Phone » 513.598.5120   |   Have a Question?

Market Commentaries and Planning Articles

Week of March 27, 2017: HCM Market Insights  Are We In A Correction Now? Recently, global equities have struggled for direction, with most markets and sectors refusing to confirm the latest highs set in major indices.  The Administration’s failure on Friday to move forward with health care reform may be revealing internal divides that could make meaningful tax and regulation reform more difficult.  If the markets see this as a risk it could be a trigger for correction.

Read the Full Market Commentary Here

Week of March 13, 2017: HCM Market Insights  Where Has All the Fear Gone? The bull market celebrated its eighth birthday last Wednesday. The market bottomed on March 9th, 2009 closing 57% below its previous high. Investors were scared to death then.  

Read the Full Market Commentary Here

Week of February 27, 2017: HCM Market Insights  How Long Will the Rally Last? Improving growth prospects and a reflationary trend are reinforcing HCM’s intermediate-term view.  And while our intermediate view is optimistic, our risk antennae are twitching.

Read the Full Market Commentary Here

Week of February 13, 2017: HCM Market Insights  Last week we began to unwind a bit of our overweight allocation to smaller-cap stocks.  This follows a year where small stocks were one of our top performing asset classes.  However, we have some doubts about the ability of smaller companies to maintain their recent trend of outperformance.
Read the Full Market Commentary Here

Week of February 6, 2017: HCM Market Insights  The Dow broke 20,000 last week – for the second time. The backing and filling we have seen in the markets recently is a normal digestion process to be expected after the rapid jump in prices that occurred in the weeks following the election
Read the Full Market Commentary Here

Week of January 30, 2017: HCM Market Insights The biggest event at HCM last week was our 2017 Outlook Event where we hosted Jeffrey Kleintop, Schwab’s Chief Global Strategist, to hear his market forecast for 2017.  We also shared HCM’s views about how and why our portfolios are positioned as they are.
Read the Full Market Commentary Here

Week of January 23, 2017: HCM Market Insights Just a reminder that tomorrow, 1/24, HCM is hosting its 2017 Economic Outlook client event.  If you would like to receive the materials presented at this event, please contact Diane by e-mail at diane@hengeholdcapital.com.
Read the Full Market Commentary Here

Week of January 9, 2017: HCM Market Insights The most awaited economic statistic of the month is the employment report. Friday’s results showed a gain in December of 156,000 jobs. With positive revisions for November, the latest results pleased analysts who believe the report points toward continued growth.
Read the Full Market Commentary Here

Week of December 19, 2016: HCM Market Insights The big news last week focused almost exclusively on the changing interest rate policy following the low interest rates (monetary stimulus) that have been the driving force behind our economic and market recoveries in the years since the recession bottomed in 2009.
Read the Full Market Commentary Here.

Week of December 12, 2016: HCM Market Insights Since the U.S. election, we have seen strong performance in stocks and weakness in bonds as the long awaited increase in interest rates has finally begun. Considering the magnitude of these moves, it is fair to ask if prices have moved too far too fast or if both stock and bond prices will continue to move.

Read the Full Market Commentary Here.

Week of December 5, 2016: HCM Market Insights Tax Savings for Everyone! In light of the recent election and Republican control of Congress, 2017 could present planning opportunities that almost every American can take advantage of.  That is because the new administration’s tax plan, if enacted, will reduce the top marginal rate for almost all taxpayers.

Read the Full Market Commentary Here.

Week of November 28, 2016: HCM Market Insights One of the hallmarks of HCM’s portfolio structure is broad global diversification. The objective of diversifying is to help insulate HCM portfolios against extreme downside volatility in order to enhance the potential for larger sustainable distributions over time.

Read the Full Market Commentary Here.

Week of November 21, 2016: HCM Market Insights HCM’s concern for the market is drawn from a combination of fundamentals, including stretched valuations, sluggish sales growth, and unsustainable profit margins. While there are plenty of culprits to blame for our lackluster economic recovery, restrictive fiscal policy is a big one.

Read the Full Market Commentary Here.


Week of November 14, 2016: HCM Market Insights 
Now that the election is behind us, the markets will have an opportunity to return their focus to the forces that drive economic fundamentals. In thinking about how that may play out, it is important to realize that recent economic and market data have been encouraging.  

