March Madness

By Valley Financial Group and Billy Wolfe Jr.

March is here! It is of course, one of Valley Financial Group's favorite months.  Why you ask? March madness and St. Paddy's Day! They are two events that actually go together like a perfect marriage, well after these two events, not so perfect for some of us. The first two days of the NCAA College Basketball Tournament provide us with 32 games of madness, underdog stories and ruined NCAA Pools. The second day of the tournament this year is on St. Patrick's Day. That is called a perfect storm!! It is the time of the year to wear green and make your bracket predictions. So on that note, here are a few predictions for those two days or at least what Valley's crystal ball tells us:

1. Most people will be wearing the colors of their university of choice or the beautiful colors of the Emerald Isle.

2. There will not be much work being accomplished on these two days. According, to Challenger, Gray & Christmas Incorporation, employers will lose around 1.4 billion dollars in productivity. However, Diageo(owners of Guinness) will benefit from the lack of work. It is estimated that 13 million Pints of Guinness will be consumed worldwide on St. Patrick's Day! At $5-7 dollars a pint, that's a good day for Diageo.

3. Your NCAA Bracket Pool will not be 100% correct.  According to Jeff Bergen, a professor at DePaul University, you have a 1 in 128 Billion chance of picking all the games correct.

Picking the perfect NCAA Pool isn't the only impossibility of getting something 100% correct. Another one is timing the stock market. Two reasons why; when to invest and when to sell.  According to Dalbar's research, the average investor underperforms the indexes, and a major reason is market timing. In 2015, the 20 year annualized S &P return was 8.19% and for the average equity mutual fund investor it was only 4.68%, a gap of 3.51%.  You can Google "market timing success" and what you will find is not timing the market, but rather time in the market that leads to success historically.  Market timing is like that extra Guinness on St. Paddy's Day; it will probably get you in trouble and lead you to apologizing to someone or something the next day. We wish your teams and pools the best of LUCK in March Madness and Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Slainte!