July 8, 2024 Weekly Update

We do love it when someone refers a family member or friend to us.  Sometimes the question is, “How can we introduce them to you?”   Well, there are multiple ways but a very easy way is to simply forward them a link to this webpage.

Here are this week’s items:

Portfolio Update:  Murs and I have recorded our portfolio update for July 8, 2024

Andrew Opdyke – 2nd Quarter Economic Update for Retirement

Radon and Murs speak with Andrew Opdyke as he provides his expert analysis on the current economic landscape and what to expect moving forward. They discusses the divergence within the economy, the issues with the banks, the recession and market volatility, and much more.

 

2nd Quarter Economic Update for Retirement

As we navigate through 2024, the economic landscape is evolving in intriguing ways, shaped by the Federal Reserve’s strategic moves, the unique dynamics of an election year, and the ripple effects of global events. Join us as we discuss the latest trends, market performances, and economic forecasts, providing you with essential insights to stay ahead in these transformative times.  

Economic Update: 2nd Quarter 2024

Welcome to the Secure Your Retirement Blog’s 2nd Quarter Economic Update! As we navigate through 2024, the economic landscape is evolving in intriguing ways, shaped by the Federal Reserve’s strategic moves, the unique dynamics of an election year, and the ripple effects of global events. Join us as we discuss the latest trends, market performances, and economic forecasts, providing you with essential insights to stay ahead in these transformative times.  

By covering topics like the Fed’s surprising rate cut predictions and the enduring strength of key market sectors, our goal for this update is to equip you with the knowledge to make informed financial decisions and secure your retirement future. 

 The Fed’s Mid-Year Checkup 

 One of the most notable events as we reached the halfway point of 2024 was the Federal Reserve’s mid-year meeting in June. Entering the year, the Fed had signaled plans for three rate cuts, and the market anticipated as many as six. However, the Fed’s June meeting painted a different picture. Despite earlier expectations, inflation had not moved as anticipated, and economic growth continued. Consequently, the Fed adjusted its forecast, now planning just one rate cut for the year.  

Interestingly, the Fed projected that key economic indicators like the unemployment rate and core inflation would remain stable. They anticipated an unemployment rate of about 4%, exactly where it was during their meeting, and core inflation to end the year at 2.8%, again mirroring the current rate. This status quo forecast suggests a delay in the rate cut cycle, with higher rates persisting a bit longer. This development is a critical aspect of our 2nd Quarter Economic Update, as it shapes expectations for the remainder of the year. 

 The Election Year Factor 

 With 2024 being an election year, there’s speculation about how political factors might influence the Fed’s decisions. The Fed aims to maintain political independence and typically avoids making significant moves around election time. Therefore, September is the first potential date for a rate cut, provided there are notable changes in economic fundamentals. However, the most likely scenario for a rate cut this year appears to be December. 

 It’s essential to recognize that election years often bring heightened emotions and volatility. Despite the debates and political maneuvering, the long-term impact on markets tends to be minimal. Historical data shows that markets move forward regardless of the party in power. Therefore, while elections dominate headlines, their short-term impact on economic fundamentals is often overstated. 

 Market Performance and Future Outlook 

 Despite the ongoing challenges with inflation and geopolitical issues, the stock market performed well in the first half of the year. If the second half mirrors the first, we could see a notably strong year for the markets.  

However, the question remains: will this trend continue? Market movements are often driven by a mix of earnings expectations, company fundamentals, and investor emotions. 

 For instance, there’s considerable excitement around artificial intelligence (AI) investments, with significant projects like the Intel plant in Ohio and the TSMC plant in Arizona. While these developments are promising, they also introduce a degree of caution, as market optimism sometimes outpaces actual progress. 

Historically, market movements have been influenced by interest rates and borrowing costs. Currently, we see higher-than-average market valuations, which suggests that future market performance will need strong fundamental support. Investors should be mindful of potential volatility and focus on long-term growth areas. 

  Recession Concerns 

 Entering 2024, there was considerable talk of an impending recession. Now, halfway through the year, the question remains: is a recession still a possibility? 

 According to the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), a recession is determined by multiple indicators, such as: 

  • employment 
  • consumer spending 
  • industrial production 

 While some areas have seen declines, consumer spending and employment indicators remain relatively stable. 

 The data shows that while we are not currently in a recession, there are signs of economic slowing. For instance, manufacturing orders have decreased, and sectors like auto sales and home sales are down. However, the strength of the economy, particularly driven by retirees and baby boomers, continues to support overall growth. 

 While a recession is not off the table, the likelihood of a severe downturn seems moderated by ongoing consumer activity and targeted investments in growth areas. 

 Geopolitical Issues 

 Geopolitical tensions, particularly involving Ukraine, Russia, and Israel, continue to impact the global economy. The disruption in the Red Sea area and the Suez Canal has led to increased shipping costs, affecting inflation and import prices. While Europe bears the brunt of these costs, the ripple effects are felt globally, including in the U.S. 

 The geopolitical landscape adds complexity to the Fed’s efforts to manage inflation. External factors like shipping disruptions and geopolitical unrest can drive inflation higher, complicating domestic policy decisions. Resolution of these conflicts could also ease inflationary pressures. 

 Social Security and Retirement 

 As a retirement planning-focused blog, we must address concerns about Social Security. Current projections indicate that without intervention, the Social Security fund could face significant shortfalls by 2033, potentially reducing benefits to 70-80% of their current levels. 

 However, there is hope. The next administration will likely prioritize addressing fiscal issues, including Social Security. Possible solutions include adjustments to retirement ages and tax policies. While changes are inevitable, those nearing or in retirement are likely to see their promised benefits, with more significant adjustments targeting future beneficiaries. 

 The U.S. remains in a strong demographic position compared to many other countries, with continued growth expected. While addressing Social Security requires difficult decisions, the nation’s substantial net worth provides a solid foundation for tackling these challenges. 

 Employment and Economic Strength 

 As we look forward to the remainder of the year, employment trends are a key concern. Early signs indicate potential rises in unemployment, particularly among younger demographics. If this trend continues, it could signal broader economic weakening. 

 However, the resilience of the economy, particularly driven by older demographics less impacted by borrowing costs, provides a buffer. The ability for people to find jobs and support their families remains a critical indicator of economic health. 

 Looking Ahead 

 In conclusion, our 2nd Quarter Economic Update highlights several key themes: the Fed’s cautious approach to rate cuts, the minimal long-term market impact of election-year politics, and ongoing geopolitical and social security concerns. While uncertainties remain, focusing on predictable elements and long-term growth areas can provide stability. 

