A multi-generation/multi-family vacation was December’s 2022 holiday schedule for me1 and several members of my family. Due to the destination being New Zealand’s South Island, Kris2, who does marketing and business support for White Raven Financial3, took the lead and booked several places well in advance for our large group. Destination one had each family with their own bathroom, separate family bedrooms and a large, shared, furnished commercial-type kitchen/outdoor eating area that accommodated groups. The downfall of the facility was the adjacent throughfare. Due to the noise, almost all chatting and family word games were done inside. Three days later, the booking was at a backpacker’s establishment which had a less stacked commercial kitchen/outdoor eating area but was similar in its cleanliness. Families had twin beds with squeaking springs, and one needed to wander down the hall to visit the communal gender-specific bathroom. BUT the backyard had a tether ball, a ping pong table, dart board and very little traffic noise. The communal lounge allowed reading, playing board games and pool. Even though we had fewer personal conveniences, everyone noticed that the families spent more quality time together, playing games, chatting, or simply reading a book while still being amongst the group. We discovered that every place has good points and bad points.
Closer to home, the nature trail traversing the Stump Farm4 property at White Raven Financial is definitely a good point for those that work at or visit the office. Outside the office window, one can often see the hummingbirds paying a visit to either the feeder or the local flowers when they are in bloom. Every-once-in-a-while a deer can be spied wandering from one portion of the wooded area to the next. The downside of our location is the remoteness from the hustle and bustle of a large city. For every Yin in life there is usually and Yang5.
The economics in the U.S. reminds me of the holiday season’s squeaking bed springs and lumpy mattresses at the backpacker’s. The consumer continues to face persistent high inflation, possible interest rate hikes6 with a hawkish Fed, recession fears and continued geopolitical trials. On January 2nd, Dion Rabouin7 reported in the Wall Street Journal on a survey of 23 major institution’s economists. He noted that two-thirds of the economists are predicting a recession in 2023. Many of us will be pleased to say farewell to the economy of 2022 and are wondering what 2023 will bring. ‘Brighter Times Ahead’8, was the title of Franklin Templeton’s Investment Solutions team when they recently wrote their capital market expectations (CME). Their CME acknowledged that their approach to modeling is forward looking rather than based on historical average returns. T Rowe Price, in their 2023 Global Market Outlook9 stressed that markets may have priced in a 2023 economic slowdown but also noted that there may be opportunities amongst various themes. One of their themes was on the surging yields of bond funds which has come on the heels of the loss in bond prices.
Crossing the globe, we found ourselves reading the ‘23 Global Market Outlook by Russell Investments10. They noted that, similar to the U.S., a recession appeared likely for much of Europe and the UK. But positive notes were found with their paragraph headline statement “From Darkness to Dawn” as they foresee a global economic recovery on the horizon by the 2023 year-end. Eaton Vance titled their 2023 Outlook’11 ’EV Forward’. In their commentary, they noted the turbulence of the markets, possible recession risks for various countries but did feel that the global economy should eventually normalize as the pandemic pressures ease.
And on to the markets: for December, all three major market indices backtracked from the prior month like the storm (no major Christmas rally) that hit most of the U.S. at the end of December. Of the three major indices, the blue-chip barometer (the DOW)* was battered by strong winds and declined -4.06% for the month. The S&P 500 (SPY)* was hit by extreme cold and downshifted by a -5.76%. Blizzard conditions were felt by the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite (COMPTR)* which posted a -8.73% loss. (*After linking, click on Quarterly & Monthly Total Returns, “Monthly” tab). On Tuesday, December 27th, the Dow Jones Indices released the latest S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller13 report. The report showed that home price gains continued to decelerate across the U.S. for the fourth consecutive month with the 20-city composite from October posting a 10.4% declined from the previous month. The October composite Home Price Index13, before seasonal adjustments, noted that month-over-month data had the month of October showing a -.8% decrease from the prior month of September for the composite index.
Back to our holiday (which ended on the 31st of December), my husband asked me upon arriving home about our “List” for the new year. I thought since I needed a reminder, some of you also may wish to look at your list again. If you’d like to read more about the Reset process, click here14. I am aware that we all do not have a partner in life but hopefully there is a friend that would be interested in tracking/sharing goals for the year with you.”
Regards and thank you (as always) for reading and “Happy New Year”,
The Team at White Raven Financial
Advisory services offered through White Raven Financial Services, Inc. a Registered Investment Advisor in the State of Washington.
*Indexes are unmanaged and do not reflect service fees, commissions, or taxes. You cannot invest directly in an index. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results. Returns for the DOW, S&P 500 and the NASDAQ are the total return (price only) provided by Morningstar as December 31, 2022. Diversification and asset allocation do not assure or guarantee better performance and cannot eliminate the risk of investment loss.
*The Standard and Poor’s 500 is an unmanaged, capitalization weighted benchmark that tracks broad-based changes in the U.S. stock market. This index of 500 common stocks is comprised of 400 industrial, 20 transportation, 40 utility, and 40 financial companies representing major U.S. industry sectors. The index is calculated on a total return basis with dividends reinvested and is not available for direct investment.
*The Dow Jones Industrial Average covers 30 blue chip U.S. companies selected by the editors of the Wall Street Journal. The Dow represents about 25% of the NYSE market capitalization and less than 2% of NYSE issues.
*The NASDAQ is a market-value weighted index that measures all NASDAQ domestic and foreign common stocks.
- * https://Morningstar.com (index)