The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations
for any indicual security. To determine which investment(s) may be appropriate for you, consult your financial advisor prior to investing. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results. Indexes are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly.
Economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted.
Investing in stock includes numerous specific risks including: the flection of dividend, loss of principal and potential illiquidity of the investment in a falling market.
Investing in special market and sectors carries additional risks such as economic, political, or regulatory developments that may affect many or all issuers in that sector.
The NASDAQ Composite Index measures all NASDAQ domestic and non-U.S.-based common stocks listed on the NASDAQ stock market. The index is market-value weighted. This means that each company’s security affects the index in proportion to its market value. The market value, the last sale price multiplied by the total shares outstanding, is calculated throughout the trading day and is related to the total value of the Index. It is not possible to invest directly in an index.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average Index is comprised of the U.S-listed stocks of companies that produce other (non-transportations and non–utility) goods and services. The Dow Jones Industrial Averages are maintained by editors of the Wall Street Journal. While the stock selection process is somewhat subjective, a stock typically is added only if the company has an excellent reputation, demonstrates sustained growth, is of interest to a large number of investors and accurately represents the market sectors covered by the average. the Dow Jones averages are unique in that they are price weighted; therefore their component weightings are affected only by changes in the stocks’ prices.
The S&P 500 Index is a capitalization-weighted index of 500 stocks designed to measure performance of the broad domestic economy through changes in the aggregate market value of 500 stocks representing all major industries.
This research material has been prepared by LPL Financial LLC.Securities offered through LPL Financial LLC. Member FINRA/SIPC.

May 2024 Client Letter

May 1, 2024

Dear Valued Investor,

After a strong first quarter for stocks, some April showers rained down as the S&P 500 fell about 4% last month. Hopefully those showers will bring some flowers in May, despite the widely cited stock market adage, “Sell in May and go away.” There is some merit to this old adage because the S&P 500’s best six-month returns have, on average, come from November through April, and its worst between May and October (recall bear markets often end in October). Still, historically the index has gained an average of 1.8% from May through October — hardly worth avoiding.

While stocks have delivered solid gains this year, the steady growth of the U.S. economy alongside rising corporate profits increase the chances of more gains ahead. Last week’s data on gross domestic product looked soft on the surface, as the U.S. economy grew just 1.6% in the first quarter. But inventories and trade masked strong underlying consumer and business demand. Consumer spending rose at a solid 2.5% pace, while capital investment rose 2.9%. Economists looking for a slowdown keep asking: are we there yet? The economy may slow later this year, but we’re not there yet.

So, what caused stocks to dip? Beyond some digestion of strong gains through March, stubborn inflation and higher interest rates were the main culprits. As the downtrend in inflation has stalled recently, expectations for the start of the Federal Reserve’s rate-cutting campaign have been pushed out. With the Fed’s preferred inflation measure stuck near 3%, markets now expect one, or possibly two rate cuts this year, down from near six at the start of the year. Expect inflation to ease later this year as demand likely slows, but patience will be required.

If you’re concerned about a bigger slide, the numbers during corporate earnings season — now more than half complete — may be reassuring. A solid 80% of S&P 500 companies have beaten earnings estimates so far this quarter, with more than 8% average upside relative to estimates. Results from the big technology companies have mostly exceeded high expectations. And perhaps the most important earnings measuring stick, estimates have moved higher and provide evidence of upbeat guidance from corporate managements.

With the economy growing steadily and corporate profits rising, the near-term outlook for stocks still looks supportive. As always, there will be rainy days. Sticky inflation remains a thorn in the market’s side and geopolitics are a potential stumbling block. But for markets, expect more flowers than showers in May and potentially beyond.

As always, please reach out to me with questions.

Sincerely,

 

Wayne Rigney

 

Important Information

This material is for general information only and is not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. There is no assurance that the views or strategies discussed are suitable for all investors or will yield positive outcomes. Investing involves risks including possible loss of principal. Any economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted and are subject to change.

References to markets, asset classes, and sectors are generally regarding the corresponding market index. Indexes are unmanaged statistical composites and cannot be invested into directly. Index performance is not indicative of the performance of any investment and do not reflect fees, expenses, or sales charges. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results.

All data is provided as of May 1, 2024.

Any company names noted herein are for educational purposes only and not an indication of trading intent or a solicitation of their products or services. LPL Financial doesn’t provide research on individual equities.

All index data from FactSet.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (S&P500) is a capitalization-weighted index of 500 stocks designed to measure performance of the broad domestic economy through changes in the aggregate market value of 500 stocks representing all major industries.

This Research material was prepared by LPL Financial, LLC. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, LPL Financial makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy.

Bonds are subject to market and interest rate risk if sold prior to maturity. Bond values will decline as interest rates rise and bonds are subject to availability and change in price.

There is no guarantee that a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a non-diversified portfolio. Diversification does not protect against market risk.

Past performance does not guarantee future results.

Asset allocation does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss.

RES-0001191-0424W | For Public Use | Tracking #573327 (Exp.05/2025)

April 2024 Client Letter

April 3, 2024

Dear Valued Investor,

The first quarter is in the books, and it was an excellent one for stocks. The S&P 500 index rode a resilient U.S. economy, easing inflation, rising corporate profits, and anticipation of summertime rate cuts from the Federal Reserve (Fed) to solid gains in March, the fifth straight winning month, and the best first quarter since 2019.

With stocks having done so well, it’s natural to think about selling. If you haven’t rebalanced in a while and hold more equities than targets, shifting some stocks into bonds or alternative investments may make sense. If your investing time horizon is long, the case for trimming equities is stronger because valuations matter more three to five years out.

If you’re focused on the next few months, consider that the latest data suggests the economy is growing steadily and inflation pressures continue to ease. Investment in artificial intelligence — still in the early innings — is giving corporate profits a boost and looks more like the early-internet period of the mid-1990s than the speculative bubble in 1999–2000. Double-digit gains in S&P 500 companies’ profits this year, which seemed like a long shot at the start of the year, are now possible.

