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Local Investors Optimistic as Market Hits Record Highs

Plenty of signs point to additional optimism as big year for investors coming to a close.
(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.)  It was another record setter on Wall Street. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed the day at over 16,294.61, an all time high. That's nearly 3,000 points higher since the beginning of 2013.

"Markets have been great this year," said Dan Danford of the Family Investment Center. "Truthfully, they were pretty much great last year and during the entire two years."

Danford says the rebound has come about as businesses have learned to operate leaner and meaner.

"Companies have gotten pretty profitable by doing this with fewer people," he said "Technology is probably part of that. There are other kinds of processes, but it's finally turning a corner."

Part of the fuel to the fired-up economy has been the cheap cost of money.

"Interest rates have remained relatively low at financial institutions," said Chris Jones, a financial adviser with Edward Jones. "The Fed hasn't taken any action on trying to increase interest rates. I think next year should be a pretty good year."

As the general public shares in that confidence, they're more likely to spend and invest more.

"I think people feel that the worst is behind. We went through a situation that typically occurs only once every 50-100 years," Jones said. "Hopefully we won't see another situation like that evolve in some time."

Some say one snag to a continued recovery is the uncertainty surrounding the Affordable Care Act.

"One thing that the market and public do not like when it comes to investing is uncertainty," Jones said. "I think there's a lot of uncertainty in the air as we end this year"

Beyond the uncertainty, once momentum of an improved economy kicks in, it's harder to stop.

"As companies become more profitable, they hire more people," Danford said. "More people means more spending. It's a really nice cycle."

Jones says while he thinks next year will be a good year on Wall Street, he warns we are also in for a market correction.

He says a ten percent drop in stocks would not be unexpected, but it should be just a temporary market adjustment.
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