Peace for Ukraine

Greetings all,

We’ve decided to take a break from our normal format this month to touch upon something that is of importance to many of our clients, the conflict in Ukraine. We’ve received emails and calls from some of our clients and would like to take this opportunity to provide you with some perspective on what may happen in the markets. Before we do that though, we would like to express our deepest sympathies for all of the people in Ukraine and elsewhere who are suffering right now. The focus of the rest of this newsletter will be on the markets, but not without remembering the human cost of what’s happening right now. 
 Overall, it is important to remember that markets are resilient and you and your portfolio are designed for the long term. We’ve seen crises before. You’ve seen crises before. When designing your portfolio we considered the risk of decline, regardless of where it may come from, so we believe that no change is necessary, but we’re still monitoring your portfolio, as we always do. We’ll rebalance when we believe it’s time to do so.
 Our words may bring you some comfort, but what does history say? What has happened in the past when dramatic events have shaken up the world stage? Vanguard published research on February 25th of this year showing that geopolitical sell-offs are usually short-lived with the average total return six months after the event being up 5% and a year later, up 9%. In situations where there are other factors at play, such as deeper economic strife, the numbers may not play out quite as well, but the fact remains that the market eventually returns to its upward trajectory. For reference, 6 and 12 months after the Ukrainian conflict of 2014 the market (as measured by the S&P 500 Index) was up 8% and 12% respectively. In a recent blog post at the appropriately named, A Wealth of Common Sense, Ben Carlson reminds us that The Stock Market is Heartless. And it’s true, as Ben details, time and time again, the market has shaken off the worst news headlines of the day to continue its climb upwards bringing with it those disciplined enough to stay the course. The market doesn’t go up, but it goes up more often than down and that’s all we need to accomplish our goals.  This is a reminder of the importance of calm, even when there’s a lot of noise around us. This is a reminder that we’re here for you. This is a reminder that I’m here for you if you want to have a quick (or long) call or meeting, to talk about the markets or whatever’s in your mind. If you’d like to consider supporting the people in Ukraine, take a look at the list of charities at this site.  We hope this has been helpful and possibly eased any anxiety you may be feeling. Most of all, we hope the current conflict ends as quickly as possible with as little destruction and suffering as possible.  All the best,  The Bona Fide Family