History also suggests staying the course. Since 1950, the S&P 500 has risen 93% of the time in the 12 months following a five-month streak, with an average gain of over 12%. And down years are rare after strong first quarters. So, while stocks are due for a pullback, as the choppy start to April suggests, it’s extremely difficult to sidestep a 5–10% decline. It’s tough to make a case for a big drop — one that might make sense to try to avoid — because of healthy market fundamentals.

The common refrain from the bears that the stock market’s gains are too concentrated has not held up lately. Technology stocks showed signs of fatigue in March, while cyclical value stocks that benefit from the improved economy picked up the slack. This rotation helped the energy, financials, and industrials sectors outperform in March while the average stock beat the index.

Turning to bonds, yields remain attractive following the latest rise in rates. A gradually slowing economy and easing inflation should limit additional selling pressure in the bond market, especially if the Fed cuts rates this summer as expected. Last week’s successful Treasury note auctions were encouraging. Corporate bond yield spreads, which tend to sniff out trouble before stocks, are about as calm as they get compared to Treasuries.

Solid fundamentals and history suggest investors stay the course, though a small allocation shift may make sense for those overdue for a rebalance or with long investing time horizons. Risks seem manageable at this time, though we continue to watch inflation, rates, and geopolitics closely.

As always, please reach out to me with questions.

Sincerely,

Wayne Rigney

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Important Information

This material is for general information only and is not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. There is no assurance that the views or strategies discussed are suitable for all investors or will yield positive outcomes. Investing involves risks including possible loss of principal. Any economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted and are subject to change.

References to markets, asset classes, and sectors are generally regarding the corresponding market index. Indexes are unmanaged statistical composites and cannot be invested into directly. Index performance is not indicative of the performance of any investment and do not reflect fees, expenses, or sales charges. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results.

All data is provided as of April 3, 2024.

Any company names noted herein are for educational purposes only and not an indication of trading intent or a solicitation of their products or services. LPL Financial doesn’t provide research on individual equities.

All index data from FactSet.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (S&P500) is a capitalization-weighted index of 500 stocks designed to measure performance of the broad domestic economy through changes in the aggregate market value of 500 stocks representing all major industries.

This Research material was prepared by LPL Financial, LLC. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, LPL Financial makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy.

Bonds are subject to market and interest rate risk if sold prior to maturity. Bond values will decline as interest rates rise and bonds are subject to availability and change in price.

There is no guarantee that a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a non-diversified portfolio. Diversification does not protect against market risk.

Past performance does not guarantee future results.

Asset allocation does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss.

RES-0001004-0324W | For Public Use | Tracking #561493 (Exp.04/2025)

 

March 2024 Client Letter

March 7, 2024

Dear Valued Investor,

As spring approaches, the weather is starting to warm up. For the stock market, the temperature has been rising for a while now. In fact, since December 2023, the S&P 500 has not experienced a pullback of even 2%. Strong starts to years tend to signal more gains ahead, so this calm market may not precede a storm. In fact, when the S&P 500 has been up in January and February, it has gained an average of 11% over the rest of the year and has been higher in 26 out of 28 cases. Here’s some more good news. The market’s process of adjusting to fewer interest rate cuts from the Federal Reserve (Fed) could be mostly over, with the Fed and the bond market generally aligned on the path of rates. Some upward pressure on yields is possible as this debate evolves and some components of inflation remain sticky, but with rate cuts forthcoming, there is a limit to how much higher rates will go. Stable interest rates can help support lofty stock valuations and reverse early-year losses in the bond market. An excellent fourth quarter earnings season provides additional support for stock valuations. The mega cap technology companies were the stars of the show, as the biggest six technology companies drove more than nine points of S&P 500 earnings per share growth in the quarter by themselves – turning a 4.5% decline into a nearly 5% earnings increase. That’s doing some heavy lifting. Prospects for high-single-digit earnings growth for the S&P 500 in the year ahead have brightened, though gains will be dependent on the U.S. economy achieving a soft landing. In the absence of recession, stocks have a strong track record of gains. Against the odds, the Fed may have threaded the needle. Government spending has helped, enabling the economy to sustain itself late in its cycle. We’ll be watching the economic data, credit markets, and various measures of investor sentiment for signs of deterioration. A broadening out to the “S&P 493” would be welcomed. Pairing technical analysis with fundamentals will be especially important. History does suggest volatility may pick up after such a strong and steady advance. Although the S&P 500 has returned over 11% annualized since 1980, on average, the index typically experiences one 10% correction per year and three 5% to 10% pullbacks. A divisive presidential election now just eight months away could bring more volatility, as could geopolitical tensions or weakness in the mega-cap technology stocks.

Here’s hoping for a warm — but not too hot — spring for the economy and markets, keeping Fed rate cuts in play while providing a solid foundation for corporate America to grow earnings.

As always, please reach out to me with questions.

Sincerely,

Wayne Rigney

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Important Information

This material is for general information only and is not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. There is no assurance that the views or strategies discussed are suitable for all investors or will yield positive outcomes. Investing involves risks including possible loss of principal. Any economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted and are subject to change.

References to markets, asset classes, and sectors are generally regarding the corresponding market index. Indexes are unmanaged statistical composites and cannot be invested into directly. Index performance is not indicative of the performance of any investment and do not reflect fees, expenses, or sales charges. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results.

All data is provided as of March 6, 2024.

Any company names noted herein are for educational purposes only and not an indication of trading intent or a solicitation of their products or services. LPL Financial doesn’t provide research on individual equities.

All index data from FactSet.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (S&P500) is a capitalization-weighted index of 500 stocks designed to measure performance of the broad domestic economy through changes in the aggregate market value of 500 stocks representing all major industries.

This Research material was prepared by LPL Financial, LLC. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, LPL Financial makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy.

Bonds are subject to market and interest rate risk if sold prior to maturity. Bond values will decline as interest rates rise and bonds are subject to availability and change in price.

There is no guarantee that a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a non-diversified portfolio. Diversification does not protect against market risk.

Past performance does not guarantee future results.

