RZH Special Memo – And…WE’RE BACK! 

I’m not sure if anyone noticed, but the US stock market (as measured by the Dow Jones Industrial Average) just hit an ALL-TIME HIGH!  Similarly, the broader S&P 500 index is nearly there as well, sitting just about 1% below its record high.[1]

As a friend of RZH, you know this comes as no surprise to me. This contrasts with the media’s reaction, which has been one of surprise, especially given their focus on negative narratives during the S&P 500’s impressive 34% total return since last fall.[2] (My last newsletter lists many of the reasons you were told not to invest in 2023)

It’s not surprising that Wall Street banks have been relatively quiet about this as well – considering their forecasts[3] for the S&P 500’s 2023 closing (The Index reached 4,738 as of Thursday, December 14, 2023)

  • Barclays: 3,675
  • Société Générale: 3,800
  • Morgan Stanley: 3,900
  • UBS: 3,900
  • Citibank: 3,900
  • Bank of America: 4,000
  • Goldman Sachs: 4,000
  • HSBC: 4,000
  • Credit Suisse: 4,050
  • RBC: 4,100
  • JPMorgan: 4,200
  • Jefferies: 4,200
  • BMO: 4,300
  • Wells Fargo: 4,400

Clients of RZH participated fully in this rebound. However, the last 14 months have served as a stark reminder of the risks of hesitancy, as the average investor probably thought that it was best to “wait for the dust to settle.”

Impressively, this recovery occurred WITHOUT government stimulus, lower interest rates, or corporate tax cuts. It took place amidst looming recession fears, the highest interest rates in two decades, and inflation levels not seen since the 1970s. Once again, America’s corporations demonstrated their resilience and ability to overcome, innovate, and manage their way through challenging times.

What’s next? Your guess is as good as mine, as we head into a presidential election year which is guaranteed to be a circus. What I do know is that the markets cannot be consistently timed and the economy cannot be consistently forecast. Yet, the enduring strength of equities as the core of your portfolio is undeniable. More importantly, having a thoughtful plan in place makes all the difference when it comes to navigating a period like 2022-2023.

Thank you for entrusting us with your planning and helping steward your important assets. It is an honor and privilege we cherish daily.

The entire team at RZH extends our best wishes to you and your loved ones for a joyous holiday season and a prosperous New Year!

Carl J. Zuckerberg, CFP®, AIF®, CIMA®  

Principal, Chief Investment Strategist

Please click here for important disclosure information.

[1] Yahoo! Finance as of December 14, 2023.

[2] Yahoo! Finance, S&P 500 Historical Data from October 12, 2022 through December 14, 2023, including reinvested dividends.

[3] Ro, Sam. “Wall Street’s 2023 outlook for stocks.” December 4, 2022, https://www.tker.co/p/wall-street-2023-stock-market-outlook

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