Economies and Markets: The Year Ahead


Dear Friends of Orchard Alliance,

There is a never-ending stream of information available to us on economies and financial markets in the U.S. and around the world. At this time of the year, much of the information focuses on best guesses about what the coming year will bring.

“Predictions are difficult, especially about the future,” physicist Niels Bohr reportedly said. We know that only God knows the answers, but as stewards we must prayerfully consider what we are seeing and plan as best we can with the wisdom God supplies. For Orchard Alliance, our investment advisors at Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley serve as our primary sources of analyses for making decisions about the assets we oversee.

In an incredibly complex world, the factors affecting markets and economies not only change constantly, but they interact in very unpredictable ways. Nevertheless, we should consider the negative factors we see right now, like the China trade war and the slowing economies there, as well as in Europe and the U.S.  Positives like the good job market, wage growth, small business optimism, and moderate inflation here at home should also be considered.

Right now, it seems there is no recession expected any time soon. The Federal Reserve and the markets are indicating the likelihood of additional rate increases this year is small. But volatility in the stock markets, which had been a bit tame before last year, is here to stay.

All of these observations are worth contemplating as you evaluate your investments and finances. We’ll be doing the same.

Please share your thoughts by contacting me at Your feedback is always welcome.

Lawrence L. McCooey, CPA, PFS, CGMA President

Lawrence L. McCooey, CPA, PFS, CGMA

Larry McCooey