Happy Valentine’s Day! Happy Anniversary. Happy New Year. Happy Holidays. Happy Hump Day. Happy Tuesday. No matter the challenges we are facing, our nature is to try to be encouraging when greeting one another. We might even say “Good Morning!” sarcastically to our spouse upon waking in the morning after a tough night with the kids.
We, as a society, like to pull ourselves up by the bootstraps and put that can-do attitude out there against the harsh world.
Whatever the manner in which we greet each other, it is hard to not be discouraged about stock and bond market returns last year. Even now, many of the economic outlooks we hear for 2023 are gloomy.
Market sentiment has been overwhelmingly negative for a while. Recession indicators continue to flash. To boot, some of us are experiencing some seasonal discouragement or even depression. Others feel the weight of the unfulfilled promises of their New Year’s resolutions.
We have felt the pain of the market movement right along with you and your families. The oft-considered “safe” bond market had its worst year going back an entire century.
There is likely a recession on the horizon. Some economists believe the economy is already in one. Knowing the possibility of a slowing economy won’t cause us to attempt to “time a market bottom”. That ever so perfect, theorized “sell and then find the right time to buy back in” is also not predictable. Predictable long term returns in all investments come from maintaining a focused discipline. Active monitoring of economics and tactical management of our portfolios helps maintain that focus.
Collecting dividends and interest helps make up for some of the volatility. In reality, there is likely less interest rate risk in the bond market than there has been in years. Solid companies with strong balance sheets will likely continue to pay a portion of their profits in the form of dividends as well. We could also see companies that hadn’t paid dividends begin to pay them, similar to what Microsoft did in the early 2000’s.
Regardless of economic circumstances, we vow to remain focused on our work and attentive to our clients needs. You are the reason we are able to feed, clothe, educate and provide health care to our families. All the while staying committed to being charitable so that others can do the same. We are forever grateful to you.
The doldrums are real and there are always risks when investing. However, this does not mean we abandon our disciplines. When things look the bleakest is often when things begin to recover. One of the old investing adages is that “markets climb a wall of worry,” and that might just apply here.
Perhaps the best thing for you to do right now is to put the scale in the closet, take a couple of Vitamin D tablets (those of us here in the Midwest), go out for a walk and wish someone a Good Morning or Good Day. You’ll probably feel better and they might too.
From all of us at Harvest,
Neal A. Schering, CFA®, CFP®, ChFC®
Jeffrey C. Grenchik, CFP®
Chad J. Mast, CFP®
Bryan G. Laverman, CFP®
Nicholas A. Perazzolo, CFP®, CKA®
Timothy J. McKenna, Jr. CFP®
*The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.
Harvest Wealth Partners is committed to helping our clients work towards a successful future. We believe in your potential to understand the financial options that can lead you to your goals. Call us today to partner with our team. We look forward to continuing our mission for years to come.
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