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The 2023 market was full of surprises, but what lays ahead?


Good news during the last two months

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“From our perspective, this rally that we had for the last two months of last year – which coincidentally also came off three months of markets moving lower and August, September, and October – provided a lot of good news. Clearly inflation is not gone but, from a market concern, perspective clearly is fading pretty quickly. We think the central banks are also finally coming around saying that they’re probably done raising rates.

“NASDAQ was the star in 2023, and folks are wondering why they didn’t own more (or any in some cases). Throw Bitcoin into that bucket at +150 percent or so. Or they are wondering why they own the TSX or those boring dividend names that weren’t boring this year but only managed some high single-digit returns? Then there was oil, kind of the dog of the year. Regardless of the hits and misses, in 2023 there were more hits, and any year that a standard balanced mix does somewhere around 10 percent is a good year,” Basinger says.

Is it time for the “real recession?”

With all the hits in 2022, everyone expected the “real recession” to come in 2023.

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“If you look at fund flows at of individual investors in North America, cash was king. Everybody wanted cas. Lo and behold, fast forward to the end of the year. It was the worst performing asset class so, once again, the herd got it backwards.

“What is perhaps more noteworthy,” he adds, “is that 2023 appears to be a mirror of 2022. Simply put, the biggest decliners in 2022 were generally the biggest gainers in 2023, and vice versa. In 2023, Bitcoin rose from $17,000 to $42,000, yet in 2022, it dropped from $50,000 to $17,000. Nasdaq, S&P, Europe, and Asia were some of the biggest drops in 2022. And, the TSX that was clearly at the back of the pack in 2023 was one of the smaller decliners of 2022.


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