Read the Full Market Commentary Here.


Week of November 7, 2016: HCM Market Insights
The markets have been experiencing a modest decline since early September when election season began to heat up. Today, markets broke that trend following the FBI’s most recent email revelations. As we have written here before, it is normal to see markets suffer when uncertainty (political or financial) is building. It is also normal to see markets move in a positive direction when that stress is dialed back. 

Read the Full Market Commentary Here.


Week of October 31, 2016: HCM Market Insights As both the election season and the calendar year are coming to an end, HCM’s investment team has been busy with the annual housekeeping duties of tax-loss harvesting.  We are completing our first pass now, and will review accounts on two more occasions as December 31 approaches.

Read the Full Market Commentary Here.


Week of October 24, 2016: HCM Market Insights
HCM believes that the combined effects of a more stable dollar and recovering oil prices are positive for the U.S. economy. This improving situation will, we believe, begin to manifest itself in modestly improving earnings reports.

Read the Full Market Commentary Here.



Week of October 17, 2016: HCM Market Insights 
HCM continues to hold a modest overweight to equities and credit risk as we look through some of the recent market turmoil as the U.S. economy continues its slow growth trajectory. HCM continues to favor credit risk over duration for several reasons.

Read the Full Market Commentary Here.


Week of October 10, 2016: HCM Market Insights
There has been much discussion recently about the extended length of the current economic and market cycles, the slow growth we have experienced during these cycles and if we are coming to an end which would lead to recession and poor market returns. HCM does not believe we are at the end of the market cycle yet.  

Read the Full Market Commentary Here.

Week of October 3, 2016: HCM Market Insights September had its share of volatile days, but in the end stocks gained ground for both the month and the quarter with both U.S. and foreign stocks on the positive side of the ledger. HCM believes that the decline which occurred early in September will prove to be a pause that refreshes rather than the beginning of something bigger. Foreign stocks outperformed U.S. stocks for both the month and quarter giving a modest performance edge to globally diversified portfolios.

Read the Full Market Commentary Here.

Week of September 26, 2016: HCM Market Insights
The last few weeks have seen a renewed dose of market volatility. However, for all the sound and fury, not very much has transpired. HCM’s view is that we will see more volatility as we move into the last weeks of the election and the third quarter closes out with corporate earnings announcements.

Read the Full Market Commentary Here.

Week of September 19, 2016: HCM Market Insights Economic data released last week will factor into this week’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) decision on whether to push interest rates higher in the United States. Some of the August data supports the idea economic growth was soft. For example, August retail sales fell more than expected, down 0.3 percent from July. Other data was as expected: U.S. producer prices were flat, which was in line with expectations.

Read the Full Market Commentary Here.


Week of September 12, 2016: HCM Market Insights
Equity indexes made gains early last week as lackluster economic reports in the labor and manufacturing sectors, coupled with a falling dollar, appeared to be fueling speculation that the Fed won't be raising interest rates following its meeting later this month. However, by the close of the week, stocks and bonds changed direction and posted their largest losses since the Brexit vote in June, as traders pulled an about-face. Also, P&G notice of Coty Exchange Offer.

Read the Full Market Commentary Here.

Week of August 29, 2016: HCM Market Insights Markets traded in a narrow range most of last week waiting for Janet Yellen’s comments following the Federal Reserve summit in Jackson Hole Wyoming. There are two key questions that investors want the Fed to answer.

  • When will the next interest rate move take place?
  • Where is the tipping point (known as the neutral rate) where future interest rate increases will start to hurt the economy?

Read the Full Market Commentary Here.


Week of August 22, 2016: HCM Market Insights Activity in The HCM Advance and Defend™ Portfolios last week focused on increasing yield, and maintaining our credit bias and our modest overweighting to a diversified equity allocation.  This involved a reallocation of funds via a reduction in our duration sensitive fixed income holdings as well as residual cash from a recent trade.  These assets were invested into a Strategic Income Fund (JSOAX) that will complement our holdings in Blackrock.

Read the Full Market Commentary Here.


