Happy New Year and welcome to 2024! We hope that you and your family had an enjoyable holiday season. We thank you for giving us the opportunity to help you pursue your financial goals. We are excited to see what the new year will bring us.
Overall, 2023 was a good year for investors. Interest rates continued to rise, but at a much slower and less consistent pace than in 2022 and recession worries continued to make headlines, however investors still experienced strong positive returns in the major indexes in 2023. Notably, the year ended on a high note in December as the Federal Reserve decided for the third straight time not to raise interest rates. They also indicated that interest rate cuts were forecasted to start in 2024. Equity markets responded favorably, and investors are seeing the light at the end of the pandemic-induced tunnel. While equities are looking brighter, this year brings a presidential election which could bring major changes. 2024 could prove to be a very interesting year.
Heading into this new year, we will continue to stand by our commitment to helping you on your financial goals journey. We believe a proactive approach that anticipates the needs of our clients is optimal. To assist us with this, we have included in this communication a 2024 checklist that will help you identify items that you may want to address with us over the next year.
One of our goals in 2024 is to exceed your expectations and provide you with first-class service. We take pride in our ability to understand and effectively respond to your needs and enjoy providing timely information and holistic service to you.
Looking Ahead to 2024
While there are many aspects to overall financial planning, the following are some specific topics we will continue to watch carefully as we head into the new year.
Interest Rates: Interest rate movements continue to be critical for investors. Since 2022, the Federal Funds Rate rose from a range of 0 – 0.25% all the way up to 5.25 - 5.50% by the end of 2023. Federal officials have indicated this may be the end of rate increases and are watching key indicators to assess if, when, and how much movement we will see in the federal interest rate range in 2024.
Inflation: Inflationary concerns are important for investors. We saw a significant overall slowdown of inflation in 2023, however, there is still more to be done to reach the Fed’s 2% target range. We will continue to monitor inflation numbers as the 2024 data becomes available.
Recession Risk: While many analysts think we are out of the woods for a recession, there is still a possibility that one could just be delayed. The good news is the likelihood that a potential recession will be severe is low. The economy and employment remain strong, but we will continue to stay apprised of the direction of recovery efforts and how they are affecting the economy.
Stock Market Valuations: Valuations are used as key predictors of equity returns. While we cannot predict long- and short-term valuations, we will continue to help you identify your risk tolerance and time horizons. We also understand that market volatility is a normal part of the investment experience and can help you use practical behavior when making financial decisions.
Your Personal Situation: Your personal situation is always our highest priority. We are here to help you with any financial moves or concerns you have throughout the year. We understand that each individual and household has different goals and needs. We will continue our tradition of keeping you informed of any changes that we think may affect your personal situation.
We enter 2024 with the continued mantra of “proceed with caution”. Having a solid foundation and strategy is critical to the outcome of your financial plans. Revisiting your plan and keeping it current is also a sound practice we feel should be conducted on a consistent basis. Our mission is to provide you with guidance and support on your journey toward your financial goals.
As always, we are here for you! If you have any questions or concerns, please call our office and we would be happy to assist you!
We look forward to helping you pursue your financial goals in 2024!
Advisory Services offered through Materetsky Financial Group Inc., a Registered Investment Advisor. Securities offered by Registered Representatives through Private Client Services, Member FINRA/SIPC. Private Client Services and Materetsky Financial Group Inc. are unaffiliated entities. All insurance products are offered through unaffiliated insurance companies. Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance that the future performance of any specific investment, investment strategy, or product (including the investments and/or investment strategies recommended or undertaken by Materetsky Financial Group, Inc. [“Materetsky]), or any non-investment related content, made reference to directly or indirectly in this commentary will be profitable, equal any corresponding indicated historical performance level(s), be suitable for your portfolio or individual situation, or prove successful. Due to various factors, including changing market conditions and/or applicable laws, the content may no longer be reflective of current opinions or positions. Moreover, you should not assume that any discussion or information contained in this commentary serves as the receipt of, or as a substitute for, personalized investment advice from Materetsky. Materetsky is neither a law firm, nor a certified public accounting firm, and no portion of the commentary content should be construed as legal or accounting advice. A copy of the Materetsky’s current written disclosure Brochure discussing our advisory services and fees continues to remain available upon request or at www.materetsky.com. Please Remember: If you are a Materetsky client, please contact Materetsky, in writing, if there are any changes in your personal/financial situation or investment objectives for the purpose of reviewing/evaluating/revising our previous recommendations and/or services, or if you would like to impose, add, or to modify any reasonable restrictions to our investment advisory services. Unless, and until, you notify us, in writing, to the contrary, we shall continue to provide services as we do currently. Please Also Remember to advise us if you have not been receiving account statements (at least quarterly) from the account custodian. Note: The views stated in this letter are not necessarily the opinion of broker/dealer, and should not be construed, directly or indirectly, as an offer to buy or sell any securities mentioned herein. Investors should be aware that there are risks inherent in all investments, such as fluctuations in investment principal. With any investment vehicle, past performance is not a guarantee of future results. Material discussed herewith is meant for general illustration and/or informational purposes only, please note that individual situations can vary. Therefore, the information should be relied upon when coordinated with individual professional advice. This material contains forward looking statements and projections. There are no guarantees that these results will be achieved. All indices referenced are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. Unmanaged index returns do not reflect fees, expenses, or sales charges. Index performance is not indicative of the performance of any investment. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index of 500 widely held stocks that is general considered representative of the U.S. Stock market. The modern design of the S&P 500 stock index was first launched in 1957. Performance prior to 1957 incorporates the performance of the predecessor index, the S&P 90. Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), commonly known as “The Dow” is an index representing 30 stocks of companies maintained and reviewed by the editors of the Wall Street Journal. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. CDs are FDIC Insured and offer a fixed rate of return if held to maturity. Due to volatility within the markets mentioned, opinions are subject to change without notice. Information is based on sources believed to be reliable; however, their accuracy or completeness cannot be guaranteed.There is an inverse relationship between interest rate movements and bond prices. Generally, when interest rates rise, bond prices fall and when interest rates fall, bond prices generally rise. There is no guarantee that a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns out outperform a non-diversified portfolio. Diversification does not protect against market risk. There is an inverse relationship between interest rate movements and bond prices. Generally, when interest rates rise, bond prices fall and when interest rates fall, bond prices generally rise. There is no guarantee that a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns out outperform a non-diversified portfolio. Diversification does not protect against market risk.