Asset allocation does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss.

Tracking #550235

February 2024 Client Letter

February 7, 2024

Dear Valued Investor,

Stocks are off to a solid start in 2024. January gains are particularly enjoyable because of the old adage from the Stock Trader’s Almanac, “As goes January, so goes the year.” Nearly 75 years of historical data shows that when the S&P 500 has risen in January, the average gain for the remainder of the year has been about 12%. This January, the S&P 500 was up 1.6%.

Stocks have also historically fared well after the broad index has reached a new all-time high, as the S&P 500 did last month for the first time in over two years. The average 12-month gain after a new high, with more than a 12-month wait between those highs, has been nearly 12%, with gains 13 out of 14 times.

Those new highs have prompted some to wonder if stock valuations are too rich. They’re elevated, no doubt, but they still look reasonable considering today’s interest rates. Interest rates and price-to-earnings ratios tend to move in opposite directions when rates are elevated. Big tech companies, like Alphabet, Meta, and Microsoft, are another justification for high valuations. Their impressive earnings power is the reason why earnings growth is poised to accelerate and should help prevent valuations from getting too stretched.

A soft landing for the U.S. economy, though not assured, may also help push stocks higher despite full valuations — assuming inflation continues to ease. The job market remained surprisingly strong in January, adding over 350,000 jobs as wages rose. Although that could possibly contribute to a delay in Federal Reserve (Fed) rate cuts until summertime, markets may have adjusted to fewer cuts already. Good news may be good news.

We see a lot of merit in the bull case, but the bears have plenty to support their case as stocks attempt to continue to climb the proverbial “wall of worry” and build on year-to-date gains. Presidential elections bring uncertainty, which may add some volatility even though stocks usually rise during election years. Commercial real estate continues to plague some regional banks.

A treacherous geopolitical climate cannot be dismissed, particularly a potentially wider conflict in the Middle East. Shipping goods around the world is taking longer and costing more. Military aggression by China toward Taiwan cannot be ruled out, nor can some spillover from China’s soft economy.

In reviewing the full picture of what to expect from markets this year, a resilient U.S. economy, easing inflation pressure, and growing earnings create a favorable backdrop for both stocks and bonds. But with high valuations and mounting geopolitical risks, modest positive returns appear most likely.

As always, please reach out to me with questions.

Sincerely,

Wayne Rigney

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Important Information

This material is for general information only and is not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. There is no assurance that the views or strategies discussed are suitable for all investors or will yield positive outcomes. Investing involves risks including possible loss of principal. Any economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted and are subject to change.

References to markets, asset classes, and sectors are generally regarding the corresponding market index. Indexes are unmanaged statistical composites and cannot be invested into directly. Index performance is not indicative of the performance of any investment and do not reflect fees, expenses, or sales charges. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results.

All data is provided as of February 6, 2024.

Any company names noted herein are for educational purposes only and not an indication of trading intent or a solicitation of their products or services. LPL Financial doesn’t provide research on individual equities.

All index data from FactSet.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (S&P500) is a capitalization-weighted index of 500 stocks designed to measure performance of the broad domestic economy through changes in the aggregate market value of 500 stocks representing all major industries.

This Research material was prepared by LPL Financial, LLC. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, LPL Financial makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy.

Bonds are subject to market and interest rate risk if sold prior to maturity. Bond values will decline as interest rates rise and bonds are subject to availability and change in price.

There is no guarantee that a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a non-diversified portfolio. Diversification does not protect against market risk.

Past performance does not guarantee future results.

Asset allocation does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss.

Tracking #537901

January 2024 Client Letter

January 3, 2024

Stocks defied the skeptics in a very unpredictable 2023. The Dow Jones finished at an all-time record high on December 28, and the S&P 500 came within a whisker of a fresh all-time high after the index rallied more than 20% for the year.

It wasn’t only stock investors who had plenty to cheer about. Bond portfolios, which struggled mightily along with stocks in 2022, staged a furious late-year rally. Bloomberg’s broad bond market benchmark returned a solid 5.5% for the year after being negative year to date as late as October.

Last year was especially gratifying given the pessimism at the outset. It also offers some important lessons for investors:

  • Don’t always follow the herd. They’re right at times, but wrong more often than you think. As recently as May 2023, Wall Street strategists forecasted 4,017 for the S&P 500 at year end—about 19% too low. Stocks rise about three times as often as they fall, so be wary of bearish herds.
  • Consider cycles and trends. Stocks rarely fall two years in a row. Year three of the four-year presidential cycle (e.g., 2023) has been the best over time. Bear markets tend to recover losses in under a year in the absence of recession (the last bear ended in October 2022). Historical cycle averages point to mid-to-high single-digit gains for stocks in 2024.
  • Don’t bet against the U.S. consumer. Every economic cycle is different, but the post-pandemic recovery distorted the economy such that traditional economic indicators misled many economists. One takeaway here is stimulus matters—for example, low interest rates, stimulus checks, student loan forgiveness, and even infrastructure spending. Another takeaway is that consumers with jobs will spend. The unemployment rate remains near 50-year lows.
  • Focus on the long term. This unusual economic cycle made it extremely difficult to predict where stocks were going, reminding us that “time in the market” is a better mantra than “timing the market.” Waiting it out through the down periods, even through wars, a banking crisis, and widespread calls for recession, is the best approach for nearly all investors.

These are all great lessons to tuck away as we turn to 2024. The year may not bring quite as much joy to your portfolio, but with inflation down, unemployment low, corporate fundamentals in good shape, and the Federal Reserve poised to cut interest rates, the ingredients for another profitable year are in place.

I wish you a joyful and prosperous 2024. As always, please reach out to me with questions.

Sincerely,

Wayne Rigney

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Important Information

This material is for general information only and is not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. There is no assurance that the views or strategies discussed are suitable for all investors or will yield positive outcomes. Investing involves risks including possible loss of principal. Any economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted and are subject to change.

