Our past three quarterly letters have discussed the reasons why the stock market continues to do well. As we enter 2018, none of these reasons have changed in any meaningful way. Corporate earnings growth continues to be strong and will receive an additional boost in 2018 from the recent reduction in corporate tax rates. Earnings should also continue to benefit from a steadily improving economy. In addition, while the Fed has slowly begun the process of normalizing monetary policy through gradual interest rate hikes and a reduction in its balance sheet, the low interest-rate environment that has supported stocks in recent years is likely to continue for some time to come. Still, with the stock market at record highs and many stocks trading well above their historical averages on a price-to-earnings basis, we will remain disciplined and selective as we continue to ferret out investment opportunities.
If you would like to review our past quarterly letters, please visit our website at www.gamblejones.com and select the News tab.
Over the past couple of years, Gamble Jones has been working to increase the offerings provided to our clients. One of these new offerings is our client portal. The portal allows us to communicate more securely and efficiently with our clients, and vice versa. Clients can view their portfolios, check capital gains/losses for the year, and run various other reports that can be exported for personal use. Clients can also securely send us confidential information, such as copies of legal documents, via the portal. We plan on adding additional functionality to the portal over time. Please give us a call if you have not already set up your portal. It is a simple process, and our client service team is here to help along the way.
Through the addition of new technology, we can also now provide clients with an in-depth financial plan. A financial plan is a great tool to help identify whether you are on track to meet your financial goals, such as being financially prepared for retirement. The plan sets up a financial road map for you that can be adjusted as life changes come along. It also helps us to provide you with wealth management advice for your total financial well-being. When a financial plan is completed, you will receive a probability of success for meeting your goals based upon the current value of your assets. You will also have access to the financial plan through the portal and will be able to make necessary adjustments to the plan as your circumstances change. If you feel you would benefit from a financial plan, please contact your relationship manager.
Gamble Jones has served as a fiduciary for our clients since Mr. Gamble founded the firm in 1956. We feel it is important that our clients know what being a true fiduciary means. In the financial industry, a fiduciary is one who has a legal obligation to act for another’s benefit before oneself. As a Registered Investment Adviser (RIA) regulated by the SEC, we stand in a special relationship of trust and confidence with our clients. While many firms that are not subject to this fiduciary duty have an inherent conflict of interest based on their compensation structure, the investment recommendations we offer must always be made in the best interests of our clients. This is an important distinction and an obligation we will always take very seriously.
On a personal note, Tom Bent has retired from Gamble Jones, effective December 31, 2017, after 33 years of service to the firm. Tom served as our president from 2007 – 2010 and was our Chairman of the Board for the six years after that. We are most grateful for his loyalty and contributions during his career.
All of us at Gamble Jones wish you and your family a happy, healthy, and prosperous new year.
Gamble Jones Investment Counsel