Joseph G. Witthohn, CFA
VP of Product Development Emerald Asset Management

Good morning.

It seems the Mexican tariff problem has been averted … at least for now … and with the Dow up over 100 points at the open … investors appear to be celebrating. One question, though, is if this enthusiasm will be short-lived … as the threat remains that if we don’t like what we are seeing in Mexico … we can make an immediate decision to put the tariffs back in place.

Of course, our neighbor to the south is not the only concern with regard to trade. Citigroup warns a bear market might be at hand if trade tensions with China are heightened … unless, of course, the Fed bails us out by … are you ready for this? 75 bps (that’s 0.75%)! And the situation with China does indeed have the possibility of worsening … as Treasury Secretary Mnuchin announced that the President is “quite happy” to hit China with new tariffs if a meeting with Prime Minister Xi does not go well … and, if the Prime Minister does not attend the conference? Well, if he does not show CNBC is reporting the President stated that tariffs will go up “immediately.”

Happy? The President might be. Investors? Not so much.

By the way, trade is not the only thing on investor’s minds right now. Merrill Lynch is downgrading earnings for most S&P sectors … and there is growing concern over exporters if things heat up … and, as of this moment, it certainly seems like things will be heating up in a few short weeks as investors hope the cavalry (in the guise of the Fed) steps in – strongly – if needed.

One of the interesting things I saw this morning was a comment that the G20 is finally recognizing global aging as a risk to growth. Well, no kidding … Japan has already found this out … and the U.S. and Europe will soon follow. Not only does slowing population growth affect consumer purchases on everything from homes to durable goods … but one other part of the equation is caring for an aging population.

If you don’t think this is a problem, consider the following: according to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are presently just 80,000 Americans over the age of 100. But as soon as 2030, that number is forecasted to spike to 140,000!

We need to keep in mind that if one of this group retires at 65 … that means they would spend 35 years (or more) in retirement. The government won’t fully support them … they just can’t … so if they haven’t been investing throughout their working years … quite a burden might be placed on their kids.

Now I have another thing to worry about.

I always dreamed about breaking 100 … but I always meant it to refer to golf.

Have a great day,

Joseph G. Witthohn, CFA
Vice President
Emerald Asset Management PA, LLC
610 Freedom Business Center Drive
King of Prussia, PA 19406
Direct: (610) 285-9905

... as of 10:24 AM today …

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