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Merriam – Webster dictionary defines the word “maven” as “one who is experienced or knowledgeable: expert; also: freak”. We hear the phrase “market maven” quite often as we read financial publications or watch the financial news on television. So, let’s take a quick look back and see what these “mavens” predicted for 2023 and see if they were right.

The US would decline into a deep recession – NOPE

The stock market would drop dramatically pricing in a deep recession – NOPE

Higher interest rates would cause stagflation – NOPE

Oil prices would skyrocket with middle east and Ukrainian turmoil – NOPE

Interest rates would continue to skyrocket due to runaway inflation – NOPE

Banks would collapse due to higher interest costs – NOPE

Commercial real estate loans would all go into default – NOPE

Gold and silver would finally outperform equities – NOPE

BRIC countries would cause a dollar collapse and then its replacement – NOPE

Voting laws would decrease ability to vote – NOPE

Someone other than Taylor Swift would win Time Magazine’s Person of the Year! – NOPE

As you can see the “market mavens” that many rely on so heavily continue to embarrass themselves by trying to predict the unpredictable. If you read this letter last year it was entitled “WRONG” which was my way of showing once again that not one of Wall Street’s top firms guessed the movement of the equity markets correctly in their annual predictions. (Side note they did not do it again this year). I would like to change the phrase “market maven” to “market moron”. When these “morons” are paraded around as experts that can accurately predict the future, I would like to remind them of the phrase “man plans and God laughs”. Predicting the unpredictable is a dangerous business and a loser’s game. Your team at the High Net Worth Advisory Group is smart enough to not try and predict the future or direction of the market. With a combined experience of over 100 years, we have learned that short term predictions and their corresponding knee jerk reactions create unnecessary stress and decreased portfolio performance. We remind ourselves regularly that anything that comes easily doesn’t last long and anything that is hard lasts a long time. Investing is hard. Separating the news from the noise of the day is hard. Having faith in the capitalist system that allows for the free flow of capital with all the commensurate risks and rewards is hard. So next time you hear a “market maven” touting their ability to predict the future just say NOPE and call Taylor Swift instead. After all, Taylor’s concerts showed us this past year what capitalism is truly about. People are happy to pay to feel good and escape from the stress of their lives for just a few hours. We can’t sing or dance here at HNWAG but hopefully we do the same!