October 3, 2016 The Markets Markets were relatively calm during the third quarter of 2016, yet they delivered some attractive returns overall. In the United States, all three major U.S. indices posted record highs twice during a single 7-day period in August, reported CNBC.com. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (S&P 500) experienced a 51-day streak without at least a 1 percent decline. The index returned 3.3 percent in the third quarter. Investors were fairly complacent until comments by Federal Reserve officials raised awareness the Fed might raise rates during 2016, possibly as early as September. The S&P 500 lost 2.5 percent and the VIX, known as the market’s fear gauge, rose 40 percent in a single day. The upheaval was short-lived and U.S. stocks rebounded quickly. World markets were moved higher after the Fed opted to maintain its current policy. When the European Central Bank did the same – choosing not to implement further stimulus measures – markets moved lower. Markets were also less than enthused with the plans put forth by the Bank of Japan (BOJ). The central bank will attempt to control the yield curve by keeping 10-year Japanese government bonds at zero percent. The BOJ’s goal is to push inflation to 2 percent, reported Reuters. However, some analysts believe the new policy may be less accommodative than the old one. Experts cited by Financial Times said, “On the face of it the BOJ has arguably, by setting the [Japanese Government Bond] curve at its current level, just announced a modest tightening in monetary conditions relative to where they were in the summer.” Speculation about a September rate hike caused many emerging markets, which have been top-performers throughout the year, to give back some gains late in the quarter. When the U.S. central bank pushes rates higher, emerging market assets become relatively less attractive to investors seeking yield. In addition, a rate hike tends to strengthen the U.S. dollar, inflating the value of dollar-denominated debt held by emerging countries and potentially slowing economic growth. Brazil has been a top performer during 2016, despite recession and political upheaval. President Dilma Rousseff was impeached in September. Her successor, Michel Temer plans to enact fiscal reforms he hopes will bring about a mild economic recovery by 2017. Director of Latin America Strategy for Templeton Emerging Markets Group Gustavo Stenzel explained, “We believe Brazil offers a salient example of how political change can accelerate a turnaround in an economy and stock market.” Worries about China’s economic stability receded during the quarter, Reuters explained: “Recent economic data has shown signs of recovery in China's economy. Industrial sector profits jumped 20 percent in August, the best showing in three years, while a Reuters poll showed manufacturing sector activity likely expanded modestly for a second straight month in September. But many investors remain skeptical about the sustainability of a recovery that they believe has depended on government stimulus.” At the end of the quarter, emerging markets moved higher after OPEC announced a preliminary agreement to limit production. It was the first production cut in eight years. The agreement boosted oil and energy stocks in countries around the world. The fourth quarter of 2016 may be a bumpy one. The U.S. election has the potential to cause some upheaval, as does a rate hike by the Federal Reserve. OUR INVESTMENT STRATEGIES remain unchanged. We continue to focus on active stock and bond managers with an edge – which consistently outperforms their benchmarks. Our portfolios also contain low cost ETF’s and smart beta ETF’s smart beta. Our alternative investment strategies such as global macro, floating rate securities, real estate and more continue to perform as expected. Our new “Risk Scale” as defined by market risks in all areas of the market has moved to a “7” out of 10 – 1 meaning risks are low and 10 meaning risks are high such as 2007-08.Our objective for each client is to ensure their portfolio is allocated to achieve their specific goals. Sometimes this means allocating to avoid potential market fluctuations or to avoid a significant drawdown when risks are elevated.We will be introducing new model portfolios with a focus on retirement income production, capital preservation, conservative, moderate and pure growth in the coming weeks. Laugh then think – HARDER. The Ig® Nobel Prizes were awarded last week. The prizes celebrate some of the most imaginative, unusual, and peculiar scientific achievements of the year. For 2016, the winners included: Economics: Journalism and marketing professors from New Zealand and Britain for their work in marketing theory. The winning paper was entitled, “The Brand Personality of Rocks: A Critical Evaluation of a Brand Personality Scale.” Physics: A slew of Hungarian, Spanish, Swedish, and Swiss researchers for dual discoveries. They explored and confirmed the reasons that white-haired horses are the most horsefly-proof, as well as the reasons dragonflies are fatally attracted to black tombstones. Chemistry: A certain German automobile manufacturer for “…solving the problem of excessive automobile pollution emissions by automatically, electromechanically producing fewer emissions whenever the cars are being tested.” Medicine: German researchers who authored a paper titled, “Itch Relief by Mirror Scratching. A Psychophysical Study.” Apparently, anyone with an itch on the left side of the body can relieve it by looking into a mirror and scratching the right side of the body, and vice versa. Biology: A Brit who built prosthetic limb extensions with plastic hooves and wore a helmet