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Vizionary Quarterly Report Q1 2024

A quick reminder to you our clients - your quarterly reports are available and can be viewed through your Client Portal.

By Wayne Wagner Jr.

First Quarter 2024 is in the books. Large-cap tech stocks have continued to drive market indexes higher, so headline performance looks robust. We continue to observe the market being very narrowly traded, with most positive returns falling into just a couple of sector categories, while the rest of the market holds its breath, hopeful for the anticipated interest rate cuts to come sometime this year.

Later in Q1, we witnessed some broadening in performance, as dividend-growing stocks appear to be emerging from the shadows and are beginning to 'catch up' with their large-cap tech counterparts. At a macro level, positives and negatives can be seen across the landscape:

  • New job numbers have been incredibly robust, outpacing virtually all expectations. However, an abnormally high percentage of these new jobs are part-time rather than full-time positions.
  • Some inflationary pressures are easing, yet oil prices appear to be spiking, leading to concerns about rising travel costs in the summer months.
  • Interest rates have retreated slightly, but the Federal Reserve has delayed anticipated cuts in short-term rates several times, inciting concern over their commitment to reducing rates as we approach an election cycle.
  • Corporate earnings have been resilient and show growth, but concerns linger as colossal amounts of debt must be refinanced in the next 2-3 years at considerably higher interest rates—often double or more than current rates. Therefore, there is significant anxiety about the potential impacts on the corporate earnings outlook.

Despite these concerns, the markets seem to be climbing the proverbial wall of worry, even as more cash sits on the sidelines than ever before. Interestingly, this 'sideline cash' can currently earn a solid return by utilizing high-yielding money markets, short-term CDs, and similar instruments.

There are always reasons to invest and reservations about investing. We maintain a bias toward diversification across sectors, carefully under-investing in areas we believe carry excessive risk and going overweight in sectors that show the most promise. Balancing these decisions is an art, and holding a truly diversified portfolio means occasionally feeling a sense of disappointment that we didn’t commit more to a performing sector, or wishing we had less in one that's lagging. Indeed, it has been said that diversification is the deliberate choice to never 'make a killing' in exchange for the crucial assurance of never 'getting killed'.

Our goal is to grow your wealth efficiently and effectively over time while maintaining the necessary cash flow for your near and intermediate-term goals.

We also engage in ongoing, productive discussions with our strategic partners at WealthPlan Group, continually evolving our investment themes, individual positions, and strategic stances. Recent staff additions at WPG aim to improve our capability to swiftly adapt portfolio holdings to changing market dynamics and explore new growth opportunities.

With the Nasdaq up 30% in merely 5 months, we anticipate the market may take a breather during the second and third quarters of 2024. We don't foresee the need for a market reset or a massive pullback, but we do think returns will be more muted through the remainder of the year. Meanwhile, dividend growth and income strategies should display stability and growth throughout an election year. We might engage in some early fall portfolio rebalancing to seize post-election opportunities. Regardless of the election outcome, markets traditionally react positively to the resolution it brings. Once the votes are tallied, we'll have a clearer idea of what to expect from Washington—often a catalyst for positive market responses once that clarity is known.

Thank you, as always, for the trust you've placed in our team to support you and your family in achieving your financial and personal goals. We are enthusiastic about many of our ongoing conversations about multi-generational wealth building, philanthropy, and new business ventures. A few of you are navigating tough times with health and relationships—please know that you have our prayers, virtual hugs, and if there is anything we can do to help during these challenging times, do not hesitate to reach out.

Have a fantastic second quarter and enjoy the changes this season brings—except for those of you in California, where the weather never seems to change! You can just continue basking in the perpetual sunshine!

Envizioning More

Wayne Wagner Jr, ChFC

Advisory services offered through WealthPlan Group, a DBA for WealthPlan Investment Management, a subsidiary Registered Investment Advisor of WealthPlan Group, LLC. WealthPlan Group, LLC is not a registered investment advisor, but is the holding company for WealthPlan Partners LLC and WealthPlan Investment Management, LLC.

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. To determine which Investment(s) may be appropriate for you, consult your financial advisor prior to investing. Information is based on sources believed to be reliable, however, their accuracy or completeness cannot be guaranteed.

No investment strategy can assure success or completely protect against loss, given the volatility of all securities markets. Statements of forecast and trends are for informational purposes and are not guaranteed to occur in the future. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results. Securities investing involves risk, including loss of principal. An investor cannot invest directly in an index.

The information in this communication applies solely to the intended audience and in no way amends, revokes, or otherwise alters the existing agreements and relationships between WPIM and its clients. This communication is not a binding offer, expressed or implied. WPIM undertakes no obligation to update or revise the information herein or in any referenced third-party resource due to new information, future events or circumstances, or otherwise.

WealthPlan Investment Management (“WPIM”) uses data compiled and/or prepared by third parties (“Third Party Data”) in the delivery of Licensed Research and Data. Third Party Data is not owned by WPIM and user may be required to obtain permission directly from third parties for further use of Third-Party Data and may be required to pay a fee depending on the use contemplated by the user.