 As we move through the year, the balance between economic caution and optimism will continue to shape our outlook. The resilience of the U.S. economy, supported by targeted investments and demographic strengths, offers a foundation for navigating these challenges. By staying informed and focusing on long-term strategies, we can better secure our financial futures. 

If you want to understand all this a little better, we offer a complimentary phone call that you can schedule with us on our website. If we can’t answer all your questions in just 15 minutes, we’ll guide you to the next steps to find the answers you need.  

Schedule your complimentary call with us and to learn more about holistic wealth management. 

April 8, 2024 Weekly Update

We do love it when someone refers a family member or friend to us.  Sometimes the question is, “How can we introduce them to you?”   Well, there are multiple ways but a very easy way is to simply forward them a link to this webpage. Here are this week’s items:

Portfolio Update:  Murs and I have recorded our portfolio update for April 8, 2024

2024 1st Quarter Economic Update for Retirement

In this Episode of the Secure Your Retirement Podcast, Radon and Murs speak with Andrew Opdyke about a 2024 1st quarter economic update and the expected economic changes in the second quarter. Andrew is a Certified Financial Advisor and Economist at First Trust Advisor. Listen in to learn how the current concentration performance and the 2024 elections will impact the market volatility and economy, respectively…  

2024 1st Quarter Economic Update for Retirement

Every three or four months, we have the privilege of having economist Andrew Opdyke on our show. He’s back to help us make sense of the economy ahead because, as we all know, 2023 ended better than many people expected. We had ups and downs throughout 2023, but the start of 2024 has proved to be rather positive. Will it stay that way?…

2024 1st Quarter Economic Update for Retirement

Every three or four months, we have the privilege of having economist Andrew Opdyke on our show. He’s back to help us make sense of the economy ahead because, as we all know, 2023 ended better than many people expected.

We had ups and downs throughout 2023, but the start of 2024 has proved to be rather positive.

Will it stay that way? We asked Andrew to start our conversation about the Q1 2024 economic update.

What Andrew Has Seen in 2024 So Far in Q1 2024

We’ve seen some strong and weak data in 2024. At the end of 2023, the expectation was that the Fed would cut interest rates six times in 2024. Instead, we’re likely to see two or three rate cuts instead.

The Fed really wants to get inflation down to 2%, which is positive.

Personal consumption expenditure prices ticked higher last week on a year-on-year basis compared to the prior month. Inflation on the month was 3%, and there’s a lot going on here:

  • Russia-Ukraine war
  • Israel–Hamas war
  • Earlier last week, a boat collided with the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore.

All of this is impacting economic recovery.

If inflation remains higher than the 2% the Fed wants to achieve, interest rate cuts may wait even longer. With all of this said, the economy is growing, consumers are continuing to spend, and only time will tell how things will play out.

In Q1 2024, markets are up, with strength in AI and Nvidia and the hype around these new technologies.

While the markets did react slightly to the lack of rate cuts for a day or two, there has been less pushback than expected.

Why Did Markets Not See a Pushback with the News on Rate Cuts?

If you look back to last year, we’re kind of in a continuation phase. At the beginning of 2023, if you had told people that the Fed was going to raise rates and that profits were going to be flat or slightly down, very few people would have predicted that the market would rise 24% in 2023.

Instead, what we saw was people willing to pay more for certain company stocks.

There’s almost a disconnect between the logic of the market’s performance because the top 10% of companies have about 75% of the market cap. Growth is sort of condensed in these companies, and this is the highest we’ve seen it going back about 100 years.

If you look at smaller cap companies, they’re still trading at relatively normal levels.

The question is, what happens if market conditions impact these major stocks that account for 75% of the market cap and everyone starts selling? We could see a lot of volatility.

Right now, the market is moving on the idea of AI and its potential, but we haven’t really seen the profits from the technology to justify this. We’re in a phase where we’re seeing growth based on potential hopes and expectations rather than evidence that these technologies will be the game-changers companies predict.

Elections, Negative Conversations and the Year Ahead

Election season is always interesting because of negative conversations, uncertainty, and doubt. We just don’t know what policies will look like or how they’ll impact the market, so it leaves a big question mark for investors.

And while we have a presidential election every four years, the market does brace for the mid-term elections every two years, too.

Presidential elections do heighten concerns, but what we notice is that there is always emotion during one of these elections. You have people on all sides saying, “If this person wins, I’m moving to Canada,” and it showcases:

  • 50% of the country will be happy
  • 50% of the country will be unhappy
  • Everyone is going to go back to work

Regardless of who wins the election, you can be positive that Apple will be building another iPhone, and companies will continue producing products.

What the data tells us is that we’ll put a bunch of emotional energy into the election, and markets will have volatility before and during the election. But when the results come in, the market will tend to rise.

Once an election is over, companies tend to continue with their plans.

Short-term volatility is likely during an election, but after the “smoke clears,” markets tend to pick right back up, barring any major economic issues.

The Potential of a Recession and the Outcome

We may still see a soft landing and a potential recession, but it’s very unlikely to be a deep one. GDP numbers show that the U.S. economy grew 3% last year. Government purchases accounted for two-thirds of the growth, and we had a $1.8 trillion deficit.

Activity was led by healthcare and the government, which were responsible for roughly 50% of all job gains.

During normal times, these two account for 17% – 18% of all job gains.

When you dive into things, you’ll notice that there needs to be some healing to where the workers are. We haven’t seen a real transition back in certain sectors, such as tourism and restaurants.

Small- and medium-sized businesses are still facing an increase in rental costs, hiring, lending, and more.

Government support is really helping support the economy, but in other sectors, we are seeing companies adjust, such as in the tech sector, where layoffs are occurring. We’re at a point where there is a fine balance of government spending propping up the economy and the private sector readjusting.

We may see a weakening in employment, but if a recession does occur, it is likely to be a weak one.

Top Concerns for the Rest of 2024

If the Fed starts listening to the market and what the politicians want to happen, it poses a big risk. The Fed needs to stay the course and wait to cut rates until inflation is down enough because if they don’t, it can lead to inflation accelerating again.

Starting to cut rates too early will lead to short-term gains, but in the long term, we would need to raise rates again, restarting the whole cycle.

Spending remains too high.

The Fed lost $140 billion last year because they paid banks to hold onto the $200 billion the Fed gave to the banks a few years ago. We do need to get spending back in check, reevaluate and determine what is sustainable.

