The Monday Mix: Sept. 10 – 16, 2018

Monday Morning Mix

Headlines discussed at LNWM’s Monday morning briefing:

US tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods are being readied, as talks with China loom.
Indicators point to strong US GDP growth in 3rd quarter 2018, but down from 4.1% in 2nd qtr.
European stocks gained for the week, but remain less favored by investors than US equities.
Crude oil prices advanced as the re-instituted sanctions against Iran limit global supply.
The US dollar is benefting from solid US economic data and higher Treasury bond yields.

Disclaimer: Clicking on any of the above links will take you away from the Laird Norton Wealth Management web page and to the source page. While we believe the information in these articles is relevant, we cannot guarantee its accuracy or completeness.

Is Bitcoin a Good Investment after 80% Recent Plunge?

Investment Management

The bitcoin craze of 2017, which propelled 1 bitcoin to trade for nearly $20,000, has reversed with a vengeance due to valid concerns about market hype, security issues, price manipulation, tighter government regulation and slower-than-expected adoption by mainstream investment firms. In fact, the 2018 rout in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies has been just as bad as tech drop when the dot-com bubble burst (see Bloomberg chart at right).

Find out what we think about bitcoin (and other cryptocurrencies) as an investment in this video by LNWM Senior Investment Analyst Josh Hile.

 

The Monday Mix: September 3 – 9, 2018

Monday Morning Mix

Headlines discussed at LNWM’s Monday morning briefing:

US wages rose 2.9% in August year-over-year, the most since 2009; US added 201,000 new jobs.
Trump threatened tariffs on nearly all Chinese imports — on $200 billion in the works plus $267 billion.
The S&P 500 lost 1% for the week, tech shares down 2.5%; concern over trade war, interest rates.
Emerging market stocks fell 3.2% for the week; now in a bear market,  as investors reassess risk.
Oil prices fell amid concern that Iranian sanctions may not be enough to offset surplus.

Disclaimer: Clicking on any of the above links will take you away from the Laird Norton Wealth Management web page and to the source page. While we believe the information in these articles is relevant, we cannot guarantee its accuracy or completeness.

Seattle Real Estate Market Is Cooling: What Not to Do Now

Family and Finance, Investment Management

View of Seattle constructionAs the Seattle Times, Zillow.com and other sources have noted, the Seattle-area real estate market is cooling off, after six years of red-hot conditions. Understandably, if you’re a seller or buyer who has been waiting on the sidelines for signs of a market peak, you may now feel a sense of urgency to act. Nervous sellers may think prices will take a dive from here, while buyers may view this cooling off as their only chance to get a better price. If either of these scenarios sounds like you, take a deep breath. Before rushing into action — putting up a For Sale sign or signing a purchase agreement — read what LNWM’s Kristi Mathisen and Bridget Burgess have to say.

In an article Kristi and Bridget co-wrote in 2016, Advice for a Red-Hot Real Estate Market, they emphasize that it’s crucial that you don’t act out of a sense or urgency when making real estate decisions. That was true two years ago, and it is true today: Do not rush. Take the time to explore ALL your options, of which there are probably more than you think. Here at LNWM, we routinely help clients make real estate decisions in context of their entire asset base, their needs and their goals. Be it an investment property, a residence or vacation home that you are debating whether to buy or sell, we can help you analyze all your options fully and in context of your situation, so you can move forward with confidence.

Emerging Market Bonds: What’s Driving the Recent Dive

Investment Management

It’s been a tough year for emerging market bonds. So far in 2018, the total return on emerging market (EM) debt issued in US dollars is negaive 3.4%, and EM debt issued in local currencies has fared much worse — down 9.6%. Meanwhile, high-quality US bonds are down about 1%. Some emerging markets do have major problems: Turkey, Venezuela, and Argentina have lost credibility with investors when it comes to battling inflation.  But most EM economies are much better off than 10 years ago. This begs the question as to why all EM bonds have suffered this year. We think these two factors have created headwinds for the entire sector: … Read More