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QUARTERLY PLAYBOOK - 1st QUARTER 2024
"Back to Normal-ish"
After dealing with the delayed aftershocks of the 2020 inflation cycle and the fear that the Fed’s interest rate hike response would send the economy into recession, it appears we are almost back to normal...ish! The economy seems to be on level ground, the markets show signs of being driven more by fundamentals as opposed to emotion, and many of the excesses have been drained out of the system. We look for 2024 to be a year where traditional economic and investment analysis comes back into the spotlight…
“A good portfolio is more than a list of good stocks and bonds. It is a balanced whole, providing the investor with protections and opportunities with respect to a wide range of contingencies” - Nobel Prize winner Dr. Harry Markowitz (1927-2023)
QUARTERLY PLAYBOOK - 4TH QUARTER 2023
"Making our way out of the woods"
So far, so good. Our journey has not been without hazards or obstacles, but we are starting to see the light at the end of the path. The overall economy has avoided tripping into recession and the stock market has continued to wind its way down the path toward recovery. However, interest rates have been weighing down our pace. This phase of the journey is not yet over, but the trail signs indicate we are moving in the right direction….
“Time is a wonderful storyteller” - Deion “Coach Prime” Sanders
QUARTERLY PLAYBOOK - 3rd QUARTER 2023
"Crossing the Bridge"
It seems our belief that markets would cross the bridge into recovery has become the current situation, but the path forward remains obscure. The calls for recession have grown somewhat quieter, yet still seem like the majority opinion. Our analysis continues to see data that supports the case for avoiding recession but acknowledge multiple factors point toward a period of slower growth. The resiliency of consumers and capital markets is a remarkable phenomenon that continues to show strength despite the current interest-rate environment. That said, being prepared for challenges, yet still forging ahead, is the right mindset for the current conditions…
“Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.” - Jim Rohn
“Perspective is everything”
In the current investment environment, the noise has never been louder. Short -term economic and market projections still have a huge amount of disparity amongst forecasters collectively. Meanwhile, long lasting market volatility (along with a mini-banking crisis) has grated on investor patience. While there are some signs of economic slowing, if you tune out the noise and pessimism, the actual data still isn’t showing signs of recession. In these times, it’s important to maintain a long-term perspective along with a little grit…
“Abnormally good or abnormally bad conditions do not last forever.” - Benjamin Graham, Known as the Father of Investing
“Will someone please tell the markets….”
A recent quote read “the danger in forecasting is that you can be exactly right, but dead wrong at the same time.” Despite the market’s lack of response, the data has been improving- lower inflation, robust GDP, supply chain relief, positive earnings growth, and even the adversaries at the Fed have started to reign in their attack. However, the markets have seemed to plug their ears like a 3-year-old and say “Lalalalalala… I can’t hear you!” We are cautiously optimistic though, that the data will succeed in overcoming the wide-spread pessimistic attitudes as we progress through the year….