In an election year, parties want the economy to look its best. There is a concern that the wrong choices will be made to prop up the economy so that it looks good going into the election, even if that means long-term issues.

Excitement Outside of the Election

We’re seeing some broadening, which is always a positive thing. Earnings for the top 7 companies rose roughly 24% – 25%, but the rest of the 493 companies in the top 500 saw earnings decline 4%- 5%.

This year, we’re seeing earnings growth for the rest of the 493 companies.

You must remember that companies have had to do a lot and adapt to:

  • Supply chain issues
  • Worker shortages
  • Regulations
  • Interest rates

Many companies have found ways to be more productive and consistent with results. If the Fed continues to do its job and reduce inflation, we’re really putting these companies in an even better position in 2025.

Broadening out will ultimately be beneficial in the long term, even if the market isn’t reflecting it just yet.

Click here to listen to other episodes of our podcast.

 

November 20, 2023 Weekly Update

We do love it when someone refers a family member or friend to us.  Sometimes the question is, “How can we introduce them to you?”   Well, there are multiple ways but a very easy way is to simply forward them a link to this webpage. Here are this week’s items:

Portfolio Update:  Murs and I have recorded our portfolio update for November 20, 2023

Andrew Opdyke – 2023 End-of-Year Economic Update

In this Episode of the Secure Your Retirement Podcast, Radon and Murs speak with Andrew Opdyke about a 2023 end-year economic update and the expected shift in the economy in 2024. Andrew is a Certified Financial Advisor and Economist at First Trust Advisor. Listen in to learn about the impact of the concentration of investments in the top ten companies and when the market broadening will happen. You will also learn about things to consider when expanding your investment portfolio in 2024…  

2023 End-of-Year Economic Update

Andrew Opdyke is back with us to get his insight on the broad economy. He’s been on our show multiple times, and he’s returned with his 2023 end-of-year economic update that everyone should listen to at least once. Whether you’re trying to secure your retirement or in the middle of retirement planning, it’s always important to keep a pulse on the market.

2023 End-of-Year Economic Update

Andrew Opdyke is back with us to get his insight on the broad economy. He’s been on our show multiple times, and he’s returned with his 2023 end-of-year economic update that everyone should listen to at least once.

Whether you’re trying to secure your retirement or in the middle of retirement planning, it’s always important to keep a pulse on the market.

October-November 2023 Economic Update

October was an interesting month due to the conflict between Israel and Palestine, and inflation remaining stubbornly high. Economic data came in stronger than anticipated, but there were still some concerns.

November 1st, the Fed’s meeting was a sigh of relief for many when they announced that maybe they’re “done” with trying to tame inflation. Perhaps rate hikes may remain on pause for now.

Rate easing may be ahead in 2024, which is what a lot of economists are hoping will occur.

However, as anyone who follows the market knows, just two weeks prior to these reports, there were just too many concerns that inflation may last a little longer. We just don’t have all the data yet to say if 2024 will see interest rates fall, stay the same, or even go a tad bit higher. Right now, as of mid-November, the New Year looks promising.

We’ll need to watch the data to better understand the ebbs and flows of the market right now.

Concerns of Investors Outside of the Magnificent 7 Stocks in the Market

When looking at the S&P 500, it has performed well this year when you include the stocks that are the “magnificent 7.” What are these stocks? They’re high performers that carry the market and include big names:

  1. Alphabet
  2. Amazon
  3. Apple
  4. Meta
  5. Microsoft
  6. Nvidia
  7. Tesla

If you remove these seven stocks from the market, you’ll notice that the market is down in an equal weight market. The percentage of companies beating the index is at a 20- or 30-year low. Equal weight provides a better picture of what’s transpiring in the market, which would show most stocks are either flat or slightly down.

How much are people paying for the top 10 companies in the index? Many investors are paying a multiple of 25 to 30 for these ten stocks and a multiple of 17 for others.

What does this all mean? The top stocks need to continue performing well for the overall market to recover. Andrew would like to see a broader market rise, in which dozens of stocks are lifting the market, and believes that it will take some time to materialize.

Will the Economy Land or Take Off?

Soft landing. Hard landing. A lot of terms are thrown around for the economy and how it will end up after the pandemic and the high level of inflation that we’ve seen. Some economists are of the mindset that the economy won’t land but will take off.

However, Andrew believes that we’re likely to see a soft landing.

What we saw in the third quarter is that companies have excess inventory, which is due to a slowdown in production after COVID. Companies purchased a lot of inventory due to supply chain issues and are likely to:

  • Slow spending over the next 3 – 9 months
  • Avoid some growth initiatives due to high-interest rates

Will we hit a recession? Who knows? A recession has been six months away for 18 months now. Companies are buying less, building is slowing and if we do go into a recession, there’s a good chance that it will be very shallow.

We need to get back to sustainable interest rates without outside influence and stimulus.

Entering into 2024, we should start to learn more about the strength of the markets and economy without any outside influence building it up.

Building an Investment Portfolio to be Recession-proof

If we enter a recession, will interest rates still remain high? Look at companies that have sustainable cash flow, because even Apple must pay the high interest rates of today when they take out a loan and they add tens of billions in free cash flow quarterly.

Investors will want to dive into balance sheets and see which companies can fund their own projects without loans.

You should also look at:

  • Smaller companies with healthy cash flow
  • Exposure to small- medium- and large-cap stocks
  • Potentially add international stocks

Recalibrating your portfolio to deal with the unknowns and still have exposure to potentially risky technology.

Hamas and Israel Conflict

The United States has been sending money to Ukraine and is now funneling money to Israel. Ongoing events like these play into how the economy will look in the future.

The main risk of this new conflict is in the energy markets.

If Iran or others enter the conflict, it can lead to higher energy markets and a further rise in inflation. Economic repercussions of the Israel and Hamas war are likely to be a lot less than even Ukraine and Russia.

Trade conflicts and fracturing are occurring, and the US is doing a good job by determining who our strong trade partners are and reallocating our investments to these countries. We’re importing less from China and are trading more with:

  • Canada
  • Mexico
  • Japan

We have shuffled back and pulled away from China, pushing them from the first to the third trade partner that we have.

AI and the Hype Around It

Cryptocurrency was a major trend in past years, followed by blockchain. Now, we’re seeing a lot of people harp on the idea of AI. We’re at a point where we were with the Internet first coming about, where companies knew that the landscape of the way we work was changing.

What does AI mean for us?

