Looking back at 2019 where the S&P Index ended the year up an impressive 28.88% despite all the news stories of trade war, impeachment, IRAN, Trump tweets, etc. One other surprise besides total return might be the overall volatility of the market.

Heading into 2019, many analysts predicted it would be an increased volatility year. 2019 was predicted to be way above average as being defined by the number of days the market moved greater than 1% up or down. Especially coming off the volatile 4th quarter of 2018 one could understand these predictions that it could spill over into 2019. Of course, the market proved many of the naysayers wrong again.

Going back to 1987, the market has averaged 60 days a year with moves greater than 1% up or down. For 2019, it ended the year with only 37 such days. One of the major market themes for the past 7-8 years has been the limited amount of volatility the market has actually experienced compared to the historical average and the perceived news on social media.

With 2020 being an election year it is again anticipated that volatility will pick up in the back half of the year. With only two of the last eight years being over the average, I would expect volatility to pick back up in 2020. Stay tuned.

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results. All indices are unmanaged and may not be invested into directly.