Week of August 15, 2016: HCM Market Insights Last week, HCM completed our most recent reallocation in HCM Advance and Defend™ Portfolios to gradually reduce our exposure to defensive securities and increase our exposure to more cyclical and growth oriented securities. We have received a number of questions about why we maintain modestly overweight equity allocations when we believe stocks are overpriced on a long-term basis. The explanation lies in the difference between relative and absolute value.

Read the Full Market Commentary Here.


Week of August 8, 2016: HCM Market Insights Last week saw two big market moving news items as well as a continuation of earnings season. On Thursday the Bank of England announced a post Brexit stimulus program that will likely have the effect of supporting global asset prices. On Friday the U.S. payroll report, arguably the most important economic release of the month, reported 255,000 new non-farm jobs were created in July, beating expectations. This market friendly news suggests that moderate growth will likely continue in the U.S.

Read the Full Market Commentary Here.


Week of August 1, 2016: HCM Market Insights The Party is Over – Let the Games Begin! No, we don’t mean the Olympics, we mean the U.S. election.  What does history tell us about political outcomes and market trends?

Read the Full Market Commentary Here.


Week of July 25, 2016: HCM Market Insights In a week filled with political distractions that could have spooked the markets, last week stocks moved slightly higher. During the week, HCM completed a trade to reallocate a portion of our large-cap equity exposure to a small cap dividend strategy.We still expect growth to improve modestly in the second half of 2016. We have a positive outlook for the balance of the year and remain overweight stocks at this time.

Read the Full Market Commentary Here.


Week of July 18, 2016: HCM Market Insights Crowd psychology and human nature have not changed much through the years. When, for whatever reason, the crowd gets extremely excited about something, they tend to get fully invested driving prices up. Then, just as spring follows winter, the style changes and prices fall. The same thing happens in reverse when the crowd gets extremely bearish. This notion of fashion leaders and laggards brings us to our most recent allocation change which will take place in both HCM Advance and Defend™ and HCM Strategic portfolios.

Read the Full Market Commentary Here.


Week of July 11, 2016: HCM Market Insights
Following the BREXIT vote that saw stocks plunge and then immediately begin a recovery process at the end of June, the markets began to settle back into a more normal pattern last week. While investors expect volatility from their stock holdings, they generally look to bonds as a life preserver to help them stay afloat when the stock market is sinking.  Today we want to focus on the risk now embedded in bonds and how HCM is handling that risk. 

Read the Full Market Commentary Here.


Week of June 27, 2016:
HCM Market Insights Last week was all Europe, all the time. The Brexit vote resulted in a decision for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union. While the decision was a surprise, the immediate emotional market reaction was not. Markets sold off on Friday morning and the selling continued into this morning’s trading.

Read the Full Market Commentary Here.



Week of June 20, 2016: HCM Market Insights 
HCM was invited to join 150 of the nation’s top Independent Registered Investment Advisory firms at the Explore Conference last week. Some of the nation’s top economic and political leaders, including Condoleezza Rice, Frank Luntz, Liz Ann Sonders and Jeffrey Kleintop, discussed the key forces driving the world’s financial markets. Unfortunately, the markets misbehaved.

Read the Full Market Commentary Here.


Week of June 13, 2016: HCM Market Insights
Why the lack of confidence despite the market’s advance? The caution represents potential for positive responses if BREXIT is voted down, election polls begin to show a trend, Zika fears fade ahead of Brazil's Olympics, and weak economic reports prove to be exceptions rather than part of a broadening trend.  

Read the Full Market Commentary Here.


Week of June 6, 2016: HCM Market Insights Last week’s most anticipated piece of economic news involved May’s employment report released on Friday. The impact from the jobs report was to create confusion as the rather large “miss” creates some renewed doubt about continuing economic growth.

Read the Full Market Commentary Here.



Week of May 23, 2016: HCM Market Insights Global markets suffered from a split personality last week as U.S. stocks, as measured by the Russell 3000 (IWV), gained about 0.44%. Developed foreign stocks (EFA) made up a little ground, gaining approximately 0.31%.

Read the Full Market Commentary Here.



Week of May 16, 2016: HCM Market Insights Global markets were on a bit of a roller coaster last week. On Tuesday, the Dow Jones gained more than 200 points. On Wednesday, it gave it all back again and Friday, it lost nearly 1% more.

