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Financial Life Planning Advisors

A Brief Year in Review for 2017

As we head into the new year, we can point out that 2017 has been a banner year for stocks not just in the U.S., but around the world.

Investors have been focused on the upbeat fundamentals–corporate profit growth sparked by economic gains at home and abroad.

The U.S. economy grew at 3.3% in Q3, according to revisions released by the U.S. BEA. It’s the second quarter in a row that GDP has exceeded 3%, a feat that hasn’t occurred in the three previous years.

As Q3 concludes, S&P 500 earnings are up a solid 8.4% versus a year ago, according to Thomson Reuters. And analysts are forecasting a return to double-digit earnings growth in 2018.

Strong gains in the market sometimes encourage investors to plow headfirst into stocks. Others openly wonder if it’s time to move to the sidelines.

Let us tell you market timing is a game best left to gamblers. We’ve had almost 60 all-time closing highs in the S&P 500 Index this year (LPL Research, St. Louis Federal Reserve). That comes on top of a string of highs the market has recorded since 2013.

A new high means one thing–stocks closed higher that day versus the prior day. By itself, it doesn’t foreshadow an imminent downturn.

Nevertheless, if you are concerned and want to talk, our advisors are simply a phone call way. We would love to hear from you in the new year!

Below are some key index returns for end of month November 2017.

Table 1: Key Index Returns




3-year* %

Dow Jones Industrial Average




NASDAQ Composite




S&P 500 Index




Russell 2000 Index




MSCI World ex-USA**




MSCI Emerging Markets**




Bloomberg Barclays US

Aggregate Bond TR




Source: Wall Street Journal,, MarketWatch, Morningstar

MTD returns: Oct. 31, 2017-Nov. 30, 2017

YTD returns: Dec. 30, 2016-Nov. 30, 2017


**in US dollars


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