105. Why is the Market Going Down?

May 20, 2022

What is Causing this Market Decline Despite a Seemingly Healthy Economy?

While the data shows a healthy economy (job growth, consumer spending, and business investments are all up) the market is still on a downward trajectory. So, what is causing this decline? Is it Russia’s fault, inflation’s fault, the Fed’s fault, or some other factor? On today’s episode we are going to break down why the market is going down and the key indicators you need to keep your eye on to ensure you are on the right financial planning path while following the Redefining Wealth Process. 

While we hope this is a normal correction, preparing for the possibility of a recession is necessary. The cost of making money is to be able to endure these moments. Limiting drawdowns, preserving your capital, and ensuring the six core pillars of the Redefining Wealth Process are established within your plan will be necessary to withstand current and future market turns. Within the Redefining Wealth Process, we unpack these elements with our clients, evaluating and ensuring they are on the right strategic path that protects them and their investments. 

If you’d like to read the Financial Advisor Magazine article discussed on this episode, click here. 

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Timestamps (show notes):

2:22 – The economy is still doing well 

5:00 – What is going on and will it continue?

12:58 – History is a good indicator of what we can expect 

17:06 – Are we in a correction or extended bear market?

21:33 – Protecting your capital in the retirement redzone 

25:08 – Being able to build expectations through the Redefining Wealth Process

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Review the Transcript:

Ron: Welcome to Retirement Talk, the redefining wealth show, your source for financial information specifically for pre-retirees and retirees. We are here each and every week to help you better navigate during these economic times. We are here to discuss thoughts and ideas in the fuel of finance and retirement, as well as discuss trending topics that could impact your bottom line. 

We will break it all down. These discussions can help you make better informed decisions so you can make better financial choices and live the lifestyle you imagined for retirement. Laura Stover is a registered financial consultant and CEO of LS Wealth Management, as well as founder and owner of LS Tax, a consulting firm. She’s been featured in Forbes, CNBC and the Wall Street Journal. I’m Ron Stumps. Our topic of discussion for today is why is the market going down from Financial Advisor Magazine?

Laura Stover: Hello, hello, hello, and welcome to retirement talk. I have selected another fabulous article from Financial Advisor Magazine because the question of the month of may and really the whole beginning, first quarter to 2022 is why? Why is the market going down? That’s the question. A lot of people want to know, is it Putin’s fault? Is it inflation’s fault? Is it the Fed’s fault? Is it the president’s fault? We’re going to find out all about why is the market going down.

And more importantly, how should your perspective be scoped? What’s some of the key indicators that you need to keep your eyes on in order to make sure you are on the right financial path. Now, Michael, the economy seems to be, for the most part, doing well. A lot of our research companies that we receive correspondence from and the communications that we are getting from our resources and immense research companies on an ongoing basis.

And also according to the article, the economy is doing relatively well. Now, not as robust as we were pre-pandemic, but there’s three key elements. Number one, job growth is still at relatively high levels. Number two, consumer spending or what consumers are spending, which is about 80% of the economy, that’s still healthy. And the third aspect is businesses. They are continuing to invest. Now, job growth. I’ve looked this up and as of the recording of this show, it’s about at an eight year high. Wages have increased 11 straight months and spending, as far as consumer, it’s rising, not by much, but at a faster pace than inflation. It’s about two tenths of a percentage. It’s rather close to the inflation margin. But that is the saving grace right now. As out of control as inflation is, and businesses are investing. Over 15% for the year, so far, things like intellectual property up 8.1% year over year.

So the question, why is the market down, the S&P 500’s down about what 15%, the Dow a little over 10%, the NASDAQ a little over 20%. The data is somewhat optimistic, but it’s not just business and consumers here. Let’s look at Warren Buffett. A lot of people gauge how well they’re doing based on what Warren does. In Q1 of this year, he dropped over $51 billion. That was the largest amount in a very, very long time. He went on a buying spree with Berkshire Hathaway. 

And a lot of times Buffett says, for many years, there’s nothing to buy, but he sees opportunities now. So he spent a wad at Berkshire. So when this market is like this, when people are indeed fearful, we’re supposed to do the opposite according to Warren, anyhow, be greedy when others are fearful and fearful when others are greedy. So we look at that fear gauge, which is kind of an indicator. I think it was somewhere around 27. The range is 0 to 100. It’s a little higher. There’s a lot of uncertainty, but traditionally the market, which really is a barometer of the economy, it’s acting differently. It has fallen significantly from its peak at the start of the year. And more recently had some sharper declines. So what is going on? And the big question, will it continue?