to romp and butt heads with goats during the three days that he lived among them. His co-winner was another British Islander who lived in the wild as a badger, an otter, a deer, a fox, and a bird. The winners’ accomplishments were celebrated at Harvard University where winners “physically receive their prizes and a handshake from genuine, genuinely bemused Nobel laureates.” Weekly Focus – Think About It “I have lived as a badger in a hole in a Welsh wood, as an otter in the rivers of Exmoor, an urban fox rummaging through the dustbins of London’s East End, a red deer in the West Highlands of Scotland and on Exmoor, and, most hubristically, a swift, oscillating between Oxford and West Africa…Why I did this is not an unreasonable question. There are many answers. One is that I wanted to perceive landscapes more accurately. We have at least five senses. By and large we use only one of them – vision. That’s a shame…I suspect it’s responsible for lots of our uncertainty about the sort of creatures we are, our personal crises, and the frankly psychopathic way in which most of us treat the natural world.”--Charles Foster, Ig Nobel Prize winner Best regards, The Jim Goodland Team P.S. 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However, the value of fund shares is not guaranteed and will fluctuate.* Corporate bonds are considered higher risk than government bonds but normally offer a higher yield and are subject to market, interest rate and credit risk as well as additional risks based on the quality of issuer coupon rate, price, yield, maturity, and redemption features.* The Standard & Poor's 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. You cannot invest directly in this index.* The Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged index. Unmanaged index returns do not reflect fees, expenses, or sales charges. Index performance is not indicative of the performance of any investment.* The Dow Jones Global ex-U.S. Index covers approximately 95% of the market capitalization of the 45 developed and emerging countries included in the Index.* The 10-year Treasury Note represents debt owed by the United States Treasury to the public. Since the U.S. Government is seen as a risk-free borrower, investors use the 10-year Treasury Note as a benchmark for the long-term bond market.* Gold represents the afternoon gold price as reported by the London Bullion Market Association. The gold price is set twice daily by the London Gold Fixing Company at 10:30 and 15:00 and is expressed in U.S. dollars per fine troy ounce.* The Bloomberg Commodity Index is designed to be a highly liquid and diversified benchmark for the commodity futures market. The Index is composed of futures contracts on 19 physical commodities and was launched on July 14, 1998.* The DJ Equity All REIT Total Return Index measures the total return performance of the equity subcategory of the Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) industry as calculated by Dow Jones.* Yahoo! 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Investing involves risk, including loss of principal.* You cannot invest directly in an index.* Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.* Stock investing involves risk including loss of principal.Sources:http://www.cnbc.com/2016/08/15/us-markets.htmlhttp://www.schwab.com/public/schwab/nn/articles/Is-That-Allhttp://us.spindices.com/indices/equity/sp-500 (or go to https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/peakcontent/+Peak+Commentary/10-03-16_SandP_Indices-SandP-500-Index-Footnote_3.pdf)http://www.barrons.com/mdc/public/page/9_3063-economicCalendar.html?mod=BOL_Nav_MAR_other (Click on U.S. & Intl Recaps, IP Article Archives, then "The BoJ and Fed have spoken") (or go to https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/peakcontent/+Peak+Commentary/10-03-16_Barrons-Global_Stock_Market_Recap-Footnote_4.pdf)http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-09-07/asian-stock-futures-deviate-as-s-p-500-ends-flat-crude-tops-46http://www.reuters.com/article/us-japan-economy-boj-idUSKCN11W0E7https://www.ft.com/content/f883a303-cd02-335f-b156-3996312c7bc7 (or go to https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/peakcontent/+Peak+Commentary/10-03-16_FinancialTimes-All_a_Bit_Disappointing_or_QQE_Infinity-Footnote_7.pdf)http://www.cnbc.com/2016/08/29/emerging-markets-can-weather-a-rate-rise-expert.htmlhttp://www.afr.com/opinion/the-higher-the-government-debt-the-slower-economic-growth-20160731-gqhl7y (or go to https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/peakcontent/+Peak+Commentary/10-03-16_FinancialReview-The_Higher_the_Government_Debt_the_Slower_Economic_Growth-Footnote_9.pdf)http://country.eiu.com/brazilhttp://mobius.blog.franklintempleton.com/2016/08/09/brazil-on-the-olympic-stage/http://in.reuters.com/article/china-stocks-close-idINZZN2RUA00http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-09-29/emerging-market-assets-advance-on-opec-deal-as-ringgit-climbshttp://www.usnews.com/news/business/articles/2016-09-29/energy-shares-lead-asian-stocks-higher-on-opec-output-dealhttp://www.improbable.com/ig/winners/http://www.improbable.com/ig/2016/http://www.improbable.com/2016/09/29/a-one-person-conversation-about-living-in-the-wild-a-la-several-different-animals/ 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 Spire Wealth Management, LLC), or any non-investment related content, made reference to directly or indirectly in this commentary 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 commentary serves as the receipt of, or as a substitute for, personalized investment advice from Spire Wealth Management, LLC. 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