References to markets, asset classes, and sectors are generally regarding the corresponding market index. Indexes are unmanaged statistical composites and cannot be invested into directly. Index performance is not indicative of the performance of any investment and do not reflect fees, expenses, or sales charges. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results.

All data is provided as of January 2, 2024.

Any company names noted herein are for educational purposes only and not an indication of trading intent or a solicitation of their products or services. LPL Financial doesn’t provide research on individual equities.

All index data from FactSet.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (S&P500) is a capitalization-weighted index of 500 stocks designed to measure performance of the broad domestic economy through changes in the aggregate market value of 500 stocks representing all major industries.

This Research material was prepared by LPL Financial, LLC. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however LPL Financial makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy.

Bonds are subject to market and interest rate risk if sold prior to maturity. Bond values will decline as interest rates rise and bonds are subject to availability and change in price.

There is no guarantee that a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a non-diversified portfolio. Diversification does not protect against market risk.

Past performance does not guarantee future results.

Asset allocation does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss.

For a list of descriptions of the indexes and economic terms referenced, please visit our website at lplresearch.com/definitions.

Tracking #522668

Client Letter | Outlook 2024: A Turning Point

December 12, 2023

Dear Valued Investor,

LPL Research recently unveiled Outlook 2024: A Turning Point, which recaps where markets have been over the last half of 2023 to help position your portfolio through midyear of 2024. It’s with pleasure that we bring you a few of its key highlights today.

In 2024, we believe markets will make a definitive turn to a more recognizable place. Where the last two years had investors focused on inflation, market volatility, and striving for a sense of economic balance, we expect to see some return to the previous status quo, characterized by more familiar and steadier economic and market patterns. We’ve seen indications of this reset—receding inflation, rates stabilizing, more modest stock market performance, and go-forward economic forecasts that have been dwindling.

It doesn’t mean that 2024 won’t have its own surprises or potential challenges. Reflecting on 2023, we certainly experienced our fair share of unexpected events. There were positives, such as the strength of the U.S. economy and the stock market, despite the Federal Reserve (Fed) raising interest rates. On the downside, we faced a regional banking crisis driven by interest rate risk and saw escalating conflict in the Middle East, reminding us that markets are seemingly constantly overcoming obstacles.

So where does that leave us for the first half of 2024? We do expect the economy to soften mildly, which is what the Fed has been looking for over the past two years. The uncertainty surrounding a potential recession may limit stock gains as 2024 begins, but it could also provide a silver lining if the Fed eases rates as a result.

The rate and earnings cycles are likely to have a greater impact on stocks, as investors focus on the anticipated decline in interest rates and return of growth in earnings. With this in mind, we see growth opportunities in bonds, which should offer decent returns with lower risks compared to stocks. Ultimately, we expect both stocks and bonds to perform well and provide ample opportunities.

These are just some of the insights you’ll find in our Outlook 2024: A Turning Point. To get more, including considerations and potential action steps to discuss with your financial professional, visit go.lpl.com/investor-outlook.

The insights provided, combined with my guidance, will help you navigate this turning point and work toward achieving your goals. And at the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about.

Please reach out to me if you have any questions.

Sincerely,

Wayne Rigney

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Important Information

This material is for general information only and is not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. There is no assurance that the views or strategies discussed are suitable for all investors or will yield positive outcomes. Investing involves risks including possible loss of principal. Any economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted and are subject to change.

References to markets, asset classes, and sectors are generally regarding the corresponding market index. Indexes are unmanaged statistical composites and cannot be invested into directly. Index performance is not indicative of the performance of any investment and do not reflect fees, expenses, or sales charges. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results.

All data is provided as of December 11, 2023.

Any company names noted herein are for educational purposes only and not an indication of trading intent or a solicitation of their products or services. LPL Financial doesn’t provide research on individual equities.

All index data from FactSet.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (S&P500) is a capitalization-weighted index of 500 stocks designed to measure performance of the broad domestic economy through changes in the aggregate market value of 500 stocks representing all major industries.

This Research material was prepared by LPL Financial, LLC. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however LPL Financial makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy.

Bonds are subject to market and interest rate risk if sold prior to maturity. Bond values will decline as interest rates rise and bonds are subject to availability and change in price.

There is no guarantee that a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a non-diversified portfolio. Diversification does not protect against market risk.

Past performance does not guarantee future results.

Asset allocation does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss.

For a list of descriptions of the indexes and economic terms referenced, please visit our website at lplresearch.com/definitions.

Tracking # 513668

 

2024 Outlook Executive Summary

DOWNLOAD THE ORIGINAL EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

In 2024, we believe markets will make a definitive turn to a more recognizable place. En route, the transition will be marked by meaningful shifts in a few key areas. Inflation is going down. The risk of a recession is bubbling up again as the effect of post-pandemic stimulus wanes. And the end of the Federal Reserve’s (Fed) rate-hiking campaign is indeed upon us. 

Where the last two years had investors focused on inflation, market volatility, and striving for a sense of economic balance, we now can expect to see some return to the previous status quo—that is, a less-stringent Fed, normalizing inflation, and a slower growth environment. We’ve seen indications of this reset—receding inflation, rates stabilizing, more modest equity market performance, and go-forward economic forecasts that have been dwindling. From our perspective, this turning point for the markets and economic landscape can be characterized as a return to familiar economic and market patterns, leaving behind the volatility of policy and economic swings experienced in recent years, and moving toward a steadier environment. 

All of this said, it doesn’t mean that 2024 won’t have its own surprises or potential challenges. Reflecting on 2023, we certainly experienced our fair share of unexpected events. There was positive news: The U.S. economy was strong and the stock market performed relatively well, despite the Fed tightening monetary policy and raising interest rates. On the downside, we faced a regional banking crisis driven by interest rate risk and saw escalating conflict in the Middle East, reminding us that markets are seemingly constantly overcoming obstacles. 

LPL Research’s Outlook 2024: A Turning Point provides insight and analysis into next year’s opportunities, challenges, and potential surprises. We understand that making progress toward long-term financial goals requires a strong plan and sound advice. The insights in this report, combined with guidance from a financial professional, will help position investors to navigate this turning point and work toward achieving their objectives. 

