Quarterly Investment & Economic Review

  • Against a backdrop of rising interest rates and geopolitical hostilities, 2023 was a year that defied expectations. In the last two months of 2023, U.S. stocks rose 16.2% and bonds increased 8.5%, rewarding patient and disciplined investors
  • Economic resilience across the globe helped boost all three major asset classes for stocks (i.e., US, International Developed and Emerging Markets) to rack up significant gains in 2023
  • Instead of falling into recession as many predicted, U.S. stocks posted an impressive rally in 2023, with the S&P 500 up 26.3%
  • The Magnificent 7 stocks (Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Meta, Microsoft, NVIDIA, and Tesla) increased in value by 111% in 2023, represent about 28% of the S&P 500’s market value, and were responsible for nearly two-thirds of the index’s total return last year  
  • A huge two-month rally in bond prices resulted in bonds returning 5.53% for the year
  • GDP grew by 4.9% year over year through Q3 and the recession that many predicted has yet to happen
  • Inflation continues to make progress towards the Fed’s 2% target. The Consumer Price Index CPI ended the year up 3.4% over last year
  • While many investors will focus on the upcoming U.S. Presidential elections, as we’ve documented in the past, stocks generally trend up regardless of who is in the Oval Office
  • While we remain upbeat about the outlook for stocks and bonds across the globe in the coming years, investors should brace for more volatility in 2024. However, where there is volatility, there is opportunity

Stocks across markets, styles, and market capitalizations

Important dates and deadlines

Keeping things in perspective

In these times of economic and financial uncertainty, ZRC Wealth Management remains dedicated to providing guidance and support to help you navigate your financial journey. We’re here to cultivate financial tranquility and empower you to make informed decisions. Please feel free to reach out to us with any questions or concerns. Thank you for entrusting us with your financial futures.

Sources: Inflation: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Quarterly Outlook (2023 Buckingham Wealth Partners), Morningstar Direct. Data as of December 31, 2023, Kiplinger: What Are the Magnificent 7 Stocks? Reuters: The S&P 500’s wild ride to an all-time high by Lewis Krauskopf. Avantis Investors: Monthly ETF Field Guide

All investing is subject to risk, including the possible loss of the money you invest. Past performance is no guarantee of future returns. Diversification does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss in a declining market. There is no guarantee that any particular asset allocation or mix of funds will meet your investment objectives or provide you with a given level of income. The performance of an index is not an exact representation of any particular investment, as you cannot invest directly in an index.