Published On: June 30, 2023

Written by: Ben Atwater and Matt Malick

“Most things I worry about
Never happen anyway”
Tom Petty, Crawling Back to You
“Stay the course” is undoubtedly the most common piece of investment advice.  As financial advisors, we almost feel foolish saying it.  Like we should have something more clever or strategic to offer.  But just because it’s a cliché doesn’t mean it is bad advice.
In the first half of 2023, investors have had plenty of reasons to worry.  War in Europe, tensions between China and the West, uncomfortably high inflation and rising interest rates have been consistent stories.
In March, Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank collapsed, followed by First Republic on May 1st.  As depositors pulled their cash and losses mounted on bank balance sheets, many market watchers predicted another financial crisis this year.  It could still happen but, for now, the banking crisis seems to be in the rearview mirror.
Also hanging over investors was the debt ceiling and the prospect of the US government defaulting on its debt.  To be honest, we agreed with many concerned clients who could not see a way for this Congress to come to an agreement to extend the federal government’s borrowing limit.  Nevertheless, on May 31st, the House of Representatives passed a bill extending the debt ceiling until 2025.
Despite a tumultuous six months, the S&P 500 has climbed a “wall of worry” by extending gains off its October 2022 lows.

Perhaps the market will extend its gains in the back half of 2023.  Or maybe an unforeseen event will derail stocks.  But because markets are so unpredictable, the only logical way forward is to ignore our worries and stay invested.

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