INSIGHTS FROM FIRST FOUNDATION

A First Foundation Blog

The Week Ahead – The Year Ahead

Every week, we have been writing about what to expect in the markets in each coming day. While this week is no different, we did want to take this first week of the new year to pause and look further out.

Last year served as a kind of counterweight to 2017. As jubilant and unprecedented as 2017 was, 2018 initially brought new highs, such as record highs in late September for domestic equity markets, but ultimately ended with much angst and the worst annual return for domestic equity markets since 2008. A China slowdown scare, the reintroduction of volatility, global growth fears, worries about overly aggressive Fed policy, inverting yield curves, midterm elections, BREXIT, and trade wars were all part of the headlines for 2018.

While the calendar year has turned, not much clarity has been provided to answer investors’ main question from late 2018: Are we in a regular correction, a full-blown bear market, or about to enter a recession? Each of the aforementioned global macro fears will slowly become clarified, one way or another, in 2019. The market dislikes uncertainty which is muddying global growth expectations (i.e., will the US-China trade war turn into a new Cold War?). A slower growing economy – the most likely outcome if a trade truce is negotiated – is very different from a contracting economy, which is a more likely outcome if a Cold War begins. Our base case scenario for 2019 is the former, though we remain vigilant about the possibility of the latter.

Data deck for 2019:

Date

Country / Region

Event

January 1

Brazil

President-elect Jair Bolsonaro to be sworn in

January 3

United States

The 116th Congress will be sworn in

January 14

United Kingdom

Parliament will vote on the Withdrawal Agreement

January 23

Japan

Bank of Japan monetary policy meeting

January 24

European Union

European Central Bank Governing Council meeting

January 29-30

United States

FOMC Meeting

February 7

United Kingdom

Bank of England meeting

February 16

Nigeria

Presidential and General Elections

February 17

United States

Commerce Department deadline for report on potential auto tariffs

February 24

Thailand

General Elections

March 1

China

The National People’s Congress meets

March 1

USA/ China

Trade truce negotiated by Presidents Trump and Xi expires

March 2

United States

Federal debt ceiling reinstated

March 7

European Union

European Central Bank Governing Council meeting

March 19-20

United States

FOMC Meeting

March 29

United Kingdom

BREXIT Day scheduled

March 31

Ukraine

Presidential Elections

April

OPEC

OPEC meeting to review production

April 11

European Union

European Central Bank Governing Council meeting

April 12-14

IMF

Spring Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group

April 14

India

General Elections

April 14

Finland

General Elections

April 17

Indonesia

Presidential and General Elections

April 25

Japan

Nationwide & Local Elections

April 25

Japan

Bank of Japan monetary policy meeting

April 30

Japan

Emperor Akihito will relinquish the throne to his eldest son, Crown Prince Naruhito

April 30 – May 1

United States

FOMC Meeting

May

South Africa

General Elections

May 2

United Kingdom

Local Elections

May 2

United Kingdom

Bank of England meeting

May 13

Philippines

General Elections

May 18

Australia

Senate Elections

May 23-26

European Union

European Parliamentary Elections

May 25

Belgium

Federal Elections

May 26

Germany

Regional Elections

May 26

Spain

Local and Regional Elections

June 6

European Union

European Central Bank Governing Council meeting

June 8-9

G-20

G-20 Trade, Finance, and Central Bank Ministerial Meetings

June 18-19

United States

FOMC Meeting

June 17

Denmark

General Elections

June 28-29

G-20

G-20 Summit

July

Japan

House of Councilors Election

July 2

European Union

First meeting of the new European Parliament

July 25

European Union

European Central Bank Governing Council meeting

July 30

Japan

Bank of Japan meeting

July 30-31

United States

FOMC Meeting

August

United States

Federal debt ceiling potentially reached if limit not yet raised

August 1

United Kingdom

Bank of England meeting

August 25

G-7

G-7 Meeting

September 12

European Union

European Central Bank Governing Council meeting

September 17

United Nations

UN General Assembly meeting

September 17

United States

FOMC Meeting

October

Ukraine

Parliamentary Elections

October 6

Portugal

General Elections

October 18-20

IMF

International Monetary Fund and World Bank Group meetings

October 20

Greece

General Elections

October 20

Switzerland

National and Federal Council Elections

October 21

Canada

Federal Elections

October 24

European Union

European Central Bank Governing Council meeting (and President Draghi’s last meeting)

October 27

Argentina

Presidential Elections

October 29-30

United States

FOMC Meeting

October 31

Japan

Bank of Japan meeting

November 1

European Union

New European Commission President and Commissioners take office

November 5

United States

Gubernatorial Elections in Kentucky, Mississippi, and Louisiana

November 5

Israel

General Elections

November 7

United Kingdom

Bank of England meeting

November 19

Poland

General Elections

December

OPEC

OPEC meeting

December 10-11

United States

FOMC meeting

December 12

European Union

European Central Bank Governing Council meeting

December 19

Romania

Presidential Elections

 

IMPORTANT DISCLOSURE INFORMATION    

Please remember that past performance may not be indicative of future results. Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance that the future performance of any specific investment, investment strategy, or product (including the investments and/or investment strategies recommended or undertaken by First Foundation Advisors), or any non-investment related content, made reference to directly or indirectly in this blog will be profitable, equal any corresponding indicated historical performance level(s), be suitable for your portfolio or individual situation, or prove successful. Due to various factors, including changing market conditions and/or applicable laws, the content may no longer be reflective of current opinions or positions. Moreover, you should not assume that any discussion or information contained in this blog serves as the receipt of, or as a substitute for, personalized investment advice from First Foundation Advisors. To the extent that a reader has any questions regarding the applicability of any specific issue discussed above to his/her individual situation, he/she is encouraged to consult with the professional advisor of his/her choosing. First Foundation Advisors is neither a law firm nor a certified public accounting firm and no portion of the blog content should be construed as legal or accounting advice. A copy of the First Foundation Advisors’ current written disclosure statement discussing our advisory services and fees is available for review upon request. Please Note: First Foundation Advisors does not make any representations or warranties as to the accuracy, timeliness, suitability, completeness, or relevance of any information prepared by any unaffiliated third party, whether linked to First Foundation Advisors’ web site or incorporated herein, and takes no responsibility therefore. All such information is provided solely for convenience purposes only and all users thereof should be guided accordingly.

Andrew Chan, CAIA, Portfolio Strategist
About the Author
Andrew Chan, CAIA, Portfolio Strategist
Mr. Chan serves on the investment team and is responsible for conducting investment manager research and portfolio construction. As a member of the investment committee, he provides market commentary and investment insights. Mr. Chan’s responsibilities include overseeing client portfolios, calculating risk metrics, conducting the rebalancing of client portfolios, and evaluating the selection of new investment managers. With over 10 years of wealth management experience, Mr. Chan has played key roles across various aspects of investment and wealth management. Prior to joining First Foundation Advisors, Mr. Chan was most recently a portfolio manager at U.S. Trust where, in addition to his daily responsibilities, he served on numerous internal committees including the investment manager committee, the portfolio model committee, and the strategic technology committee. He also served on the in-house strategic consultant committee reporting directly to the President of U.S. Trust. Mr. Chan is a graduate of the Wharton School Executive Program on Investment Management and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration from the University of California, Riverside. He is a Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA). Mr. Chan serves on the executive board for CAIA Los Angeles and is the Interim President for the association. Read more
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