Michael: Well, wow. This is definitely a show that we’re going to have to unpack because we hit on several topics and you ask in the opening line what was causing it. And I would have to say yes, yes, yes and yes to all of those questions that you threw out there. But let’s start unpacking these items that you just mentioned. 

One was the job growth and job growth to me is like a pistachio nut. It’s really hard to get down to the nut once you get out of that shell. And so looking at that job growth, we see a lot of numbers, not really sure what the government is measuring there. But what I think can validate that is if we look at the government accounting office, and we look at their general ledger on what’s coming in the form of taxes. And Laura, I saw a really interesting point the other day that really is being stemmed out of this COVID environment. And that is the side hustle. 

We’re all seeing that today. We’re seeing people that are doing different kind of at home businesses. Well, those are not those traditional businesses that are being tracked today. And when you talk to somebody, they’re talking about, well, I’m buying these and I’m selling them over on Amazon. Or I’m repurchasing or reselling these items over on eBay. And those companies are not measured in. And I think many of those that may be millennials or the next generation after them are probably adding to their consumer cash flow based upon doing the side hustle. So that’s going to be a real interesting point to watch as we go forward. 

But the stock market, which is supposedly a barometer of the economy is not exactly the same. They are two completely different elements. So when we’re breaking down the economy, we’re looking at fiscal policy, we are looking at what is happening with interest rates.

This is a huge week of the year, because right now we are seeing, coming out this week is going to be industrial production. They’re going to be showing a lot of the reports on that. Retail sales is coming out this week. Business inventories is going to be coming out, building permits. And this is a huge part of the housing market that we’re seeing, a lot of things that’s driving in the economy, because China had a zero COVID policy. No inventory was leaving. 

So no exports are going out that has left a supply chain problem around the globe. But specifically here to the United States, we had a lot of the housing market that was in the process of completing. So we got framework up, may have got the roof on, the shingles up, but no sheet rock, no wiring, no flooring, no refrigerators, stoves, bathtubs, commodes, all of those finishing products have been on back order.

Well, great news, Laura. Those are coming in right now. So we are seeing a lot of that inventory heading. We’re going to be seeing the housing market respond to that. Because a lot of that inventory is now going to be able to meet the demand that has been pent up. So those are big things that are forthcoming. Leading indicators are coming out this week. So very exciting to see what’s going to be happening. And then next week on the 25th, for those that are looking at this, May 25th, we will have the federal fed chair minutes are going to be coming out on the 25th. So very interesting times that we’re in right now. The big key that we’re looking at is are we just in a normal 15% to 20% correction, which is very healthy for the market, or is this going to turn towards a recession?

And if it turns towards a recession, that’s on average about a 36% drop in the market and takes about 300 trading days to recover. If this happens to be a normal correction, the 15% to 20% that we have weathered through multiple times over the last 10 to 12 years, that typically is in a range of 80 to 90 trading days. 

Now two research firms have came back one saying that there’s about a 12% chance of a recession. The other one looking at about a 1% chance of a recession. So looking at that data, it’s favorable that this is going to be a situation where we’re going to find traction. It’s going to be a deep dive down into the correction and then a response back. I would tell our listeners to take into consideration also that where we saw the spike that happened last year was a lot of the benefit from $2.9 trillion being dumped into the marketplace, into the economy for people to take and turn around and spend.

And that was able to help accelerate the growth on the earnings reports of these businesses. And so we saw the market rise, but we’ve now seen it come back down to about 4,000 points, which is probably more in alignment to what the market should have been trending at before the stimulus was dumped into the economy. Warren Buffett, you mentioned is out on a buying spree of value. We would definitely concur with that approach. 

We are looking at values over growth. Right now, value stocks are down, last report I saw about 4.77%, opposed to 20% in the overall market. So what we’re seeing there is some of those companies that have been way overpriced in the tech market, the Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Google, Microsoft, the FANMAG, as we like to call them when we see those companies being overpriced, those are growth stocks.

Value is where we try to fall back on when we’re looking at the ability to get dividends, to come in and soften or lessen the exposure to a correcting of the market. So I would believe following Warren Buffett’s probably a reasonable and very prudent approach. This is how he makes his money. When somebody is greedy, he’s very conservative. When everybody else is being conservative, he’s being very greedy. And I would ask our listeners today, if you put your fingers on your pulse right now, are you feeling aggressive or are you feeling conservative?

Right now is a buying time in the market. The market has corrected, this is an opportunity for a person to come in and gather up assets. And then if we rebound off of this in a favorable approach, this is where money is made. And just like I said on our show the other night, when we did the town hall-

Laura Stover: The webinar.