The environment and world are changing. Some professions may become obsolete, and some new jobs may be created. If you look at the top 10 companies in 1999 and today, only two remain: Microsoft and Exxon.

AI may be won by the biggest companies, but if history repeats itself, we’ll see some companies born out of AI that may change the world. We may see the next Facebook or Meta created, and it may be a company everyone is overlooking.

What are you Most Worried About?

Geopolitical issues that are popping up, and more are likely to be added, are a major risk to the economy right now. China is likely to see a more difficult path in the next 10 – 20 years. We’re also entering an election year, and the negative side of the election can cause market fluctuations.

Escalation of Russia and Poland, Iran entering the Israel and Hamas war or China invading Taiwan can all effect the economy. 

What are You Most Excited About?

AI excites Andrew, and he believes that while the technology is likely to change the world, in the next 24 – 36 months, we may see some major changes thanks to AI. Humanity is “fighting the fight,” with more people being literate and doing some amazing things.

We’re seeing how dementia has been in decline in the last decade, and as a whole, we have more people than ever trying to solve problems that have plagued the world around us.

Andrew is unbelievably excited to see how human potential is being unleashed.

Need help reviewing your retirement plan? Schedule a free 15-minute call with us today.

July 31, 2023 Weekly Update

We do love it when someone refers a family member or friend to us.  Sometimes the question is, “How can we introduce them to you?”   Well, there are multiple ways but a very easy way is to simply forward them a link to this webpage.

Here are this week’s items:

Portfolio Update:  Murs and I have recorded our portfolio update for July 31, 2023

This Week’s Podcast – Andrew Opdyke – 2023 Mid-Year Economic Update for Retirement

In this Episode of the Secure Your Retirement Podcast, Radon and Murs speak with Andrew Opdyke about a 2023 mid-year economic update and the future. Andrew is a Certified Financial Advisor and Economist at First Trust Advisor.

Listen in to learn the expected and unexpected turn of events in the economy today and why inflation might not allow for rate cuts this year.

 

This Week’s Blog – Andrew Opdyke – 2023 Mid-Year Economic Update for Retirement

Andrew Opdyke, an economist for First Trust, was back on our most recent podcast. For those who don’t know, Andrew comes on our show about once a quarter to update us and our community on recent economic events.

This time, he provides us with a great mid-year economic update that will help you when retirement planning.

Andrew Opdyke – 2023 Mid-Year Economic Update

Andrew Opdyke, an economist for First Trust, was back on our most recent podcast. For those who don’t know, Andrew comes on our show about once a quarter to update us and our community on recent economic events.

This time, he provides us with a great mid-year economic update that will help you when retirement planning.

We’re going to:

  1. Summarize the first two quarters of the year
  2. Summarize what Andrew expects over the final two quarters of the year

If you want to listen to the podcast, you can find it right on our site here. Otherwise, we’ll cover the most important parts for you below.

What Happened in the Last Quarter and What are Andrew’s Thoughts?

We’re a little more than halfway through the year, and the first half of the year was more comfortable than the last quarter of 2022. Even the markets have been far less volatile, which is a good thing for investors. 

At the end of the first quarter of the year, we saw the Silicon Valley Bank collapse and a few domino pieces fell along the way.

Today, the Fed agrees that they have more work to do. We’re at the halfway mark of the year, and we’re seeing:

  • Inflation trend lower at 3% year-over-year, although Andrew believes this to be a little misleading
  • Energy prices are slowing down a bit
  • Taking out food and energy, we’re seeing inflation fall from 5.9% to 5%, which is hitting consumers quite a bit

Inflation has remained stubbornly sticky, and the Fed is expected to raise rates at the end of July and maybe another before the end of 2023. The question remains:

  • Will we see a recession?
  • Will employers begin laying people off?

We’re seeing manufacturing come down a bit, but construction activity is at record-high levels. Employment, at the time of this article, is still progressing and remains strong. Consumers are still spending.

Has everything transpired as expected?

For the most part, the economy is doing well and even the markets are stabilizing. There was sort of a concentrated performance in the tech industry at the beginning of the year.

Andrew believes that the market may get a little bumpier going into the end of the year.

Rates Hikes or Cuts: What Will We See?

Rate hikes and cuts are always top news stories and something we hear a lot about from our clients. Andrew believes that at the end of July, the Fed is likely to raise rates again. He expects an additional rate hike before the end of the year.

At the mid-point of August, he expects that the CPI will dictate the future choices from the Fed.

CPI was from activity almost a year ago. We’ll see some bumps in the newest CPI due to the Ukraine/Russian war.

The Fed has changed pace often this year because the ability to guide and navigate this ever-changing environment is evolving. What the Fed doesn’t want to do is repeat the mistakes made in the 70s and stop inflationary measures too fast.

Andrew anticipates the rates will have one or two hikes before the end of 2023 and sometime in 2024, rate hikes may follow. As inflation begins to trickle in the right direction, the Fed will begin to lower rates.

Most countries are seeing similar trends as the United States, but we are seeing:

  • Germany has rising inflation
  • United Kingdom’s inflation remains flat

Energy price rises in the US can put some pressure on the UK economy. At this time, we’re not seeing a Central Bank that we can say, “Hey, they’re doing everything right.” Every Central Bank is working through these ups and downs.

Recession Risk at the Mid-point of 2023

Recession is something we’ve been talking about for a while now, and with everyone spending like normal, it’s almost a self-fulfilling prophecy at this point. Andrew estimates that there is an 80% chance that we’ll see a recession.

When will this recession happen?

No one knows. We may see a recession in 2023 or 2024. We’re seeing facilities being built today without orders in the pipeline in the coming year. What does this mean? Businesses are sort of holding back a recession, but something needs to happen before orders run out for the momentum to remain.

Reading through banking reports, it looks like consumer savings may fall back to pre-COVID levels by the end of 2023. Less money in the bank may lead to consumers spending less, which also raises the risk of a recession.

If we hit a point where consumer spending falls and rates are high, it will likely push us into a recession.

Can we avoid a recession? Possibly. However, it’s a very delicate time. We’re even seeing the markets perform very well this year.

2023 Mid-year Economic Update: Stock Markets

No one would have guessed that going into 2023, the market would be where it is today. Technology and AI helped lift the market at the start of the year, but Andrew is seeing the market broaden a bit.

We’re seeing 3% – 4% of market growth happening from outside of the tech sector.

