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The Stock Market is Breaking Records. Here’s What That Means for You.

Asset allocation and diversification are investment strategies built on the idea that different investments rotate in and out of favor. There’s no sense holding a lagging investment if it’s not eventually going to have its day in the sun.

For some asset classes, this rotation has not happened for a long time.

Last week, the bull market in U.S. stocks became the longest on record, dating back nearly ten years to March of 2009. This means investors have gone a record long period without seeing all the benefits of owning bonds, including how they cushion portfolios on the downside.

Two other trends that have gone on for record long periods are the outperformance of U.S. versus overseas stocks and the outperformance of Growth-style versus Value-style stocks (e.g., high-flying technology stocks versus conservative dividend- paying stocks).

One explanation for why markets haven’t rotated is that the economic expansion has been unusually long and stable (bottom chart). There has been nothing to upset the status quo (as in, a recession) since June of 2009.

This means current leadership trends could persist despite far exceeding historical precedent. On the flipside, the extended nature of the cycle means the rotation between leading and lagging sectors could be significant when it does come.

DISCLAIMER: Past performance does not predict future results. This report is based on data obtained from sources we believe to be reliable. Hefren-Tillotson does not, nor any other party, guarantee the accuracy or completeness of this report or make any warranties regarding results obtained from its usage. All opinions and estimates included in this report constitute the firms judgment as of the date of this report and are subject to change without notice. This report is for informational purposes only and is not intended as an offer or solicitation to buy or sell the securities herein mentioned.
Investment Advisory Team
Hefren-Tillotson

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Hefren-Tillotson Inc. is a leading diversified financial services firm providing investment and retirement plan management and comprehensive, financial planning through MASTERPLAN® for individuals and businesses. The firm’s wealth management services are administered by Certified Financial Planner (CFP) professionals, Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Charter holders, attorneys, Chartered Life Underwriters, and CPA/PFS’s. Hefren-Tillotson offers corporate services including 401(k) retirement planning, executive financial counseling, fiduciary reviews and workplace financial planning seminars. Founded in 1948, the firm is headquartered in Pittsburgh and has offices located in Pittsburgh, Butler, Greensburg, North Hills, and South Hills.