January startled markets with concerns over the Federal Reserve shifting away from supporting the economy and toward raising interest rates. Stocks fell over the last few weeks cutting losses the last day to close down an average of -4.5%. Bonds also dipped slightly last month. The strong sectors last month were energy and natural resources. Treasury bonds and municipals hold gains from a year ago. Almost all stock sectors have gains over the past year.
The new year market drop reflects investor concern over a future Federal Reserve rate hike cycle. P/E ratios average lower now than pre-pandemic. Real GDP growth has fueled inflation. There is room in this economy for an interest rate hike. Stocks have already priced it in “on the rumor” and analyst chatter. There would be more concern if there were no rate hike and inflation went unchecked. 2021 was a big gift year for stocks. 2022 has started bumpy but should eventually smooth out to return moderate growth.
Preparing for 2021 income tax reports: TD Ameritrade has mailed 1099-R reports regarding any 2021 withdrawals from IRA accounts. By mid-February, TD Ameritrade dividend and cap gain 1099 reports for non-IRA accounts, including cost basis data, will be available online and mailed to you. If you need a copy of any TDA report, our office is happy to retrieve it online and mail/email/fax it to you or your tax preparer.
An update on the move to Schwab, the target now is for accounts to move over by the end of 2023. New account numbers will be assigned and standing histories and account instructions will convert over. The transition should be paperless and seamless for clients. We’ll notify you as we receive updates on this.
Again, this year bitter cold bites the end of January with brilliant sun on new snow. Soon the warm sun and cold nights will stir returns from deep beneath the snow sending sap running back to soften buds. The first signs of spring are subtle. Like all new life, it is not to be rushed. Much as we long for it.