ECONOMY

The economy grew faster than expected in recent quarters, unemployment remained historically low, and activity in some sectors grew (e.g., homebuilding), despite the macro headwinds. The labor market seemed to be a boon for workers in prime position to bargain for better pay and more benefits. In 2024, we believe a recession is likely to emerge as consumers buckle under debt burdens and use up their excess savings, but a Fed that is sensitive to risk management might provide an offset by taking interest rates down again in the new year. Inflation may still remain a concern, but the Fed will likely be less laser-focused given the trajectory is going in the right direction. In sum, we expect a mild recession to occur in 2024, although that may usher in some interest rate decreases from the Fed and offset some of the economic and market impact.

STOCKS

Following the Fed’s aggressive rate-hiking campaign in 2022 and 2023, stocks are entering a phase in which market participants will be focused on interest-rate stability—as inflation, we believe, comes down further. Meanwhile, interest rate stabilization should help support stock valuations. And while rates may be the most impactful driver of stock valuations, corporate profits are moving into a sweet spot. Stocks look fully valued at current interest rates, but if rates ease as we expect, we see upside to a year-end 2024 fair-value target range of 4,850 to 4,950. This is based on a price-to-earnings ratio (P/E) near 19.5 and our 2025 S&P 500 earnings per share (EPS) estimate of $250. Thus, we believe stocks could provide mid-to-high single digit returns in 2024. Risks include a potential widening conflict in the Middle East or Europe, an increase in U.S.-China tensions, and reacceleration in inflation that pushes interest rates higher. 

BONDS

The move higher in yields in 2023 was unrelenting, rising alongside a U.S. economy that continued to outperform expectations. With a still-resilient economy to-date, we think Treasury yields could stay relatively high in the near-term, although rates may subside a bit versus the 2023 volatility we have witnessed. Issuance of Treasury securities to fund budget deficits and the potential for the Bank of Japan (BOJ) to finally end its aggressively loose monetary policies in 2024 could keep some upward pressure on yields. However, the big move in yields may have already taken place, and with a potential directional change in interest rates likely coming in 2024, we believe bonds offer compelling value. 

GEOPOLITICS

With the onset of the war in the Middle East, geopolitical concerns have broadened as global leaders and diplomats attempt to forge agreements and try to encourage containment of the war. Meanwhile, losses continue to be absorbed by both Russia and Ukraine—amid debates across NATO about the monetary and political costs associated with supplying Ukraine with military equipment. As part of this backdrop, the U.S. has focused on keeping China from acquiring advanced semiconductor technology that can be applied to its expanding military buildup. We are not expecting the geopolitical backdrop to get materially better in 2024, yet history tells us that this risk alone is often not enough to derail opportunities in capital markets. 

COMMODITIES 

With renewed expectations that the Chinese economy could be supported by a broad fiscal package, coupled with forecasts that many global central banks have completed their respective rate-hiking campaigns, the economic backdrop should remain constructive for oil demand. A potential widening of the Middle East conflict could send prices sharply higher amid tight stockpiles of crude and OPEC+ production cuts. However, should the global economy slow materially more than projected, crude demand may be somewhat offset. A more aggressive fiscal package from China, targeted for infrastructure spending, is a possible catalyst for industrial metals. Precious metals, especially gold, have seen prices rise amid heightened geopolitical and currency risk, and will garner further support in 2024 if the markets continue to consider those risks. 

CURRENCIES 

The U.S. dollar staged a strong comeback over the second half of 2023. Capital usually goes where it is treated best, and global capital was enticed back to the U.S. on clearer prospects of economic growth and higher rates of return. The dollar remains quite overvalued, however, on a purchasing power parity basis against currencies like the yen, euro, and British pound. But unless global markets witness a more persistent shift toward synchronized global growth, a scenario we are not expecting, foreign currencies as a whole will likely struggle to meaningfully outpace the dollar. Meanwhile, the clear risk for the euro heading into 2024 is that the European Central Bank (ECB) will be forced to aggressively reverse its current tighter policy stance. 

ALTERNATIVE INVESTMENTS 

After the strong recovery of the equity markets this year and the continued rise of short-term yields, markets have started to calibrate for the new market era. This new direction includes greater dispersion and volatility amid continued decoupling of global economic and policy actions, slowing economic activity, and rising geopolitical risks. All of this adds up to an environment that’s conducive for strategies that are nimble, can generate excess returns from both top-down macroeconomic forecasts as well as bottom-up fundamental analysis, have limited stock market sensitivity, and benefit from the rise in volatility. In our view, this could be an opportunity to own global macro hedge fund strategies as well as select private credit and infrastructure investments.

 

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GENERAL DISCLOSURES

The opinions, statements and forecasts presented herein are general information only and are not intended to provide specific investment advice or recommendations for any individual. It does not take into account the specific investment objectives, tax and financial condition, or particular needs of any specific person. There is no assurance that the strategies or techniques discussed are suitable for all investors or will be successful. To determine which investment(s) may be appropriate for you, please consult your financial professional prior to investing.

Any forward-looking statements including the economic forecasts herein may not develop as predicted and are subject to change based on future market and other conditions. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results.

References to markets, asset classes, and sectors are generally regarding the corresponding market index. Indexes are unmanaged statistical composites and cannot be invested into directly. Index performance is not indicative of the performance of any investment and does not reflect fees, expenses, or sales charges. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results. 

General Risk Disclosures

Alternative investments may not be suitable for all investors and should be considered as an investment for the risk capital portion of the investor’s portfolio. The strategies employed in the management of alternative investments may accelerate the velocity of potential losses.

Investing in stock includes numerous specific risks including the fluctuation of dividend, loss of principal and potential illiquidity of the investment in a falling market. Because of their narrow focus, sector investing will be subject to greater volatility than investing more broadly across many sectors and companies. Value investments can perform differently from the market as a whole. They can remain undervalued by the market for long periods of time. The prices of small and mid-cap stocks are generally more volatile than large cap stocks. 

