Broker Check

4th Quarter 2023 Review

January 03, 2024

Happy New Year 2024!

                                                                                                                                                January 3, 2024


Dear Awesome Clients and Friends,

As we welcome the New Year, I personally extend to you and your family wishes for health, wealth, and blessings in this new year. Your unwavering trust in our guidance inspires us daily, and we're profoundly grateful for the opportunity to be part of your financial journey. Looking forward to a great 2024!

2023- An Exceptional Ending to the Year

What a comeback! 2023 marked a much-needed bounce back when it came to both stock and bond market performance after a dreadful 2023. Helped by the combination of a solid economy, better-than-expected corporate earnings, and (for now) an end to the Federal Reserve’s interest rate hikes, stocks rallied 25% in 2023. Technology stocks (and growth stocks more broadly) jumped thanks to expectations of multiple Fed rate cuts in 2024, along with the emerging boom in (AI) artificial intelligence technologies. Bond investors breathed sighs of relief after avoiding an unprecedented third straight year of losses. (Source Morningstar 12/23/2023)

This year’s “Santa Claus Rally” came early as long-term interest rates dropped after exploding in 2022 and much of 2023. In November rates eased and a significant stock market rally surprised many boosted further following the December Fed meeting. The market interpreted Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s remarks to indicate that not only is the Fed done hiking rates, but it is also now considering when to begin easing monetary policy. All good news for both Stocks and Bonds.

 

 2024- Rates, Rallies and Reflections

It was unanimous – most economists predicted a recession for 2023. But the U.S. economy in 2023 proved highly resilient in the face of higher interest rates and high inflation. In the third quarter, the economy expanded at a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 4.9% GDP. It was an impressive result in an environment where inflation concerns persist, and interest rates hit highs not seen for decades. Now many are predicting a “soft landing” with consumer spending remaining strong and fueling growth. Will the Federal Reserve achieve a soft landing for the U.S. economy? And in a related question, can stocks extend gains? Wall Street seems convinced that the Fed will reach its goal of a soft landing for the U.S. economy.

More than three-fourths of economists — 76% — said they believe the chances of a recession in the next 12 months is 50% or less, according to a December survey from the National Association for Business Economics. In that environment, most analysts predict improved corporate earnings growth for S&P 500 companies. As for how the stocks will perform in the coming election year, 2024 forecasts for the S&P 500 vary widely, but the consensus seems to fall in the range of 8%-9% gains, a little under the index's historical average of about 10%. If the Fed does start “cutting rates’ potential scenarios range from minor stock losses to above average returns.

(See chart below) Source JP Morgan Chase.

 

Planning and Positioning for 2024 using AI (Actual Intelligence)

Our portfolios remained resilient and finished strong. In November, we rebalanced accounts to reflect improving conditions and a “broadening-out” of the market rally. We added new positions in active small cap, international blue chips as well as short and intermediate term bonds. We maintained higher levels of money markets as yields are still above 5% (for now). We will be watching intently to make adjustments when rates come down and bonds provide greater appreciation opportunities. 

Much has been made of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in 2023. We have been watching innovation trends for several years and AI has consistently been referenced as THE tech trend with the most significant impact on investing, business, and life- changing trends. We will be taking a closer look at the impact of AI on everything we do including how we use it for financial planning and investment portfolios. But ultimately, we will never forget that it takes a human touch and brain exhibiting “Actual” intelligence to be successful.

Peace and Prosperity in 2024

A New Year is on the horizon. Each day that comes presents something new and exciting both for you and the people in your life. Make it the best you can with gratitude, abundance, and love. Your support and trust empower us to innovate and excel, and for that, we extend our sincerest gratitude.

It is my singular focus to provide the advice, performance, and personalized service you can depend on to build financial security.  It is my honor and privilege to serve you and your family, and we look forward to seeing you soon!

Sincerely,

James T. Elios, MBA, CHFC®, CLU®, AIF®,

President and CEO

 



The information presented in this newsletter is the opinion of Elios Financial Group, Inc. and does not reflect the view of any other person or entity.  The information provided is believed to be from reliable sources, but no liability is accepted for any inaccuracies.  This is for information purposes and should not be construed as an investment recommendation.  Past performance is no guarantee of future performance.  Elios Financial Group, Inc. is an investment adviser registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.