What is certain besides death and taxes? Unpredictable market movement—which calls for serious investment strategies. To conclude the first quarter of 2022, the most significant quarterly losses in two years were witnessed, which ranged from a 4.6% decline for the S&P 500 to as much as 9% for Nasdaq.
Despite sporadic peace discussion, threatening American and European consumer spending and business investments, geopolitical turmoil continues to unfold overseas.
What do times of crisis like these tell investors and business owners? It helps to stay informed; the key is not to make rash decisions that move against your established plans, goals, and risk tolerance. . Revisit your investment strategies and wealth management with a financial advisor in Flagstaff to understand how the current market is financially impacting you and what you can do about it.
Just as the pandemic was becoming old news, the BA.2 subvariant has started to cause concern for those who may be at higher risk. However, even at 72% of new Covid cases in the states, experts say not to panic. Sky-high inflation continues to soar as the Fed is still trying to regain control.
Here is a snapshot of the market as we wrap up March 2022/Q1 and head into April.
MARCH 2022 STOCK MARKET PERFORMANCE
Despite the March prediction, last month provided some relief for U.S. stock investors. The S&P 500 rose 3.6%, which helped clear the air of January and February’s corrections when stocks dropped 13% from all-time highs.
The most impactful economic development was from the Federal Reserve, which, as predicted since winter, raised interest rates for the first time in approximately four years, since cutting them to near-zero when the Coronavirus made itself prevalent. The concern is that a recession could ignite if efforts are taken too far, as the Fed plans to hike rates throughout the year to help lower its $9 trillion ledgers.
APRIL 2022 STOCK MARKET PREDICTIONS
Volatility is the price we pay for higher returns, which is what April predicts—continued uncertainty. Erratic movement creates possible opportunities (big dips in stock prices) for frequent traders. This commonly accompanies worrisome afterthought, no matter how seasoned you are.
Because inflation complicates the investing landscape and eats away at the value of the dollar, as well as money not invested, it helps to be selective and diversify your portfolio with a mix of alternative assets. This makes perfect sense, as interest rates will continue to rise, and the value of existing bonds and stocks will continue to decrease.
The inflation rate is predicted to remain high for 2022, concluding at around 6.5% in December. As you are aware, high inflation can negatively impact spending (accounting for approximately 2/3 of gross domestic product (GDP). Considering this year’s numbers, the Fed lowered expectations for GDP growth for 2022 in their March meeting, which will not take place again until May.
Keep your eye on the consumer price index (CPI) (April 12 release) and the personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index (April 29 release). Some call for rate hikes as high as 50 basis points vs. the 25 increase seen last month. There is more than a 66% chance that the fed funds rate will target the range of 2.50% – 2.75% (the highest since 2008).
INTEREST RATE HIKES
Since interest rate hikes can create discounted stocks for investors, April calls for repositioning your portfolio. Remember, economic growth slows as interest rates increase and borrowing costs rise while business investments decrease.
Stay tuned for future interest rate updates as the Fed continues to roll out hikes.
ADVICE FOR SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS
Revisit your financial plan for small business owners, stay up-to-date through our monthly market reports/financial articles, and reach out to discuss economic recovery/planning.
Whether you’re a business owner or an independent investor, you should often check the risk level in your portfolio. Unfortunately, most people don’t do it correctly. At Ascendant, we set up two standard deviations on a bell curve, a positive side, and a negative side. For example, your portfolio could measure at 50 while you are at 80; in this case, something needs to change.
Stay tuned for monthly market forecasts/recaps, articles, and reference guides as we journey into Q2. Connect with us to have an honest discussion about your financial standing as a fellow business owner in Flagstaff or investor.
Navigate uncertainty with a long-term, holistic financial plan and personalized investment portfolio created by your personal chief financial officer. Working as your ally in financial success, you can rest assured that you are armed for the long haul.
Our advisory firm serves clients in Flagstaff and Phoenix. Call us to explore volatility in relation to your financial situation and goals.