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Words of Candor

As the first quarter of the year came to an end on March 29th, the market began to take a breather. After a blistering 2023 where the S&P 500 surged 26%, the S&P 500 continued that run in the beginning of 2024 to end March up over 10%. Though the market had a strong start, some cracks were beginning to show in the rally and in the two weeks to start the second quarter, the S&P 500 has pulled back to mid-single digits. To look at what’s driving these market movements and determine what the rest of the year might look like it's important to review the current economic conditions.
2024 is a monumental election year. Though, it's probably not for the reason you’re thinking right now. In 2024, 64 countries around the globe will hold elections representing about 49% of the world’s population, according to an article in TIME. The most of all time. One of those countries holding elections this year is the US and there are many important issues for voters to consider: foreign policy, border security, healthcare, social security and medicare, and much more. Notably, I did not mention one topic- the economy. I am going to make a controversial statement- the economy and markets will be fine over time regardless of the outcome of the 2024 elections. 
With the tax filing deadline just around the corner (April 15th!), now is the perfect time to start organizing your tax information. Proper organization not only simplifies the tax preparation process but also ensures that you maximize deductions, avoid penalties, and file your taxes accurately and on time.
In last month’s article, I addressed a common question… “Is now a good time to invest?” I referenced in that article that over the past 20+ years, investors could always find a reason to stay away from the markets. The reasons to avoid investing included events like the fallout of the Global Financial Crisis, the Dot-Com bubble, Trade Wars, the War on Terror, and even different biological concerns like the Ebola and Coronavirus epidemics. Yet, despite all of these events, the annualized return of the S&P 500 Total Return Index was about 7%. While I think that just that piece of information is powerful, it only captures one window of returns from 2000-2023. What about all the other years and combinations?