Feb 2024 Monthly Recap

Greetings from the snowy abyss of Denver, where we had 2 feet of snow dumped on us over the past 48 hours. But, as happens in Denver, it will likely all be melted before the end of the weekend.

In February we saw, higher highs and higher lows
With the S&P notching 8 new record highs at close

And while NVIDIA was the S&P’s the 3rd best performer
Ralph Lauren and Constellation Energy, grew even further

Overseas, headlines, repeated again
as the wars in Gaza, and Ukraine didn’t end

While Alexi’s death, sure looks like murder,
Putin denies it and won’t discuss further

The contrarians held steady with their negative outlook
While analysts, who rely on the data, weren’t shook

We all know that markets are hard to predict,
which is the reason our investment mandates are strict

US Markets & Events

While February was a fairly quiet month, the equity markets continued to climb, with the S&P notching 8 new record highs.

Once again, Nvidia was the story of the month as they made their earnings forecast sending the stocks on another rally.
In other market news, Amazon was added to the Dow, replacing Walgreens in the index.

While you all have seen the rewards of the markets in your accounts, I’m pleased to say that, not only did we outperform the benchmark in 2023, through the end of February we doubled the benchmark’s return when we look across all client accounts combined.

That benchmark is comprised of the Vanguard Total Stock Market Index ETF for the equity portion and the iShares Core US Aggregate Bond ETF for the rest. And while the performance for your accounts are net of our management fees, there are no management fees deducted from the benchmark returns.

In political news, a Trump/Biden rematch is now official. Based on what we’ve seen we expect the extension of the 2017 tax cuts and NATO to be hot topics in the debates later this year.

International News

Across the pond, the death of Russian opposition leader, Alexei Navalny, while being held prisoner in a Russian prison, made headlines. While all signs indicate he was murdered, Putin denies that being the case.

Over in Japan, the economy is booming again and, after 3 1/2 long decades, the Nikkei index surpassed it’s 1989 peak.

If you remember, we increased our exposure to Japan when we replaced the 2 international stock funds in early February, which we’re glad we did.

Due Diligence

Finally, just to keep you in the loop with some things we’ve been doing behind the scenes on your behalf, Blackrock and a couple other firms did off-cycle rebalances earlier this month.

After doing our due diligence, and how we had already positioned our models when we did the rebalance in early February, we didn’t feel any additional changes were appropriate at this time.

Closing Comments

That’s a wrap. If you haven’t done so yet, sign up for our March Madness bracket. All we ask is that you make, or pledge to make a $100 donation to Children’s Hospital or a charity of your choice. The 1st & 2nd place finishers will each walk away with a high-end kitchen knife.

Also, be on the lookout for an email towards the end of March to schedule your Spring Review meeting. We will be running those meetings from April 30th through June 27th.

See you next month.

Laurence

 

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