Bonds are subject to market and interest rate risk if sold prior to maturity. Bond values will decline as interest rates rise and bonds are subject to availability and change in price. Bond yields are subject to change. Certain call or special redemption features may exist which could impact yield. Government bonds and Treasury bills are guaranteed by the U.S. government as to the timely payment of principal and interest and, if held to maturity, offer a fixed rate of return and fixed principal value. Corporate bonds are considered higher risk than government bonds but normally offer a higher yield and are subject to market, interest rate, and credit risk, as well as additional risks based on the quality of issuer coupon rate, price, yield, maturity, and redemption features. Mortgage-backed securities are subject to credit, default, prepayment, extension, market and interest rate risk. Floating rate bank loans are loans issues by below investment grade companies for short term funding purposes with higher yield than short term debt and involve risk. Preferred stock dividends are paid at the discretion of the issuing company. Preferred stocks are subject to interest rate and credit risk. As interest rates rise, the price of the preferred falls (and vice versa). They may be subject to a call feature with changing interest rates or credit ratings. The majority of preferred stocks outstanding are concentrated in the financial sector.

International debt securities involve special additional risks. These risks include, but are not limited to, currency risk, geopolitical and regulatory risk, and risk associated with varying settlement standards. These risks are often heightened for investments in emerging markets.

High yield/junk bonds (grade BB or below) are not investment grade securities, and are subject to higher interest rate, credit, and liquidity risks than those graded BBB and above. They generally should be part of a diversified portfolio for sophisticated investors.

Municipal bonds are subject to availability and change in price. They are subject to market and interest rate risk if sold prior to maturity. Bond values will decline as interest rates rise. Interest income may be subject to the alternative minimum tax. Municipal bonds are federally tax-free but other state and local taxes may apply. If sold prior to maturity, capital gains tax could apply.

The fast price swings of commodities will result in significant volatility in an investor’s holdings. Commodities include increased risks, such as political, economic, and currency instability, and may not be suitable for all investors. Precious metal investing is subject to substantial fluctuation and potential for loss. 

Any company names noted herein are for educational purposes only and not an indication of trading intent or a solicitation of their products or services. LPL Financial doesn’t provide research on individual equities.

All index data from FactSet. International investing involves special risks such as currency fluctuation and political instability and may not be suitable for all investors. These risks are often heightened for investments in emerging markets.

All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, LPL Financial makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy.

Investing involves risks including possible loss of principal. No investment strategy or risk management technique can guarantee return or eliminate risk in all market environments. There is no guarantee that a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a non-diversified portfolio. Diversification does not protect against market risk. Investing in foreign and emerging markets debt or securities involves special additional risks. These risks include, but are not limited to, currency risk, geopolitical risk, and risk associated with varying accounting standards. Investing in emerging markets may accentuate these risks.

General Definitions

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is the monetary value of all the finished goods and services produced within a country’s borders in a specific time period, though GDP is usually calculated on an annual basis. It includes all of private and public consumption, government outlays, investments and exports less imports that occur within a defined territory.

The PE ratio (price-to-earnings ratio) is a measure of the price paid for a share relative to the annual net income or profit earned by the firm per share. It is a financial ratio used for valuation: a higher PE ratio means that investors are paying more for each unit of net income, so the stock is more expensive compared to one with lower PE ratio.

Earnings per share (EPS) is the portion of a company’s profit allocated to each outstanding share of common stock. EPS serves as an indicator of a company’s profitability. Earnings per share is generally considered to be the single most important variable in determining a share’s price. It is also a major component used to calculate the price-to-earnings valuation ratio.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index is a capitalization-weighted index of 500 stocks designed to measure performance of the broad domestic economy through changes in the aggregate market value of 500 stocks representing all major industries.

The Bloomberg U.S. Aggregate Bond Index is an index of the U.S. investment-grade fixed-rate bond market, including both government and corporate bonds.

A company’s market capitalization is the market value of its outstanding shares. Market capitalization is calculated by multiplying the number of a company’s shares outstanding by its stock price per share. Classifications such as large-cap, mid-cap and small-cap are only approximations and may change over time.

Equity Definitions

Cyclical stocks typically relate to equity securities of companies whose price is affected by ups and downs in the overall economy and that sell discretionary items that consumers may buy more of during an economic expansion but cut back on during a recession. Counter-cyclical stocks tend to move in the opposite direction from the overall economy and with consumer staples which people continue to demand even during a downturn.

A Growth stock is a share in a company that is anticipated to grow at a rate significantly above the average for the market due to capital appreciation. 

A Value stock is anticipated to grow above the average for the market due to trading at a lower price relative to its fundamentals, such as dividends, earnings, or sales. 

Large cap stocks are issued by corporations with a market capitalization of $10 billion or more, and small cap stocks are issued by corporations with a market capitalization between $250 million and $2 billion.

Fixed Income definitions

Credit Quality is one of the principal criteria for judging the investment quality of a bond or bond mutual fund. As the term implies, credit quality informs investors of a bond or bond portfolio’s credit worthiness, or risk of default. Credit ratings are published rankings based on detailed financial analyses by a credit bureau specifically as it relates to the bond issue’s ability to meet debt obligations. The highest rating is AAA, and the lowest is D. Securities with credit ratings of BBB and above are considered investment grade. The credit spread is the yield the corporate bonds less the yield on comparable maturity Treasury debt. This is a market-based estimate of the amount of fear in the bond market. Base-rated bonds are the lowest quality bonds that are considered investment-grade, rather than high-yield. They best reflect the stresses across the quality spectrum.

The Bloomberg Aggregate U.S. Bond Index represents securities that are SEC-registered, taxable, and dollar denominated. The index covers the U.S. investment-grade fixed rate bond market, with index components for government and corporate securities, mortgage pass-through securities, and asset-backed securities.

High yield/junk bonds (grade BB or below) are not investment grade securities, and are subject to higher interest rate, credit, and liquidity risks than those graded BBB and above. They generally should be part of a diversified portfolio for sophisticated investors.

