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The third quarter of 2017 was one for the record books with the S&P 500 posting its first positive September since 2013 and closing at a record high. In addition, the Dow posted its first consecutive 8 quarter positive streak in 20 years. A strong September pushed US markets higher on the heels of firmer global inflation readings, the hope for US tax cuts and a stronger US dollar. Continue reading “OCTOBER 2017 REVIEW & OUTLOOK”

May 2017 Review & Outlook

Now that tax season is behind us and Spring is in the air, let’s take a look at the first quarter of 2017 and the outlook going forward.


US stock markets got off to a great start in 2017 as both corporate earnings and economic data continued to improve. However, March was more volatile as President Trump was unable to pass a new healthcare bill to repeal and replace Obamacare. The inability to pass a new healthcare bill decreased hopes of a tax plan that would reduce both corporate and personal tax rates and bolster spending and growth to the US economy. Despite the March volatility, US stock indexes were still able to produce impressive returns of around 6% for the quarter. Continue reading “May 2017 Review & Outlook”

January 2017 Review & Outlook

With the presidential inauguration behind us, it is now time to reflect on the past year and look forward to the outlook ahead.


The volatility that was prevalent in the markets the first three quarters of 2016 transferred into volatility of emotions in the 4th quarter. The election night surprise of Donald Trump winning the presidential election had investment managers bracing for an immediate sharp reactionary selloff. At one point in the early hours of Wednesday morning, the S&P futures were down significantly. Thankfully as the news was digested, and regardless of personal opinions of President Trump, the US stock markets opened nearly flat. Continue reading “January 2017 Review & Outlook”

Review and Outlook – October 2016


Continued volatility remained the main theme of the 3rd quarter. Although economic conditions in the U.S. seem to be stabilizing, questions surrounding international economies, interest rate hikes and the presidential election contributed to near daily fluctuations the markets have avoided during most of the current multi-year bull run. Continue reading “Review and Outlook – October 2016”

April 2016 Commentary

As we entered 2016, the factors that led to the volatility throughout the 2nd half of 2015 persisted. After one of the worst ever starts to a year, a rally in March led to the S&P 500 ending positive for the quarter.

Uncertainty in the financial markets leads to volatility. There was uncertainty about the price of oil, US interest rates and the overall health of the global economy. Continue reading “April 2016 Commentary”

January 2016 Commentary


Investors and money managers alike were happy to say goodbye to 2015 as the S&P 500 closed the year on the downside for the first time since 2008. So far, 2016 has not fared better in its first week with global markets suffering.

There is much uncertainty and bad news out there to justify the negative sentiment:

  1. Oil continues its slide which many believe is a telling sign of a global slowdown
  2. There is fear of a slowdown in China and such has seen its stock market halt a few times due to mass selling
  3. The US Federal Reserve raised interest rates for the first time since June 2006 and has hinted at 3 or 4 more in 2016
  4. North Korea has an H bomb (ok, probably not)

Continue reading “January 2016 Commentary”

April 2015 Commentary

Quarter Review

The volatility we saw in the 4th quarter of 2014 continued throughout the first quarter of 2015. The primary driver of the volatility was an increased expectation amongst economists that the U.S. Federal Reserve would raise interest rates as early as June. A second factor was sub-par earnings reports that produced a perceived slowdown in US production.

For the quarter, the S&P 500 squeezed out a slight gain of less than one percent. Conversely, the international markets (EAFE Index) produced a gain of over 5%. The shift signaled a belief that the similar European and Japanese monetary policies, which helped US markets for the last few years, are beginning to have the same positive effects across seas. Continue reading “April 2015 Commentary”

November 2013 Commentary

Our June commentary happened to be timely and fortuitous when I suggested the 5% pullback in the US markets sparked by the Federal Reserve hinting of a bond buying taper was “unwarranted” and an “overreaction” and would be “short-lived” and create a “buying opportunity”. Since then the S&P 500 has risen almost 13% to an all-time high of around 1800. Continue reading “November 2013 Commentary”