Still not peaches and cream
I read an interesting analysis of 2024 by Citi Private Bank. I also attended a meeting for clients of Citi Private bank where their analysis was presented. Basically, we have the “Goldilocks” economy and markets awaiting us in 2024. I was looking for Goldilocks in the audience at the meeting. Declining interest rates, an undervalued stock market except for the “Magnificent Seven” (Microsoft, alphabet, amazon, NVidia, meta, tesla and apple.
These stocks were the leaders in 2023 where the rest of the stock market lagged in gains and compared to their historical values look undervalued. The opportunities based on Citi, are in mid and small cap stocks. They stand a 50% chance of being correct like all other prognosticators. Of course, they have a vested interest in their clients investing in their products. They are not fiduciaries and sell many high-priced strategies, so it is not surprising to hear their analysis. They are not fee-only financial planners and their minimum assets to manage are $10M. According to some well-known economists, the San Francisco economy is doing just fine. SF Chronicles - Economy -layoffs - closures
Our newsletter opened recently highlighting the local layoffs by major technology companies. The next day the Labor Department released employment numbers that busted through on the upside, any expectations. Based on the data SF unemployment has risen from 2.2% to 3.5% over the last year. Many of the local layoffs focused on numbers hired during the pandemic with the layoffs resulting in reductions to pre-pandemic levels. The “doom loop” predictions for our economy are overblown. SF neighborhoods are thriving even as downtown has lagged in the return to in person work. Corporations are mandating that employees come to the office more often with 3 days being the most common requirement. Research is showing that virtual employees are more likely to be laid off. Virtual work correlates with increased mental health risk.
The economy is still not peaches and cream. Many challenges await us including an election year at which democracy is at risk. On the other hand, we never invest based on politics.
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