Stocks had a slightly negative return in the third quarter, which after 5 straight positive quarters is not surprising. Actually, the majority of market increases happen in short bursts, so this is quite common. Lately there has been a bit more “nervousness” in the market over things like the debt ceiling, unemployment numbers, and supply chain disruptions. In the long run that can be a healthy thing to keep the market from overheating. The bottom line is that with interest rates near zero, an influx of government spending, and high consumer demand the environment is still a good one for public companies to prosper. The reason there is an expected return premium for stocks over time is because of the unknown short‐term returns.