Super Equity Markets

Posted In: General Investment

So many good superhero stories start with a picture of peace, tranquility, and prosperity, followed by a period of gloom and doom. Then, our superhero comes to save the day and restores the past glory— creating an even better future!

 

As we look back upon our economy over the last fifteen years, we see a strong American economy suddenly broken by the recession of 2008 and 2009. This downturn was created in part by the breakdown of the banking system caused by excessive mortgage speculation.

 

What ensued next was eight years of gradual healing for the country’s banking institutions, leading to a restoration of capital markets and the wealth of many Americans. However, something was still lurking. The economy itself was never quite right during that period of time. It was hard to say why, but we went eight years without a single year of 3-percent growth for the first time since those statistics were kept (in 1929).1

 

The evidence of the trouble that remained included:

  • Food stamp recipients were at an all-time high on Election Day 2016.
  • Labor-force participation rate was at historic lows. • Interest rates hovered near zero, as the government continued trying to create business activity.
  • American industry moved overseas in search of lower taxes, cheap labor, and less regulation.
  • American business people were no longer confident enough to invest in business expansion.

Enter a superhero: a pro-growth administration. Our superhero strives to reverse burdensome regulations, bring American manufacturing home, re-do trade agreements to level the playing field, and lower taxes to support small business expansion. Such “heroic” efforts take time to implement, and our economy is a very large ship to turn. So, I’m not sure if anything tangible has occurred yet.

 

That said, the business climate appears significantly better! The dark clouds of a pro-regulation and a largely anti-business government have been cleared. The sun is now shining with a government that supports business with words and even some deeds. Let’s look at some business indicators that we have today:

  • Small business optimism is at a historic high2.
  • The cost of borrowing is still low.
  • Corporate profitability (return on equity) is at an all-time high3.
  • Stock prices are still reasonable, given the low interest rate environment.
  • Technology is making business more efficient and profitable.
  • Tax reform appears aimed to spur hiring and business expansion.

 

Yes, when you look at the health of American corporations, you see the “superhero” has changed the business environment in a short period of time. Time will tell if progress with policies will enhance business over the longer term. For now, it’s obvious that a business hero is on the scene and has begun to put things right again.

 

 

1 CNS News, https://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/terence-p-jeffrey/us-hasrecord-10th-straight-year-without-3-growth-gdp

2 CNBC, https://www.cnbc.com/2018/02/20/small-business-confidence-hitsrecord-in-2018-after-tax-reform-win.html

3 CBS News, https://www.cbsnews.com/news/u-s-corporations-earn-record-highprofits-pay-record-low-taxes/

Any opinions expressed in this forum are not the opinion or view of American Portfolios Financial Services, Inc. (APFS) or American Portfolios Advisors, Inc.(APA) and have not been reviewed by the firm for completeness or accuracy. These opinions are subject to change at any time without notice. Any comments or postings are provided for informational purposes only and do not constitute an offer or a recommendation to buy or sell securities or other financial instruments. Readers should conduct their own review and exercise judgment prior to investing. Investments are not guaranteed, involve risk and may result in a loss of principal. Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investments are not suitable for all types of investors. To the extent that this material concerns tax matters, it is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, by a taxpayer for the purposes of avoiding penalties that may be imposed by law. Each tax payer should seek tax, legal or accounting advice from a tax professional based on his/her individual circumstances.

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