Michael: Yeah. The webinar on the town hall meeting, the cost of making money is to be able to endure moments like we’re experiencing right now. If you can endure the down draft in the market and you can go all in, this is where we see people really make returns. And we can go back to recent times, Laura, even to 2020, when the market went down to 2,300 points due to the COVID-19. It rallied in 2020 to 2022, the market hit an all time high of 4,600 points. And I’m talking about the S&P 500, that’s doubling the value of your account in two years.

Laura Stover: Well, that’s what it’s all about. Compounding and limiting the what we call drawdowns, especially if you’re nearing or in retirement, when you’ve accumulated capital, it is about the dollars versus the percentage returns. And this is part of what we really get into and unpack, as you would say, when we’re in an evaluation with clients to make sure they’re on the right strategic path. 

And I looked this up while you were throwing some numbers out and typically the S&P 500, one of our research companies on the Monday morning, brief that we get the S&P 500 index returns after six consecutive down weeks. If we go back in history and this chart went back to 1953, we have 1970s, 2000 May ’13, 2022. I won’t go through all of the returns, but on average, the average gain after the bear market or after the correction, the average gain was a little over 22%, 22.68% to be exact. History has been our barometer.

It’s not always an indicator of what it’s going to happen in the future. That would be too easy, I suppose, but it is a very good indicator of what we can expect in the future by looking in that rear view mirror. And after coming out of a little turbulence every time the market has rebounded back. 

So I think some of the things that people need to keep their eye on now, let’s unpack that a little more after the real quick break. Let’s discuss what types of things dependent upon what point in someone’s financial life, where they are and what types of things should they be looking at? 

Because riding the market all the way down if you’re nearing or in retirement, and then coming back up like a roller coaster, that’s not really the approach that we adhere to. So when we’re saying that the market will rebound, it’s all about having the right balance and the interface between the areas of risk that we’ve identified through the redefining wealth process. I want to touch on that and talk about what people can specifically do with their own unique situations and really how their perspective should be looking at this right now. We’ll be back after a real quick break. You’re listening to Retirement Talk, the redefining world show.

Ron: We hope you’re enjoying this episode of retirement talk. I want to offer you an opportunity to take advantage and look a little deeper at your specific situation. Receive a complimentary retirement income plan. Income, not assets is the essential ingredient you will need for a sustainable retirement. Schedule a personal 15 minute strategy call with Laura and Michael and receive access to our proprietary life arc planning system. 

This will allow you to begin to create your financial blueprint and walk through our proprietary trademarked redefining wealth process. This is the framework you need to understand the dimensions involved for a comprehensive custom retirement plan. This process will help you address the six key retirement risks we will all face, and it will help you to identify them and build a rock solid income plan around them. We also provide you with a tax analysis, as well as an in depth financial x-ray of your current situation.

This will provide you with a deep understanding of exactly where you are, and if you’re on the right financial path. Lastly, we craft a no obligation income plan custom just for you if you walk through the process, most suited for those who have saved $500,000 or more for your retirement. Go to redefiningwealth.info click schedule review. We walk you through our three step redefining wealth process, limited times available. Go to redefiningwealth.info, schedule your strategy session virtually by phone or in person. Let the LS team assist you. Now back to Retirement Talk with your host, Laura Stover.

Laura Stover: So some guidance about what is coming next. Interest rates are expected to return to pre-pandemic levels at some point, so should valuations. And that said, we could see another 10% downside. I guess the question, are we really in just a correction or a extended bear market? I think that’s one area we want to maybe talk on just briefly. But more specifically than approaches that our listeners can take and how they proactively need to be looking at their unique situation. So is this an extended bear market or a long overdue market correction? Do we know?

Michael: Well, I do believe this is a long overdue correction. History as we’ve looked at it over the years, has indicated pullbacks in the market. The pricing has drawn back multiple times. And then as we saw coming through that last bull market, we really bypassed all of the stop signs and we just kept increasing and kept increasing. 

In one of our recent meetings with a client, I had them in there and they were like, well, every day the market was going new all time highs. And I said, well, that’s kind of like standing on the top of Mount Everest and you raise the back of your heels up. All of a sudden, you’re at a new all time high. Then you raise up a little higher. Now it’s an all time high. And you do that three or four times till you’re up on your tip toes.

Well, that was equivalent to what the news kept saying about we’ve hit an all time new high, an all time new high. Well, you’re still standing on top of Mount Everest and the market going up by one 10th of 1% really, is it showing a true growth in the marketplace. So I was saying that we’ve hit that, but we really needed to see a correction drawback. Because some of the stocks were selling way over their price to earnings. 

