☕️ 2023 Market Review and a Gift from us.

Happy Monday, wealthy people! 
Now that the men in my family are back to pre-school/work and the first cohort of the fully-booked Investing Accelerator Course has gotten started (p.s. get notified when registration for the next cohort in March opens here), we are ready to resume our weekly market newsletters.

In today’s email:

👉 A gift for you: a Financial Goals Tracker xls

👉 2023 Stock Market Performance Overview on a World Map

👉 Wall Street’s 2024 Projections

Grab your latte and let’s get started!

– Margarita T., CFA

FINANCIAL GOALs

How are your financial New Year resolutions going now that we’re already halfway through January 🤯? Sorry to point that out this early on a Monday morning 🙂.

Did you know that those who write down their goals are 42% more likely to achieve them? (Source: Dominican University/ California study)

If these goals also use the S.M.A.R.T. framework (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound) then you’ve substantially increased your chances for financial success.

In that spirit, here’s a Financial Goals Tracker.xls spreadsheet we created for you, so that you have zero excuses not to write your financial goals down and try to achieve them. Hate us now, thanks us later 🙃.

MARKETS

2023 World Stock Markets Review:
the year ended with a BANG.

Source: Morningstar, Finance Latte, MSCI. Data for the calendar year 2023.
Performance for each country shown is based on the respective MSCI Country Index in USD. See important disclosures at the end. Not investment advice.

Notable market movements…

  • In the 4th quarter of 2023, most developed markets rose double digits as the market got excited about interest rates peaking and potential rate cuts coming in the near horizon.

  • 🇬🇷 Greece was one of the top-performing countries in 2023, with its stock market up more than 43%. Its 2023 GDP growth is estimated at 2.5% by the IMF, a significant improvement from its 0% average trend since the early 2010s. Economic reforms and increasing private investments are a tailwind for the country.

  • 🇮🇹 Italy, 🇪🇸 Spain and 🇮🇪 Ireland were other top performing European countries due to relative economic strength and cheap stock market valuations (all below 1.5x book value) that appealed to investors. On the other hand, Finland and Norway stayed behind, the latter affected by stickier inflation than other G-10 countries that led its central bank continue to raise rates longer than expected in 4Q. 

  • The US market rose a solid 26% as measured by the S&P 500 Index, but when you look at the Nasdaq 100 Index which includes the top growth/ tech stocks in the US, the return was an astounding ~55% in 2023, thanks to the Magnificent 7 stocks performance shown below. (p.s. these are not investment recommendations)

    Source: Morningstar. NOT investment recommendations.

  • 🇨🇳 China was the negative outlier with less than -11% performance as the country experienced continued issues in its troubled property sector. Despite achieving an estimated 5% GDP growth (a rate other developed countries would kill for, mind you), they are the disappointment on the “Street”. Daniel Moss at Bloomberg wrote an interesting piece about how the government’s extreme response to COVID might have irreparably changed the mindset of its citizens.

SUSTAINABLE INVESTING EVENT - Jan. 17

Join like-minded women to discuss the latest 🌍 sustainable investing trends and how to align your investments 💰 with your core values. There will be a short presentation followed by a group chat.

Register for free here.

2024 OUTLOOK

We’ve shared what happened in 2023… so it’s time to share where we’re headed according to top Wall Street firms. Bloomberg nicely summarized more than 650 opinions from top banks, money managers, wealth managers, insurance and research providers across the globe.

Filter by the region or asset class (stocks, bonds, etc.) of your preference to see all the predictions. 

While Wall Street projections are famously wrong, let’s see what the Street is projecting for 2024, and maybe we’ll do the opposite 🙂.

The market projections feel like de-ja-vu, because they resemble what the Street expected a year ago (and got wrong): a flat US market due to the economy entering a mild recession as the effects of high interest rates pass through to the economy. Most firms predict little upside left in stocks, especially after the market rally that occurred in 2023.

In Europe, the optimistic view is that low stock market valuations compared to the US and low expectations can result in good market performance. On the other hand, the pessimists argue that the central bank policies remain too restrictive and there is little catalyst for the European market to outperform.

NOTABLE MARKET NEWS

👉 114 of the largest US banks paid a special assessment fee to the FDIC (the entity that guarantees your regular bank accounts up to a $$$ amount) to support the FDIC operations that got hit during the 2023 regional banking crisis. Remember, the biggest banks got a ton of new deposits when the crisis happened, so they benefited greatly; thus, it’s time to pay up). Many big banks missed earnings expectations because of this fee but not JPMorgan.

👉 JPMorgan’s net income reached a record $50 billion (the highest ever for a bank) sending its stock to an all-time high.

👉 Citigroup announced layoffs of 20,000 employees, following similar announcements from Amazon for its Prime division and Google’s engineering teams.

👉 The SEC officially approved (not like the first fake Tweet) Bitcoin ETFs (this means you can buy Bitcoin ETFs straight into your IRA/ retirement accounts–please don’t). The industry’s reaction is mixed. BlackRock is optimistic about Bitcoin (of course, they are one of the approved providers of the first Bitcoin ETF) while Vanguard banned all Bitcoin ETFs from its platform.

SIP OF FINANCE KNOWLEDGE

 3 WAYS TO SEARCH FOR A US STOCK INDEX FUND 

  1. First, decide if you want to buy large stocks or small stocks.

  2. For large US stocks, you can find index Mutual Funds or ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds) that track the S&P 500 Index or Russell 1000 Index, the two most common US large stock indexes. So any index fund that tracks those two indexes might include the full index names, or the words “500” or “1000”, and may or may not explicitly say “index.”

  3. For small US stocks, you can find index Mutual Funds or ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds) that track the Russell 2000 index, by far the most commonly used index for US small companies. Again, the fund name might have the full index name, or the word “2000”, or simply “US Small Index.”

Pro-Tip: The net expense ratios/fees for US stock index funds should be well below 0.3%, especially for the large stock index funds.

BINGEWORTHY

📚 Book: We Should All Be Millionaires - this book’s actionable tips (love the examples of Broke A** Decisions) has changed my mindset in days! It especially applies to ambitious moms juggling careers and families. I even added it to my book club.

🎙️ Podcast: Adopting the Abundance Mindset with Vivian Tu, Your Rich BFF at Girls that Invest.

🗞️ Article: I Know Where all the Girlbosses Went, by Katie Gatti Tassin. About the double-sided coverage of prominent women entrepreneurs, deliciously dissected per her usual style.

Finance Latte AB is not a registered investment advisor. This content is for informational purposes only and should not be interpreted as investment or tax advice. Investors should make investment decisions based on their unique investment objectives and financial situation. While the information is believed to be accurate, it is not guaranteed and is subject to change without notice. Past performance does not guarantee future results. Market indexes are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly and are not meant to depict an actual investment. View our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

Subscribe to keep reading

This content is free, but you must be subscribed to Finance Latte Newsletter to continue reading.

Already a subscriber?Sign In.Not now