Three-quarters of the year is behind us now, and both stock and bond markets have had a strong year so far. Stocks and bonds typically do not experience simultaneous growth and certainly not of this magnitude for bonds. But, these are not normal times; domestic economic growth is steady yet global demand is weakening, trade uncertainty prevails, and central banks around the world are once again lowering interest rates—more than 10 years after the economic and financial crisis! The reduction in interest rates has led to strong and unexpected returns from the bonds in your portfolio. Once again, the Investment Committee would like to seize this opportunity to secure and recognize capital gains from an area of the portfolio that has beat expectations.
We plan to sell corporate bonds (which are up 12% year to date) and reallocate to mortgage-backed securities, an area of the bond market that we expect will start to outpace corporates and provide better downside protection going forward. As noted, this change, along with some other shifts made earlier in the year, will produce capital gains for non-retirement accounts. We believe that in most cases the investment merits will outweigh the tax considerations and will still leave accounts well within the normal realm of capital gain activity for any given year. As always, we will be making the decision on whether to implement this update based on each specific client situation. We will be sure to communicate the tax impact of portfolio activity for 2019 to both you and your accountants well before tax time next year. As always, please let us know if you have any questions or concerns.
Best wishes as we enter the holiday season and we hope to see you all at our client appreciation event later this month!