Municipal bonds are subject to availability and change in price. They are subject to market and interest rate risk if sold prior to maturity. Bond values will decline as interest rates rise. Interest income may be subject to the alternative minimum tax. Municipal bonds are federally tax-free but other state and local taxes may apply. If sold prior to maturity, capital gains tax could apply.

Commodities include increased risks, such as political, economic, and currency instability, and may not be suitable for all investors. The fast price swings in commodities will result in significant volatility in an investor’s holdings.

Alternative Investments may not be suitable for all investors and involve special risks such as leveraging the investment, potential adverse market forces, regulatory changes and potentially illiquidity. The strategies employed in the management of alternative investments may accelerate the velocity of potential losses.”

 

This material was prepared by LPL Financial, LLC.

Securities and advisory services offered through LPL Financial (LPL), a registered investment advisor and broker-dealer (member FINRA/SIPC).

Insurance products are offered through LPL or its licensed affiliates. To the extent you are receiving investment advice from a separately registered independent investment advisor that is not an LPL affiliate, please note LPL makes no representation with respect to such entity.

For a list of descriptions of the indexes referenced in this publication, please visit our website at lplresearch.com/definitions.

For Public Use.

Member FINRA/SIPC. RES-1675051-1023 Tracking #514185 (Exp. 12/24) 

Not Insured by FDIC/NCUA or Any Other Government Agency

Not Bank/Credit UnionGuaranteed      Not Bank/Credit Union Deposits or Obligations    May Lose Value

December 2023 Client Letter

December 6, 2023

Dear Valued Investor,

Solid gains for both stocks and bonds gave investors a November to remember. As financial markets continue to defy skeptics, I’m reminded of a quote from Warren Buffett’s long-time partner and one of the greatest investors of our time, Charlie Munger, who passed away last week. “The world is full of foolish gamblers, and they will not do as well as the patient investors.” We couldn’t agree more at LPL Research. Patient investors have been rewarded in 2023 and will continue to be.

Increasing confidence in a soft landing for the U.S. economy has shifted the focus away from rate hikes and toward eventual cuts, helping to pull long-term interest rates down and encouraging market participants to pay higher prices for stocks relative to expected earnings.

A good start to holiday shopping season supports the soft landing narrative. Online sales since Black Friday are up 5% over the same period last year according to Adobe. Lower prices at the pump, falling goods prices, higher stock values, and rising wages should help keep the momentum going.

The other key piece of the soft-landing equation, inflation, is well on its way to the Federal Reserve’s 2% target. Remarkably, the preferred inflation measure, the core personal consumption expenditures (PCE) deflator, rose at just a 2.2% annualized pace over the past three months, down from 5.3% in the year prior.

Looking ahead, we think the combination of corporate America’s solid fundamental foundation and the support from lower interest rates sets the stage for more stock gains in the coming year. The slowing economy will help ease inflation. Less inflation will help promote interest-rate stability. And earnings are entering their sweet spot following an excellent third quarter earnings season.

Sure there are risks. Some of the impact of higher rates is yet to come. Consumers have drawn down most of their excess savings. U.S. government debt is getting more expensive. Wars overseas have heightened geopolitical risk ahead of what will likely be a divisive 2024 U.S. presidential election.

But as Mr. Munger told us, patience will be rewarded. No one knows exactly what will happen through the end of the year, but history shows that stocks tend to produce above-average gains in December and rise much more often than they fall—even after strong gains the month prior. This would be a fitting end to what’s truly been a remarkable year.

Please reach out to me if you have any questions.

Sincerely,

Wayne Rigney

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Important Information

This material is for general information only and is not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. There is no assurance that the views or strategies discussed are suitable for all investors or will yield positive outcomes. Investing involves risks including possible loss of principal. Any economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted and are subject to change.

References to markets, asset classes, and sectors are generally regarding the corresponding market index. Indexes are unmanaged statistical composites and cannot be invested into directly. Index performance is not indicative of the performance of any investment and do not reflect fees, expenses, or sales charges. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results.

All data is provided as of December 5, 2023.

Any company names noted herein are for educational purposes only and not an indication of trading intent or a solicitation of their products or services. LPL Financial doesn’t provide research on individual equities.

All index data from FactSet.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (S&P500) is a capitalization-weighted index of 500 stocks designed to measure performance of the broad domestic economy through changes in the aggregate market value of 500 stocks representing all major industries.

This Research material was prepared by LPL Financial, LLC. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however LPL Financial makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy.

Bonds are subject to market and interest rate risk if sold prior to maturity. Bond values will decline as interest rates rise and bonds are subject to availability and change in price.

There is no guarantee that a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a non-diversified portfolio. Diversification does not protect against market risk.

Past performance does not guarantee future results.

Asset allocation does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss.

For a list of descriptions of the indexes and economic terms referenced, please visit our website at lplresearch.com/definitions.

Tracking # 513124

November 2023 Client Letter

November 1, 2023

Dear Valued Investor,

The penultimate month of the year is often a time to reflect and offer thanks. And while economic and geopolitical uncertainty can overshadow the positives, there are things to be thankful for. Here is just some of what we’re thankful for, now that we’re in the second to last month of the year.

  • Resilient U.S. economy. Coming into 2023, the dreaded R word (recession) seemed a near certainty. But the most recent data showed our economy grew at a strong 4.9% clip (annualized) during the third quarter, the fastest rate since the initial COVID-19 recovery. Even though borrowing costs are rising, the consumer remains in good shape, bolstered by a strong job market and rising wages. While the economy is likely to slow in coming quarters, it’s unlikely to slow enough to concern stock markets, given the health of consumers and corporate America.
  • End of the earnings recession. Solid third-quarter earnings (vs. expectations) mean the earnings recession is almost certainly over. The market’s reaction to results has been mixed at best amid all the uncertainty. But a 5% year over year increase in S&P 500 earnings is a distinct possibility—perhaps 10% excluding the energy sector.
  • Easing inflation pressures. Surging inflation and the Federal Reserve’s (Fed) aggressive response were the big stories of 2022. But it seems inflation has eased enough to keep the Fed on hold at its next few meetings, and potentially cut rates in 2024. Historically, stock and bond markets have tended to perform well after rate-hiking campaigns.
  • Fixed income is an attractive asset class again, despite recent bond bumpiness. After nearly a decade of very modest returns, yields for many fixed income investments are the highest they’ve been since 2007. Starting yields are the best predictors of future long-term returns, so at these higher yield levels, fixed income returns may be higher too. Moreover, yields for some of the highest quality fixed income sectors are offering attractive income again—which practically eliminates the need to invest in low quality bonds to generate income.

