Cypress Wealth Services
It’s hard to believe we are already at the halfway point of 2023. Even though it’s flown by, so much has happened in the last six months. Nowhere is this seen more than in our economy—specifically in the markets. Since we have half the year in front of us, it’s a good time to take stock of the health of the economy and the performance of the markets so far in order to create a plan for the months to come.
So far in 2023, the performance of the financial markets has been measured, yet positive. While the Dow Jones remains effectively flat, mirroring its position from this time last year, the S&P 500 has seen a modest rise, up 8.6% for the year to date. The Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund, providing a broad snapshot of the entire U.S. market, aligns closely with the S&P 500, reflecting an 8.2% increase. The tech-centric NASDAQ has shone brighter, growing a noteworthy 23% this year.
However, adopting a longer-term perspective paints a slightly different picture. Over the course of the past year, all these indices are essentially unchanged from their positions this time in 2022, suggesting a degree of stability in the midst of fluctuating market conditions.
Underlying these market movements, the U.S. GDP maintains positive, yet isn’t high enough to be called robust. Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve continues its trend of gradually raising interest rates. Despite this seemingly stable backdrop, it remains uncertain how these various forces will influence the stock market’s performance in the second half of 2023.
The U.S. employment scene shows steady progress with an unemployment rate of 3.4%. Despite this promising figure, representing 5.7 million active job seekers, there are complexities beneath the surface. While unexpected job losses and short-term unemployment have decreased, the numbers of long-term unemployed and part-time workers desiring full-time roles remain a concern. Also notable is the rise in people outside the labor force but eager to work, up to 5.3 million.
The U.S. economy has shown signs of rebound in Q1 2023 with an annualized GDP growth of 1.3%, slightly exceeding the initial estimates and market predictions of 1.1%. Consumer spending growth outperformed expectations, rising to 3.8% despite ongoing high inflation.
This growth, while not overly impressive, still stands in contrast to 2022, which saw two negative GDP quarters. It is also expected to continue, with forecasts predicting a growth rate of 1.5% by the end of the second quarter.
The Federal Reserve has raised its key interest rate to the highest level in 16 years to combat high inflation. However, this streak of 10 hikes could be nearing its end as the Fed assesses their impact on economic growth and inflation. Despite these increases, inflation remains above the Fed’s 2% target, currently sitting at 5%, far lower than its peak of 9.1% in 2022. Finally, the rising costs of goods and services, as well as tighter lending requirements and higher interest rates, could hamper the economy in the second half of 2023 as well as 2024.
Global growth is projected to decline from 3.4% in 2022 to 2.8% in 2023, the lowest medium-term forecast in decades, largely due to the tight policies needed to curb inflation, deteriorating financial conditions, and geopolitical tensions. Inflation is expected to decline from 8.7% to 7% between 2022 and 2023, but the return to ideal inflation rates is not expected before 2025. Despite the cautious outlook, the MSCI All Country World Index is up over 7.5% so far this year.
Whether it be good news or bad, looking at the trends of the market can be overwhelming. And since things move so quickly these days, it’s common to feel a sense of anxiety about making the right decisions around your wealth. When it comes to making short-term decisions for the rest of the year or using this information for your long-term financial plan, it’s always a good idea to consult a financial advisor. Partnering with someone who monitors the markets constantly can give you confidence that the information you’re receiving to make decisions is coming from a trusted place.
Providing that sense of trust is what we here at Cypress Wealth Services are dedicated to. It’s our goal to bring clarity and confidence to your financial plan. Whether you are close to utilizing your retirement funds or determining if your investments are structured the right way, we are focused on simplifying the complicated. If you haven’t thought about the impact this year has already had on your wealth, it might be time to make an appointment with us. Call us at 866.888.6563 or contact one of our offices today.
Cypress Wealth Services is an independent RIA firm providing financial planning and investment management to high-net-worth individuals, families, business owners, and institutions. Cypress Wealth Services comprises professionals with diverse backgrounds and extensive experience and qualifications. Cypress Wealth Services serves a broad range of client needs using their knowledge and expertise as a foundation for their client service process. The firm uses The Second Growth, which focuses on efficiently protecting, growing, and transferring the wealth and legacy a person has already built to their loved ones. With financial advisors in California, Alaska, Arizona, and Georgia, the firm serves clients across the country with Wealth Management Services, Fiduciary Services, 401(k) Design and Management, Investment Reporting Services, Financial and Retirement Planning, and more. For more information, visit www.CypressWS.com or call 760.834.7250.