Dear Towerpoint,

Sell in May and Go Away. The June Swoon. The October Effect.

For those of you who know us here at Towerpoint Wealth, it will come as no surprise that, while we know they are catchy, we believe these phrases, and the time of year they represent, bear little influence on how and when financial and investment decisions should be made. The better you are able to tune out catchphrases like these, as well as daily, weekly, and monthly swings in the market and economy, the higher your probability of success growing and protecting your investments, portfolio, and nest egg.

Cultivating this investing "zen" is difficult (read a great NY Times article about zen investing HERE), especially with today's 24/7 news cycle constantly in our face, but is a priceless skill when regularly practiced. Like most things that are good, this zen is oftentimes only developed and acquired over time, but with its acquisition, we believe comes the ultimate reward of the peace of mind it brings.

There is no question the recent increase in market volatility has many investors on edge, despite the strength of the U.S. economy, a pseudo-tax break with the recent plunge in oil prices and prices at the pump, and continued signs of muted inflation. However, we feel it is essential to recognize, and internalize, that the financial markets oftentimes "de-link" from economic fundamentals and corporate earnings, and instead function more on investor sentiment. In other words, human behavior (fear and greed) dictates shorter-term outcomes, trumping more rational decision-making.

And with December just a day away, lest we forget the Santa Claus Rally.

Sentiment oftentimes turns positive this time of year, and the market's mood tends to brighten. Known as the "Santa Claus Rally", stocks have risen in the fourth quarter of the year nearly four out of five times (according to S&P's Capital IQ) since World War II, and over that same time period, the S&P 500 index has gained an average of +7.2% just in the fourth quarter. December in particular has historically been a very good month for U.S. equities:

However, it is extremely important to recognize that in investing, the past is oftentimes not prologue, and that economic fundamentals and investor sentiment ultimately drive the market, independent of the month of the year we happen to be in.

'Tis the season not only for egg nog and holiday parties, but also for the inescapable 24/7 news cycle continuing to be thrust in our face, the past two weeks being no exception:

Locally, Towerpoint Wealth's President, Joseph Eschleman, and new Partner - Wealth Advisor, Jonathan LaTurner, spent a few days in New Orleans earlier this month, watching the hometown Saints destroy last year's Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles, 45-7. No trip to NOLA is complete without eating a sugary beignet from the world-famous Café Du Monde:

The world remains a very complicated place, and we encourage you to call (916-405-9140), email (, or Tweet (@twrpointwealth) with any concerns, questions, or needs you have. We continue to be here for you, and look forward to connecting with, helping, and being a direct and fully independent expert financial resource for each of you.

- Joseph, Jonathan, and the entire Towerpoint Wealth team

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