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01.6.2023 by Tracey Daigle

A New Year, New Newsletter Authors, and a New Speaker of the House?

We usually stay away from politics in the newsletter but sometimes that is not possible. The current election for the Speaker of the House has turned out to be a historic one. Kevin McCarthy of California is running for the Speaker position but failed to get the required 218 votes. This is the first time since 1923 – exactly 100 years – that the Speaker was not elected with the first ballot. As of Thursday afternoon, there had been 8 ballots and still no Speaker. Alternatives to McCarthy are starting to be discussed. The 118th Congress cannot start its work or even be sworn in until after the Speaker is elected. The Speaker is 2nd in line to the Presidency after the Vice President. To point out the obvious, it’s an important position. Will this weaken the House leadership and how will that affect the legislative process for the next two years is something that will be watched and endlessly discussed. The markets do not like uncertainty, but they seem to like gridlock. A Stunning Offer from Kevin McCarthy; Russia on Its Heels – AGF Perspectives Who are the alternatives to be House speaker if McCarthy withdraws? A look at possible names - ABC News (

Divided Government and the Markets: For the last two years the Democrats have had control of the Presidency, the Senate, and the House. For the next two years at least, the government will be divided with the Democrats still holding the Presidency and the Senate but the Republicans holding the House. How does this affect the markets? Historically speaking (and past performance is not a predictor of future returns) the stock market does well during times of a split Congress. How Stocks Performed Based On Political Party Of President And Congress: 1977 Through 2019 (

New Authors: As David mentioned last week, we will be debuting new authors for the newsletter. David will continue his regular bi-weekly schedule. The other four advisors will rotate through, taking over for Dave Robinson. I was lucky enough to be up first. Donovan Ingle, Annie Perley and Gerrit Petersons will each be writing for the newsletter soon. We hope this gives you a chance to get to know each of us a little better. Please let us know what you think. We love constructive criticism and/or gushing praise. 😊

Looking at 2023: A few years ago, I heard Ian Bremmer of the EurasiaGroup speak at a conference. Ever since I have followed his writings. He recently outlined the “Top Risks of 2023.” He starts with Russia, China, Weapons of Mass Disruption, and Inflation. It’s a scary list but important to understand. Eurasia Group | The Top Risks of 2023 And the predictions for Tech are interesting too. Not as ominous, but editing nature is still unnerving to me. Experts' Predictions for the Future of Tech in 2023 -

Financial Planning/Investment Strategy Corner:

Benchmarks and What They Say: In the investment world we bat around benchmarks – the Dow, the S&P, the Nasdaq and the Russell, but what do they all mean and which ones should we be watching? The Dow Jones Industrial Average or the Dow for short, is a price-weighted index based on 30 large US companies. The companies included must account for a significant portion of the US economic activity. A committee recommends the companies to be included. The S&P 500 index is comprised of the 500 largest US companies. The companies listed must have at least $8.2B in market capitalization and their shares must be liquid with at least 50% available for public trading. The Nasdaq Composite index includes almost all the stocks listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange and is heavily weighted towards companies in the information technology sector. There are about 2500 companies listed on the Nasdaq. RSWA’s preferred US equity benchmark is the Russell 3000. It measures the performance of the 3,000 largest publicly held US companies. We believe it is a better benchmark for the US stock market because it includes 98% of the US market compared to the S&P 500’s 80%. In 2022, the benchmarks had markedly different performance which could leave you feeling better or worse depending on which you were looking at. While none of the benchmarks had a good year, it’s a competition of who had the better of the bad years. The Dow was down 8.78%, the S&P 500 was down 18.11%, the Nasdaq was down 33.47% and the Russell 3000 was down 20.5%. The Russell 3000 Index – Forbes Advisor Dow Shines as Higher Rates Squeeze Nasdaq’s Tech Stocks - WSJ

Quick Hits:

For the Data Nerds Like Me Out There: The newest federal unemployment numbers are set to be released today, January 6th and the Consumer Price Index (CPI) will be released on Thursday, January 12th. The markets will be watching and so will the Federal Reserve. The Fed is due to meet next at the end of January and will announce the next rate hike on February 1st. With all that in my head, I love this site where I can look at the data. It’s my version of fun, not sure what that says about me. 😊  Employment–population ratio (

Quote to Consider: Enjoy the little things in life, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.”  Robert Brault

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Be well, take care, and stay safe!


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