The Independent Market Observer

A Fresh Start: How I Will Invest in 2023

December 30, 2022

Earlier this week, I discussed what 2022 taught us about risk. Today, I want to talk about what I will be doing to manage risk in 2023, given those lessons.

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What 2022 Taught Us About Risk

December 28, 2022

For investors, 2022 has been a tough year. We had bear markets in both stocks, which is fairly common, and bonds, which is not common at all. They both happened at the same time, so rather than being saved by diversification, portfolios got hit twice. Even portfolios that were designed to weather market storms, such as a typical 60 percent stocks and 40 percent bond allocation, were hit harder than anyone expected. 2022 was an exceptional year and not in a good way.

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2023 Outlook: The Fed Vs. Inflation

December 28, 2022

Since March 2022, the Fed has continued to hike rates in an effort to control red-hot inflation. Equity and fixed income markets, both at home and abroad, struggled as a result, with markets down in the high double-digits year-to-date. But the tide may be changing.

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Economic Release Snapshot: Consumer Confidence Improves in December

December 27, 2022

Each week, we break down the latest U.S. economic reports, including what the results mean for the overall health of the economy. Here, you will find how economists’ forecasts compare with actual results, key takeaways to consider, as well as a list of what’s on tap for the week ahead. 

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Merry Christmas to All

December 23, 2022

I’ve always loved Christmas, but I think I’ve lost much of the spirit as I’ve gotten older. Now that I have a young son—who enjoys baking cookies with his mom and eyeing presents under the tree, while struggling to behave under the eye of the “Elf on the Shelf"—I find myself recovering much of what I’ve lost. This is wonderful, but, as a father, I also find myself reaching deeper into the meaning of the holiday.

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Monthly Market Risk Update: December 2022 [SlideShare]

December 22, 2022

My colleague Sam Millette, manager, fixed income on Commonwealth’s Investment Management and Research team, helped me put together this month’s Market Risk Update. Thanks for the assist, Sam! Let’s take a closer look.

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2023 Outlook: Brighter Skies Ahead?

December 21, 2022

As we enter the new year, investors are questioning what happens next. It was a turbulent 2022, including a possible recession and a definite bear market in stocks and bonds. Worries remain, but we’ll start the year with real strengths. Employment and job growth are strong, which will keep the consumer economy healthy. Interest rates are likely close to peaking, and markets are fairly priced.

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Economic Release Snapshot: Consumer Inflation Moderates in November

December 19, 2022

Each week, we break down the latest U.S. economic reports, including what the results mean for the overall health of the economy. Here, you will find how economists’ forecasts compare with actual results, key takeaways to consider, as well as a list of what’s on tap for the week ahead. 

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Is the Market Pullback Cause for Worry? Not So Much

December 16, 2022

It has been a tough couple of days in the markets, and it looks like today will be another. Not only is the market down in pre-market trading, but this is also a quadruple witching day (i.e., when four types of derivatives all expire on the same day). That often leads to volatility and, in the context of the past couple of days, means today could be difficult as well. I see the effects in my portfolio, and you may have seen them in yours as well. Should we be worried? In a word, no.

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Economic Risk Factor Update: December 2022 [SlideShare]

December 15, 2022

My colleague Sam Millette, manager, fixed income on Commonwealth’s Investment Management and Research team, helped me put together this month’s Economic Risk Factor Update. Thanks for the assist, Sam! Let’s take a closer look.

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What Will Powell Say? Looking Forward to the Fed

December 13, 2022

With the regular meeting of the Fed underway, we now all wait with bated breath to find out what the decision will be. Well, in this case, there is not much doubt: it will be an increase of 50 bps. But we can still wonder about the wrapping on the present. To shift metaphors and get a bit ahead of ourselves, will Chair Powell come out and see his shadow, signaling six more rate increases? Or will there be sunny skies ahead?

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Economic Release Snapshot: Producer Inflation Increased in November

December 12, 2022

Each week, we break down the latest U.S. economic reports, including what the results mean for the overall health of the economy. Here, you will find how economists’ forecasts compare with actual results, key takeaways to consider, as well as a list of what’s on tap for the week ahead. 

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Good News or Bad? With the Economy and Markets, It's About the Trend

December 9, 2022

Today, we are going to be bouncing back and forth between several different economic and market data sets I reviewed this morning and using this information to form both specific and general conclusions. Each of these data sets could reasonably be interpreted as either good news or bad, so it's important to see whether we can tell the difference.

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Looking Back at the Markets in November and Ahead to December 2022

December 6, 2022

The October bounce continued in November, with the S&P 500 up 5.59 percent and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) up 6.04 percent, while the Nasdaq trailed with a respectable gain of 4.51 percent. Internationally, the news was even better, with developed markets up 11.26 percent and emerging markets leading the pack with a 14.85 percent gain. It was a good month across the board and surprisingly so for international markets after an extended period of underperformance.

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Economic Release Snapshot: Hiring Remained Strong in November

December 5, 2022

Each week, we break down the latest U.S. economic reports, including what the results mean for the overall health of the economy. Here, you will find how economists’ forecasts compare with actual results, key takeaways to consider, as well as a list of what’s on tap for the week ahead. 

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Market Thoughts for December 2022 [Video]

December 2, 2022

November was a good month for markets as the bounce from October continued. U.S. indices saw single-digit gains, and developed and emerging markets were up by double digits. The primary driver here was optimism that the Fed will slow future rate increases. On the economic side, job growth remained healthy, inflation dropped, and business confidence was strong.
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