The markets rallied to start the year advancing 11.2% through April before running out of steam and retreating to 9.5% for the first half. The rebound erased the losses from the second half of 2011 putting the S&P 500 up a modest 4.5% over the past twelve months.
In many ways the first half of 2012 was very similar to 2011. European woes dominated headlines, as well as investor confidence. Of concern, is the fear of the debt crisis in Greece, Spain and Italy worsens and eventually spreads to the US tripping us back into a recession.
We begin the second half of 2012 entering the start of earnings season and the campaigning for the Presidential election. Mix in, the expiration of the Bush-era taxes, the end of the payroll tax break and it’s easy to see why many will be cautious over the short term.
The end of the first half is a good milestone to plot your holdings and see if you’re on course. Maybe some adjustments are necessary. I anticipant the recent turbulence to remain with us over the near term but eventually, as these underlining issues work themselves through we will see sunny days.
So take stock as we start the second half. Your money should be working for you, don’t let it be ignored.
Shawn Miller is a Financial Planner with Sovereign Financial Services on E. Pennsylvania Ave in Bel Air, MD. Website www.sfsadvisers.com Phone 410.575.3120