Most people started the year with expectations that the market would go down, but it hasn’t really happened. Instead, we’re seeing people paying not based on earnings but higher multiples from these companies. We’re seeing the top 10 tech companies trading at 30 times their earnings. The top 11 – 50 companies are trading at 16 – 18 times their earnings.

A sustainable bull market will require some of these non-tech companies to have strong earnings and returns.

Based on GDP and employee output, we’re not seeing the rise in productivity that tech companies expected with AI. Many of these technologies take time to evolve and be adopted by users, which could cause some of these tech stocks to come back down.

Foreign Economies

China reports not seeing the bounce back that they expected of 5% growth, which is low for the country. Apple and Tesla moving to India is changing the economic landscape. With the country likely to have the world’s largest population soon, it’s very likely that India will begin to grow rapidly.

Top-down leadership works well in short bursts, but communist countries have been, traditionally, difficult to maintain long-term.

For example, the tech sector has been the backbone of the US for the past 20 years, but China has had a lot of difficulties in this arena. China is known to replicate ideas and innovations, which means they continued to fall behind on tech that others had already released.

Finally, when companies in China started to innovate, the communist government started to put the clamps on them because it didn’t look good for the government when these companies were acting independently.

We saw this with tech investments and Alibaba. Investors have been scared away from China due to this clamping down.

We’re also unsure of where China’s economy stands because the country has been known to provide inaccurate information. Andrew expects that over the next 10 – 30 years, China will struggle to grow.

Geopolitically, the world may look very different in the next 5 – 10 years.

Forward-looking Questions: Concerns for the Second Half of 2023

As we move into the end of the year, there are some major concerns, especially with a lot of the big company’s price-to-earnings (P/E) ratios. If confidence wanes, we can see some pullback while P/E goes back to normal levels.

Commercial and office real estate loans are coming up.

We are seeing a lot of foreclosure talks that can hit local and regional banks. Large banks are less susceptible to these potential risks of foreclosure.

Russia and Ukraine will remain a major question mark. China’s threat to Taiwan will remain critical to the market, especially if things intensify, such as an increase in training in the area.

Andrew believes the biggest headwinds are:

  • P/E for many companies is too high
  • Money is coming out of the system

In 2020/2021, we saw the government inject a lot of money into the system. PPP loans, COVID checks, treasuries trying to hold money – all of this can have an impact on the economy and cause growth to slow heading into December.

Forward-looking Questions: Positives for the Second Half of 2023

Manufacturing investment will help the country, especially bringing back semiconductor manufacturing. Investments like this will roll out for years to come and will boost the economy.

We’re seeing a lot of things today that can help us see a boom in the future. 

Andrew is optimistic that we’re a lot closer today to a recovery than just a few months ago. It’s very unlikely that we’ll need massive rate hikes of 500 – 550 basis points again. We just need to get over the last hurdle, and then we can see growth.

Improvements in education, clean water, manufacturing and so on will drive us forward 18 months from now.

Once we get through the tough stuff, we’ll have a very bright future.

S&P 500 Forecast

Andrew thinks that we’re likely to see a pullback in the market because the markets got ahead of themselves. Evaluations and P/E are too high, but this can change with some major unforeseen growth factors, such as AI reaching its expected potential much faster than expected.

People will need to reevaluate to see if they’re overpaying for something that is underperforming with the tech stocks that are trading well after what they should be, in many cases.

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April 24, 2023 Weekly Update

We do love it when someone refers a family member or friend to us.  Sometimes the question is, “How can we introduce them to you?”   Well, there are multiple ways but a very easy way is to simply forward them a link to this webpage.

Here are this week’s items:

Portfolio Update:  Murs and I have recorded our portfolio update for April 24, 2023

This Week’s Podcast -2023 1st Quarter Economic Update

Learn why you shouldn’t worry about the US debt ceiling and its impact from a market standpoint. You will also learn why inflation might last longer and cause a recession if the federal reserve doesn’t prioritize the inflation fight.

 

This Week’s Blog – 2023 1st Quarter Economic Update

Andrew Opdyke was our special guest on this past week’s podcast. If you’ve read through our blog or listened to our podcast before, you know that Andrew is who we rely on to gain insight into the economy. In December 2022, we asked him how is the economy doing right now?

2023 1st Quarter Economic Update

Andrew Opdyke was our special guest on this past week’s podcast. If you’ve read through our blog or listened to our podcast before, you know that Andrew is who we rely on to gain insight into the economy. In December 2022, we asked him how is the economy doing right now?

And now, at the end of Q1 2023, we’re asking him the same question. A lot has changed in the last quarter that everyone in the middle of retirement planning or in retirement must keep up to date on. P.S. You can also listen to this episode of the podcast here.

Major Points of Interest in Q1 2023

The first quarter of the year started off with a lot of unknowns. Fear of a recession and inflation were hot topics, and now, we have some clarity going into Q2. The year started with high inflation and questions about the Fed raising rates. 

  • How much will the Fed raise interest rates?
  • How long will rates stay elevated?

Finally, we’re seeing some break in inflation. Jobs also came in strong, although the numbers are starting to slow, and we still have a little time before GDP figures are released. We are noticing a divergence in the goods and services of the market.

If you remember, during COVID, the focus seemed to turn to goods.

The goods side is moderated at the moment and may even be in recession territory. However, the services side of the economy is picking up the slack and performing very well. The question on the Fed’s mind is why hasn’t inflation come down yet? And when it does, will economic growth be prioritized or inflation?

No one knows for sure.

On the market side, things are looking up. Many of the companies that struggled at the end of 2022 are leading the way in 2023. The question is whether the market can sustain itself.

Bank Situation in 2023

A lot of people reading this remember the financial crisis, but the new banking issues center around the US Treasury. The Treasury has been known to be one of the safest investments that you can make, but banks got hit from holding assets in an environment with rising interest rates.

Even banks like Silicon Valley Bank, which no one really heard of because the average person didn’t bank with them, have been hit. That’s because Silicon Valley Bank offered loans to many companies that thrived during COVID and sort of fizzled out or was less attractive after COVID.

Small and regional banks started to tighten up lending activity, leaving many small- and medium-sized businesses with less funding after the debacle with Silicon Valley Bank. Tightening in these banks led to a sort of “additional Fed hike” for non-public or large companies.

Larger entities work with major lenders, which are less impacted by the banking situation.

  • Hire
  • Invest
  • Expand

Andrew doesn’t believe that the banking side of things will be long-lasting. We will see the effects of these issues over the next 3 – 6 months as the banks pull back. The result? That’s what we’re unsure about. Growth may slow due to these banking issues. 

