your portfolio allocation. If the stock market does well and the bond market poorly, you may end up with more risk than intended. Rebalancing preserves your allocation.
- Downturns may create buying opportunities. The silver lining behind the dark cloud of recession is you may be able to invest in strong companies at low share prices.
- Remember your goals. We spend a lot of time helping clients identify life and financial goals and then designing portfolios to help pursue those goals. The stock market may head south, but that doesn’t mean your goals have changed. Remember why you’re investing.
If you’re nervous about financial markets and would like to discuss what’s happening or just be reassured, give us a call at (203) 967-2231. We’re happy to talk with you.
Sean M. Dowling, CFP, EA
President, The Dowling Group Wealth Management
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- 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. Unmanaged index returns do not reflect fees, expenses, or sales charges. Index performance is not indicative of the performance of any investment.
- 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 afternoon gold price as reported by the London Bullion Market Association. The gold price is set twice daily by the London Gold Fixing Company at 10:30 and 15:00 and is expressed in U.S. dollars per fine troy ounce.
- 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.
- 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.
- Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance.
- Content in this material is for general information only and not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results.
- The economic forecasts set forth in this material may not develop as predicted and there can be no guarantee strategies promoted will be successful.
- Rebalancing a portfolio may cause investors to incur tax liabilities and/or transaction costs and does not assure a profit or protect against a loss.
- Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investing involves risk, including loss of principal.
- You cannot invest directly in an index.
- Stock investing involves risk including loss of principal.
- These views are those of Carson Group Coaching, and not the presenting Representative or the Representative’s Broker/Dealer, and should not be construed as investment advice.
- This newsletter was prepared by Carson Group Coaching. Carson Group Coaching is not affiliated with the named broker/dealer.
- The foregoing information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee it is accurate or complete.
- Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.
https://www.ft.com/content/8a9d12a8-ce31-11e9-99a4-b5ded7a7fe3f (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/Peak+Documents/Oct_2019_FinancialTimes-Recessions_Have_Become_Rarer_and_More_Scary-Footnote_5.pdf)
https://finance.yahoo.com (Click on to S&P 500, click on Chart, click on Max)
ADV & Investment Objectives: Please contact The Dowling Group if there are any changes in your financial situation or investment objectives, or if you wish to impose, add or modify any reasonable restrictions to the management of your account. Our current disclosure statement is set forth on Part II of Form ADV and is available for your review upon request.
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