2017 saw a spike in investor confidence and complacency, as volatility fell significantly and appetite for risk fueled many stocks higher. Chad Morganlander, Portfolio Manager at Washington Crossing Advisors, was with us to discuss whether he expects more of the same for the year ahead.
Morganlander says we are at point in the market cycle where global growth is predictable in the short-term. His firm is somewhat optimistic, but aware that valuations are becoming quite stretched, he adds. Morganlander believes markets are entering a period of low growth for next several years, predicting a 4% to 6% return in U.S. equities.
One of Morganlander's top picks for the year is Hershey’s. He suggests investors stick with "big and boring" companies. With Hershey's, investors can go to sleep for 3-5 years and wake up with tremendous returns, according to Morganlander. Hershey's has also entered a bid for Nestle's U.S. confectionary business, which includes brands such as Butterfunger and Baby Ruth. The potential acquisition is not baked in to Washington Crossing Advisor's outlook. He also recommends shares of Hormel Foods and Dr Pepper Snapple.