US Dollar and Losing Its Place as the Reserve Currency

For 200 years, the US dollar has been the world’s most important currency. International transactions needed the US dollar when trading. The world’s most stable currency becomes the reserve currency status.

The US benefits from being the reserve currency in a few ways:

  • Keeps interest rates lower
  • Higher demand for debt
  • Easier ability to trade on international markets

Every few years, we hear that the USD will fall out of being the reserve currency. This time around, China and Brazil made a deal, and China asked for the payment to be made in the Renminbi. Another deal in the Middle East requested the same, and this has led to speculation that the Renminbi will overtake the US dollar as the reserve currency.

If this happens, it will lead to:

  • Higher interest rates
  • Consumer impacts

Every few years, we hear this same story of the USD losing its reserve status. Even with these changes, over 60% of international reserve balances are held in USD. Between 60% to 80% of international transactions are in the US dollar.

China accounts for around 2% of transactions, primarily because businesses do not trust communism for their reserve currency.

Debt Ceiling Concerns

The US has printed a lot of money in recent years, leading to major concerns about being able to service the debt. While the US has a lot of debt, the numbers do not show the full picture without looking at both sides of the balance sheet.

On both the corporate and consumer sides, we’re at or near all-time debt levels.

We’re also at all-time asset levels, too. However, how much GDP percentage does it take to service the debt? Roughly around 1.9% of the GDP is necessary to pay these debts. In the 80s and 90s, we paid about 3% of GDP.

The balance sheet is in a better position now than in the past. 

However, we should raise our debt ceiling and pay our debtors. A US default is unlikely this year, and these talks will swirl again in a year or two because it’s very interesting and sells a lot of advertising to media viewership. 

What is Andrew Worried About in 2023?

A major concern is the Fed and if they will remain hesitant in the inflation fight. If the Fed remains slow to ease inflation, Andrew expects a recession in Q3 or Q4 of 2023. He does point out that not all recessions are created equal, and he thinks it will be like the 1990 – 1991 recession.

What is Andrew Optimistic About in 2023?

Progress is taking place in the market. He expects earnings to remain around the highest levels in history. Production and output growth are expected to pick up once the Fed gets inflation under control.

The service side of things is expected to keep the economy running.

In the second half of 2023, the economy is very likely to slow, but it will strengthen the economy going forward.

Andrew does believe that market volatility will occur towards the end of the year and in 2024, rate cuts will begin. The net effect is a short recession, and the market will be roughly flat by the end of 2023.

If Andrew is right, the US economy will slow down and then pick up steam in 2024. Overall, he is confident that next year will look a lot better in terms of production and growth.

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How is the Economy Doing Right Now?

Going into December of 2022, we can say that the year has been boring, to say the least. Inflation is high, the stock market has been on a rollercoaster ride, and portfolios aren’t experiencing the massive gains that they have had in the past decade.

Starting the year, the Fed brushed inflation aside and said that they weren’t going to do a lot to tame it. However, they then changed their course, as Andrew Opdyke explained to us in our most recent podcast.

Geopolitical events are the reason for many of the inflation issues that are ongoing.

Ukraine and Russia’s war has led to higher gas prices, and these higher prices have led to an increase in transportation costs, causing food prices to soar. The Fed has raised interest rates numerous times this year to try and cull these rising prices.

Fuel is crucial to:

  • Transportation
  • Production
  • Etc.

Add into this economic update a midterm election, and there’s a lot going on this year, which we want to cover in this economic update.

Fed Will Continue to Drive the Market in 2023

The Federal Reserve is going to be the major driver of the economy in 2023 and 2024, with economists watching what the Fed is going to do closely. A recent CPI report did show inflation easing slightly, and this is a good sign, although Andrew explains one data point isn’t enough to be confident about inflation dropping.

Some of the key points in the report were medical-related, but we do not see prices drop for consumers.

Instead, calculations were adjusted that showed prices falling for medical items, although it doesn’t do much for the average person. Andrew suggests seeing what happens in the next few months and likes to strip away food and fuel costs.

Housing will be a major factor in 2023.

Between 2020 and 2021, housing remained flat, but as we saw in 2022, prices skyrocketed and seemed to have plateaued. Andrew suggests that inflation going from 8% – 5% will be easy, but going from 5% to 2% inflation will likely take 18 – 24 months.

The good news is that the Fed can slow rate hikes down if inflation is slowing down.

Will We See a Recession?

A recession is one of the leading concerns for consumers, and many questions if we’ve already reached a recession. In the first half of 2022, we did have two quarters in a row of slowing, which is the textbook definition of a recession.

However, there is only one group in the world that can officially call it a recession, and that is the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). 

The NBER looks at multiple factors when pinpointing a recession, including:

  • Employment
  • Consumer spending
  • Income
  • Production

When you look at the numbers of employment and production increasing at the beginning of the year and strong spending, it’s unlikely that we did hit a recession in 2022.

Raising interest rates is a tool for the Fed to use to fend off a recession, but it takes a long time to see the results of these changes.

Higher interest rates can slow investment, and these slowdowns can have a major impact on the economy. Andrew believes that the Fed is increasing rates at a modest pace and in the middle of 2023, he expected:

  • Unemployment rates to rise, but not like in 2008 or 2009
  • Growth slow for 2 – 3 quarters at a slow rate

Andrew suggests that the slowdown will be like 2000 – 2001 and then back to sustained growth. However, if geopolitical shifts occur, such as China invading Taiwan, then there’s a risk of a longer, more intense recession.

Layoffs Facing Major Tech Companies

Meta has announced massive layoffs in recent days and a few tech companies are also laying off workers. We asked Andrew about these layoffs and if he thinks that they were a result of over-hiring in 2020 – 2021 or if they’re something to be concerned about.

Andrew states:

  • People being home during the pandemic led to higher engagement with Meta, and now that people are engaging less, this is leading to layoffs.
  • Amazon hired to meet the delivery needs of consumers, but with people going back to stores, they need to lay off people.

A slowdown in some areas is leading to an increase in other areas. Companies that have had a difficult time hiring are likely to have an uptick in employees, so the layoffs may not mean as much as people think in terms of an economic slowdown.

Risk of China and Taiwan War

Ukraine and Russia certainly impacted economic recovery and have led to the rise in fuel and food prices, but they make up a very small number of imports and exports. A China and Taiwan war would have a much bigger impact on the global economy.