Read the Full Market Commentary Here.



Week of May 9, 2016: HCM Market Insights Considering how quickly the market recovered from its weak start this year, there is nothing surprising about the market taking a little time to catch its breath. 

Read the Full Market Commentary Here.



Week of May 2, 2016: HCM Market Insights Markets behaved well on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday before reversing course, following Japan’s surprise announcement and finishing the week in negative territory. The big surprise last week was Japan's decision not to add to their economic stimulus program at this time.

Read the Full Market Commentary Here.



Week of April 25, 2016: HCM Market Insights The markets were relatively calm last week with the S&P 500 (SPY) gaining about .57%. During the week, HCM’s global diversification added value vs. the S&P because foreign stocks generally outperformed.  

Read the Full Market Commentary Here.



Week of April 18, 2016: HCM Market Insights Other than a modest rebalancing trade in our most aggressive accounts to keep equity risk within our policy limits, HCM made no changes to any of our portfolios last week as stocks increased in value.

Read the Full Market Commentary Here.



Week of April 11, 2016: HCM Market Insights This week a client asked if HCM was bullish or bearish. Since it is the political season, I gave a politician’s answer. I said we were "Non-Bears". What does that mean, the client asked? I explained this meant we are positive for the intermediate term, but believe most traditional asset classes are expensive based on longer-term valuation metrics. 

Read the Full Market Commentary Here.




Week of April 4, 2016: HCM Market Insights A solid jobs report for March, coupled with continued strength in the housing sector, may have influenced equities as each of the major indexes posted gains week-over-week. 

Read the Full Market Commentary Here.




Week of March 28, 2016: HCM Market Insights After five consecutive weeks of gains, stocks cooled as major global indexes slid into negative territory by the close of last week. With the latest downturn, only the Dow is still slightly ahead of its 2015 year-end closing value. 

Read the Full Market Commentary Here.



Week of March 21, 2016: HCM Market Insights HCM’s view of the market’s message is that after a deflation scare that fueled the decline in share prices earlier this year, global economic growth will recover (or at least stabilize), supported by continuing accommodation by most of the major central banks around the globe.

Read the Full Market Commentary Here.



Week of March 14, 2016: HCM Market Insights The rally from the February lows produced overbought conditions among global equities, setting up the recent consolidation. But it also brought confirmation from longer-term indicators, increasing the chances that the market advance will prove to be sustainable over the course of the year.

Read the Full Market Commentary Here.




Week of March 7, 2016:
HCM Market Insights 
Last week each of the major global regions HCM invests in experienced gains. This was a special treat as so far this year has generally seen declines in these markets. The S&P 500, while still in negative territory for the year gained 2.67% last week. Does last week’s broad advance mean the correction is now over?

Read the Full Market Commentary Here.




Week of February 29, 2016: HCM Market Insights Last week saw the majority of the global markets HCM incorporates into our diversified models continue to make progress following the reversal that occurred in mid-February. We are of the opinion that we have endured the worst part of a cyclical correction as part of an extended bottoming process.

Read the Full Market Commentary Here.



Week of February 22, 2016: HCM Market Insights Last week saw strength come back into the global markets. This begs the question, "Has the correction that has been frustrating investors during the first part of 2016 finally run its course?" 

Read the Full Market Commentary Here.



Week of February 15, 2016:What's next for HCM portfolios? We believe the fact pattern influencing the difficult start in 2016 reflects a market correction within an ongoing bull market, rather than the start of something bigger. At the core of our reasoning is the belief that the United States is not headed into recession this year.

Read the Full Market Commentary Here.




Week of February 8, 2016: HCM Market Insights Following a labor report that showed job growth slowed in January, stocks declined after making some positive headway the prior week. The Nasdaq, Dow, and S&P 500 were down for the week.

Read the Full Market Commentary Here.



Week of February 1, 2016: HCM Market Insights Volatility continues to best describe the markets throughout the first month of 2016, as they rebounded after a very shaky start. Boosted by a jump in oil prices, favorable earnings reports, and an end-of-the-week move by the Japanese central bank to set negative interest rates, several major indexes posted gains.

Read the Full Market Commentary Here.



