MMBB Financial Services CEO Louis Barbarin Discusses Market Volatility

January 25, 2016

Dear MMBB Member,

The first few weeks of 2016 have not been kind to investors. As of this writing, we’ve seen the Dow decline 7.6% in 2016, the Standard and Poors 500 down 6.7% and the Nasdaq down 8.3%. Coming on the heels of an extremely volatile 4th quarter in 2015, I want to address some of the factors behind this market performance, explain what MMBB is doing and discuss what you can do to make sure you remain on track to reach your financial goals.

Several major factors are driving the equity markets currently:

  • The decline in oil prices, while we are saving more at the gas pumps, also mean more people are out of work in the petroleum industry. In addition, it reflects…
  • Slowing in the global economy. While the U.S. economy remains relatively strong, China’s gross domestic product (GDP) has declined from more than 10% to less than 7%. The economies of Europe also remain weak. Countries relying on oil to fuel their economy, such as Russia, Venezuela and Saudi Arabia, are also facing economic difficulty.
  • Fear of terrorism, political instability around the world and the refugee crisis in Europe all contribute to investors making decisions based on emotion rather than remaining focused on their long-term plan.

How is MMBB addressing the recent market volatility? MMBB maintains a long-term strategy established by our investment team for each of our investment options. We eschew market timing for a fundamental understanding of the long-term performance of each asset class. At the same time, MMBB regularly reviews the asset allocation of our funds in order to improve performance. In 2015, for instance, we undertook a thorough review of The Balanced Fund. This resulted in a new asset allocation for The Balanced Fund that we believe will increase return while minimizing additional risk. To learn more about the reallocation, read the article from the 4th quarter issue of Tomorrow.

MMBB urges you to take advantage of our financial planning services. I believe that the best antidotes to fear and uncertainty are understanding and planning. That’s why MMBB offers financial planning as a benefit of membership. Whether you plan to retire in 20 years or in 2016, please contact one of our CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professionals today at 800.986.6222 or service@mmbb.org. They will work with you to understand where you are today and what you can do to arrive at your financial destination tomorrow.

Sincerely,

Louis P. Barbarin, CPA
Chief Executive Officer

PS: If you or someone you know is in financial crisis, MMBB may be able to help through our emergency assistance program. Please contact Rev. Dr. Sara Day at sara.day@mmbb.org.