Our team regularly reads articles from industry peers and trusted resources to stay up to date on financial markets. We enjoy reading about topics related to economics, investments, current events, and financial planning.
In addition to circulating some of the best pieces internally, we thought our clients, partners, and friends might enjoy reading some of the same articles as us.
Here are recent pieces that our team members have read, along with some commentary on why we found the respective articles interesting.
Ben Bremen: Why everyone was so wrong about the 2023 economy
This article provides yet another reminder that predicting the direction of economy/investment markets is nearly impossible. I particularly like how this article summarizes well-regarded news outlets and forecasters who all predicted a challenging (and oftentimes dire) 2023. We all know how the year turned out from an investment perspective. The best course of action is to usually stay the course and invest according to your plan (not a forecasters opinion).
Alternative investments continue to gain traction and evolve to reach broader audiences. I found this article interesting because it was an amalgamation of several influential firms and people in the alternatives space and their predictions for 2024. While I think a market prediction, such as the S&P 500, will finish the year at “X,” is largely entertainment and not actionable, these predictions were more thematic about what to expect in terms of advisor and investor behavior. Topics ranged from allocation exposure to alternative categories to fund vehicle structures and more.
When SECURE 2.0 became law at the end of 2022, Congress began a process to help people promote savings and boost incentives for businesses and business owners to save for retirement. With hundreds of pages of law, some of the elements needed clarification or fine-tuning to implement. Some of the key items from this IRS guidance for business owners to create or improve their plans include new guidance on moving from a SIMPLE to a 401k, including mid-year conversion and rollover opportunities. SIMPLE and SEP plans can now offer Roth, and participants with special circumstances such as terminal diagnosis access to funds without penalty.
Andrew Denenberg: Remembering The Wisdom Of Charlie Munger
Charlie Munger died in November, just shy of his 100th birthday. As vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway and the “right hand man” to Warren Buffett, his investment success was legendary. But his way of thinking is what has always stood out to me. One of my favorite things about him was how much he valued knowing the limits of one’s intelligence…how it’s far more dangerous to think you know something that you don’t than it is to be acutely aware of your own ignorance.
Mike Garrison: Put These Charts on Your Wall … 2023 Edition
I really enjoyed many of these charts from Charlie Bilello. While some of the charts are extreme, they show that there is a wide range of possibilities in markets, and markets often don’t act how conventional wisdom thinks they will or should. Markets are essentially a reflection of human psychology, one of the many things that make them so interesting.
Sam Ro is one of my favorite financial writers, and I have linked to his pieces before. In this article, he acknowledges that while stocks don’t always go up, good years in the stock market do tend to follow great years. Considering that we had such a great 2023, it’s natural to worry that 2024 may see poor results. The data, however, shows a different story. Specifically, after an annual increase of 20% or more, the S&P 500 rose an average of 10% in the subsequent year and advanced 80% of the time. We’ll see what 2024 has in store for us!
Kathy Klein: Tapping Into Their Financial Superpowers
This infographic summarizes Fidelity’s study of women investors that was released in the third quarter of 2023. It shows that we are making progress, although slow, and that we still have a deep need to get out and help women with planning and investment knowledge. In the end, women need a little guidance and a lot of encouragement.
AJ Price: The Biggest Risk in 2024
I enjoyed reading this article as it highlights the difficulty of acting on predictions. Whether it’s related to the stock market, economy, or even national security, the biggest risks are often the ones you don’t see coming. For this reason, it’s imperative to avoid an over-concentrated portfolio and develop a diversified asset allocation between stocks, bonds, and alternative investments.
Ruben Rivas: Want to Lose Your Money? Listen to Millionaires.
John Rekenthaler asks an interesting question in this article, and it begs the question, who should we be listening to? As someone on the front lines of giving investment advice, I’m not immune from the noise of analyst estimates and CNBC pontificators. What clients should be listening to is their financial plan. If clients are living within the guidelines they have put in place in those plans and fact-check any significant purchases or decisions against that plan, clients can lead a life that’s fulfilling and free of the worries the markets conceive daily.
I like this article because it concisely explains some good short-term vehicles to park cash. Even with all the uncertainty out there, there’s an opportunity to lock in reasonable returns on your cash. Although these are attractive strategies and make sense for some people, it is worth mentioning that at SWP, we talk a lot about how the “real return” is actually much lower. That said, some of our alternative strategies may generate a higher real return than money market funds but have less risk than the stock market.
Michael Tuber: What Comes After a Good Year in the Stock Market?
After a year of ups and downs and everywhere in between, the market finished 2023 on a high note. It’s natural to feel that after such a strong run, the market is due to cool off in 2024. After all, the last instance of double-digit returns in 2021 was followed by a rough 2022. So, what should we expect after a good year? This article does a nice job of explaining the chances of positive and negative outcomes, with the most common scenario being another positive year of returns.
We look forward to sharing more articles with you in the future. In the meantime, if you’d like to discuss how the topics in these pieces may apply to your own portfolio, please do not hesitate to reach out to a member of our team.
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