Week of January 25, 2016: Q&A with HCM Advisors Global markets have been rocky so far in 2016, as signs of a slowing Chinese economy revived fears about weak global growth. Understandably, investors often become nervous when markets are volatile, so we have compiled a few of the common questions we have received. 

Read our Q&A with HCM Advisors.



Week of January 18, 2016: HCM Market Insights Last week was a perfect storm of bad news for investors, as China's continuing economic and stock market woes and the ongoing plunge in oil prices – combined with a stream of disappointing news about the U.S. economy – sparked yet another sharp selloff.

Read the Full Market Commentary Here.




Week of January 11, 2016: HCM Market Insights
The first week of 2016 has challenged some investors’ confidence. Equity markets around the world, as measured by the MSCI All-Country World Index, were down over 6% through January 8. Weaker-than-expected economic growth in China and geopolitical uncertainties in the Middle East and North Korea have added to the volatility.

Read the Full Market Commentary Here.




Week of January 4, 2016: HCM Market Insights The short and final week of 2015 saw the S&P 500, the Nasdaq, and the Dow each finish in negative territory compared to the prior week. Consumer Confidence rebounded in December, following a moderate decline in November. The week also saw an increase of about 20,000 initial claims for unemployment insurance.

Read the Full Market Commentary Here.



Week of December 21, 2015: HCM Market Insights After hype that would have exhausted even the most dedicated Star Wars fans, the Federal Reserve finally began to tighten monetary policy last week, raising interest rates for the first time since 2006.

Read the Full Market Commentary Here.



Week of December 14, 2015: HCM Market Insights Investors appeared to be in a selling mood this past week. Plunging oil prices and the expectation of a possible interest rate hike were key factors in last week's volatility across major global markets. 

Read the Full Market Commentary Here.


Week of December 7, 2015: HCM Market Insights The first week of December proved quite volatile, with several of the major indexes rallying on Friday to close ahead of the week before. Some of the upward movement from investors may have come in response to another good jobs report and the fact that the economy is stable enough to warrant a likely interest rate increase when the Fed meets later this month.
Read the Full Market Commentary Here.


Week of November 23, 2015: HCM Market Insights Despite the terrorist attacks in Paris and Mali, stocks climbed higher. Investors may have been influenced by favorable earnings reports from some large companies and feeling that the impending Fed interest rate hike may be a sign the gov't believes the economy is on an upswing.
Read the Full Market Commentary Here.
Plus, Tax Loss Harvesting: How It Can Work to Reduce Your Taxes


Week of November 16, 2015: HCM Market Insights Global equity markets stumbled as China reported more weakness while expectations rose for a U.S. Federal Reserve interest rate hike in December.
Read the Full Market Commentary Here.
Plus, 529A Plans: A New Planning Tool for Parents with Special Needs Children.


Week of November 9, 2015: HCM Market Insights Major global stock indices treaded water for the week ending November 6, on mixed economic data. The October U.S. jobs report and other recent economic indicators point to continued modest economic growth.
Read the Full Market Commentary Here.
Plus, Six Common 401(k) Plan Misconceptions.


Week of November 2, 2015: HCM Market Insights October was a good month for global stock markets and it appears that the year-end rally we discussed in our 3rd Quarter Investment Commentary is now underway.
Read the Full Market Commentary Here.
Plus, Year end tax planning tips.


Week of October 26, 2015: HCM Market Insights Global Equities finished the week ending October 23rd on a high note following a strong finish in the technology sector. China cut interest rates once again in an attempt to spur its waning economy. The European Central Bank hinted that it could scale up its bond-buying stimulus program, further boosting stock markets around the globe.
Read the Full Market Commentary Here.


Week of October 19, 2015: HCM Third Quarter Investment Commentary Increasing concern over China’s economic growth, accompanied by a surprise, albeit modest, devaluation of China’s currency, the yuan, helped trigger a sharp drop in global equity markets in late August, with the S&P 500 falling 12% from its high reached just a month earlier.
Read the Third Quarter Investment Commentary Here.


Week of October 12, 2015: HCM Market Insights Global markets rebounded last week. The minutes from the last Fed meeting confirmed that interest rates would remain at their current levels for the near-term due to concern over persistently low inflation figures.
Read the Full Market Commentary Here.Plus, Age-Based Tips for Making the Most of Your Retirement Savings Plan.