Taiwan is a major manufacturing hub and a war with Taiwan would lead to a lot of economic turbulence.

Taiwan is relied upon for semiconductors, which are needed for electronics worldwide. Andrew expects a major response from the world’s economy if a war does occur. The world relies heavily on semiconductors, and a China/Taiwan war would have a much higher economic impact.

End of Year Best Guess: S&P 500

If you’re trying to secure your retirement and are in the middle of retirement planning, a major question for the final month of 2022 and going into 2023 is: what is expected to happen in the stock market?

We can only guess about the future of the market, but Andrew believes that we’ll see:

  • Inflation remains a major concern
  • Volatility will remain

However, when the Fed is done raising rates and can cut rates, he expects 2023 to be a wild ride.

In two years and five years, there’s a very good chance that the economy will rise and the stock market will be higher. 

With all of this in mind, 2023 will be less wild than 2022. A lot of the negativity and fear will likely ease going forward. We’re closer to inflation falling, and a lot of investments are being made to prevent negative growth in the future.

For example, over $20 billion is being invested in making semiconductors in the US, and while this takes time, it will certainly be a major economic driver in the coming years. Additionally, the investment will ease the country’s reliance on Taiwan, further reducing the risk of geopolitical issues impacting the US economy as much as it could today.If you want to discuss your retirement plan and help find a way to keep making returns, click here to schedule a call with us.

Economy Forecast for 2022

In our most recent podcast, we were able to sit down with economist Andrew Opdyke to discuss what to expect in the economy in 2022. If you want to listen to the podcast, we encourage you to sign up here.

When you’re working to secure your retirement, the economy will have a major role in how your portfolio will perform.

The forecasts for 2022 are never set in stone, but they can help you get an understanding of what type of fluctuations your portfolio may see this year. However, before we dive into some of the questions we discussed with Andrew, let’s look at what transpired in 2021.

2021: Year in Review

For many people, 2021 was an interesting year because of everything that happened in 2020. At the end of 2020, vaccines came around, and many people viewed 2021 as a recovery year. But unfortunately, we’re still talking about COVID-19 to start this year.

Massive vaccinations have taken place, with signs that the latest wave of COVID-19 from the Omicron variant may lead to less hospitalization.

However, in 2021, we saw some differences in the market, such as:

  • Strong profit growth from S&P 500, small- and mid-cap
  • Emotions led to some volatility
  • Double-digit growth for many stocks

Overall, 2021 was a good year for retirement planning and the market because major companies still posted high profits.

Entering the 2022 Year

Heading into 2022, we’re expecting less of a change in volatility and business going forward. We expect that in 2022, the pace of growth will moderate as businesses want to see if they can get jobs back and continue growing.

With that said, the supply chain is a major concern.

Supply Chain

The world hasn’t seen a supply chain issue like we have had since the pandemic. At the beginning of the current wave of the virus, we’re also seeing supply chain issues that are leading to:

  • Rising inflation
  • Slower product delivery

Large numbers of truckers and other people involved in the supply chain are off work because they’re sick or recently tested positive for COVID. As a result, the supply chain has slowed to start off the year.

However, we see the supply chain recovering.

Shutdowns and shelter-in-place orders are unlikely in 2022, and we expect that this will allow people to continue going to work. We expect 300,000 to 350,000 jobs added per month. If we’re correct, the job figures in 2022 will pass the pre-COVID figures by the end of the year.

Ultimately, we’re still down 3 million jobs to start the year, but it’s widely expected that this figure will continue to drop as we move into the mid-year.

Demand remains very high now. The stimulus helped with this to some extent, so there may be some slowing here. Stimulus checks aren’t coming again, as far as we know, but demand remains incredibly high, which is good for business.

Inflation Predictions

Inflation may continue to rise to start the year. Supply chains are still running, albeit slightly slower due to the recent variant. 

The good news?

In mid-2022, it’s fully expected that inflation will begin to taper off and fall back to traditional ranges of 3% to 4%.

Politics and How It Plays In the 2022 Economy

Politics will always play a role in the national economy, and there are a few things we’re seeing right now that may impact the economy this year:

  • Massive infrastructure bill discrepancies
  • Child tax credit may not be in play

Also, 2022 is a mid-term election year. In November, there will be some disruption in the political sphere which may help or hurt agendas going forward. The infrastructure bill is still in the works, and there’s hope that it will pass in some form.

Adding in infrastructure right now will take a few years to really pick up the pace, even if the bill was to pass today.

Due to a lack of capacity, there’s no feasible way to see crews on the road next week building bridges if the bill passed today. These types of bills and their impact take a while to be put in place logically once they pass into law.

Build Back Better Bill

The Build Back Better bill, which has been tampered down, has a lot of corporate tax hikes associated with it. The closer we get to reelection, the less likely we will see this bill pass. Politicians don’t like to raise taxes during an election year, so it’s a bill that is likely not going to pass in 2022.

Maybe the package passes at $1.5 trillion or less, but if it does, there’s also a good chance of a party change on the House level as a result.

Markets That May Recover Due to a Current Lack of Manpower

In 2020 and 2021, earnings growth numbers were substantial in 2021.

Why?

The drop in earnings in 2020 put the benchmark low and kicked off tremendous growth in 2021. However, 2022 is likely to see growth fall out of the double digits for these companies and back into the 8% to 9% range.

Market growth rates are expected to fall back to typical levels.

Also, price-to-earnings for many companies is expected to really play a factor in stocks readjusting. Many companies saw these values increase on expectations that never materialized.

Of course, there’s also a price concern as inflation rises and perhaps demand falls, leading to better prices for consumers but lower earnings for corporations.

Earnings quality will matter a lot in the coming year.

Small- and medium-sized businesses may also start to come back if we can tame COVID and avoid another shutdown. While mega-caps did well in the past year, these smaller companies are set to come back a little stronger in 2022.

With that said, keep a few points in mind:

  • Markets are unlikely to grow at the same rate as they have over the last 2-3 years
  • Companies with solid profit margins will continue to do well
  • Small- and medium-sized companies may experience the most gains

Expectations of super growth need to be tamed because the high growth is unlikely to continue in 2022 because it really can’t.

Concerns and Expectations for the 2022 Year

Government and Federal concerns exist because the response on these levels will have a major impact on the markets. The response to inflation will be a major focal point because the government downplayed inflation, stating that it was just short-term.

However, we’re now seeing that inflation isn’t short-term and is still sticking around.

