2017-Q4 Quarterly Update
January 25, 2018
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Smith,
If you followed the news in 2017, the world is in turmoil. Nuclear threats, disputed trade agreements, political posturing, destructive weather and constant arguing over he-said, she-said occupy our daily headlines. However, if you follow the stock market everything is great and getting better. For the first time ever, the S&P 500 Index ended every month this year with a gain. By year-end the S&P Total Return was up 21.83%, with the S&P Growth component up 27.44% and the S&P Value component up 15.36%.
TIA's two value-based portfolios, TIA Income Equity and TIA Value Equity, each fared well against the benchmark's 15.36% return. TIA Growth Equity rose with the market but slightly lagged its benchmark's 27.44%. Remember, TIA follows a specific investment process which prevents us from investing in stocks without solid, verifiable earnings. This eliminates the moment stocks that performed so well in Growth this year. It should also insulate us from the downside if(when) these stocks fail to impress with a future earnings report.
After a year like 2017, it's natural to ask what comes next. TIA still believes this is an earnings-driven market. With the passing of the corporate tax reduction, it's estimated that corporate earnings may rise another 10% in 2018. Add that to the co-ordinated growth showing up in Europe, Japan and China, and we may be in for a few more years of global expansion. Currently, the annual survey of top analysts projects the S&P 500 Index to reach 2865 in 2018, an increase of over 7%.
WHile 2018 holds great potential for stocks, it also has risks. Volatility has been at record lows for over a year now and its likely return will bring some down days to go with the market highs we have come to expect. Regardless of what 2018 brings, TIA will be constantly analyzing the markets to put our clients in the best investment positions possible.
Thank you for your investment confidence and we welcome your calls about your account.
G. Michael Prugh
Senior Vice President and CFO