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No one knows how quickly public-health officials will contain the coronavirus. The situation remains very fluid as rescue checks to taxpayers and loans to small businesses and self-employed parties are still in the works. There is likely another round of fiscal stimulus coming and we hope it works to assist borrower workouts with lenders.

Our strategy for the next couple of months is to reenter the stock market with the cash we raised early in the market drop as well as proceeds coming in from recent real estate sales. We have gotten a technical signal that we are in the clear for the market to recover. We already see a great recovery on NSA which we added to in the mid-’20s during this bear market and the preferred stocks we nibbled at. Gold has done really well to date. Going forward, we are buying individual stocks with strong credit and healthy balance sheets and are well equipped to thrive in a normalizing economy and have solid cash positions to survive a credit-constrained environment. We are also moving cash into our US-centric growth strategies as we continue our focus that the US is the most innovative and dynamic economy. Some reassuring stats to keep in the front of your mind:

The US will likely lead the charge to create a vaccine against COVID-19 and can look forward to seeing all our loved ones again soon. We will continue with our weekly news blasts to keep you apprised of our thoughts and progress. Through all of this, we encourage all of you to remember your long-term goals, be well and stay healthy.

Respectfully,

Leslie, Matt & Optivest’s Investment Department

A year following the powerful returns of our Optivest models, our prudent advice is to take some of our profits and derisk; invest for tangible returns like stock dividends and real estate with cash distributions and expect this cash to be a greater percentage of your return than last year’s stretched price returns which lacked the earnings return keeping pace. Furthermore,  as the opportunities arise, hard assets like precious metals and value priced cash flowing real estate should be added for downside protection should a mild stock market correction occur or the economy suffer a malaise which could lead to our next recession.

Respectfully,

Leslie, Matt, Bart, Letitia & Optivest’s Investment Department

While US businesses are still very cautious, the consumer (main street) is showing signs of renewed confidence. With unemployment at 50-year lows, wages slowly rising, easy money policy, and barring failure to reach an agreement with China, we turn focus will move toward election season and what that might mean for fiscal policy. We fully expect jitters will resume next year.

Respectfully,

Leslie, Matt, Bart, Letitia, Anselm & Stella

The result of all of this just might be rising U.S. wages, lower borrowing costs and continued support for the markets but trade wars and rising deficits keep investors fearful. Expect continued “headline volatility” in the near term and follow our advice to not align your investment portfolio on one single forecast.

We are focusing on short-duration, high credit fixed income, watching U.S. trade talks, manufacturing and GDP when considering exposure to equities, focusing more on U.S. and Emerging Markets than on Europe. We are always seeking well priced, cash-flow generating real estate investment opportunities for tax efficient income. We continue to favor hedging equities with low- and non-correlated alternatives so our portfolios can provide cash flows and durability through the peaks and valleys ahead.

Respectfully,

Leslie, Matt, Bart, Letitia & Stella

Late cycle investing is still full of opportunity but it is simultaneously marked by decelerating economic growth. Identifying opportunities and risk mitigation through recalibrating diversified asset investing is our passion and expertise. We look forward to discussing our tactical moves in our upcoming quarterly meetings.

Respectfully,

Leslie, Matt, Bart, Letitia & Stella

While investors might be tempted to radically rebalance their investments or even move entirely to cash during periods of volatility, trying to miss the bottom is costly. According to the study done by Bloomberg and GSAM (Goldman Sachs Asset Management), some of the markets strongest returns have come within days of a bottom.

From the S&P 500 low Christmas Eve 2018 through Friday 01/11/19, the S&P 500 had already risen 10%.

Besides potentially avoiding taxable capital gains or locking in losses of capital, staying the course with a diversified portfolio has tangible rewards.

We are also delighted to announce that Matt McManus, CFP® has recently joined Optivest as a Wealth Advisor and our Chief Operations Officer.

Matt will be responsible for providing Financial Planning and Wealth Management advice to clients of the firm. With a passion towards ensuring each and every client receives concierge level service and support, Matt is responsible for ensuring that Optivest’s day to day operations are run with the utmost attention to detail. By utilizing the OptiWealth Platform, Matt is also able to provide cutting edge Financial and Estate Planning strategies with Optivest clients to help optimize their financial legacy. We invite you to seek out Matt or any of our team if you believe our services could be of value to you.

Happy New Year!

Leslie, Bart, Stella, Letitia & Matt

Our concern list grows. High equity valuations and rising interest rates stress our markets on a fundamental basis that high consumer confidence and low unemployment in the U.S. ultimately cannot outrun. While our U.S. stock market rallies on greater company spending for stock buybacks than capex even after tax law changes are supposed to promote capex, high debt levels and increasing debt coverage expense will bleed into that. Globally, our strong Dollar may be its own worst enemy particularly in the midst of trade wars and politics. We continue to be vigilant and feel we have the best investments to participate in long-term economic growth and any potential interruptions to this rally in the near-term.

We are here to humbly serve you and encourage you to contact us with any questions you might have.

All the Best,

Mark, Bart, Leslie & Stella

A strong U.S. economy has stretched asset values and caused a run-up in interest rates, leading the financial markets to one of the flattest first-half performances in recent history. We look for earnings to catch up to valuations and hope for a positive end to the global trade wars in the second half of this year. Most importantly, we remain adherent to our mission of optimizing your investment portfolios and planning for your ideal future.

As always, we are here for you. Please feel free to reach out with any questions that you may have.

All the Best,

Mark, Bart, Leslie & Stella

As we enter this period of heightened volatility and checkered quarterly returns, it is even more important to keep a strategically balanced portfolio. We remain opportunistic in adding non-correlated allocations (see Leslie’s thoughts) and stick to our unemotional disciplines (see Bart’s advice) to avoid common market timing whipsaw mistakes, all the while continuously optimizing our core securities selection (per Stella’s article).

Don’t hesitate to call or reach out to your service team with questions: 949.363.8686

All the Best,

Mark, Leslie, Stella and Bart

2017 was a tremendous transition year for Optivest. We added industry veteran Bart Zandbergen, CFP® as Senior Wealth Advisor and Stella Choi, CFA®, CFP® as Director of Portfolio Management who was responsible for implementing our successful risk-based model portfolios for Optivest clients. As 2018 commences, we continue to refine our portfolio models and upgrade our different portfolio software systems to enhance our management and reporting capabilities.