Enhance your portfolio’s resilience for 2023 by diversifying your investments and adjusting allocation strategies based on lessons learned from the challenging 2022 market.
If performance reports on your investments show you ended the year 2022 with an overall loss, you are not alone. Not by any means. While corrections do occur most years, 2022 was an entire year of corrections. And your investing style, whether low-risk/low return, or high risk/high return, simply did not matter. As CNN Money put it, last year there were “few safe places for investors to park their money.”
To illustrate, if your 2022 investments leaned heavily on the bond market, here is how bonds faired.
- S&P U.S. Treasury Bonds were down 10.7 percent.
- 30-Year U.S. Treasury bonds were down 35 percent, their worst return in a century.
- Corporate Bonds were down 14.2 percent.
So much for the low risk “safe havens” in 2022. And if you favor stocks over bonds, the three major averages ended a winning streak of three years in 2022 this way:
- The Dow was down 9 percent for the year.
- The S&P 500 was down 20 percent at year end.
- The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 33 percent in 2022.
So, the question is, as we enter 2023, what might you do to avoid a second year of losses? Changing advisors may seem like one solution, but down performances were so widespread last year, you may regret ending a relationship that, until now, worked to your advantage. The same goes for just dumping underperforming investments because they underperformed. Instead, here is what we suggest.
First, meet with your advisor and do a thorough analysis of your current allocations. Carefully-thought-out diversification of investments has never been more important. This does not mean a major overhaul of your allocations, but even making small changes can make a big difference.
Second, identify winning sectors (yes, there were/are some). For example, while tech dragged down the market—PayPal went from $308.53 on July 23, 2021, to $79.09 as of January 20, 2023—food investments did well this past year, as did energy. According to CNN Business, “The energy sector has returned more than 60 percent this year. In fact, energy made up the entirety of Wall Street’s 2022 profit gains.”
Third, identify losing sectors. Not just to avoid them, but to invest in them, or hold onto them. That’s right. As Warren Buffett famously said, “Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful.” Keeping PayPal in mind, buying it now at $79.09, even if it only returns to half its former value, you have doubled your money. And many are predicting a recovery in the bond markets.
Fourth, identify new products. For example, consider adding structured notes to your portfolio. They not only pay monthly dividends, whatever their performance, your original capital investment is returned to you.
To wrap up, while 2022 might have been a year-long correction that produced almost across-the-board losses for investors, taking a deep breath, carefully reviewing your investments, and making tweaks to your allocations won’t guarantee a profitable 2023—nothing can—but you will begin this year with a smart and strengthened portfolio.