There’s no doubt this year has been challenging, given increased economic and geopolitical uncertainty. But taking a balanced view on the economy and the markets, we believe there are some positives that may help stocks finish the year higher. Even in the face of potential volatility, focusing on longer-term goals while tuning out short-term noise remains highly recommended.

Please reach out to me if you have any questions.

Sincerely,

Wayne Rigney

 

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Important Information

This material is for general information only and is not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. There is no assurance that the views or strategies discussed are suitable for all investors or will yield positive outcomes. Investing involves risks including possible loss of principal. Any economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted and are subject to change.

References to markets, asset classes, and sectors are generally regarding the corresponding market index. Indexes are unmanaged statistical composites and cannot be invested into directly. Index performance is not indicative of the performance of any investment and do not reflect fees, expenses, or sales charges. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results.

All data is provided as of October 31, 2023.

Any company names noted herein are for educational purposes only and not an indication of trading intent or a solicitation of their products or services. LPL Financial doesn’t provide research on individual equities.

All index data from FactSet.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (S&P500) is a capitalization-weighted index of 500 stocks designed to measure performance of the broad domestic economy through changes in the aggregate market value of 500 stocks representing all major industries.

This Research material was prepared by LPL Financial, LLC. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however LPL Financial makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy.

Bonds are subject to market and interest rate risk if sold prior to maturity. Bond values will decline as interest rates rise and bonds are subject to availability and change in price.

There is no guarantee that a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a non-diversified portfolio. Diversification does not protect against market risk.

Past performance does not guarantee future results.

Asset allocation does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss.

For a list of descriptions of the indexes and economic terms referenced, please visit our website at lplresearch.com/definitions.

Tracking # 498967

October 2023 Client Letter

October 4, 2023

Dear Valued Investor,

The S&P 500 lost 3.3% in the third quarter after sliding nearly 5% in September. Putting this into perspective, nothing really qualifies as out of the ordinary. Since 1950, the S&P 500 has historically declined in September 55% of the time, posting an average decline of 3.8%. September has certainly lived up to its reputation as being a weak seasonal period for stocks. The main culprits were rising interest rates and government shutdown fears.

Whether your goal is growth, value, or probably some combination of the two, there wasn’t a difference in performance between the two (on the Russell 1000 indexes). Stocks in both investing styles generated nearly identical total returns during the quarter. Growth, however, still maintains its more than 11 percentage point year-to-date gain over value.

Energy was by far and away the top performing sector last quarter and the only sector up on the month. The sector has benefited from higher oil prices and increasingly more shareholder-friendly producers. At the other end of the spectrum, real estate and utilities struggled with 9.7% and 10.1% quarterly declines, respectively, as rising interest rates challenged income-oriented sectors. The U.S. slightly outperformed the developed international markets while emerging markets held up slightly better despite the strong U.S. dollar.

Moving onto the economy, we’re feeling the ripple effects as higher short-term interest rates flow into our daily lives—in business and consumer interest rates. For example, would-be homebuyers saw the average 30-year fixed rate reach a 23-year high at the end of last month. Remember, the Federal Reserve (Fed) raised short-term interest rates in an effort to slow the economy and halt inflation, which we are starting to see.

Given the economic backdrop, we wouldn’t be surprised if the markets remain a bit choppy this month. In addition to that, October can be bumpy anyway and of course, the prospect of a government shutdown looms in another six weeks. But overall, we suggest staying the course, and there are plenty of reasons to be cautiously optimistic about where we’re headed:

  • The labor market shows signs of moving in the right direction, with more balance between the supply and demand for workers.
  • Inflation is coming down. The Fed is most likely done with its aggressive rate-hiking campaign, which is good news for investors and policymakers alike.
  • The fourth quarter is historically the best quarter for the S&P 500, with average gains around 4.2%.

Underscoring these reasons for staying invested is how difficult it is to time the market, despite some of the risks at hand. Plus, opportunities in high-quality fixed income (e.g. U.S. bonds, corporate bonds) are as attractive as they’ve been in decades. All in all, October can be volatile, but there’s probably no need to get spooked by bouts of higher volatility.

Please reach out to me if you have any questions.

Sincerely,

Wayne Rigney

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Important Information

This material is for general information only and is not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. There is no assurance that the views or strategies discussed are suitable for all investors or will yield positive outcomes. Investing involves risks including possible loss of principal. Any economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted and are subject to change.

References to markets, asset classes, and sectors are generally regarding the corresponding market index. Indexes are unmanaged statistical composites and cannot be invested into directly. Index performance is not indicative of the performance of any investment and do not reflect fees, expenses, or sales charges. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results.

All data is provided as of October 3, 2023.

Any company names noted herein are for educational purposes only and not an indication of trading intent or a solicitation of their products or services. LPL Financial doesn’t provide research on individual equities.

All index data from FactSet.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (S&P500) is a capitalization-weighted index of 500 stocks designed to measure performance of the broad domestic economy through changes in the aggregate market value of 500 stocks representing all major industries.

This Research material was prepared by LPL Financial, LLC. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however LPL Financial makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy.

Bonds are subject to market and interest rate risk if sold prior to maturity. Bond values will decline as interest rates rise and bonds are subject to availability and change in price.

There is no guarantee that a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a non-diversified portfolio. Diversification does not protect against market risk.

Past performance does not guarantee future results.

Asset allocation does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss.

For a list of descriptions of the indexes and economic terms referenced, please visit our website at lplresearch.com/definitions.

Tracking # 487088