Week of October 5, 2015: HCM Market Insights A disappointing monthly jobs report added to concerns about global weakness. For the week ending Oct. 2nd, global stock indices were volatile.
Read the Full Market Commentary Here.
Plus, What return are you really earning on your money?


Week of September 28, 2015: HCM Market Insights U.S. stock indexes ended the week lower but managed to recoup some losses Friday after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said that global growth is strong enough to withstand emerging markets turmoil. Her comments eased the stock rout that began last week.
Read the Full Market Commentary Here.
Plus, Five Ways to Manage Risk in Your Retirement Savings Plan.


Week of September 21, 2015: HCM Market Insights Global stocks gave back the previous week’s gains during Friday’s trading session. U.S. indices had climbed early in the week on strengthening U.S. economic data. The U.S. Federal Reserve’s decision to leave interest rates unchanged was attributed to concern about global weakness and left investors with uncertainty.
Read the Full Market Commentary Here.
Plus, The Benefits of Health Savings Accounts.


Week of September 14, 2015: HCM Market Insights The last four weeks have reminded us what good old fashioned market volatility can feel like. We view market volatility as a part of the predictably unpredictable nature of investing in stocks. An important part of a successful financial independence investing strategy involves riding out these periods of nervous markets.
Read the Full Market Insights Here.
Plus, Cybercrime - The Growing Threat.


Week of August 31, 2015: Volatility returned to the global markets last week. Fears that the depth of China’s economic downturn had escalated caused a global sell-off. Investors also reacted to a tumble in oil and commodity prices, sparked, in part, by fears about falling Chinese demand.
Read the Full Market Commentary Here.
Plus, Saving for Higher Education: Dispelling Myths about 529 Plans.


Week of August 24, 2015: Market volatility is uncomfortable, especially because there has been a lack of volatility in the past few years. In fact, the market has gone 1,418 calendar days without a 10% correction, which is the third longest streak in the last 50 years!
Read the Full Market Commentary Here.
Plus, The Cost of Financial Procrastination.


Week of August 17, 2015: Global stock markets endured a tough week ending August 14th. World markets were dragged down by China’s surprise currency devaluation and the eurozone’s disappointing economic growth. U.S. retail sales and industrial production figures came in better than expected which helped propel U.S. indices modestly higher for the week.
Read the Full Market Commentary Here.
Plus, ETF Questions and Answers.


Week of August 10, 2015: U.S. stocks fell for the week ending August 7th after a solid July jobs report reinforced expectations that the Federal Reserve may be drawing closer to its first interest rate hike since 2006.Read the Full Market Commentary Here.
Plus, Financial Mistakes People Make at Different Ages.


Week of August 3, 2015: The financial markets took a breather from recent volatility as global stocks rebounded during the week ending July 31st. A report from the U.S. Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) seemingly halted talk of an imminent interest rate hike, although indications point to some rate movement before the end of the year.
Read the Full Market Commentary Here.


July 2015 2nd Quarter Investment Commentary: Key Takeaways From the 2nd Quarter, The Greek Debt Crisis, Our Position on European Stocks and The Fed's Looming Rate Hike: Implications for U.S. Stocks.
Read More Here.


Week of July 20, 2015: Following a week of losses, global markets rebounded in a big way for the week ended July 17. News of tentative agreement between Greece and its creditors seemed to quell investor concerns of a Grexit. Global markets were also helped by China’s better-than-expected second-quarter GDP report.
Read More Here.


Week of July 13, 2015: A week of volatility ended with the stock market little changed from the prior week. On Wednesday, the major indices responded negatively to the potential for a Greek exit from the eurozone (Grexit), the free fall of China's major markets, and a "technical glitch" on the New York Stock Exchange.
Read More Here.


Week of July 6, 2015: Uncertainty in Greece continues to weigh on global financial markets as the country edged closer to debt default and a possible Eurozone exit. Global stocks were mixed for the week ending July 3rd, with most major indices range-bound after a sharp drop on Monday.
Read More Here.


Week of June 29, 2015: U.S. economic reports last week were generally positive, which continues the more recent broader positive economic trend of growth gaining momentum after a slow start.
Read More Here.