And that’s where it starts getting really scary, because how is that company really going to draw in the earnings to be able to pay back to those dividend holders what they’re expecting off their portfolio. So I do believe that it is still up to debate whether or not a recession is going to be in our future, or if it’s going to be a long draw out. I think much of that has to do with policies that are coming out of the white house today. We are seeing fuel cost and that is impacting people greatly. The more that you lose consumer confidence, the less that you’ve got people that are willing to go out and go into long term debt or to spend money on extra items that helps to generate the growth in our economy. Individuals probably will not vacation as much this year. So there are certain states that will be impacted by that.

Laura Stover: I’m going to. I’m going to make sure I get a vacation.

Michael: I understand, we have worked really hard.

Laura Stover: Somehow, someway.

Michael: So when we’re looking at those Laura, there’s so many dominoes that are being knocked over, but a recession is truly a reduction in the gross domestic product. So are we seeing a shrinking of our ability to generate, or is it temporary? I kind of look to the coin that it’s temporary. I believe that we’ve got dollars that are setting aside that in the event there was items on the shelves we would be purchasing them. For instance that my computer went out last Thursday. So this weekend I went to-

Laura Stover: During the webinar, yes, I remember.

Michael: During the middle of the webinar. So I go over to a big box store this week to get a new computer. Well, the new computer that I wanted to purchase is not available until June 27th. Now, for those that are watching this show in the future, that’s five weeks out before this very large box store could actually get me the computer that I need. It doesn’t mean that I don’t have the resources to purchase it. The inventory is not available and that’s going across every sector that we look out in the marketplace.

Laura Stover: Well, just to kind of recap here, four stages really run through all economic cycles as you’re stating here, to put some of this into context. Obviously jobs and some of the data that I expressed at the very beginning of the show I think it’s still out as you stated, whether or not we’re in a sustained bear market, whether a recession is coming. But a down or bear market can describe any asset classes affected by an economic cycle. It can either gain or lose value over time. 

All of which will rise in terms of falling and rising when prices across the four economic cycles, which are expansion, a peak, a contraction and a trough. Now to understand how bear and bone markets work in line with an economic decline, we have to look at those four stages of the economic or business cycle and follow a wave like pattern.

I’m not going to get into all of the economics on this, but when investors start to sell at the beginning of a bear market, it can indicate a declining economy and looming recession. And then the contraction begins after reaching the peak phase, bringing on that bear market. And once the economy is in the expansion phase, again, a bull market will likely begin. 

So I think the point of the matter that would be most important. If you have capital that you’ve accumulated and you’re looking and eyeing retirement, if you are 10 years, or we call it in that retirement red zone, seven to 10 years in front of retiring, maybe you just stepped into retirement. We saw a lot of people take early retirements because of the virus, people did retire. There was a lot of them that retired a year or two earlier than what they had intended, or maybe you’re recently retired or you’ve been retired.

I think some of the key here are preserving the capital within the portfolio. We talk often about monies you’re not dependent upon right now today. Very important to segregate these monies out, but to have a blend between the strategic and the tactical management approach, which are rules based from money managers. 

I had a client today, listener of the show, they are saving, they’re hoping to retire within the next two to three years. And this is a little bit of a new concept to them. So we believe in making sure the income is solved for. That’s part of the process with the life arc. We have to have a very detailed, robust budgetary cash flow analysis, monies that you’re going to be dependent upon. You don’t want to risk money you’re going to be dependent upon. Obviously black swan events can happen the day you step into retirement and you have an 8.5% inflation rate. Maybe we have a tax change. These things happen. 

The last thing you want to do is have the wrong information and the wrong approach. What got you to retirement on how you accumulated those assets you really need that mind shift and change in philosophy for how you are now stepping into that distribution and income phase. So the last few moments here, let’s really talk about why that’s important and how our process, the redefining wealth process, we really want to have the interaction between those six core pillars, income, investment, healthcare, cost, taxes, estate planning, liquidity, having the money that you need available for emergencies and such. And I’ve even stretched that out to a year. Dave Ramsey will tell you six months, but I think a year is even better. 

But why is it important to have a plan and a process and not to just get scared the minute the market starts going down and then go to one of those bad chicken dinner seminars, and then you’re buying all these products. They’re fine for a percentage of the portfolio, perhaps, but you really need to go through a process. It’s the same as if I go to the doctor. If I say I have a pain in my chest, I’m not going to just start taking medication or doing things without really finding what the underlying reasons are for that. So without a process, people are just kind of stabbing in the dark for what sounds good at the moment.

