212 East Third Street,
Enclosed with this letter is a simplified summary of your investment account values as of September 30, 2023.
The quarter in brief as of 06/30/2023 (1)
Third Quarter Year to Date
Dow Jones Industrial Average -2.10% + 2.73%
S&P 500 - 3.27% +13.07%
Bloomberg US Agg. Bond -3.23% - 1.21%
The strong returns for stocks continued into the start of the third quarter but then in August sentiment turned, with the downturn continuing into September. The beginning of the UAW strike combined with rising oil and energy prices caused a drop in consumer confidence to its lowest in 4 months(2) and resulted in the negative quarterly returns listed above.
Today, we must include the Hamas-Israeli conflict into the list of events that are exerting pressure on consumers and the markets. This joins the ongoing war in Ukraine, the turbulence in the House due to the absence of a Speaker, and the persistent concerns surrounding the potential Federal government debt limit shutdown scheduled for November 17th.
On the plus side, some of this negativity should be offset by the historical fact that US stocks typically post their best returns in the 4th quarter of the year. Since 1957 the S&P 500 has on average been up 4% during the 4th Quarter(3). Along with the fact that at the end of the last four Fed rate hikes both equity and fixed income returns were strong over 1 year and 5 year periods. The S&P 500, for example was up 16.2% the first year and 9.0% over a five year period(4).
So, as you hear us say repeatedly, your portfolio must be properly diversified to match your risk profile and remain invested for the long term. If you have any questions about your portfolio, please contact us to schedule a review either in person or by zoom.
The Hais Team