Mitigating Risk: How Bonds Play a Crucial Role in Your Portfolio

Global equities had mixed performance in the third quarter with large U.S. stocks inching higher and small U.S. stocks falling 2.4%. Foreign stocks struggled in the face of trade negotiations and ongoing tariff disputes. Real estate was a strong performing asset class, rising nearly 6% as interest rates declined, reducing financing costs. As has been the case for much of the year, political headlines remained prominent in the U.S. news cycle as the 2020 presidential election looms on the horizon and an impeachment inquiry got underway.

The Efficient-Market Hypothesis & DFA: The Building Blocks for Our Investment Philosophy Since 1991

For over 28 years, Dowling & Yahnke has invested client assets as fiduciaries. Our firm is independent with respect to the investment vehicles we use, freeing us to design portfolios we believe will best meet client objectives. We continuously scrutinize our investment philosophy and the tools we use, challenging our thinking and experience to ensure our clients receive the best experience possible based on their financial objectives, risk appetite, and tax situation. In this quarter’s newsletter, we will explore our longstanding relationship with Dimensional Fund Advisors (DFA). While DFA mutual funds represent a minority portion of the assets we use in building portfolios, many of the philosophical and practical concepts underpinning DFA’s approach also permeate our thinking.

Comments on Recent Market Volatility

Elevated stock market volatility, as we have seen the past two months, brings gloomy headlines and may elicit fear in some investors. Since the beginning of October, the U.S. stock market (Russell 3000 Total Return Index) has gone from being up nearly 11% for the year to up just 2% as of December 6th. Most of this decline has happened during a few sizeable down days in the market, which can be alarming. It is an impossible task to identify and quantify the specific causes of any market decline, but there are a few leading candidates this time: