Winter is Here!
I would call this past November and much of December normal CT winter conditions. Temperatures were cold, but not frigid, and snowfall was manageable. By late December that had changed with an uncomfortable combination of frigid temperatures, strong wind and sporadic snow. Windchill values of -20 degrees F have been common. Weather professionals are using the term “Bomb Cyclone” to describe it. I’ve never heard that term before. I hope all of you have stayed warm and safe during this winter freeze.
The photo displayed is Sandra and I with a portion of my family for Christmas in Florida. In the photo is my aunt (sitting with the dog), cousins and friends who invited us to join in their family Christmas gathering. They are a great group of people who know how to have fun. Admittedly, it is a bit unusual for us to celebrate Christmas with palm trees and temperatures in the mid-seventies. But, unusual or not, we had a great time during our short visit. We hope they feel the same.
Last Quarter Round Up
The markets finished 2017 on a strong note. U.S. stocks as represented by the S&P 500 index were up +6.64% for the quarter and +21.83% for the year. Global stocks ex-US were up +5.00% for the quarter and +27.19% for the year. Emerging market stocks outperformed developed international stocks for the year at +37.28% and +25.03%, respectively. Bonds were also up for the quarter with the Barclays aggregate index at +0.39% for the quarter and +3.54% for the year. Short-term US treasuries were up +0.23% for the quarter and +0.82% for the year.