NEW YORK, Oct.15, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Zaim Hajdari, a New York City-based wealth manager, has taken a look back at third-quarter market results. Overall, the market was up: The Dow broke the 15,000 barrier to end the quarter at 15,129.67, an improvement, if not a huge one, over the 14,911.60 that marked the July 1 opening. The S&P 500 told the same story: up slightly, from 1,609.78 to 1,681.55. Most sectors did particularly well, especially technology, where social media continued to cause excitement. The Fed continues to keep a cautious eye on the economy and is not ready to stop with necessary stimulus steps. "But the real change is not what happened the past three months in Wall Street, but what is happening now in Washington," says Hajdari.
The biggest issue right now is the federal government shutdown—but it may actually turn out to be the biggest non-issue, at least as far as investors are concerned. There's a lot of talk about salaries that aren't getting paid and possible ripple effects caused by the lack of federal money flowing into local businesses. Interestingly, however, the market hasn't been panicking yet. As upsetting as this is, especially for federal workers, no one is expecting this to go on long term. Nor do Washington pundits expect the government to default on its obligations. "Remember—shutdowns don't last forever, but investing is for the long term," says Hajdari.
Hajdari does note that the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX), a de facto measure of market fear, was fairly low in August but inched up as the quarter closed, showing understandable anxiety. But the index has not reached the highs we saw earlier this year.
A longer term issue is the effect of the exchanges as mandated by the Affordable Care Act. The big question for investors is what this does to the healthcare sector. The third-quarter performance of healthcare stocks generally was up. Indeed, the one-year performance has been terrific. Will the new system be good or bad for healthcare sector? The big answer is: wait and see. There are so many unanswered questions right now. The advisors at the Hajdari Group are taking a cautious look at pharmaceuticals, which may see a solid bounce as drug purchases may go up. "But in this, as with all investing, we look for the long term," says Hajdari. "We're not advising our clients to make major changes in investing strategies based on the rollout of ACA provisions."
Meanwhile, we're keeping a close eye on the international scene. We like to look at the big picture, and we find it interesting that the frontrunner for the new Fed chair is Janet Yellen, known to have a keen interest in international issues. The Fed, of course, only acts within the United States, but the continued intertwining of world economies make her position and policies even more important. The FTSE 100 was up this quarter. The Nikkei was up as well. There will continue to be concern in Greece and emerging markets continue to show risk, "but overall, we'll continue to keep our eye open on international opportunities," says Hajdari.
He concludes: "Despite continued growth in the market, and our general optimism, we're not advising major shifts in our equities/fixed income ratios. We always need some balance in a portfolio."
About The Hajdari Group
The Hajdari Group ( www.thehajdarigroup.com ) is an independent firm in New York City. President and founder Zaim Hajdari is a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor with 18 years experience. Our advisors provide financial planning and investment management services to high-net-worth individuals and families. Other services include 401(k) rollover advice, retirement planning, college planning and estate planning.
Securities offered through Raymond James Financial Services, Inc., member FINRA/ SIPC. Hajdari is also the Branch Manager. Hajdari was formerly an investment manager with JPMorgan Chase where he oversaw over $3 billion in client assets.
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