Michael: I think Laura, the biggest thing is being able to build expectations. Many times when people are investing, they will look one dimensional. And they’re only looking at if the market goes in my favor, they are not separating their assets out. They’re not expecting or building in the fact that the market is not always an escalator to the top. 

It’s not always going to go up and to the right. And so you’ve got to separate your assets out into those tranches of when is there going to be an expectation of them. But also in that longer duration money, you should build in an expectation that there’s going to be a correction in the market. And then that way you don’t have to panic, you just know that’s going to be the normal process. Just like you said, there’s going to be an expansion. There’s going to be a contraction in the market. It’s going to hit a trough and then it’s going to expand back up. Those are the normal cyclical approach that’s going to happen in the marketplace. 

And you’ve got to be able to allow the lungs to breathe, basically. So your lungs expand out and they can track and they expand out and they contract. The market does the same thing. Our lungs, we don’t just breathe in and expand in one direction. That’s not-

Laura Stover: Unless you’re really out of shape you might be expanding in one direction. 

Michael: That’s right. 

Laura Stover: I just had to throw that in there, sorry.

Michael: But it’s not your lungs. But when you’re looking at that’s the problem that most people go to an investor and they look one dimensional and the person always has the Harry Potter wand and they’re going to just sprinkle some magic on top of your portfolio. And it’s always going to go in one direction. 

Well, that’s not realistic. And if we don’t build realistic expectations, then what happens is people get anxiety. They look at it, they have disappointment, and they’re now trying to scramble to make a change. But when are they looking to make the change? It’s not at the peak of a market. It’s at the trough of a market, and that may not get them a recovery in the best approach because oftentimes investors will not make consideration of where the existing portfolio is. They will sell them out of a position to turn them right back around and buy them into the exact same holdings that they were in previously. So you need to make sure that you’re working with a person that analyzes, has a plan looks at the six step approach of how all of the elements of your life is working with an interdependency of one another, with the expectation of what you need your money to do to grow so you can live the lifestyle you’ve always dreamed of.

Laura Stover: You don’t want everything you’ve worked your entire life for, to life solely on the economy or the market. And my 2 cents, what we’re experiencing today, it’s normal, it’s cyclical. And we may see further near term losses, which cannot be timed, but should be taken advantage of when possible and above all the long term is still positive. It always has been. 

But again, how you fare through this does depend about the style that you’re utilizing, upon the type of plan that you have in place. And if you do not have an income plan, regardless of assets, walk through our redefining wealth process. That way you have a rock solid plan where there’s no speculation and that you have it crafted any way that’s going to be conducive to the lifestyle that you want to live through retirement. There’s all kinds of shocks and things that’s going to happen.

And we are living much, much longer today than our parents, than our grandparents. For the most part people’s longevity has substantially increased. Michael today, the new 60, I look 39 through the camera here. 

Michael: Yes you dog.

Laura Stover: And in all seriousness though, with that comes new challenges. Our money has to last much longer than it did in the past. And we’ve seen a downturn, not many companies offer pensions anymore. And it’s important to get this right. If you would like to walk through the redefining wealth process, we’ll walk you through the six integrative steps. We’ll also provide you with a complimentary link to our proprietary life arc planning system. You will begin the process of having a blueprint with your financial plan. Thank you for listening.

Ron: You’ve been listening to Retirement Talk, go to redefiningwealth.info. Schedule a complimentary 15 minute strategy call with Laura and Michael and get a deep dive analysis of your retirement by walking through the redefining wealth process. Retirement Talk and redefining wealth is a registered trademark of LS Wealth Management. Schedule a strategy session. Go to redefiningwealth.info. That’s redefiningwealth.info. 

Redefining wealth is a registered trademark of LS Wealth Management, investing involves risk, including the potential loss of principle. Any references to protection, safety, or lifetime income generally referred to fixed insurance products, never securities or investments. Insurance guarantees are backed by the financial strength and claims paying abilities of the issuing carrier. This show is intended for informational purposes only. 

It is not intended to be used as the sole basis for financial decisions, nor should it be construed as advice designed to meet the particular needs of an individual situation. LS Wealth Management LLC is not permitted to offer and no statement made during this show shall constitute tax or legal advice. Our firm is not affiliated with or endorsed by the US government or any governmental agency. 

The information and opinions contained here in provided by third parties have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed by LS Wealth Management, LLC. Investment advisory services offered through Optimize Advisory Services an SEC registered investment advisor. LS Wealth Management is a separate entity.

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