The Santa Claus Rally

By Brett Lozowski

Well- we must’ve been on the “Nice List” this holiday season because the 4th quarter, especially December, was great for financial markets. The US stock (S&P 500 index) and Bond Market returned 11.6% and 6.7% respectively for the quarter. The US Stock market (S&P 500 index) capped off the year with a 26% return, and the bond market finished strong logging a 5.6% gain. 

While the end result was great, the route to the strong finish wasn’t easy. The Russia Ukraine war continued, interest rates reached their highest level in 22 years, the housing market (mortgage rates) became virtually unaffordable for first time buyers, and a new conflict emerged in the Middle East. Even top Wall Street firms were predicting a negative year for 2023. With all these negative headlines, you would think we had the worst year in stock market history.

No surprise- the predictions were wrong! Investors cheered as inflation began to fall, unemployment remained low, and interest rates dropped late in the year. The Federal Reserve even commented on potentially lowering rates in 2024. A few good headlines proved to go a long way for financial markets!

What worked in 2023? Sticking with your financial plan and investment policy. When times seem tough, it is important to remember your long-term financial goals. Abandoning your financial plan because of headlines, predictions, doomsayers, etc. can jeopardize long term success.

The 2024 election year is likely to introduce plenty of negative outside noise to financial markets. Headlines may paint a negative picture of who wins the election and the economy; however, history tells us this is untrue. A US Bank study found that over the past 75 years there was no correlation between financial market returns and who won the presidential election.

Could this time be different? Sure. However, history tells us the answer is likely no.

This year, don’t use “worry minutes” over events that don’t make a difference. Know that your asset allocation is geared toward your goals and make a resolution to stay the course when the markets and the world seem to be going crazy. Enjoy life and know we are here to support you through it all.

Life Planning Partners, Inc. Presentation

January 18, 6:00 p.m. EST

We’ve had a lot of wonderful changes at Life Planning Partners, and we want to keep you informed. Join us for a Zoom meeting to share the news.

Carolyn will open the meeting with an LPP update and share the results of our recent client survey. She’ll discuss the plans for the future.

Brett will take it from there. He started his career in the banking industry, and left because he knew they were not working in the client’s interest. He will do a short talk that contrasts what the big banks provide to the service you receive at Life Planning Partners.

Camrie and Matt will finish the presentation by discussing their current roles. After that, we’ll have “open mic” where you get to ask us questions.

Here is the Zoom link for the session:

We ask that during our presentation, you mute your microphone and keep your video camera off until we are done with the presentation. This will minimize distractions for all the attendees. The presentation will be recorded if you can’t attend. We are excited about the future and look forward to sharing that excitement with you.

Life Planning Partners, Inc.