The Fed did start to change its tune at the end of 2021. If the Fed addresses inflation, it will help keep the economy high. Unfortunately, if the Fed doesn’t raise the interest rate and tackle inflation, it will lead to market volatility.

We certainly need to keep a close eye on what the Fed does to fight inflation.

If nothing is done to tame inflation, we expect it will significantly impact the markets going into the end of the year.

Surprises and Bright Points in 2021

One of the best points of 2021 was that we learned:

  • People adapt
  • Companies adapt

From an economic growth standpoint, we’re at a new growth high that hasn’t been seen since the 80s. We’re also producing more with 3.5 million fewer workers, so all of these are very bright spots for 2021.

The embracing of technologies and productivity tools will continue to help the market in the coming years.

Earnings growth was real in the past year, but now it’s time to move into 2022 and hopefully return to the fundamentals.

Hopefully, in 2022 we go back to the fundamentals where there are no questions of stimulus, supply chain issues and shutdowns. The last time we’ve seen the money in the system that led to growth was after WWII.

In fact, the funds pushed into the market led to the industrial revolution.

Now, with the influx of cash in the market and government dollars, we may be on the cusp of a new revolution in 2023 and beyond. It’s an exciting time to look at the year ahead and see what companies can make happen with all the money available and in high demand.

The markets may not grow like they did in 2021, but the possibilities in 2022 and 2023 are impressive and should provide long-term, sustainable growth.

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Federal Reserve, Inflation and the Economy

We’ve seen a lot of headlines lately, as we’re sure you have, about the federal reserve, inflation and the economy. At the time of our podcast and writing this, Jerome Powell remains the Fed Reserve Chairman.

One thing we want to make clear is that throughout this article, we’ll be going over recent headlines.

Of course, at the time of reading this, we may have new information or outcomes for these headlines. But the good news is that the information should remain relevant.

What Jerome Powell Being Nominated as Federal Reserve Chairman Means

Jerome Powell is loved by some and not by others. There are two trains of thought here, and these are:

Side 1: People That Like Jerome Powell

A lot of people like Jerome Powell because he likes to print money. He wants to keep the economy moving aggressively, and for some people, they believe printing money will benefit the market.

Side 2: People That Dislike Jerome Powell

On the other side of the spectrum, there are concerns that printing money will cause long-term inflation, which is never a good thing.

Working as a Financial Advisor Through Federal Reserve Chairmen

Since we work with so many people nearly or in retirement, we get a lot of questions from both sides of the argument. For example, some clients want to invest heavily in the market because they believe that Powell will help the market soar, and others want to invest in financial vehicles that rise with inflation.

Our clients want us to forecast the future to try and determine what will happen if Powell is chairman.

For example, a client may ask us:

I’m concerned and excited about Powell’s reinstatement. Can we invest in something that protects against inflation and still reaps the benefits of the market?

Unfortunately, this is a loaded yet common question when dealing with inflation. What we believe is that two things need to be actively managed:

  1. Active investments in the market
  2. Overall retirement plan

Active management is important because trying to predict an outcome for an ever-changing market is a gamble. We would rather not gamble with our clients’ money, so we use the data that we have available at any given moment in time to make smart investment decisions.

Markets and investments can change rapidly in just a day or two, and active management helps our clients avoid major losses in the process.

We have a lot of passionate investors.

For example, some investors learn a lot about a particular company, love the direction and vision of the company’s CEO, and they put all their faith in this individual that they’ll help the company grow.

Unfortunately, there’s a lot of guesswork going into the scenario above that can lead to losses.

Through active management, we invest based on what’s happening now.

If inflation continues to rise and the pressure of inflation exists, we’ll adjust portfolios in three main categories:

  1. Equities, which are stocks
  2. Fixed income, such as bonds
  3. Cash

We recommend putting all three of these categories in a race to see who is winning in today’s market. At the time of writing this, equities are performing exceptionally well towards the end of 2021.

Using a number-oriented form of investing, we recommend:

  • Reallocating investments based on what’s happening now
  • Adjust as required

There are also some sides of the market where people would rather split their investments among the three categories above, so the investor may decide to invest 33% in all three categories and go with the flow.

Instead, we believe active management is the right choice because it reduces the risk of volatility.

Reactionary investing, based on headlines, is not something we recommend. Instead, use data and continue adjusting your retirement portfolio and investments to weather any changes in the market that occur today and 20 years from now.

Events Where Reactive Investing Never Works Out 100%

We’re not going to get political, but when there are presidential elections, there are many people who choose the doom and gloom path. If this Republican or Democrat gets elected, the stock market will CRASH.

Thankfully, these predictions rarely come true.

Making decisions based on assumptions never truly works out how a person thinks. We’ve been through many presidents in the last 20 years. One thing we’ve experienced, and it is rare, is that some people pull all their money out of the market because they believe a new president will cause the market to tumble.

Unfortunately, many of these individuals call us and explain how they wish they didn’t sit on the sidelines because their portfolio may have risen 10%, 20% or even more.

Another scenario is inflation.

Inflation is rising, so a lot of individuals are afraid and believe that the market will flop.

Emotions in the market rarely work out in your favor. As an advisor, we take emotions out of the market and our decisions. For example, even as surges in the coronavirus continue to happen worldwide, the markets remain strong.

Some investors feared that the market would suffer after each surge, much like it did when the pandemic first hit.

Using the data that we have available, we’re not seeing these surges impacting the market, so we recommend keeping money in the market. When the data changes, we’ll adapt our investments to minimize losses and maximize gains.

2020 Events and How We Shifted Money Going Into 2021

In 2020, the S&P 500 fell over 30%, but we did a few things:

  • First, most of our clients were sitting on cash to avoid losses in the market.
  • When reentering the markets, we took it slow and adjusted to the companies winning the race, such as technology companies.
  • January of 2021, we saw a shift where large-cap and technology started to slow and small and mid-cap companies began to revive as the market recovered. Using the race analogy, we adjusted portfolios to include more of these stocks to maximize client gains.

Since this was our first time living through a pandemic, we think we did exceptionally well for our clients and really solidified our thought process that active management is the way to go when investing.

Final Thoughts

We covered a lot in the past sections, and the sentiment remained the same: don’t react over headlines. If everyone could predict the future, we would all enter retirement ridiculously wealthy.

However, we can use the market’s data to make smart, timely investments and portfolio adjustments to avoid losses and ride gains to make the most of our investments as possible.

If you need help actively managing your portfolio or want us to run the numbers to see how we can help you grow your portfolio, schedule an introduction call today.