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2017 was quite a year in the markets. Economic expansion continued, driven by good earnings, low unemployment, increased consumer spending, and anticipated government policy changes. As we look at 2018, we continue to see investment opportunity, albeit not broadly across all sectors. As the markets get stretched, we feel that good stock selection by our portfolio managers will be very important to add to our strong 2017 gains.
Internationally, we continue to see economic improvement with cheaper stock valuations as compared to the U.S, presenting potential buying opportunities in the years ahead. We still have a lot of confidence here in the U.S., but we are always searching for ways to add diversification and additional growth to the portfolios.
Tax cuts for both corporations and individuals should provide additional fuel for equities and the economy to move higher. We would expect small and mid-sized companies to benefit the most from corporate tax reform. We await specifics on how corporations will put this new surplus of cash to work, but we would expect it to be a positive driver for the markets.
With the anticipation of modest economic growth in 2018, we continue to evaluate inflation and a lengthening business cycle. Although these factors can have short-term impact, we believe that prudent investment selection and disciplined portfolio management will continue to reward investors long-term.
REMINDER … you should have received a moving announcement in our holiday card. Please remember that for all future appointments and correspondence, you’ll want to use our new address (Gettysburg Pike). Our phone numbers, fax number, and email addresses remain unchanged.
If you have any questions about your portfolio, or if you wish to schedule an appointment, please do not hesitate to reach out to us via email or by calling us at (717) 761-2040 … we’d love to give you a tour of our new office! We thank you for your continued loyalty and friendship, and we hope to see you soon!
Matthew A. Stout, AWMA®
Marc E. Bowman