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market spotlight | monthly review

November proved to be a very volatile month for stocks. By the third week of the month, the benchmark indexes listed here had given back just about all of the gains accumulated during the year. However, a spurt during the last week of November helped push stocks higher by the end of the month. Each of the indexes listed here outperformed their October end-of-the-month closing values, led by the large caps of the S&P 500 and the Dow, followed by the Global Dow and the small caps of the Russell 2000. The technology stocks of the Nasdaq edged higher by the close of November, and that index still maintains a sizeable lead year-to-date among the indexes listed here.

Nevertheless, investors head into the last month of the year anxiously, as fears of a slowing economy and growing international trade tensions will likely temper expectations for steady stock gains moving forward. Energy stocks have been hit by falling oil prices, and the yield on 10-year Treasuries fell below 3.0% as bond prices rose after the Federal Reserve chairman intimated that interest rates may not be increasing as aggressively as previously thought.

did you know?

Investors remain rattled by recent market volatility, and the level of these swings has been dizzying with continual record-breaking statistics. Of the twenty largest point shifts in the history of the Dow, twelve of them occurred in 2018, but none of the largest percentage shifts occurred this decade (as of 12-26-18). Here are four days to remember:

  • The largest single-day point gain for the Dow: 1,086.25 (12-26-18)
  • The largest single-day point loss for the Dow:l 1,175.21 (2-5-2018)
  • The Dow saw its largest daily percentage gain of 15.34% (3-15-1933)
  • The Dow experienced its largest daily percentage loss of 22.61% (10-19-1987)Sources: MarketWatch, CNBC, Bloomberg, DJI

bright ideas
Stop-Loss Provides Relief for Anxious Investors:
Eliminating Emotion and Extreme Volatility

Are we merely in a correction or are we headed into full bear territory? Time will tell the extent of the market downturn, but what remains clear is a correction seemed inevitable in 2018. Over the course of this past year, we have seen a significant shift in the emotions driving investors from greed to extreme fear, further fueling recent volatility. After a prolonged and historic bull run in 2017, the equity markets stagnated in 2018 and dipped close to correction territory on numerous occasions before finally tanking during the holiday season, triggering the stop-loss mechanism in Beacon’s Vantage portfolios on December 21.

Fear and Greed IndexSource: CNN Business

As emotions of either extreme lead investors to act against their best intentions, at Beacon, we believe in eliminating emotion from investing altogether. Our front-line defense for dealing with uncertainty is by following a set of predetermined rules with mechanical precision. Even with the stop-loss triggered, this is a great opportunity to provide value and education to your clients and prospects emphasizing that the timing for both exiting and buying back into the market are of equal importance and are fully automated with our signature Vantage portfolios.

Since triggering the stop-loss, our advisors have shared three key reasons they’re happy (and relieved) to have assets on the sidelines for the time being:

Geopolitical turmoil. Whether our domestic policies, international trade policies or international events, there’s been an expressed overwhelming feeling of uncertainty about how these issues will be resolved. As one advisor explained, “It doesn’t matter whether it’s China or Russia or something going on in the Middle East, I’m just happy my clients are out of the market right now.”

Eliminate emotional decision-making. Our advisors said they understand, now more than ever, that emotional investing is what gets investors in trouble. “Euphoric emotions have us putting bets where we shouldn’t be putting bets,” one advisor said. “And depressed emotions have us saying we don’t ever want to be in the market again.”

The mathematical consequences of losses. Finally, advisors are saying they understand that losses have a greater impact on a portfolio than gains do. As one advisor told us, “I was just telling one of my clients that a 10% gain is not equivalent to a 10% loss. If you have a minus 10, you will need a plus 11 just to get back to even.”

More than just returns, we are focused on outcomes—primarily the outcome of providing a smoother ride and reducing the extremes that can derail a portfolio in times of volatility, particularly at or near retirement.

As you have conversations with clients about market uncertainty and the strength of stop-loss investment strategies, we encourage you to utilize the client education tools available to you on the Advisor Toolbox, which are designed to help you educate and grow trust with your most valued clients, particularly in these times of volatility. For additional information on how you can educate clients on the dangers of emotional investing and the power of stop-losses, contact your wholesaler today!

beacon news

Be sure to visit Beacon’s News & Press page for the latest credibility pieces to share with your clients and prospects, and follow Beacon on LinkedIn for the latest updates as they happen.

“Everything is all over the map. Investors are trying to find some kind of direction,” said Chris Cook, founder and president of Beacon Capital Management. “But it’s almost as if there’s a buffet of things to worry about.”—USA Today



Beacon Capital Management, Inc. is a registered investment adviser with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Information presented is for educational purposes only and does not intend to make an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of any specific securities, investments, or investment strategies.  Investments involve risk and unless otherwise stated, are not guaranteed.  Past performance is not indicative of future performance.

Additional information about Beacon Capital Management is also available on the SEC’s website at under CRD number 120641. Beacon Capital Management only transacts business in states where it is properly registered, notice filed, or excluded or exempted from registration or notice filing requirements.

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